Living with pain

Hi, my name is Valerie and I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in my knees 3 years ago. How does anybody live with the pain for any length of time. I find it very difficult and my life has changed greatly. I am not one for excise but loved to do many things with my 4 grandchildren was has had to change drastically these 3 years. I do take painkillers but I was also diagnosed with `breast cancer 5 years ago so medication is very awkward when you have to also take medication for this condition. I would love to hear how I can take care of this pain that I have to endure 24/7 because it only get a average of 4-5 hours sleep also.


  • CarylW
    CarylW Moderator Posts: 247

    Hello @valdab1

    I am pleased you have found our online forum, and I hope that you find interaction with our members helpful.

    Osteoarthritis can be very painful, but you will find a mixture of exercise, pain relief and rest will help manage it, and I am posting some information from our website below.

    Do keep posting and let us know how you are getting on.

    Best wishes


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

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 383

    Hello and welcome @valdab1 Valerie,

    Caryl has provided some very good links which are well worth a read.

    I too have OA in both knees, I'm due to have both replaced and managing my condition pretty much like anyone here is an obsession. Caryl's said it's a mixture of physio and exercise and I totally agree but it's not an overnight thing. It takes targeted exercises to strengthen the muscles and tendons around the weakened joints to help prop you up and protect them from damage as they'll be under strain. However, many sufferers find it's very hard to do these because it's painful so decent pain management is required.

    There are a lot of supplements with properties similar to prescribed meds which you may be able to safely take to reduce inflammation and pain and other aids like TENS machines, gels and creams. I've spent many months experimenting to find a blend which works for me, including Acupuncture which made the greatest difference to my quality of life.

    Of course, what works for me may not work for you so it's a case of trial and error. Lots of information here but as a starter for 10, I'd be thinking of CBD capsules for pain relief, Boswellia, Capsicum & Peperine (as anti0inflammatories) and FlexiSeq gel + Duclofenac gel (high strength Voltorol or equivalent brands). Heated wheatbags are good for stiffness and ice-cold compresses good for fever, inflammation, throbbing and achiness.

    Hope some of these help,


  • valdab1
    valdab1 Member Posts: 5
    edited 2. Oct 2023, 10:51

    I will read Carly’s links. Thanks for info. I am looking forward to being on this site and receiving all the help I can. 😀

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 381

    @valdab1 I struggle with the arthritis in my joints. One thing I learnt is to listen to the pain, and not overdo using the painful joints in the wrong directions, as they would just stay inflamed.

    With more care my joints have settled down. I had to kind of stop using my knees but I can still walk providing I sit down enough too. With some excellent physio advise I regained enough movement I can get on a static bicycle.

    The sleep seems important too for regeneration, so I just go with the flow now. When I tire I go lie down, take something to read on my phone, but I never reach as far as reading it, I just crash out for another cycle of sleep. At weekends this can add up to 8hr a day, but in the week is more difficult.

  • valdab1
    valdab1 Member Posts: 5

    Hi, thanks for your comments. I too, have just bought a static cycle so I hope I can improve my movement given time. I do try and listen to the pain but I seem to be sitting down more than moving. Something I must look into is which pain medication to use to help. 😀

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 462

    Hi @valdab1

    I do sympathise with your pain and lack of ability to sleep - I have exactly the same at the moment with my meds changing to morphine patches and topping it up with tramadol and/or paracetamol as needed. I am hoping the surgeon I see on the 25th will agree with my physio's assessment and agree to operate on one of my hips.

    I am unable to exercise regularly but do the ones my physio gave me as much as I can - I can't even get on my exercise bike unless I'm having a really good day!

    Love n hugs

    Trish xx

  • valdab1
    valdab1 Member Posts: 5

    Hi Trish, so sorry to hear of your pain. I am due to see my physio next week when she will tell me the results of my knee x-ray, review and assess. At the moment I stick to paracetamol until I see her and she gives me advice on my medication. I do wish you well on the 25th and hope that you get the answer you are looking for. Living with this pain and discomfort is so hard. It completely changes your life around but I do keep trying to stay positive and will try any remedy to help me with this situation. Please take care, keep positive and thinking of better times. 😀

  • Sinead
    Sinead Member Posts: 3

    Hi this is my first post. Im 47years old. Have arthritis since i was 4.

  • Louisa77
    Louisa77 Administrator Posts: 242

    Hi @Sinead

    Welcome, great to have you on the Online Community - thank you for posting.

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

  • Johug
    Johug Member Posts: 3

    I have osteoarthritis in my knees, I'm 54 and been told I'm too young for replacement. I try and go to the gym on good days but they are very few and a small walk with my dog every now and again. I'm in pain all the time and my knees permanently swollen. How does anyone deal with the pain in bed, I'm lucky if I get 3 hours sleep I'm exhausted

  • If you can get to a swimming pool to do aqua aerobics, swimming or just walking up and down in the water this will help. At night time, I always used to put a pillow between my legs. Also, I found Biofreeze gel pretty good for pain relief. Tens machines help some people too. Arthritis pain is horrendous during the night because we aren't moving and we concentrate more on the pain. I'm struggling with referred hip arthritis in my groin and thigh and I find I have to get up gor a while and move around a little. Perhaps your GP could prescribe you something to help you sleep. I think I'll be asking mine soon too!

  • in2teaching
    in2teaching Member Posts: 22

    1st comment/post - recently diagnosed with OA of the knee and ITB snapping syndrome. @valdab1 I recently tried the pillow between my knees and it does help. Managed a few hours sleep 🙌🏼

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 381
    edited 8. Oct 2023, 03:16

    I had swollen legs so I was recommended a large foot wedge to raise my legs, and sleep on my back, which also suits the pain in my shoulders. Its a great relief at the end of the day to put my feet up.

    I also use the wedge as a chance to have a lie down and stretch my legs without any weight on the joints. On good days the stretching is a great relief and tells me that things are somewhat better.

    Short periods of sleep bug me a lot less since I started watching my sleep cycles on a smart watch. Three or four hours is enough to obtain a full cycle of deep sleep, light sleep, REM sleep and waking. I feel different depending on what the cycle was like. I feel a bit suspicious of cycles that don't have any deep sleep as deep sleep is suppose to regenerate tissues, boost the immune system and detox the brain. The crazy part is nature chooses what to put into the sleep cycle, but it's interesting to watch nature at work and wonder what on earth its up to.