What do I do?

geminijane Member Posts: 3
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:10 in Living with arthritis

So, this afternoon I went to see a physio who works from my GP practice about my constant burning right knee pain. She examined me and says I have arthritis. I got given some exercises to do and the sheet said OA knee pain. Does this mean osteroarthritis? It's all so new to me. I don't feel old so just wanted to reach out to the community for some support. Why does it say that life expectancy is only 30 years with OA ???? I don't understand !!


  • Poppyjane
    Poppyjane Moderator Posts: 673

    Hello @geminijane welcome to the online community

    You ask what to do, the first thing is don't panic ! You have taken some initial steps along the way so far by seeing your physio and finding the community. We are a friendly group who offer peer support to anyone affected by living with arthritis. It is often a surprise to younger people when diagnosed because it is thought to be an older persons disease. I have not heard about life expectancy being only 30 years though.

    You say that you have constant pain in your knee and so I have attached some links which I hope you will find useful.


    There are numbers of different creams and gels available over the counter and capsaicin cream has to be prescribed, it is popular among our members . Some of us use heat pads / cool packs to ease our pain. Often before exercise taking paracetamol is recommended.

    These are just a few suggestions in answer to your "What do I do?" but now you can look round all the discussions and read the tips other members have recommended. The Living with Arthritis section is a useful place to start.

    Do let us know how you get on, we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Take care


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

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

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    Welcome to the community Geminijane.

    Poppyjane's bang on the money with the advice she has given you and the links, there's a great deal of info on the website, including pain management which is key to ensuring you have a good quality of life and are able to endure the physio and exercise needed to help strengthen affected joints, keep you fit and aid mental health.

    It will all seem daunting at first but having a plan of attack is what's needed moving forward. You've got the physio to do which may seem hard at first and it's not a quick fix but is something which is recommended to be built into a routine. If you find it hurts too much or you're too wobbly then getting on top of the pain with pain-killers and anti-inflammatories is a good place to start. I wear knee supports which aid stability and the compression helps with the swelling too.

    I don't know what you do in terms of activities, after I was diagnosed I took up cycling, joined spin classes at my sports centre and started walking more regularly. Some people like to swim and use cross trainers, etc and all of these are non-impact so a great way of keeping active and fit. The irony is I'm probably more active now than I was before diagnosis and I have bone-on-bone OA in both knees and on the list for a double replacement.

    I've not read anything about OA reducing one's lifespan, possibly Rheumatoid Arthritis but even so, my father-in-law has had RA all his life, is badly affected and he's still going strong in his late 80's with no sign of slowing down yet.

    If there is any specific guidance you're looking for, do ask away - we're all in the same boat and there's some great tips members have to pass on.

    Take care,


  • wendy19
    wendy19 Member Posts: 12

    Having been recently diagnosed I have found the information on this web site and the community group really useful. I would say though, I found it easier to access in smaller doses, read a few bits a day. I was feeling and still am very overwhelmed and I was being given lots of information form my specialist and reading about it and I wasn't giving myself time to process it and come to terms with it. Having a new diagnosis, if I have learnt one thing in the last month, is be kind to yourself and give yourself time. That being said knowledge is power so by reading the information, I felt more confident in my conversations with the specialist and was able to ask better questions.

  • Thank you so much to PoppyJane, Jonr and Wendy 19. About 25 years ago, when I was doing my first teaching practice, I was diagnosed with "reactive arthritis " in my wrists, elbows, hips, knees and ankles. As I remember I was prescribed mefanamic acid and it cleared up. I do feel upset as although I am 54 I don't feel old, have a dislocated shoulder at the moment and the hat trick was finding an rat running in my home on Easter Sunday. Howl!!!! Anyway, it's all so fresh, I don't want to lose my mobility (who does ?) just so relieved to have found this group. Just did 7km on the treadmill using a variety of inclines. I take ibuprofen and have the gel but ow ow ow. I am so worried that there is no cushion in my knee anymore. Enough of my pity party, just soooooo glad to have found you all. TRULY as I am still getting my head around this constant burning pain . THANK YOU

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    You're welcome geminijane, glad you found the comments helpful. Good going on the treadmill BTW but if you're running then I'm sorry to say any high-impact sport should really be avoided.

    I'm in a similar position to you - aged 56 with zero cartilage. This time last year I could barely walk downstairs of a morning, a year later and I recently climbed the highest peak in South Wales, thanks to a combination of the right meds, exercise and determination.

    You say you're applying Ibuprofen and applying the gel but still you're in pain. I was too and the answer is to go nuclear!

    There's a huge range of supplements, creams and gels available and unfortunately, they don't help everyone - there's no silver bullet. I've tried pretty much everything going but if you're feeling adventurous you could check this lot out:

    1: FlexiSeq - expensive but I like it, it helps to lubricate my knees but clinical trials were inconclusive. Available from most pharmacies

    2: Hemp Cream - I use a brand called 5Kind, they sell direct or via Amazon, smells nice too!

    3: Voltorol 12 hour gel - way, way better than Ibuprofen gel as it's a pain killer, not an anti-inflammatory

    4: Capsaicin cream. Really should be prescribed by your GP who probably won't because it is expensive. You could ask but if not then it can be bought on eBay

    5: Co-Codemol, a mixture of Codeine and Paracetemol. Can become addictive, I take a 500Mg tablet before any cardio, available at Pharmacies

    6: Naproxen. This is something your GP will need to prescribe you, it's the go-to anti-inflammatory for Arthritis and stronger than Ibuprofen, usually prescribed with Omeprazole to protect the stomach lining as most AIs, even Ibuprofen can cause internal bleeding

    7: Ice, whether ice packs or a bag of peas wrapped in a tea towel and applied to the knees when in pain is a cheap Godsend, helps with the heat too.

    8: A deep tissue massaging gun. Available from Amazon I use this to calm down troublesome tendons and soothe muscles, particularly behind the knee.

    So, a bit trial and error, quite a lot of info I know but one or more of these could really make all the difference.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,606

    Just a thought.

    If you had ReA many years ago there's an outside chance this could be RA not OA. ReA does, sometimes, morph into RA. It doesn't sound likely from what you write but, if it is, it needs immunosuppressant meds so maybe ask your GP to do a blood test.

    By the way, as someone who has had RA and OA for over 60 years, I think the 30 year life prognosis for OA is somewhat harsh. Unless, of course, you presume, as many do, that no-one gets OA until they're in their 60s or 70s. Then it seems quite reasonable!

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