Wide spread osteoarthritis

Hello I am new to the group. Some background I am 74 years old have started in my 40s with knees in my 60's diagnosed with neck arthritis and was told by a consultant I was at the time seeing for my knees who looked at my X rays of my back and said that my spine was in a bad way although at the time I had no pain in spine. Fast forward now have OA in both hands as well as other joints. My main concern at the moment is neck pain I saw a rheumatoglist in 2017 and got a diagnosis of mild Fibromyalgia against a background of widespread OA. She said that she would not advise I take Amytriptiline (spelling not right) as I have asthma and perennial allergic rhintiis. I have looked into other drugs for Fibro but found that they can raise eye pressures as I have Glaucoma would not risk that having had to come off anti anxiety tablets which I believe are the same groups of medication as my eye pressures shot up. So I am left with paracetamol and occasional ibuprofren gel. I did take Tramadol for pain for another condition before surgery but not keen on taking them unless really necessary. I am hoping to get some advice on how to help neck and shoulders I have had physio and try and do regular neck exercises but hard sometimes. It is the pain in the neck and shoulders which gets me down. I was hoping to go to the theatre then realised what happened time was in agony as there is no support for the neck. Put me off going again. Sleeping can be hard at times. Sorry I have rambled on. I am having a flare at the momentl lower back and legs hurting ( put it down to climbing steep wide steps in a garden several times at a family party. My neck which was worse on left side and now progressed to right. Not sure quite what to do to help myself but not make things worse. My Gp just says arthritis take painkillers. I realise they are over stretched now so don't bother with gp. My husband has his share of problems as well with asthma Diabetes and arthritis. Hoping someone can advise me.

Comments

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,032

    Well hello to you @Liberally13

    Lovely to meet you.

    Sounds like OA and now fibro has been gradually creeping up on you.

    I can talk a little about my own neck if it helps. First of all I have cervical spondylosis amongst other things too and have had it for probably 30 years on and off. It flares up and settles back down for me though never completely goes away.

    The first thing I did was to ditch my two fluffy big pillows at night, (Oh how I missed them!), initially for a rolled up hand towel in my neck and then with a memory foam shaped pillow. I have got through several of those over the years. They do the same as my rolled up hand towel, but more reliably - they align the spine rather that angling it up like normal pillows do.

    When my neck is being particularly naughty I tend to rest more than usual (remember our heads are quite heavy things for our necks to manage mine lsee so being full of air😉) lying down for periods of time during the day.

    I take my painkillers as prescribed when I'm in trouble and my anti-inflammatories. Ibuprofen gel sounds a good replacement for my anti-inflammatory tablets. I also swear by my warm microwavable wheat-bag. In fact I think I am quite evangelical about them and have several.

    If you find heat helpful you can buy stick on heat patches from supermarkets which might enable you to go to the theatre.

    Take very good care of yourself ((()))

    Toni xx

  • Liberally13
    Liberally13 Member Posts: 39

    Thank you Toni for your interesting reply. I only sleep with one pillow I have tried a memory foam pillow but no way I could sleep on it far too hard. Unfortunately I don't sleep well. I sleep on my own my husband in the other bedroom as we decided both of found it hard to sleep in the same bed as we both like to stretch out and move about. I dread going away as I usually have to share a bed and end up awake all night. Fortunately my husband is a reasonable sleeper. OH for the days when I was young just went to bed fell asleep and woke when time to get up. Having suffered from anxiety does not help either. I have a large V shaped pillow which I first used for when I came out of hospital from gallbladder surgery earlier this year so I could sit up on the sofa. It is not memory foam. One of the main problems I think is that our lounge is very small and we have large sofas which means I have to sit at an angle to watch TV I have tried to think of a way to rearrange but it is not possible and really cannot afford to replace sofas with the cost of living at the moment. I need to sit with my legs up at night due to varicose veins and the arthritis.

    Like you I have a heating pad which I use a lot. The neck pain started on the left hand side in 2017 and I used to get a sort of sizzling sensation in the shoulder and arm the consultant did not seem to know if it would go. Well it did eventually go and is much better now but took till this year despite doing neck exercises. Suddenly it went to my right side and extends to my shoulder and arm very painful at times. I know it will never completely go bu when I get a flare up I worry it will be permanent. At the moment i have pain going across my lower back, left side in the hip and leg and right side neck arm and shoulder pain. I also have it in my hands although they look ok. I also have oa in my knees they were very bad in my 60s but not so much trouble now. Thanks for replying. I do worry that we will both get worse and not be able to look after each other.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,608

    My neck doesn't move much these days. And so hurts less. I have a collar which I hardly eVer use but is invaluable on really bad days. Only to be used for short periods though.

    May I suggest you spend one evening either not watching TV or sitting in a chair - a dining chair if necessary - just to see what difference it makes. If the answer is 'a lot' it might be worth ditching a sofa and checking out charity shops for a chair. Or, I guess, Ebay - which I don't think of as I never use it.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Liberally13
    Liberally13 Member Posts: 39

    Thank you. Actually had been thinking along those lines. It is just the rise in the cost of living has made us think twice. I have bought and sold from Ebay in the past and we do have a really good charity shop which sells mostly furniture in the town centre. Your idea about not watching tv and chairs seems good. It would be hard because my legs ache so much but worth trying so thank you.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,032

    I have sent you a PM with details about my pillow @Liberally13 I hope it helps. It's very soft so might be another thing to add along with a change of seating that Stickywicket has suggested.

    Take care

    Toni x

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,608

    I've had some excellent things from charity shops, including a recliner which lasted years.

    My idea re not watching TV or using a dining chair was just so that your neck wouldn't be at an awkward angle. It might be possible for you to swing a sofa round for one evening. Or, you could maybe find something to rest your feet on if using a dining chair eg a buffet or even a small coffee table with a cushion on it.

    The charity shop does sound good though.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Liberally13
    Liberally13 Member Posts: 39

    Thank you so much for your suggestions. My lounge is such a small room is really is almost impossible to rearrange also it is a through lounge with an arch way and very small kitchen with archway attached to there is so no real way of escaping the tv at night apart from going to the bedroom. The dining room part has just enough room for a small table and 4 chairs plus a corner cabinet as the kitchen area is so small. I also have to have house a small extra freezer and tumble dryer in this room. Never the less we are going to try and do something to improve things. Yes you are right the local charity shops does have some good bargains.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,608

    I'm now wondering if you could move the TV. Or have a night off from it. Read a book or listen to the radio or some music?

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Liberally13
    Liberally13 Member Posts: 39

    Thanks for your reply I am thinking about it now. We will have to get an extension on the TV lead is it won't stretch. Did try it but not long enough to make much difference. Unfortunately as I mentioned I would have to spend the evening in the bedroom laying on the bed. I certainly like to read and listen to music. Not sure there is a lot I can do apart from replacing the sofas which we can't really afford to do. Thanks anyway.

  • Poppyjane
    Poppyjane Moderator Posts: 673

    Have you thought of contacting a charity for some help ? These two may be helpful

    The Shaw Trust https://livingmadeeasy.org.uk

    Turn2us www.turn2us.org.uk

    It might be worth looking at them or there may be a recycling centre near you that might help with taking away your sofas and providing reconditioned recliner seats at reasonable prices.

    Best wishes

    Poppyjane

    If it would be helpful to talk to someone ring the Helpline 0800 5200 520

    Monday - Friday 9.00a.m. - 6.00p.m.

  • Liberally13
    Liberally13 Member Posts: 39

    Sorry only just picked up your reply. Thank you for the information will certainly take a look,