My Story - Please Share Yours Too

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Taryn
Taryn Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:04 in Living with arthritis
Hi, I am 31 and diagnosed with OA in my left knee. The pain is horrendous when walking up or down stairs in particular. It has started affecting me whilst driving, walking long distances, gym etc. I am currently going to physio weekly to assist, but honestly feel like as soon as it improves, it worsens and is back to square 1 again. I am taking anti-inflammatory meds, have not yet tried cortisone injections. This developed so suddenly and has put most things in my life on hold, which makes me feel helpless. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated from anyone in a similar situation? Thank you

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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Taryn,

    Welcome to the forum, it’s lovely to meet you.

    Right now your knee is your main issue with pain, which is making stairs and walking difficult and now affecting driving as well.
    Anti inflammatory medications can be good, they can also be hard on the stomach, lots of people take a 'stomach protector' as well like Omeprazole.

    You can also take pain relief, or use gel. It might help to chat over these options with your doctor. Also helpful are exercises to help stretch and strengthen muscles around the joint, since you have said your pain improves and then goes back to square 1 I wonder if you are like me, someone that struggles with pacing. I find it hard to be sensible on a good day and do too much leading to more pain etc. I used to note my exercise and pain to try to work out how much was too much and it was interesting and helped me begin to pace better.

    Here’s our booklet on pain management which covers a variety of options

    https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/do-i-have-arthritis/publications/217-managing-pain

    Here is the information about knee osteoarthritis too

    https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/osteoarthritis-of-the-knee/

    Quite a number of us have had steroid jabs, personally I have never felt worse after one but have occasionally had no improvement. Most time the improvement is good and can last a few months.

    Do let us know how you are doing and what your next plans are,

    Take care
    Yvonne x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello, I have no intention of sharing my story because it's anything but encouraging: who needs that? Suffice it to say I began aged 37, have two kinds of arthritis and am now 60 so I know a bit about it. TBH I cannot remember how it was only having one affected joint apart from things being far easier than they are now. It was a mild nuisance, nothing more, but as my health has been compromised since childhood, it was no big deal. It still isn't. To you, however, this is a disaster and it's a lot to get to grips with.

    OA is a very common condition (it is thought there are around ten million arthritics in the UK, the majority with OA) and it is beginning to affect younger people, something many do not understand including some GPs. There is no cure, only managing the symptoms which I do with pain relief, distraction techniques, rest and exercise (but not exercise as you would recognise it). Swimming and cycling are the best forms as they are non weight-bearing so will minimise the risk of developing further damage too soon.

    Any form of arthritis is progressive and degenerative but once the affected joints have reached a certain stage then replacement can become an option. In exceptional circumstances this could be done on the NHS but they are hard to come by, I was refused aged 52 due to my extreme youth.

    I had success with one steroid injection into my right ankle but of course after three months it all came back because steroids mask, not cure. Every other joint injection failed, over a period of around ten years I must have had at least a dozen. I was more successful with the tablet form (which I was given for my auto-immune arthritis when I had to stop my meds) but weaned myself off them because they are indiscriminate in how they work: they thin ALL body tissues which is far from ideal.

    I have OA in both ankles, both knees and both hips, plus the other in all my toes and also the knees. It's all elsewhere too but can still drive but it helps being used to pain and hurting everywhere; when the pain is confined to one area I think it makes it stand out much more. I have done stairs like a toddler for years now, going up my 'good' leg 'goes to heaven' so it leads and then the other joins it on the step; going down the 'worst' leg 'goes to hell' so the weaker one leads and the stronger one joins it. On my very bad days I come down backwards. I have used aids since 2002, crutches and rollators, the latter enables me to go further and do more but again coming from a background of having no idea what healthy feels like didn't make me feel self-conscious and no-one notices anyway. What I did find galling when I began was being lumped in with pensioners: 'You've got arthritis? So's my granny,' was the usual response when people found out. Twerps. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello from me too. I'm sorry things seem so rough right now. I think, in time, we all learn to live with, and cope with, arthritis but it doesn't come easily or quickly. You are doing the right thing by having physio. It really will help but don't try to make it do too much. It will help but, If you do too much as soon as you feel a bit better, you'll be back at square one. Just keep plugging away and try to think positively about what you can do not what you can't. There's a very inspiring thread about 2/3 down on the Living With Arthritis forum by UFCmark. He took up cycling (which is strongly recommended for knee arthritis) and has never looked back.

