Ri24 Member Posts: 3
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:04 in Living with arthritis
Hello, this is my first post so hopefully its the right place! I'm 25 and 4 months ago I had key hole surgery on my knee after 11 years of problems with it (they refused surgery before due to my age) the consultant has told me it's OA grade 3, if I do physio then it should help. For about a month after the surgery I was really happy with how my knee was, I just felt pain from the surgery nothing else and then suddenly it all went downhill! Over the last 3 months I have been suffering badly with my knee but also been getting pains in other joints and muscles.. my hands, feet, hips, elbows and thigh muscles and extreme tiredness. The doctor is looking into RA, we are awaiting blood tests for that and also anemia.
I just have a few questions, does physio help everyone and reduce the pain? I've been doing it since surgery and some weeks I can do all the exercises, but more often than not I have to reduce them to the basic exercises as the inflammation is too much and the pain is really bad. My physio is getting frustrated that there's no improvement and so am I!
Also with RA I've seen that the pain is symmetrical, does that mean at the exact same time both wrists ect will hurt or just pain in one and then a few hours later pain in the other and sometimes at the same time?
Finally can you have OA and RA at the same time?

Thank you in advance, sorry its quite a long post, I just feel very confused at the moment!


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Ri24 and welcome to the forum!

    I am sorry to hear you have been having such a difficult time with your knee. There is no need to apologise for your post, it is completely understandable that you are frustrated and confused right now. Please know that you have come to the right place for support.

    We cannot offer medical advice on the forum, but I can help answer some of your questions from my own personal experience. It is possible to have both RA and OA. Classically RA affects the same joint on both sides of the body although this doesn’t necessarily have to be at the same point in time. I am glad to hear your doctor is running some tests. Hopefully this will bring you some answers, and therefore treatment options, soon.

    Regarding physio, different things work for different people and I’m sure our members will soon share their experiences. In the meantime, I have provided a link from our website with information on how physiotherapy can help.


    You mentioned you have had to scale back the exercises from your physio due to the pain and inflammation. I have provided a link with specific exercises for pain associated with OA in the knee. This may provide you with some more options to try or discuss with your physio on the days you’re feeling up to it.


    Please join in any of the forums where you feel comfortable and check back in to let us know how you are getting on.

    Best wishes,
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi and welcome from me too.

    I have had RA and OA for far too many y ears. Yes, unfortunately they can co-exist as several people on here can verify. However, for most of us,the OA rocked up because the RA (or another autoimmune type of arthritis) was not treated aggressively soon enough. It is still possible, though, for an autoimmune form of arthritis to arrive regardless of the fact that a person already has OA. That's just an unfortunate coincidence.

    I write of 'autoimmune forms of arthritis' rather than just 'RA' because there are many and some are 'sero-negative' ie they don't show a Rheumatoid Factor. This can convince some GPs that the patient doesn't have an autoimmune form of arthritis but, hopefully, not yours. Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) is sero-negative and even RA can be.

    Physios have always taught me to do strengthening exercises only when not flaring and to simply do range of movement ones when I am flaring. Not flaring doesn't necessarily mean not experiencing pain though, if you get lucky, it might.

    RA (and possibly other autoimmune types) can cause anaemia. I've had it from time to time and it's always been sorted with a short course of iron tablets thugh you could try just ensuring you eat plenty of iron-rich foods. My downfall is that I'm not a big meat lover but I am a big tea swiller and tea does weaken the iron content of any non-meat sources of iron.

    Anyway, please ask if you have questions and we'll do our best to answer :D
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I don' have RA, my body opted for psoriatic arthritis (PsA) which began when I was 37 but was not accurately diagnosed until I was 46. Osteoarthritis was diagnosed in 2012 when I was 52. I was born with auto-immune nonsense so for me it was no surprise whereas the osteo was.

    Arthritis of any kind hurts, end of. Any arthritis is progressive and degenerative and once joints are damaged that damage remains hence the pain. PsA affects the joints differently to RA as it causes inflammation in the entheses, the parts where ligaments, muscles and tendons attach to the bones andnit is one of the sero-negative forms of auto-immune arthritis, i.e. rheumatoid factor is not present in the blood. Many GPs, when testing for RA, receive this type of result and mistakenly believe that auto-immune inflamatory arthritis is not an issue: GPs know a little about a lot, the good ones recognise this and will refer the patient to a rheumatologist, the one who knows a lot about a little.

    I genuinely cannot remember my early days but I have always understood the value of physio and the importance of doing the right kind of exercise. I had an open synovectomy op in 2002 and still do the post-op exercises to this day. I have recently begun working with a new personal trainer and we are working on developing muscle strength, flexibility and stamina to better support my joints. The physical work causes a different pain as I wake dormant, lazy muscles but that eases and reduces, a novelty indeed! In the past two sessions we have been unable to do the lower body work thanks to ncreased joint pain caused by the cold weather and my overdoing stuff with decorating my christmas tree. I firmly believe in the value of resistance work using bands etc.

    I do go to the gym but it isn't very inspiring or motivating as I am surrounded by the healthy doing stuff I don't even bother dreaming about. I use the cross trainer and ski-o, bu not much and not for long.

    Right, I am tired and have lost track of my rambling answer, I apologise. When I am brighter I will be back. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Ri24
    Ri24 Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all for your replies and help answering my questions!
    As my knee problems started years ago, I can't remember when it first started if I've always had both knees hurting or just recent years, but it was always my left knee that gave way and so I put down the right knee pain to over compensating, but now I'm not so sure!
    I just feel like my physio, doctor and consultant are all putting it down to different things and I'm so confused! (They have all been really great though)
    I was just coming to terms with and accepting I will always have problems with my knee and then suddenly im faced with another worry!
    My doctor has just started me on stronger pain killers to see if that helps in any way and I'm trying my best with the physio excercises (although its difficult with a 1 year old climbing all over me when I'm trying to do them haha)

    I'm not sure if this is a silly question but if you have an auto- immune form, does that mean you get other illnesses a lot easier or colds that feel like really bad flu?

    Thankyou for being so open and telling me what you go through and do to help, it's really nice being able to talk to other people going through similar things. I will look into other auto-immune forms, so Thank you for making me aware of them
  • wazz42
    wazz42 Member Posts: 233
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Ri24,

    Good to meet you. I had like low grade 'flu symptoms when first diagnosed, I have osteoarthritis and autoimmune conditions too, so yes it can be a symptom. If you have an autoimmune condition you need to take meds to slow down your immune system to slow or stop the damage, so that leaves you much more vulnerable to general diseases which flu jabs are given.

    When 'looking into things' do be sure to use 'safe' sites, like NHS direct, Versus Arthritis to be sure you get balanced, accurate information - use uk sites too, this helps especially when looking at names of meds.

    If your knee gets inflamed do use elevation and cold to help it go away, ice wrapped in a towel is good, lie down with your lower leg higher than your heart is best but raised anyway.

    Distraction is good too, try not to dwell on the pain as much as you can. I can recommend reading and cuddling a cat, not necessarily in that order and of course if you have a cat it will always be do both at the same time :P

    Chat again soon x