Active-in denial-trying to move forward

Letdownbyknee
Letdownbyknee Member Posts: 5
edited 2. Mar 2012, 11:19 in Living with Arthritis archive
:? Just signed up to find out more after being diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my left knee 20th December 2011 following an Mri -(I live in France) specialist has sent me for 18 sessions of physio to build up muscles and reorientate my knee. I am 60 this year and keen on walking, cycling, swimming, gardening etc. I am horrified at the thought of having to change my life - and feel confused - can I keep on doing my thing - what will help me to avoid further damage - any advice - Please ?

Comments

  • Numptydumpty
    Numptydumpty Member Posts: 6,417
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    HI,
    can't really help, I have RA. Just wanted to say welcome to the forum. I'm sure someone who can help will be along shortly.
    Wishing you well,
    Numpty
  • tanith
    tanith Member Posts: 175
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi and welcome , I think keeping on doing your thing is just the right thing to do. Learn to pace yourself if your knee gives your problems/pain do a bit then taking a break/rest. Getting and keeping the muscles strong around the joint is just the right thing to do it will help take the strain off the joint. I have O/A in multiple joints , already had one hip replaced but I am managing to stave off a second hip op by walking, cycling and swimming regularly in fact the second hip hasn't got any worse in the last 4yrs . So you can help yourself by not overdoing things but still carry on your life as before just being mindful that we are aging and our joints need tender loving care if we are to keep on with active lives..
    You'll find lots of helpful information reading through this site..
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's nice to meet you though I am sorry you have had to find us. Firstly, congratulations on getting as far as 60 before your trouble started - I envy you that! :) It sounds as though those French medicos are on exactly the right track, exercise is important in keeping the muscles surrounding the joint strong so that they support it better, but be careful in what sort of exercise you choose to do: non-weight bearing such as swimming and cycling are good, but those that involve constant jarring to the joint may cause more damage in the long-term. It may be worth taking a calcium and Vit D supplement, this won't halt the problem or stop the deterioration but it may help to preserve what you have left and that could slow further damage. I have OA in both knees and ankles (as a result of joint damage caused by the other arthritis I have) and I take 800mcg per day of calcium and Vit D (more as a habit than anything else, I am fifteen years ahead of you on my arthritic road) but it could be worth your while beginning now. Do you have a foam kneeler for the gardening? Perhaps wearing knee pads too could help prevent further damage. Please keep as positive as you can, I suspect it isn't as bad as you are fearing but coming to accept these changes that are forced upon one is never easy. I wish you well. DD
  • Letdownbyknee
    Letdownbyknee Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you so much Tanith for your encouragement - I shall take your advice and keep going with care - I am taking chondro sulf hoping to help my tendons retain their current health without losing more. It sounds as though you get alot of exercise done despite multiple joint problems (does that include knees?) I do aquagym, walking, tapdancing, yoga and swimming as well as cycling (can't cycle at the moment) as well as gardening and when I look at my neighbours who also have arthritis and who do no exercise I just do not want to get like them! I have had a look at the advice about exercise with arthritis and breast stroke is not advised but thats my default swimming style - is that a problem?

    Going off to walk in the sunshine - I feel as if I have been given permission!
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello :D

    Welcome to the forum.

    I was diagnosed with OA in my knee(s) a long time before I actually had two total knee replacements. (TKRs) I am 61 years old now. I am not sure how much pain you are in atm but mine was gradual and the only thing that I did not do so much in the end was walking. In the end, one leg was no longer straight because of the OA. I cycled and that is a good exercise because it is non weightbearing. I also like to do gardening and generally potter around, always have done. If you have been active before being diagnosed that is a good thing as you will have been exercising the knee. I never, had to resort to a walking stick, prior to the operations. I did take the maxiumum painkillers and anti inflammatories daily and use wheatbags on my knees. I always prefer heat to cold applied to joints. You may find that if you overdo things you suffer more the following day but I used to think, well I really enjyed myself, so ok, I am getting a bit of payback, but it will pass and it does. It is good to try to be as positive as possible. not sure why, but it definitely helps and real laughter on a daily basis, does wonders too.

    That is my story anyway and although I have OA in other joints and other problems, life is still good and one does adapt.

    Lucky you being referred for 18 sessions of physio, here it is about 6 and you can wait for months sometimes.

    Chin up
    Elna x
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello again,

    I see you are unable to cycle at the moment - that is a shame. After my first op we got an exercise bike and I still do 10 minutes on that every day as well as the odd bit of cycling locally, nothing strenuous.

    Hopefully with physio they may well get you back to cycling, by getting you onto an exercise bike. One can alter the tension to begin with. Is it flat terrain where you live? I have never done serious cycling, only for pleasure and not too many hill and in good weather!

