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Osteoarthritis - any fellow sufferers got any good tips? (No homeopathy please)

(12 Posts)
SolidGoldBrass Tue 26-Mar-13 16:58:04

X-ray has confirmed a Heberton node in my hand. It's degenerative, it will spread but hopefully not too fast (another one is coming up in my thumb and my knees have been shot for years.) OK, it's tiresome but manageable. I have already bought myself a bottle of glucosamine sulphate to try for three months.
So has anyone else any useful hints? Homeopathy is bollocks so I'm not going to waste time or money on it, but would be interested in any other ideas or even just shared whining space...

SolidGoldBrass Wed 27-Mar-13 15:42:54

Bump. I can't be the only arthritic old crock on here, surely.

ChippingInIsEggceptional Wed 27-Mar-13 15:45:33

SGB - sorry to hear that sad

I know diet can help a lot if you are interested in that type of thing?

grimbletart Wed 27-Mar-13 16:28:41


Another fellow sufferer here. I also have several Heberden nodes and Bouchard nodes plus really stiff and painful knees (can't squat or get up easily if I am down on the floor), not to mention painful hands.

I didn't personally find any of the glucosamine compounds any use, nor cod liver oil.

My only tip is not to do anything for too long at a time e.g. during the evening if I am watching TV I get up every 10 minutes or so and walk around; if I have to stand I keep moving my legs and bend my knees a bit and I never stay in bed longer than about 6 hours.

Also, I exercise a lot, though I can no longer run or jog as I have had to have so much cartilage removed from my knees the sensation is of bone on bone if I try.

Personally I won't resort to painkillers either on a regular basis - only ever if I am desperate. I prefer to exercise through the pain barrier. I fear that if I once start pill-popping it will be downhill all the way (though I concede that is just my personal view and accept that I may be being entirely unreasonable) smile.

It's a bastard thing and because it is common and chronic I think people who haven't got it sometimes underestimate it as a disease.

SolidGoldBrass Wed 27-Mar-13 16:35:14

Grimbletart, oh ouch poor you. I am a Morris dancer, which is a bit harsh on the knees but GP has said: keep active and don't give things up unless the pain is really bad. I wear bog-standard elastic knee supports which help a bit.
As to the glucosamine, he said try it for three months: it helps some people and does nothing for others (which does sound fair enough, I know biochemistry simply varies and things that work for some people don't work for others etc).

Thanks for the tip on not doing any one thing for too long. I do find I ache all over in the mornings (have pains in one shoulder and in my hips as well first thing).

I also have scoliosis, have had it for 30 years, which is not going to help...

digerd Wed 27-Mar-13 16:58:49

I'm an old crock - hi.
I find it is different each day, but good days are now rare. It does depend on your circumstances.
I live on my own so have nobody to help to do those things I must do which cause the pain/aches/stiffness. i.e housework, gardening and even walking more than 30 minutes. But then again, I can leave things, and do them when I feel like it.
Sometimes it is a matter of " if it hurts, just don't do it"- the words of an old and wise GP.
I have, I'm afraid to admit, become a bit of a grumpy old woman, though.
"It could be a lot worse", I keep telling myself, which is very true.

grimbletart Wed 27-Mar-13 17:26:05

Wow SGB - I admire you being able to Morris dance - all that knee bouncing - ouch! My doc also said the same re glucosamine. I have to say it helps my brother so it may help you. Strong family history of OA on both sides of my family so it was a bullet I was never likely to avoid. Can't complain though as I am an oldie!

Digerd: I agree, days do differ. Changes in air pressure almost certainly kick off a bad day for me. I've just come back from a couple of months in the antipodes and I hardly knew I had OA. Soon as I got back it kicked in again more vicious than ever, then gradually settled down.

Kidding DH I am going to leave him for six months of the year and live in Oz and NZ during our winter.

SolidGoldBrass Wed 27-Mar-13 18:14:41

The current weather is of course making it a bit of a bastard. GP says it will probably be less hurty once the temperature rises, which would make sense.

I am not really that bad yet, just pain in one hand, unreliable knees and twinges everywhere else. I suppose I am a bit whiny at the prospect of getting worse (am 48 and have an 8-year-old) and having to stop things that I would still enjoy...

PuffPants Wed 27-Mar-13 18:22:14

Well, you would probably think it hocus-pocus but my FIL had acupuncture (nhs-funded) for arthritis and was very impressed.

digerd Wed 27-Mar-13 22:14:59

I trained as a stage dancer and taught for years. Now I do Line-dancing for 2 hours twice a week. The dances/music I love get my adrenalin and happy chemicals flowing in the blood which helps me get through the dances. But can't do bouncing, hopping,jumping or skipping any more, and the dances are only stepping and turning with hip bumps, sways or wiggles.
I am exhausted though when I get home, but happy.

I can only do 30 minutes of walking little dog though.

SolidGoldBrass Fri 29-Mar-13 10:46:34

My shoulder's pretty horrid at the moment. Does osteoarthritis do shoulders, or am I in that state of imagining every twinge everywhere aas 'Waah, I'm getting worse!'

grimbletart Fri 29-Mar-13 14:59:47

Shoulders can be affected SGB though not so commonly as hands, wrists, knees. I had to see a rheumatologist to confirm my diagnosis because the swellings in my hands were symmetrical and this is more usual with rheumatoid arthritis than OA. But mine was OA but a particularly aggressive form - inflammatory OA. Anyway, the consultant recommended a book to me that is helpful on facts, treatment, ways of living with the bastard etc.
It's called Osteoarthritis - the facts. The authors are Elizabeth Arden, Nigel Arden and David Hunter (specialist doctors and a specialist pain nurse). It's published by Oxford University Press and I got it from Amazon. Can't remember how much it was but it's a paperback and quite cheap as I recall.

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