Physiotherapy

Hi All I have just recently joined the forum and hope someone has some answers. I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the right hip about 15 years ago but until a few weeks ago it was really causing me many problems and I was able to carry on my life as normal but since I tripped and fell a few weeks ago that has changed and the pain at times is terrible. Nothing is broken - I have had an x ray and there has not been any significant change in the damage in five years. I was told the accident has jolted the hip/leg and that it needs resting. As long as I rest it is not too bad but standing and walking for more than short periods is impossible and very painful. I have looked at a diagram of the anatomy and I think the main problem is the muscles (but I am not sure) I have found a private physiotherapist and am going to book sessions. Has anyone else had physio and was it worth doing? I just want to get back to how I was 6 weeks ago . I have read that trigger release therapy can be helpful. Does anyone know anything about this?

It would be good to hear other people's experience of physio and if it was helpful. Even if I decided I want a hip replacement the waiting list will be so long now that I would have to do something as I can't go on like this for the time it would take to get a replacement. Thanks. Hope you are all keeping well and have avoided coronavirus

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  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,664

    Wow, my story is exactly the same as yours, except it’s my left hip. I did mine at the end of Feb, went from a very slight intermittent painless limp, then a few days after my little tumble it started getting painful, and I hate to say it but it’s been downhill all the way since then. My story with the Xrays is the same as yours too. We even did a second one as the pain was getting so much worse, but it showed no physical change. I am now on the waiting list for guided steroid injection and hip replacement.

    As to physio, yes, very good idea, and DO AS YOU ARE TOLD! I didn’t, and if I had I suspect I wouldn’t be in the same level of pain that I am now. If you can strengthen the muscles and maintain flexibility, it will support the joint better and reduce the pain, and in conjunction with the right amount of rest to let the inflammation subside, in theory the hip should improve.

    However, I have never got that balance right. I am a rubbish patient, I just take handfuls of prescribed pain killers and try to get on with life (albeit that the lockdown gave me more time to rest). I try to do the exercises, and now use a TENS machine (which very slightly reduces pain) and hot wheat bags to reduce inflammation. But tbh I’m not convinced that had I done as I was told all would now be well. And I hate to say it but I am in almost constant pain and it’s severely restricting my previously very active life. The pain is now so bad that it stops me from doing most of the exercises anyway.

    But I’m not convinced that if I had done as I was told, that things would have gone back to “normal”. Having seen the X-ray, the damage from years of wear and inflammation is pretty awful, and I can’t believe I managed to keep going on it without pain for as long as I did. The right hip isn’t much better, but no pain or limp yet so I’m crossing my fingers, and I suspect if you strayed my knees they would tell the same tale, as they have been playing up for years. Still, one joint at a time, hopefully.

    If I could start again, I would have sought help sooner, and would have stuck with the exercises much more rigidly. So do give it a go, and hopefully you’ll have a better outcome than me.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,664

    Ps, never heard of trigger release therapy, let me know how you get on.

  • Lilymary -I am not a good patient either and I only rested a day or two after my accident and then went back to normal until it got so bad that I ended up going to A & E. I am trying to rest and have stopped the exercise I was doing. I have been doing Nordic walking for about 2 years as well as going to gym. Nordic walking is very good for people with joint problems. I was going with a group but stopped due to coronavirus and I was going 4 times a week on my own and then doing exercises at home in between. That has now stopped.

    I am not in so much pain that I am on prescription pain killers and am OK with paracetemol and nurofen but standing or walking for more than a short time is very difficult. The physio isn't open again yet but probably opening in the next couple of weeks. I just want to get back to how I was but if not I will have no choice but to go for hip replacement and who knows how long that would take with the backlog.

    It is very difficult when you have been so active. In my case the problems are genetic. I take tumeric supplements plus glucosamine, chondrotin and MSM (only been taking for a short time so maybe needs longer) but I am not sure they make a lot of difference but I don't want to stop taking them in case they do. i let you know how the physio goes. Have you tried physio? Good luck with it all and hope for a return to activity.

  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,431

    Lily Marie, what you’re doing is called ‘boom and bust’. Ask about a Pain Clinic course from your gp, break the cycle.

