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Chronic pain

CHRONIC PAIN- tips for managing arthritic joints

24 replies

Rae36 · 29/03/2021 22:13

Hey fellow sufferers

In a nutshell, if you've got arthritic joints what helps you? I have no expectation of ever being pain-free but any noticeable reduction in pain, however small, would be great.

What pain relief do you use? I take paracetamol 3 times a day every day and that takes the edge off, nothing more. I think I want something stronger for the days when I know I'm going to be walking. But I don't want to take it every day.

How about all the alternative supplements, creams, whatever? Either I haven't used them long enough to get the benefit or they just don't do anything. I quite like Biofreeze cream for some immediate relief but it doesn't last for long. I like acupuncture but again the benefits are a few hours, not a few days.

At one time I had capsaicin cream, that was quite good for the evenings when I was sitting and I could feel my joints aching, it made them feel sort of warm and less achy. I have to get that from the gp though and he's not a fan of anything alternative.

Right now I'm trying a box of Seven Seas supplements with turmeric, I'm on day 25 or something and I can't say I've noticed any difference at all. I suspect maybe my joints are just so bad that none of these small things are going to make a noticeable difference and I'm throwing my money away.

I had a steroid injection last year which was fab, but I was told I could only have maybe 4 or 5 in one joint in my whole life, so that's one every 10 years. I was completely pain free for about 4 months which was just amazing. I think that's why I'm so down about my pain now, because I remember what it was like to not have it.

How about things like Curable? Has anyone used that? I get put off my people talking about 'bananas' all the time. But maybe if I took it a bit more seriously I might get some results?

Any tips or suggestions welcome. I so wish we had a board of our own, I'm sure someone has already posted something very similar to this but I looked back through about 4 pages of threads and couldn't find anything.

OP posts:
StarCourt · 14/05/2021 18:17

Hello @Rae36 I was diagnosed with OA in 2010 and have got steadily worse and worse ( am 54 now but fell about 90 when I wake up!) it's in my neck, shoulders hands knees and back.
I've gone through the range of GP prescribed painkillers over the yrs but now pretty much stick to paracetamol and separate codeine ( so I can take more when needed )
I also find Bio freeze helps particularly my neck but I use the spray as easier to apply.
I've also tried loads of different supplements over the yrs as well as physio, acupuncture and a chiropractor.
I've been trying 30% CBD oil orally and also CBD massage oil but not sure it's working yet

StarCourt · 14/05/2021 18:18

Oh and forgot to say I'm booked in for my first steroid injection for my shoulder in 2 weeks time

MrsAudreyShapiro · 14/05/2021 20:36

I have OA in my knees and hips. Physio has been really helpful for me. I am devoted to my physio exercises.

I take naproxen or paracetamol depending on how I'm feeling and what I'm doing. I don't expect to be pain free, just want to be able to get on with my life.

Pinchoftums · 14/05/2021 20:37

Things that have helped

  1. Acupuncture was a game changer

2. CBD oil
3. Gentle yoga
RARach · 14/05/2021 20:52

I use paracetmal daily and have to top up with codeine. Will also use bio freeze, deep heat, an electric heat pad or cooling pad, I try to walk as much as possible with some yoga stretches at home. Swimming is ideal if you can manage it. If it affects hands/wrists, don’t carry too much, don’t overfill saucepans etc to lighten weight/grip. My arthritis is autoimmune so I also try and avoid stress and pacing myself with tasks is really important to not overdo things.

Sanchez79 · 14/05/2021 20:59

Paracetamol is unlikely to be effective for arthritic pain (which I could have told the scientists for nothing) you should be taking an anti-inflammatory instead (or on top of).

I also find rubbing pure lavender essential oil into my joints soothing.

Drinking or eating pineapple is meant to be anti inflammatory too so I do that on days when I'm truly clutching at straws. Not sure if it helps or not.

Hot baths (also with lavender oil in).

Swearing and crying!

Oh and walking up stairs or on an incline is weirdly helpful too, no idea why!

ElmtreeMama · 16/05/2021 05:00

I have tramadol and naproxen but now I'm pregnant I can't take those obviously so...

Epsom salt baths
Magnesium joint spray
Hot water bottles
Tens pain pens

Imissmoominmama · 16/05/2021 05:22

I take these. The Femipause is because I’m also going through the menopause, but it does contain CBD oil. I rarely take pain relief because it doesn’t agree with me.

I’ve also ditched cows’ milk for oat milk, which seems to help.

I also wholeheartedly recommend joint replacement- my new hip is the only part of me that doesn’t ever hurt!

There are still days when I feel absolutely lousy, but I make sure I do 10,000 steps every day (often more) because keeping moving helps you keep moving! It can be like walking through treacle at times, but somehow, the fact that I’m taking charge empowers me to carry on.

My arthritis is in my hip, shoulder, both knees, ankles, feet and hands. I refuse to let it win.

CHRONIC PAIN- tips for managing arthritic joints
Imissmoominmama · 16/05/2021 05:26

I’m going try lavender oil and pineapple now too! This is a very useful thread- thanks @Rae36!

cherrytree63 · 24/05/2021 06:16

I have OA in my hips and lower spine, as well as fibromyalgia. I can't take codeine or tramadol.
On top of paracetamol I take meloxicam and alternate that with ibuprofen lysine, which is the same as feminax just a lot cheaper!
I always sleep with a hot water bottle and rotate it round my sore areas in the morning before I get up.

