New member recently diagnosed with osteoarthritis

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KC1
KC1 Member Posts: 37
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:10 in Living with arthritis

Hi everyone

So I was diagnosed with coeliac disease just after my 60th birthday last year. I’ve just turned 61 and have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my lower back, hips and knee - left side more affected than the right.

Just a few months ago - September - I was on a walking holiday in Scotland, climbing to see the Man of Storr and no issues with mobility. I exercise most days, with many of the exercises the ones seemingly recommended for keeping arthritis at bay and/or to help with management. I walk regularly, go to a dance class and garden on a steepish site. Then, just after Christmas I started getting weakness in my left leg, issues with getting up from the floor, progressing to difficulty getting up the stairs.

The Dr confirmed osteoarthritis recently and I am seeing the physio tomorrow for an initial session.

While I appreciated that as we age things change, it’s the speed of change that I have found most challenging and astonishing. I also appreciate that I have been fortunate to get to 60+ without arthritis etc.

So this is my first post to say hello and to seek advice on what really works - there is so much info out there and so many suggested ways to manage symptoms etc.

Which exercises do you find best for building up leg muscles - especially to support knees and hips? what about overall flexibility?

Any good supplements to help with inflammation etc?

How do you manage the, not just daily but, hourly changes to mobility, pain/discomfort etc?

How do you sleep comfortably at night?

Will I ever be able to tie my shoe laces easily again? Or be able to get up from the floor without holding onto something or someone?

Are there any connections between coeliac disease, arthritis and any other conditions?

Really I’m open to learn from you and, hopefully, in time to add value to this community.

Looking forward to getting to know you.


KC1

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726
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    Hello and welcome.

    My OA arrived on the back of several years of RÀ so I can't answer most of your questions. However, as regards coeiac - it's an autoimmune disease like RA and some other forms of inflammatory arthritis. Not OA. But, with the autoimmune connection, it might be worth asking your GP for a blood test to check for the rheumatoid factor.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • RogerBill
    RogerBill Member Posts: 223
    edited 12. Apr 2023, 19:05
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    Hi @KC1 I had a hip replacement in September 2021 when I was 69. Like you my osteoarthritis suddenly got worse from being able to do 9 mile walks to not being able to walk or stand for more than 15 minutes. I've also had some lower back problems for many years.

    There are a lot of exercises that can be done at home. Resistance bands are inexpensive and can be useful. An exercise bike can also be good. However, as I was constantly being told by physiotherapists, everyone is different so it's a case of experimenting to find what works for you. Lou Grant's website has a lot of free videos and documents which I found really useful. She's a physiotherapist based near Leeds, UK who had a hip replacement a few years ago. I'm in Cambridgeshire and back in 2021 I was able to self-refer myself to an NHS physiotherapist service before my hip replacement which was very good. Hope your initial physiotherapist session proves useful - it's best to go armed with a short list of your symptoms and questions.

    I find a pillow to support my knee can help getting a better night's sleep. I've recently discovered going up stairs with toes pointing outward helps with knee pain.

    Some months after my hip replacement I was again able to tie shoe laces and get up off the floor without too much trouble.

  • KC1
    KC1 Member Posts: 37
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    Thanks Stickywicket, am waiting on blood test results I am fortunate to have an excellent GP.

    Hope you are having a good day.

  • KC1
    KC1 Member Posts: 37
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    Thanks RogerBill

    Had a really good session with the physio. Have a new set of exercises plus lots of hints and tips about helping to manage things on a day to day basis.

    I’m not a keen cyclist but may invest in a secondhand static bike to see how I get on.

    Thanks for pointing me in the direction of Lou Grant, will definitely look at her website. And thanks for the ideas re stairs etc, very much appreciated.

    I hope you are still tying laces and getting up from the floor with ease.

    Thanks again.

  • RuthK
    RuthK Member Posts: 2
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    Hi. I have had osteoarthritis in a number of joints which has happened over a number of years. A few thoughts which may or may not be useful as we are all different!!

    I have a mini TENS machine which I use for acute pain episodes. The idea behind them is that the electrical impulse it emits confuses the pain system. Some people do not like the tapping sensation they create, it makes them feel sick. I also tried an 'Actipatch' which works on a similar principle but you can wear it for longer. It worked for me for about 2 years but now seems less effective. I found it took the pain away when I was walking.

    I find pilates really helpful for stretching and flexibility, although most classes mean getting up and down off the floor, but may be worth talking to local teachers about what is on offer as some places do seated pilates. I have also discovered on YouTube 'The girl with the pilates mat' who has a number of standing pilates videos.

    Also, Versus Arthritis has a YouTube channel and offers a range of video sessions for different joints etc.

    Swimming is a main exercise for me, great all over aerobic exercise, with support from the water but also the resistance of the water. Great for keeping muscles strong.

    I also make use of microwavable wheat bag/ hot water bottles to manage the changes in pain.

    For me, arthritis is a journey and the path we take is different for everyone. I know people who find massages really useful too. Good luck on your journey.

  • Chris_R
    Chris_R Moderator Posts: 807
    edited 23. Apr 2023, 08:25
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    Hi @RuthK

    Welcome to the online community,i see you are posting and getting replys and good advice for your queastions and Osteoarthritis.

    Here are a few links that may help aswell

    Hope this helps please keep in touch and tell us how you get on

    All the best Christine

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • SOS1
    SOS1 Member Posts: 5
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    Hi I’m new to the site but your stories resonate so well. This time last year I was off on a solo camper van trip and cycled regularly. Then quite suddenly, my OA got worse with painful mobility. The recommendations of “going for a walk” are just not feasible, so I’ve taken up swimming. Looks like we have a long road ahead so I’ll harvest your tips as much as possible. Everyone says it’s a long burn disease with gradual progression, but clearly this isn’t always the case. Ps I’m 58 newly retired to get fitter after years in a sedentary job and a bit miffed my body had let me down.

  • KC1
    KC1 Member Posts: 37
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    Hi SOS1, annoying isn't it - just as you are ready to take on the world your body has other ideas! I've just been signed off by the physio who thinks I am currently on top of things - which is great. I'm getting the hang of pain management as well as managing an annoying small hernia in my left groin area - such a nuisance.

    My philosophy is - it could be worse, so make the most of everyday. Stay positive and enjoy swimming.