AN INTRODUCTION TO MY ARTHRITIS STORY

I've suffered with both forms of arthritis since my mid-thirties. Back then I was driving many thousands of miles every year. This was aggravating the joint pain in my knees and ankles.

After a change in career following a breakdown in 2003 I swapped my company car for a dumper truck. This was when I began working as a ground worker in the building and construction industry. As a result I became more active and started to work outdoors which was a great way to deal with the poor emotional wellbeing that resulted from my breakdown.

As I've got older (certainly since I turned 45 in 2011) my joint pain caused by my arthritis and rheumatism got worse. This was especially in the cold and wet winter months due to the nature of the site work outside.

Over the years I've used meditation, mindfulness, swimming (other exercise just aggravates my conditions) and homeopathic remedies to supplement the prescribed medication I've also been taking. At present I regularly take the following supplements on a daily basis,

Glucosamine, MSM, Devil's Claw, Turmeric & Black Pepper, Omega Fish Oils and Vitamins B & D

These are taken as well as a daily dose of 3 x 50mg of Diclofenac. I have tried alternatives to Diclofenac such as Naproxen but my breakthrough pain very quickly returned.

Since using the supplements together with meditation and mindfulness I no longer have to regularly use any painkillers such as paracetamol or codeine. Before I was taking the maximum dose of 8 x 500/30 Co-Codamol capsules a day for up to 2/3 weeks when flare-ups occurred. These are now few and far between and I rarely have need for painkillers for more than a few days.

Despite all the progress I've made over the last 10 years my joint pain is starting to get worse in my knees, ankles, wrists and knuckles over the start of this winter. This has been exacerbated since the Covid-19 pandemic. This has been primarily due to the fact that I have not been swimming as initially my health club shut down. It has since closed and all local facilities don't have good CV-19 management processes in place in my opinion. This has led to a significant increase in my weight. I have gone from 15½-16 to +18 stone. This in turn has had a negative effect on my mobility and so I now feel slightly trapped in a weight/mobility cycle.

I want to gain help and support from the Versus Arthritis Community and reciprocate the same to others where I can. I also want to gain a better understanding of my conditions, the research that has been done and is being done into its causes and the ways I might make further improvements to my own management of my conditions.

Comments

  • ToneBlues
    ToneBlues Moderator Posts: 60
    edited 24. Nov 2021, 12:30

    Hi @dave1966red

    Welcome, and thank you very much for contacting our online community.

    I see that you have been having symptoms of arthritis since your mid 30s and that currently you are getting significant pain in your knees, ankles, wrists and knuckles. You take diclofenac to reduce pain and swelling as well as number of complementary treatments. You also mention that you are gaining weight, especially during the current pandemic, and that you are worried that as a result you are losing mobility.

    You say that you have "both forms of arthritis" and mention arthritis and rheumatism. I think you might find it helpful to find out from your GP what form of arthritis you actually have - the words arthritis and rheumatism effectively mean the same thing, and arthritis is a symptom of a number of arthritic diseases the most common of which is osteoarthritis. Other kinds include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and gout. It is important to get a proper diagnosis as each type of arthritis is treated differently. Have you ever seen a rheumatologist, if not you could ask your GP for a referral especially as your joints are becoming more painful?

    This page is about arthritis generally -

    .... and because you mention that you take glucosamine etc this page is about complementary treatments -

    You might like to consider other types of exercise, especially as you feel unable to use swimming pools during the covid pandemic - Versus Arthritis have a whole range of exercise programmes and videos including these for hands and wrists and these for knees.

    It is important, as I'm sure you are aware, not to let the pain and immobility of arthritis get you down - here is some information to help you ensure your emotional well-being.

    I hope that this has been of help, and I'm sure there will be plenty of help and support from the members of our online community.

    Very best wishes

    @ToneBlues