StuntNun · 24/05/2021 06:24

I have osteoarthritis in my jaw, shoulder, lower back and ankle. I take Naproxen, glucosamine and chondroitin, and turmeric all of which seem to help a great deal. I got the most relief from changing my diet - turns out wheat and vegetable oils were contributing to my inflammation levels.

StarCourt · 24/05/2021 09:38

So many people saying take a hog bath to help. But I can't get into or out of the bath because of my OA so it's impossible.
I keep thinking of buying an inflatable hot tub, has anyone tried that?

StarCourt · 24/05/2021 09:39

Hot not hog!!

BettyBooper · 24/05/2021 09:43

My dad swears by ibuprofen gel rubbed liberally on effected areas.

doadeer · 24/05/2021 18:36

My family have a yoga studio and we have lots of people who say exercise has been the best. Obviously gentle classes with a knowledgeable teacher, don't book an ashtanga class!

DuckWithOneWing · 07/06/2021 19:23

I take regenovex capsules which was recommended by someone else on here. I find it has helped loads with my morning joint stiffness - I used to wake up with my wrist stuck in one position but I don't now. I buy it from Amazon for about £20 a month so it's fairly expensive but I feel it's worth it

User23456 · 21/06/2021 12:46

hi all, there are some good tips here. I've got suspected hand arthritis - and am panicking about being able to continue working as I do computer work all day. Plenty of ideas here for me to try out. Thanks all and wishing you (and myself) better health and more pain-free days.

Thelikelylass · 22/06/2021 12:24

Hi I have OA of the knee and chronic pain. Worsened in lockdown and I've piled on the weight. I try to avoid taking anything so the only thing that works for me is exercise (treadmill walking, good shoes) a couple of times a week and stretch classes. Even just resuming this in the last two months has meant my stretches decrease the pain and I'm sleeping. I know it's a catch 22 but I hobble when I get out of bed and would die if anyone saw how bad it was! Try it if you can or at least the stretches. Good luck.

Holothane · 22/06/2021 12:26

Paracetamol has helped a lot still get pain though,deep heat helps me, swimming pre COVID was wonderful.

WingingItSince1973 · 27/06/2021 09:48

I couldn't live without my heated throw. Wrap myself up like a burrito on the hottest level. I have widespread pain so I need all bits covered. It really helps me xxx

BlankTimes · 06/08/2021 00:55

My pain's mainly in the thumb joint that's near the wrist but it can spread to the wrists, all finger and thumb joints and muscles
Comfrey's common name is Knitbone, never to be taken internally.
I use a salve which I find very good, but it doesn't soak into the skin immediately. I'll make my own when I've got a minute and infuse some oil too, I have all the ingredients at home.

@StarCourt re getting in the bath, the type of aid you need really depends on your range of movements and balance. I looked at a lot of aids for my adult DD (CFS, Hypotonia Dyspraxia with co-morbids, much muscle weakness and unexplained pain) and settled on the rising chair type, I bought the Bellavita model which she's very pleased with. For her peace of mind, a grab rail on the far side of the bath will make her independent in using it. You do need more water in the bath than you'd normally use, as when you lay back on the backrest, your torso is still above the waterline. I'm having a showerhead on a flexible tube installed, so using that should compensate.
The type which are like a giant belt would not have supported her back and I was afraid she'd slip off it.
I'd considered the walk in ones, but it meant sitting in it until it filled, bathing then afterwards sitting there until it emptied before you could get out.

For her pain management, over the years, I think I've bought every heated throw, pad, footwarmer and handwarmer there is, exercise equipment from small tubs of theraputty, squeezy and spiky things, rollers, back stretcher, Pilates ring, ab cruncher to strengthen core muscles, various sized elastics, various balls through to an aero-pilates machine with rebounder. Posture wise, knobbly cushions, many back braces and a Curble chair. Our spare room is like a home gym tailored to her needs. Finding the balance between enough exercise to keep her joints supple but not overdoing it is the difficult bit as her tolerances are different every day. We try our best.

Mathscourses · 06/08/2021 01:26

I get Voltarol on prescription. It’s diclofenac gel. I rub it into my knees twice a day and, apart from my first walk downstairs in the morning, my knees are pain-free. If I miss a day I can feel the pain coming back.

It can be bought over the counter, but the instructions on the small packes say only to use it for a fortnight (possibly it then advises you to consult a medical professional if you want to use it for longer. I don’t know as my larger tubes are marked prescription only.)

The OA is also in my hands and feet but mildly, so I can usually manage without needing to treat those.

endofthelinefinally · 06/08/2021 01:41

I have a whole collection of autoimmune diseases. The most painful of these is RA. My hands and feet are much improved with hydroxychloroquine, but my knees are excruciatingly painful atm. Nothing touches the pain. Not naproxen, voltarol, ibuprofen, paracetamol, cocodamol. Tried everything. If I am desperate I take my rescue prednisilone. But my rheumatologist gets cross because I have severe osteoporosis due to prolonged steroids. Methotrexate doesn't work for me.
My knee joints are so full of fluid they are unstable, so sometimes I can't walk at all. I am not allowed another injection.
I am at a loss tbh. I don't know if anyone has any more ideas.
So sorry for everyone dealing with this.

Speakeasy22 · 06/08/2021 09:46

Thoroughly recommend an electric heat pad. Cost about £35. I find sitting on one helps a lot as the heat radiates through lower back and legs.

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