Some time ago, I was advised that as I had osteo, there was nothing they could do, just take over the counter pain relief. I quickly discovered that paracetamol is completely useless. Ibuprofen works much better, I'm guessing because it's anti-inflammatory, but it affects my stomach far too much - more than one dose and I can feel the effects. So best avoided as much as possible, and I just carried on as best as I could. My knees have improved with exercise, but my fingers have been getting worse constantly - almost every finger joint has been affected, each one taking a turn to turn red and unstable, and eventually bend itself out of shape. Eventually re-stabilising after a while, then it's the turn of a different joint (or two!).

After years of this, I went back to my GP, wondering if my arthritis could actually be rheumatoid - and they referred me to a rheumatologist, who confirmed osteo not rheumatoid.

But while I was there I explained to her about the difficulties with pain relief, and she recommended celecoxib, which is an NSAID, but kinder on the stomach. So I now have this prescribed and have been taking it every day, and it's making a huge difference. Not just for pain relief (it seems to prevent pain more than relieve it, actually. Although that's definitely not a negative.), but it has also improved the stiffness in my fingers and I have regained some dexterity.

So I'm now happy that I have not (yet) had to stop my musical activities - I play clarinet and flute, and a year ago, I seriously thought I'd have to give them up.

The only thing I now is that I'd like to lose the rather large osteophyte in my index finger, that literally gets in the way when I'm playing, and causes extreme pain when I bang it in a very particular spot! Is this even possible? If so, has anyone had it done?