I'm new to posting here but your forum has really helped in the past few weeks and I hope somebody here might be able to answer a few questions I now have.
My mum (82) has had severe joint pain and stiffness mainly in her right knee. It came on quite quickly, starting as a burning sensation in her kneecaps that would wake her in the night. She has no history of mobility problems.
After ordering x-rays, the doctor diagnosed mild osteoarthritis, prescribed Naproxen, and sent her to see a physio. In the following week, she tried to follow the exercise plan the physio had set out for her but the pain got steadily worse to the point where she couldn't even put weight on the knee. A medical friend then pointed out that mild osteoarthritis should not be that painful. I'd already wondered if it was gouty arthritis but the doctor (who cynical to the point of laughing) reluctantly did a blood test for gout. We assume it came back negative.
A little more research suggested that gouty arthritis doesn't always look like gout (there's no bright red shiny swelling around the knee) and that the blood tests are notoriously unreliable. Her pain last Monday was worse than ever and she was struggling to walk. That's when we decided to try a gout diet.
Instead of fish or meats, she started to eat cherries and celery. Inside 12 hours the pain started to reduce. After 24 hours, the pain was drastically lessened. After 5 days, the pain is down to a persistent soreness around on both sides of her kneecap and behind her knee, though the stiffness is still acute.
She will be going to see the doctor again but, obviously, not sure how we're going to explain all the above given he was very unconvinced (almost amused) by the idea it might be gouty.
Therefore, I have a few questions:
1. Does this sound familiar? Does it sound like a gouty arthritis?
2. If so, how long does recovery take?
3. Should she be exercising the joint or should she wait until there's no pain?
4. Is there anything we can do to help the stiffness? Been bathing the knee with Epsom salts in warm water but not sure how much it's helping.
Thanks for reading and I'm very grateful for any advice you might have. The doctors, thus far, have proved far less helpful at dealing with this problem than the advice we've read on here!