Help-osteoarthritis pain

Tina5555
Tina5555 Member, NewlyRegistered Posts: 2
edited 20. Nov 2019, 05:34 in Living with arthritis
Hi I’m new to this forum but I would really appreciate some help/advice. I'm a 49 year old woman and I've been suffering for the past 4 years. I have bilateral osteoarthritis in my hands, hips, knees and midfeet and I also have osteoarthritis in my lumber spine. I also have bursitis in both my hips. All my arthritis has been diagnosed by x-ray and I have had an MRI scan off my feet which also showed up some inflammation. I had to pay privately to get my MRI done. I am in constant pain even at night. I’m taking co-codamol but can’t take anti-inflammatories because they make me feel sick. I don’t see any specialist about my condition and the only information I have on it I got online. I’m visiting my GP tomorrow but I find it very difficult to get across to her how sore I am. Does anyone suffer from osteoarthritis in all these joints? Is it normal? What pain medication is everyone on? Should I be seeing a specialist and if so what kind? And how do I talk to my GP? Sorry for the long winded message but I’m just desperate for some help and relief. Thank you so much in advance x

Comments

  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,082
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Tina and welcome to the Versus Arthritis forums. e010.gif

    I'm sorry to hear that you have osteoarthritis in a number of joints and that this is so painful. The website has a useful section on osteoarthritis which includes managing your symptoms, living with osteoarthritis and tips for pain management:

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

    Lots of people with the disease use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These are prescribed by your doctor or rheumatologist.

    When visiting your doctor it is useful to have a short list of questions that you want to ask about and to take a friend with you - its very easy to miss what someone says in a short consultation.

    Do come back and let us know how you get on.

    All best wishes
    Brynmor
  • Brightside89
    Brightside89 Member Posts: 2
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there

    I'm new here! I'm asking for advice please on behalf of my mum. She has osteoarthritis in her knees. She has just started the ESCAPE PAIN class at our local gym but is now experiencing increased pain, swelling and stiffness. She takes Lansoprazole so has to be careful using Ibuprofen, Naproxen etc. Just wondering if anyone has any advise for how to help her as she gets used to exercising? Many thanks
  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,082
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Brightside89, welcome to you as well :D

    Exercise is one of the best things you can do to improve your symptoms of arthritis. Its always best start gently and gradually increase the length of time you’re exercising.

    As part of the Escape Pain class, perhaps starting at a lower level of activity would be better in conjunction with the advice of the group leader.

    Here are some helpful links:

    - Escape Pain:
    https://escape-pain.org/

    - advice about exercise:
    https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/managing-symptoms/exercise/

    - tips for managing pain / exercises for osteoarthritis:
    https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/osteoarthritis/

    All best wishes
    Brynmor
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,023
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Tina and welcome from me too. I hope you'll get this before your appointment but maybe not. Weekends are a bit quiet on the forums. I was out and about for most of yesterday and shattered when I got back :roll:

    Anti-inflammatories – you say you can't take them because they make you feel sick. I'm not surprised. They upset many stomachs – mine included – which is why they should always be taken with food and, if being taken regularly, with a stomach-protecting med such as omeprazole or lansoprazole. That's something to discuss with your GP.

    Online isn't a great place for medical info unless you know which sites you can trust. Obviously this one is OK as is NHS Choices but, even so, do distinguish between actual info and just what is anecdotal stuff on forums. (Yup, don't even trust me :wink: I have no medical qualifications just many years of arthritis.)

    There are no specialists in OA. Rheumatologists deal with autoimmune forms of arthritis. There are musculo-skeletal clinics which have helped some but I feel our best friend is physio. Given that you have arthritis in many joints and bi-laterally, it might be worth you looking up RA on the 'Do I Have Arthritis' grey menu above. For me (I have both RA and OA) the big difference between RA and OA is RA's morning stiffness and fatigue. But usually x-rays show different damage from the two.

    How do you talk to your GP? I've always ensured I know exactly what I want to ask so as not to waffle, waste his/her valuable time and then not get to my main concerns. I also just talk honestly as to a friend, asking questions as I go if I don't understand answers. I've always found most respond really well.

    Good luck and please let us know how you get on.

    Hi Brightside and welcome from me too.

    It's great that your Mum is taking control of her arthritis and also great that she has a daughter supporting her in her efforts as it can be hard to discipline oneself at 'pushing into pain' as a physiotherapist once described it to me. Our natural tendency is to keep as well away from pain as possible but that's not an option with arthritis. However, a little pain from exercising helps to keep at bay the bigger pain from arthritic joints which are not well-supported by strong muscles. Knowing just how much is good, especially when starting out on an exercise regime, is difficult to assess though.

    I think it's very important that your Mum doesn't give up but, of course, it's discouraging if we think we're making things worse so I think she (or you?) should have a word with whoever takes the class and ask if she should be making a gentler start. I've not heard of these classes but I'd guess that anyone taking them would be aware that there's no one-size-fits-all and that they would have to be tailored a little to individual needs.

    As for lansoprazole, ibuprofen etc – maybe it's just the way you wrote it but it sounds as if you've got this the wrong way round. Ibuprofen and naproxen are anti-inflammatory meds but they can damage stomachs so, if taken regularly (preferably with food to help the stomach) a stomach-protecting med such as lansoprazole is prescribed with them.