    P.S. Re your header - my story is utterly boring. (Well, it is to me :lol: )
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • JenB
    JenB Member Posts: 1
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi, it's nice to know that there are other younger people in the same boat. I am 45 years old and was diagnosed at the end of January with severe osteo-arthritis in my right hip, and moderate osteo-arthritis in my left hip and lower lumbar spine. It came as a great shock. I have been in a lot of pain, especially when walking long distances and gardening. The worst pain was in bed at night, my hips and back would throb and the pain would radiate down my thighs. I was referred to a specialist orthapaedic surgeon at the beginning of March, who to my surprise, offered me a full hip replacement! I went away to think about it but when going back with my decision three weeks later, still couldn't make my mind up. I have been given another six months to ponder over it.... It's a big decision to make. Anybody else here with hip Osteo-arthritis? I am not taking any prescription medication as the Zapain I was given makes me feel very drowsy. I have good days and bad and sometimes it really gets me down but I'm trying to stay positive. Can anyone recommend any supplements that help?
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Jenb

    Welcome to the Versus Arthritis forums from the moderating team apologies to Taryn for hijacking your thread. :)

    I am very sorry to hear about your diagnosis of Osteoarthritis, but very pleased you have found this forum. There are regular discussions on here about supplements, alternative therapies.

    While you are waiting for one of our members to come along I attach a link to our information about Osteoarthritis:

    https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/osteoarthritis/

    Best wishes

    Ellen


    Ps this current thread might be of interest to you too?

    https://arthritiscareforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=50270&p=653904#p653904
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi there. You seem to have coped very well so far possible because you are so active. Strong muscles support the joints better so they hurt less and probably deteriorate more slowly.

    I've had both hips replaced but I started with RA at 15. One of them is now on the blink after about 15 years. I didn't feel I'd any option other than having them done as I could barely walk round the house clinging on to furniture. Plus, of course, the pain!

    One of mine is now on the blink. Replacements can be replaced – one of my knee replacements was and very successfully – but it's a longer operation which carries ongoing, potential problems. I've had none, though.

    If you prefer to put off the operation swimming is supposed to be good exercise though not the breast stroke kick. Personally I've never found supplements did anything other than lighten my purse. Just eat a normal, healthy, Mediterranean-style diet and don't smoke.

    Please get back to me if you've any questions I might be able to answer.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Cherryblossom
    Cherryblossom Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello all, I am new to this forum too. I am 41 and was diagnosed with hip OA about a year and a half ago. I had a laberal tear which then led to quick onset arthritis. I have a feeling I have arthritis in my back too but don’t want to be given the diagnosis! I had a wee boy 5 years ago and he loves reading books. I used to cross my legs and he would sit in the basket and I wound read to him for literally hours. He loved it - it began to get pretty sore as he grew heavier. I am pretty convinced this weakened my joint and made the damage easier to happen. It helps I think having something to say made it happen.
    Jenb, being 31 that must have come as a great shock to you especially if come from nowhere you can pin it down to.
    Taryn same for you, and sounds like yours is really very severe. It is a lot to take in and get your head around. All I have heard about hip replacements is life gets better pretty quickly so definitely worth giving it a lot of thought.
    The biggest thing for me has been getting my head around it and then giving myself the momentum to put myself first (sometimes!) for exercise. Hard with young family and busy working home life.
    For sleeping the Key changes I made, pillow between knees at night to stop the back pain (piriformus very tight) , memory foam mattress topper have both helped. Baths are very good too.
    The biggest help however has been exercise. For both mental and physical benefits. Exercises that don’t twist are good. I joined a gym which was a big step towards taking control.
    Pilates is just amazing, I go once a week and then do some of the exercises every morning.
    Swimming is excellent too. Cross trainer good. Cycling really good but can Hurt my back a bit if off road. With a preschool child And working part time I don’t get that much time to do exercise but it really helps and I can always tell when I have not done enough as things get far sorer.
    My mind was in a really negative place for quite a while over what I could or couldn’t do- so I was delighted to have managed a weeks skiing a few weeks ago. Lots of ibuprofen, but luckily pistes were very well groomed, avoid off piste and avoid ice as kills my back. I think it was sheer luck the weather was good but that was a massive boost. My father in law had a hip replacement (he is sadly gone now) but my mother in law said he could always ski even a few months after the hip replacement due to the boots keeping your hips in line. No off piste where twisting or leg catching risk etc.
    I have found I am finding ways around things, like some of the very wise words coming from the ladies on here, distraction is really good.
    What I will remember is the feeling of perspective having the MRI. It could be so much worse. I am still early stages but seem to have a lot of pain symptoms.
    People tend to dismiss arthritis, especially my doctor friends bizarrely. Physios don’t, they know what is going on,
    Good luck with it, and I am very glad to have found this forum. Really nice to learn from those with unfortunately more experience than me in this journey. Thanks all.
    Xx
  • Cherryblossom
    Cherryblossom Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Sorry just realised I ha e ken and Taryn names mixed up!! I can’t scroll back on my iPhone!