    Having had many ‘accidents’, yes they do shake you up and it does take time and medical help to recover fully from. I’ve been using an osteopath for the last 40+ years, it does cost and most will tell you that patients only go to them when they want relief from pain and will pay. I have tried most forms of physio, osteo, sports massage, foot massage, etc etc over the years but always got more from the osteopath.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,664

    Hi DS, my physio is doing Zoom consultations, which help a bit, but no replacement for a hands on assessment or treatment, but doing the exercises they recommend is important too, and even my physio says most ppl are bad at doing that. She also said I am only allowed to do VERY short walks into the village and back, but I’ve just spent 8 hours on my feet at work and can barely move now, so my hip really hasn’t been given a chance to recover. Mea culpa. I’m my own worst enemy sometimes, it runs in the family, along with arthritis 🙄☹️

    Airwave, you’re right re boom and bust. Thanks for your comment re recovery too. I usd to have a brilliant holistic masseur years ago but he retired. I did try an osteo for a while too, but having seen my Xrays I know nothing but hip replacement will sort this, i’ve Just got to manage the pain and inflammation till then.

  • Fran
    Fran Member Posts: 5

    HI Airwave, i went to a osteopath and he was really good. On a visit to him january time he massage my ankles. This seems to have aggravate them. searing shooting pains like electric shocks and swollen badly. Surely a massage wouldnt have caused this. Any advice would be great.

  • MarzMac
    MarzMac Member Posts: 47

    Hi @distantshores

    Here's information I found on the Versus Arthritis website about physiotherapists https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/treatments/who-will-treat-you/physiotherapist/

    You might find an Occupational Therapist helpful as well. https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/treatments/who-will-treat-you/occupational-therapist/

    "An occupational therapist (OT) will be able to offer further advice on joint protection techniques. Joint protection doesn’t mean you should stop using your painful joints but it may involve finding different ways of doing particular tasks or using gadgets to help you."

    Best wishes to all

    MarzMac

  • Thanks Marzmac I will have a good look at the information; I am waiting for telephone appointment with private physio so will see what comes from that. I don't think I would be referred to occupational therapist as I have been managing fine until my accident. In fact at my surgery they are doing no referrals at all at the moment. Not very helpful.

    Lilymary - I don't know how you are managing to stand on your feet for 8 hours a day - could you go off sick as that must be making it worse. I have managed short walks yesterday and today with Nordic walking poles - 10 minutes yesterday and 15 today and it was ok but standing on my feet for more than about 15 minutes is very painful and I can't imagine 8 hours! I am working from home at the moment which is lucky as i don't think I would be able to get into work. I am now thinking if it doesn't improve dramatically I will have to go for hip replacement but don't think I could wait for however long it takes but private is so expensive. I am finding it very difficult to have my activities so limited. Hoping for the best

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,664
    Hi DS, going off sick isn’t an option as I’m self employed. I’m a surveyor and my site visits are rarely less than 3 hours. If I don’t work, I have no income, and I need to keep existing clients happy. I’ve been in the sofa ever since Friday though 🙁
  • I have just had a telephone consultation with a physio therapist who said he had come across many cases like mine and says the accident has caused synovitis - inflammation of the synovial fluid so I need to bring down the inflammation. Treatment includes applying heat to affected area, Voltaral, restricting exercise but he did say as long as it wasn't causing more pain I could continue to do Nordic walking - short walks only. I am going to have to try to follow this as in the long term it should benefit me. There has been an improvement since I stopped doing so much. Synovitis causes not only inflammation but causes es the muscles to knot/spasm in an attempt to protect the joint. Everything he said fitted with my symptoms so I am just going to have to try to follow it and be really careful. Just have to look at the bigger picture and hope for good improvement later. I am not even on the list for hip replacement so it would be a long wait!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,664

    Hi Distandshores, interesting point re inflammation of synovial fluid. I've been doing much the same sort of "treatment", although tbh I probably haven't been resting it as much as I should. I had a quiet weekend and it was noticeably less painful, but just half a day on my feet today and I'm back to square one. I've not been able to work much during lockdown, so have had far more opportunity to rest than normal, but still no significant improvement even after all that, so I stand no chance now that the world is getting going again. But at least it helps me understand what's happened.