A few good weeks

I mostly feel that the osteoarthritis I have in my lower spine is now manageable. I do ballet, stretch class and tap. I walk my dog daily and work in an office 3 days a week. I rarely take painkillers during the day as my pain is manageable. I need them at night so that I can sleep.

Recently I was having a lot of pain in one of my dance positions and booked a private physio to help out. Three sessions later with new exercises and everything was so much better. I was also able to reduce my pain medication on some nights.

This was great for about 4 weeks and then everything went worse again. My back pain was worse, back to taking pain relief every night and more often in the day. My knees also started being painful and giving way.

Is it the weather that makes the pain worse? Did I do too much because I was feeling better? Or is it just part of living with Osteoarthritis? When pain is less for a bit it seems so much worse when it returns to normal levels and harder to cope with.

Does anyone have these fluctuations? Or have any idea what causes them




  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,018

    Hi @DebbieL

    I am sorry you are struggling again.

    My back is always flaring up and settling down. Anything seems able to set it of from sleeping in a different bed to standing still too long. Standing in the cold is a definite. I think I tense up when I am very cold. Otside the school gate could be a killer, but I did meet my second husband there so😉

    Maybe another trip to your physio might be an idea if you can afford it?

    Have a read of this:

    Take care

    Toni x

  • DebbieL
    DebbieL Member Posts: 63


    I think that you are right and maybe the weather may make a difference to the pain. I am also probably a bit less active in the winter and the cold rainy days.

    I have just been laid low with a bout of flu so haven’t been able go to dance and I think that’s made me feel a bit fed up too.

    I probably need to be more accepting of my back flaring up. Hopefully I’ll be back up to speed again soon.

    I have a ski coat that keeps me lovely and warm. I bought it to wear watching my son play rugby. It was quite thin and when I looked at it in the shop I said “will it keep me really warm” They said it was fine to keep me warm to minus 21! and asked where I was going skiing. I was a bit embarrassed to say I wanted it to wear in the UK to watch rugby . Maybe you need one for the school gate 😊

    Thanks for your kind words and help

    Take care


  • Keef
    Keef Member Posts: 594

    Hi Debbie, you must be coping very well to be able to still dance. Long may it continue. Don’t be disheartened by short bouts of not being able too. Keep active for as long as possible.

    From my experience once I started giving in the loss of ability was exponential. I was extremely fit and active up to a few years back. I still exercise every day but I am very limited to what I can do, but something’s better than nothing right???

    So listen to your body, and keep on keeping on for as long as you can. I wish you strength and encouragement.

  • DebbieL
    DebbieL Member Posts: 63

    Hi Keef,

    I do ballet and stretch class. A lot of muscle stretching, balance and strengthening exercises. I gave up running and step some time ago. A lot of the exercises in my classes are things my physio also recommended. As we have had ladies in their 70’s doing ballet I’m hoping that I will be able to continue for some time.

    Mostly my mobility has improved with these classes but every so often I get a flare up and it’s too much. Thanks for the words of encouragement, it’s good to be reminded how important it is to keep at it when all you want to do is curl up on the sofa.

    I’m feeling much better and hope to be back doing classes next week.I’m still walking my dog so have been getting some exercise.

    Im sure the dark nights, rain and cold don’t help. Sounds like you have the right idea- keep mobile.

    Thanks for the support- it’s appreciated

    Take care


  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 358

    As far as I know the joints are more fragile, and fluctuations come from overdoing things a bit, reacting like a kind of trauma to the system. A bit unpredictable like falling over. A bit predictable like knowing where the hotspots are. I take some mild painkillers to make sure I don't vegetate but I also watch how far I take it, primarily how far I walk each day, as my stride soon turns to a shuffle, and then to being painful, and then to a flare up. It only takes something unexpected (or not previously obvious to the previously healthy me), to tip me over the edge, such as standing up on the tram journey, or standing in the cold at the taxi pickup point.

  • TLee
    TLee Member Posts: 80

    I just finished physical therapy for my severe OA in the left hip. One thing that I had trouble with was getting out of the "no pain, no gain" mind set. My PT had to keep cautioning me about moving too far, too fast. Sometimes the only movement I could do comfortably was measured in fractions of an inch. Anything more & I was told that I could do more harm than good--better to move a little & be able to keep moving than to move too much & be out of commission. I'd bet that this is an issue with a lot of people.

  • DebbieL
    DebbieL Member Posts: 63

    Hi All,

    It’s good to hear from you.

    Walking my dog is mostly ok but he’s a 28kg collie. Mostly he is well behaved but he sometimes lunges at something and this can cause me a few days of pain. However I’m not going to give up walking him. I didn’t have osteoarthritis when we got him nor did I ever expect to get it? Who does?

    I also struggle to get away from no pain no gain. I did tell the physio “ you know I’m a dancer?” We push until it hurts and then push some more. Yep I really understand that this is not a good idea now! I follow the exercise plan to the letter and if the physio says only do the exercises for three days then that’s what I do.

    It’s trial and error to find exercise that helps but isn’t too much. I tried aerobics in lockdown and spent a couple of days in bed- so no more aerobics. Cycling is ok as long as I don’t stop as I seize up and more than 40 mins is too much and causes too much pain. Swimming is still ok too.

    How did life and exercise become so complicated and painful? But I do believe it’s “ use it or lose it” but with care.

    Thanks for the support and sharing your experiences and challenges. We can’t beat arthritis but hopefully we can live well with it.

    Take care