Newly Diagnosed

I have pain in my knee which i thought was muscle strain. It made me limp and i was prescribed anti inflammatory tablets to take which helped. Had xray and Dr told me it is osteoarthritis today. It depressed me. I'm in my early 50s. What do i do? How bad does it get? Do i need to stop my regular exercise? Stop work? Wear special shoes? What do i do?


  • Poppyjane
    Poppyjane Moderator Posts: 671

    Hello @MoiraMae welcome to the online community,

    You have been suffering with pain in your knee which has been diagnosed as osteoarthritis. You now have lots of questions which concern you about your future and how having arthritis will affect it. First of all, don't panic, it won't all happen at once and you are most likely to have time to adjust to living with your condition as it progresses. It affects us all differently but I can say that you have come to the right place for support and friendship. We offer information, advice, a safe place to share your good and not so good days, a place to moan and laugh and so do join in with us as you come to terms with your new diagnosis.

    I attach some links which I hope you find helpful

    As for your other questions, work - unless your condition becomes too painful or harmful to your self and others continue for as long as you are able, it is always best to keep your HR department/employer informed. Shoes - it is always best to wear sensible, supportive shoes so that your gait is not affected by your limp.

    I expect you will have more questions so do keep in touch and I am sure our members will share their wealth of experience with you.

    Meanwhile take care and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best wishes


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  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    Hi @MoiraMae and welcome - I'm in my 50's and have severe OA in both knees which now need to be replaced but am able to lead a active, healthy life having followed the advice I've read on this website and received from other Forum members.

    Firstly, I doubt there's a single one amongst us who hasn't gone through what you're going through now - the shock of diagnosis and the fear of the unknown, then how will it affect your life, etc.

    It's good that you exercise - I don't know what you do but physio and exercise is one of the foundations of managing your condition. As your knee will be weakened by the OA it's the surrounding muscles and tendons which come under strain as they pick up the slack, leading to additional pain and stability issues. The trick here is to strengthen these through targeted physio and exercise such as walking, cycling, swimming and gymwork, basically anything low-impact on the joints. I highly recommend the "lets move with Leon" physio videos on this website - start with these, little and often and build up as they get more comfortable.

    The second foundation I believe is decent pain management. You've already been prescribed Anti-Inflammatories (probably NSAIDs) by your GP but these probably won't be enough on their own. There's a vast array of supplements, gels, creams, etc - information about the majority are on the website and it's a case of trial and error to find out what works for you. In these early stages, a lot is about instant pain relief - ice cold compresses like frozen veg wrapped in a tea towel are effective for inflammation and pain, particularly after exercise. Hot water bottles/wheatbags are great on sore muscles and stiffness. If you find you're having difficulty with stability, elasticated knee supports work a treat and the compression they offer can be soothing.

    Finally - diet. Food rich in Omega-3 like oily fish and eggs are good natural anti-inflammatories, so are walnuts, olives, garlic and dark green leafy veg. Some people find refined sugar and white bread products aggravate their condition.

    That's kinda a crash course to get you started but I want to assure you there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.

    Hope some of these help,