Newbie - How to help my husband?

1980sLulu Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:11 in Living with arthritis


I'm brand new to Versus and brand new to the arthritic world!

My lovely, only-just-turned 40 is recently diagnosed with osteo arthritis. It's worse in his left knee, but also has it in his right knee and bow we think also his left hip.

He is miserable and in constant pain.

How do I help and support him and what questions should we asking the docs next?

he has had an arthroscopy on his left knee and is under physio for that. We're waiting for physio for the right knee. Just had an xray for the left hip.

He crawls up the stairs after a day at work. He doesn't sleep properly because if the pain. He's missed family days out because he can't walk far. He's had to give up playing rugby which was his passion!

Just want to help and no idea how! Supplements? Alternative therapies? Diet? I'll read it all! Please share what's working for you and links etc.

Thanks xx


  • Louisa77
    Louisa77 Administrator Posts: 245

    Hi @1980sLulu

    Welcome to our online community - sorry to hear how osteoarthritis is affecting your husband it sounds tough for him and for you.

    I thought I'd share with you some info from our website which I hope will help:-

    Osteoarthritis (OA) | Causes, symptoms, treatments (

    Painkillers and NSAIDs | Side-effects, uses, time to work (

    Complementary and alternative treatments | Types and safety (

    Carers | Advice and support | Versus Arthritis

    Do give our helpine a call too and they could discuss some of the possibilities as OA is mainly about self management and NSAIDS.

    To keep posting your not alone and I'm sure other members will come along and provide you with support.

    Louisa (moderator)

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

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 355

    Welcome @1980sLulu,

    I totally empathise with your husband's plight - I used to run and play Badminton before my diagnosis of severe OsteoArthritis in both knees last June and by then I could barely walk unaided. It's not just the pain that is unbearable but the impact on one's mental health and that's the double-whammy of having to give up things you love doing and contemplating a life without any exercise.

    Well I'm here to try and assure you both there is light at the end of the tunnel

    @Louisa has provided some very good links, I strongly advise you both read up on these because if your husband is going to improve his quality of life, there's only so much health professionals can do in terms of prescribing meds, the rest is upto us.

    OK - so in general, there are 3 areas to focus on: Exercise/Physio, Pain Management and Diet.

    Most health centres and surgeries will have a physio dept, make an appointment for an assessment after which your husband should get a set of tailor-made exercises and stretches to do at home every day to help strengthen the tendons and muscles around his knees, that's to help stability. It will be painful at first so that's where pain management comes in as the 2 go hand in hand. This is an area involving prescribed meds, supplements and other aids and it's a trial and error thing. I use a gel called FlexiSeq on my knees to help reduce crunching, max strength Voltorol gel and Capsaicim cream and/or Red Tiger Balm before putting on elasticated knee supports which also stop my trousers from getting gunky. A deep tissue massaging gun helps with stiffness too. I use a TENS machine for 30-40 minutes most days. All these should be available from most decent independent Pharmacies.

    For supplements, I focus on ones with proven effects such as Turmeric and Boswellia which I take in capsule form. I also ingest high-strength Co-Codemol tablets.

    There is also the area of alternative therapies with some sufferers reporting that Tai Chi can really help manage their symptoms and strengthen their core. I've been going for Acupuncture these past 4 months and it's really worked for me. I started one with weekly sessions for 2 months then switched to monthly. Expensive but definitely worth it.

    For diet, Omega 3 rich food, dark green leafy veg, onions, garlic and olives are all known anti-inflammatories.

    If your husband finds his condition improving then walking is highly recommended, basically anything to keep joints moving and every step adds strength. I've swapped my high impact sport for Cycling, Hiking, Walking, Spin Classes and Gym workouts. If he's worried about falling over but wants an alternative to sticks, I can recommend walking poles - they're adjustable, don't sink in grass and he'll look like a pro hiker, not someone in the grips of a crippling condition.

    Will these work? Well, it's going to be a case of determination and experimentation but I can only speak from personal experience. This time last year I could barely walk down my stairs of a morning. In March this year I hiked up and down Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in South Wales and that's with 2 bone-on-bone knees both of which need fully replacing.

    Good luck and do feel free to come back with more questions - hope some of these help


  • Loggiemod
    Loggiemod Member Posts: 198
    edited 7. Sep 2023, 13:31

    That is excellent advice @jonr Thanks

  • Von1966
    Von1966 Member Posts: 3

    Hi 1980sLulu 🙋‍♀️

    So sorry to hear you have both been affected by this horrible condition.

    Brilliant advice there from Jon, thanks.

    The only thing that helps me at night is a hot water bottle under my worst knee.

    Heat pads can also provide a degree of comfort. Warm baths and heated massage oils also.

    Also I am currently researching anti inflammatory diet options. Be sure to take your pain meds regularly to ensure maximum relief. They aren't effective if you often let them wear off.

    I didn't know that you can also take ibuprofen between doses of paracetamol based meds but please discuss this with your healthcare professional as it may not be right for you.

    Good luck to the both of you x