    Elna x
  • tanith
    tanith Member Posts: 175
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you so much Tanith for your encouragement - I shall take your advice and keep going with care - I am taking chondro sulf hoping to help my tendons retain their current health without losing more. It sounds as though you get alot of exercise done despite multiple joint problems (does that include knees?) I do aquagym, walking, tapdancing, yoga and swimming as well as cycling (can't cycle at the moment) as well as gardening and when I look at my neighbours who also have arthritis and who do no exercise I just do not want to get like them! I have had a look at the advice about exercise with arthritis and breast stroke is not advised but thats my default swimming style - is that a problem?

    Going off to walk in the sunshine - I feel as if I have been given permission!


    My knees are joining in with everything else but I can still cycle, walk and swim... its not advised to do breast stroke after THR but its also my default stroke and I've been swimming twice a week since my op 6yrs ago doing breaststroke and its not caused me any problems although at first I was rather tentative but now I don't give it a thought and manage an hour in the pool. You say you do tap dance , that would be one thing that I would think might cause further damage as its jarring all your joints but all the other things you do can only help strengthen your muscles.. I also take anti-inflammatories and pain relief on bad days .
    Its a shock when you are first diagnosed but if you are determined not to let it affect you too much it can be done and life can carry on much as before..
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello LetDown, how are you feeling today? I hope you are as well as you can be. DD
  • Letdownbyknee
    Letdownbyknee Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you so much for your encouragement - it has made me feel much more positive and up for it - I will find a way of doing all the things I do and perhaps consider slowing down on the tapdancing - i do it since it is so foreign to me it is quite a therapy of the mind as well as the body - challenging to someone rather uncoordinated. There is an aquagymn session held by a physio here and I might try and get my neighbours to come along with me since watching them staying so immobile is discouraging for me!!!

    I am doing resistance weight work with my physio (they are located in little clinics in villages around here) and talking to a french friend with OA this morning in the library I have found out I can ask my doctor for more physio if necessary. I have been prescribed ChondroSulf and also take D3, calcium, magnesium and zinc and have started on Omega 3 but now realise that health and fitness of muscles and bones through exercise and care is critical.

    What I cannot get over is the fact that I didn't realise what arthritis is until I was diagnosed. Now I know it is due to thinning of the tendons and resultant damage to bone joints. Following that one can have replacement joints after they are damaged due to lack of tendons.........BUT why can't they repair tendons in the first place - is there any research/possibility that this can be done in the future?

    Greatly encouraged by your support - thank you so much! Will walk again this afternoon :)
  • tanith
    tanith Member Posts: 175
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    :D You sound much more positive now which can only be good for you :D

    I thought that it is more to do with thinning cartilidge between the joints that causes the O/A , mine was caused by heavy lifting (patients) work which damaged my spine, hands and hips.. I am sure lots of research goes on but I'm not sure what alternative therapies there are other than pain relief , anti-inflammatories and joint replacement.. I know they do some fusing of joints to deal with pain also but I've always valued my range of movement so wouldn't want to go down that route..

    Enjoy your walk..
  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,272
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Letdownbyknee,

    I agree with advice from Tanith.

    Physio will help strengthen the muscles and protect the joint as much as possible. Keep doing your activities - but in moderation. Pace yourself.

    I swim breast stroke with two hip replacements (not supposed to) - my stroke is no longer perfect, but it works for me. Listen to your body, you will probably find your knee will adapt how it does the stroke anyway.

    Speedy
  • Colin1
    Colin1 Member Posts: 1,769
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Not much help i'm affraid i dont have OA however its not the end of the world if you can learn to pace yourself PHISIO well tell you all you need to know. Its to imagine what life would be like without the things you enjoy most.
    Colin
  • Letdownbyknee
    Letdownbyknee Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    Had a good day today - first hour with no pain at all but after half and hour of physio it was somewhat more sensitive but taking care does get more automatic - managing a hours walk every day and off to aquagym tomorrow. Going up and down stairs and driving seems to cause the worst problems - and also when the weather changes.

    Sorry that Dream Daisy is feeling so awful - hope you feel much better soon and that the GP was helpful.

    After reading some more posts on a range of subjects I am rather more aware that many of you find ways to live your lives how you want despite OA and RA - I have been a wimp and need to get my act together and get on after being encouraged by you all.

    Thank you for your kindness
    :)
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,053
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hey LDBK

    You are not a whimp at all l hope you will stay and continue to give and receive support :)

    Love

    Toni xx

    PS l do back stroke now :( l too was a breaststroke swimmer
  • tanith
    tanith Member Posts: 175
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Glad we have been some help I hope you continue to walk and swim :D

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