    I hope some of this will be useful. Wish your Mum good luck from someone who relies on exercises to keep ahead of arthritis t115006
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Brightside89
    Brightside89 Member Posts: 2
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you so much Stickywicket 😊 so helpful and informative.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,567
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Tina, I am 23 years in with arthritis and have OA in both ankles, both knees, both hips, both wrists and one shoulder, plus an auto-immune arthritis in my toes, knees, fingers and elbows. Pain is constant, has been for years and always will be: pain relief is OK for acute pain but for those of us with long-term chronic pain it's ineffective as it merely dulls the sharper edges. The the stronger the pain duller the more it removes us from the pain rather than vice versa.

    I deal with my pain through a steady-but-sparse drip drip of cocodamol and constant distraction: when my mind is occupied it is not paying attention to the tantrumming toddler screaming in my joints. I exercise suitably, sensibly and often for the benefit of my muscles and overall health which does nothing to reduce pain but helps me cope better with it as I feel I am doing something helpful. I force myself to walk unaided but still use my rollator in town for my protection against the careless idiocy of the healthy.

    My GP has done all they can do with prescribing pain relief and I use Voltarol for my OA inflammation as that is a) controlled by me as to whether it happens or not and b) remains localised. My auto-immune inflammation is a different beast and is controlled by the medication which reduces disease activity. My rheumatologist ignores the OA and the GP my psoriatic arthritis. I do my best to ignore both but that ain't easy.

    There are no OA specialists as such, it is dealt with by GPs and, if it is in the right joints, an orthopaedic team may become involved when the correct level of joint damage has been reached. OA is the most common form of arthritis and I for one feel that its ubiquity works against it. MIne was diagnosed back in 2011 and caused by the PsA which began back in 1997so I am very used to it all now whereas this is all relatively new for you. I've never researched the net because other people are not me, do not have my medical history, attitudes or coping abilities. Those who are doing OK arthritically are rarely to be found on-line but they are usually, in my experience, the self-diagnosed who for some reason like to think they have the disease; they are the ones who tell you to drink more water or cider vinegar, eat turmeric, wear copper and/or magnets and other such twaddle. Twerps. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,567
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Brightside89, I am utterly amazed and appalled that a gym can offer something so crass and ridiculous: talk about pandering to the worried well. I am not surprised your mum is finding that her pain is being aggravated and my heart goes out to her: there she is, trying to help herself and she is being sold a pup and possibly causing herself accelerated harm.

    Any form of arthritis is a degenerative, progressive and painful condition. The pain is not acute, i.e. short-lived such as a headache or stubbed toe, it is chronic i.e ongoing and increasing. I know of only one way to escape pain and it's general anaesthetic, that works a treat but sadly one is not concious to enjoy it.

    I attend a gym, under the guidance of a personal trainer. I am bone-on-bone through both knees and have other affected joints too. Kit-wise I use the cross-trainer as that is the closest thing to non-weight bearing exercise there (I cannot use the cycles), the rest of my work is based on building muscle strength and flexibility through resistance work. It hurts (it always has and it always will) and it causes further pain (ditto) but I know my limits, know when to stop and how to recover. I think your mum needs more specialist help from an informed source because the healthy know nothing about our needs. I wish her well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,365
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Tina
    I am riddled with OA, so much so that I don't know if there is a place that I don't have it! I can't take anti-inflams due to other meds I am on so the only pain meds I take is Morphine, slow release and Oramorph top-up which only knocks the edges off the pain anyway. Unlike some others I am too far gone for exercise but if you are able it is worth a try. Although there are no so-called OA Specialists ask your GP to refer you to the Pain Clinic at the hospital. They will be able to try things like denervations, spinal injections of anaesthetic/steroids and can advise on suitable meds. That said I went through the whole lot and nothing worked properly hence I ended up on morphine and basically they have washed their hands of me. ANYTHING is worth a try though as something may well work for you. Good luck.
  • Jackie47
    Jackie47 Member Posts: 108
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    One thing I’ve seen is if you have an autoimmune disease like Rheumatoid Arthritis you get referred to a Rheumatologist but not Osteo Arthritis the wear and tear one. Pain is pain whatever. I have both plus secondary Fiibromyalgia. The worse pain for me is the Osteo with RA being under control at the moment. I take 8 paracetamol a day. No longer able to tolerate Naproxen even with a stomach calmer as it gave me dizziness. My GP also prescribes an anti inflammatory gel. Excercises only increased the pain but I did have referral to the Pain Clinic. I had injections,acupuncture for hip bursitis ,wax baths for the hands. I had this via my GP all positive. GP can refer you to hospital for X-rays and also Orthopaedics..
    Good luck
  • WelshSquirrel
    WelshSquirrel Member Posts: 17
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi,
    I'm 50 and have OA in my lumbar and cervical spine, both hands and both feet. I also struggle with taking anti-inflamatories. However,my GP prescribed a low dose (20mg per day) of Amitriptylene just over a year ago It has really helped with the pain in my lower back and neck (doesn't do so much for my hands and feet) and, in particular, helps me sleep better as I rarely wake up stiff or with tingling hands and an aching neck now. My mouth was dry for the first couple of weeks, but I don't think there have been other side effects.
    I know that this doesn't work fro 100% of those with OA, but might be worth asking your GP if you can try it?
  • Jackie47
    Jackie47 Member Posts: 108
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Amitriptylene oh yes I’ve been prescribed this. Nightmare literally even on low dose. Years later still have the tinnitus .
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,023
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think the last two posts show just how different we all are.

    There is no one-size-fits-all with meds. We react differently according to our own physiognomy and current state of health plus other medications. The more meds we take, the more they are likely to interact causing side-effects. For this reason I've always kept mine as few as possible though one look at my meds drawer :o would appear to disprove that.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
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