New member OA North Somerset

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N1gel
N1gel Member Posts: 161
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:04 in Living with arthritis
Just come across this forum and it looks helpful!

I'm Nigel 57, living in N Somerset. Was diagnosed last Autumn with Osteoarthritis of the left elbow.

However, the story begins when aged 14 I was diagnosed with an Ataxia (balance co-ordination problems) of uncertain origin.

Didn't let that stop me tho, degree, jobs etc Douglas Bader Flying Scholarship for Disabled People in 1994. Then, in 2000 I broke my right leg and they put me on crutches to mobilise asap; no warnings, in fact they told me I could go on using crutches indefinitely.

In 2011 I was made redundant from my job at a major disability charity that helps disabled people find jobs (go figure). Initially I was very active - took my dog for walks every day, ignoring the niggle in my left elbow. In 2014 I bought myself a wheelchair and raced around in my new found freedom, my GP told me the worsening pain in my left elbow was 'tennis elbow'. It was an OT told me it was Arthritis and suggested a visit to a specialist.

So far the scans show it's just the left elbow, but now of course every little twinge in the right sets my alarm bells off.

I've just discovered what I'm really good at is sculpture; believe it or not I've exhibited a few times locally now, so I need to keep the OA at bay..

Comments

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Nigel welcome to our forums.

    Thanks for the information about your experience with osteoarthritis. We have a useful page on the subject that may prove of some use.

    https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/osteoarthritis-oa-of-the-elbow-and-shoulder/

    Do join in across the forums and let us know how you are getting on.

    Best wishes
    Brynmor
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi and welcome from me too. You don't seem tio let anything stop you so I'm sure you'll cope well with arthritis too. Just two things come to mind.

    1. They are definitely sure this is OA? The diagnosis of tennis elbow isn't unreasonable given that OA doesn't usually affect elbows. Mine are affected but I have RA. How was it diagnosed?

    2. Congratulations on your sculpture success! That's great. If I were you I'd be looking for some physio that would help to keep me sculpting( :? :?: :D ) Probably you'll be using some muscles / joints a lot and others not enough. By exercising correctly you'll be able to keep your muscles strong and strong muscles protect arthritic joints.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • N1gel
    N1gel Member Posts: 161
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks Stickywicket,

    Yes, I've often thought that but, Tennis elbow is usually self limiting and this has been going on for five or six years also the elbow is very swollen (besides, I've never played tennis in my life :D ). The nice prof who gave the diagnosis knows his stuff and had a very comprehensive scan done. According to the helpful OT my upper body strength is 'crazy strong'. So it's difficult to see what more I can do?

    Loading my wheelchair into the car boot today, what had been a twinge in the right elbow for the last year - turned into a full blown stabbing pain, so I guess that's next :?

    I'm told they don't replace elbows if you use crutches or a wheelchair.

    Hey ho.......
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    As I am sure you know tennis elbow has nothing to do with tennis (in the same way that housemaid's knee has nothing to do with being a housemaid) but both are to do with inflammation in and/or around a joint. I have psoriatic and osteoarthritis and my elbows are affected by the former: when that is playing up they are very tender and sometimes hot to the touch. Psoriatic damages the entheses unlike RA where the inflammation attacks the inside of the joint. OA inflammation is, how can I put it, more external and will respond to anti-inflammatories and rest whereas the other kind requires immuno-supressing meds.

    For some reason people think arthritis is straightforward in that it comes in only two kinds and only old people get it. It isn't, it doesn't and it's an equal opportunities disease. It took nine years for me to receive an accurate diagnosis which, when it came, changed nothing but I am sure if it had been nine years earlier it could have changed everything. :lol: 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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    I guess it makes sense - the non-replacement of elbows - as crutches would put a big strain on them.

    In your shoes I'd find myself a good physio. I bang on a lot about exercises but I firmly believe they have played a huge part in enabling me to live with arthritis all these years.

    My, very medically uneducated, view is that, for sculpture, you'll be using certain muscles regularly. What physios can do is give exercises to use those muscles in the opposite direction. Does that make sense? As an example - if I walk too much my knees can hurt. If I then do my quad exercises (which I really, REALLY do NOT want to do right then :lol: ) I feel better. Not BETTER better but definitely better.

    I'm fortunate in that, although NHS physio appoitments take forever to come through where I live, we have a brilliant private clinic where, for £40, an excellent physio will spend about 30 minutes getting any relevant info from you, another ten mins telling you which exercises they think will help and how, another ten getting you used to doing them properly and then five minutes typing them up for you and ensuring you know what you're doing. They emphasise you can come back any time you need but I've never found it necessary. So, I know, at the start, that £40 should do it.

    I don't know if this will be of any use but I ffer it just in case.

    By the way, the wheelchair lifting problem is, i suspect, all to do with the twisting movement. The physio might be able to advise on that too. i wonder if an elbow support, just for such times, might help.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright