Author Topic: Helpful tips for controlling OA?  (Read 468 times)

SjoGirl

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Helpful tips for controlling OA?
« on: June 02, 2019, 04:45:33 PM »
Hi all,

Right now my RA and SJS seem to be under control but my OA is flaring. This is partly my doing as I cut back on pain meds but then also missed a dose. I forgot just how much my neck (degenerative disc disease I think C3, 4 and 5 or it might be 4, 5 and 6) and lower lumbar (more degeneration there) could hurt.

Are pain meds which enable me to exercise really the only course of action? My neurologist wouldn't request a new MRI when I last saw him, he said yes you issues are probably progressing, surgery isn't on the table, we'll just continue with that same course of treatment. I didn't argue because I don't care for him much and we just got new a high-deductible insurance PPO so I'm going to be paying a lot out of pocket.

Thoughts?
Raynauds, sero-negative RA, Primary SjS, osteopenia, degenerative disc disease, disc protrusions,stenosis, Carpal tunnel,  poly neuropathy, myoclonus, hiatal hernia, esophagitis, viral infection, Leukopenia. Restasis, Vitamin D, B12, Evoxac, Lanzoprezole, calcium acetaminophen.

Maria3667

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Re: Helpful tips for controlling OA?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2019, 06:04:57 AM »
Hi Sjo,

I've had good results with greenlip mussel extract (no joke, they really excist!). Pain decreased after approx 3 to 4 days. But I had to quit as it increases dry mouth slightly and causes weight gain for me. I liked the other side effects though: better mood, sleep & libido!

Good luck!
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 06:08:46 AM by Maria3667 »
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Carolina

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Re: Helpful tips for controlling OA?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2019, 06:05:50 AM »
I wish I had an answer, SjoGirl.

I read this post during the period early in the morning, when I wake up.  That is when my OA pain is really intense.  Neck (the worst), shoulders (a close second) and knees.  Fortunately the OA in my hands doesn't cause as much throbbing pain.

I have only three ways to control the pain:  Meds, mental distraction and pain repression, and exercise in a warm pool.

Meds:

 Low Dose Naltrexone
is my newest.  It does a moderate job of helping with my overwhelming pain. It must be specially compounded and most RX insurance doesn't cover it.

Gabapentin:  I take 3600 mg Gabapentin a day for my Small Fiber Neuropathy.  Gabapentin really doesn't do much for the pain of OA, I think.

Wellbutrin: Most antidepressants help with pain.  I used to take Cymbalta which was amazingly helpful with OA pain.  After six years, however, I developed an unusual side effect (myoclonus and syncope) which was hard to 'connect' to the Cymbalta, but was clearly caused by it.  I would take Cymbalta again in a heart beat, if I could.

Naproxen Sodium (trade name Aleve).  Magic for pain, for me.  BUT I cannot take any NSAID now because my gastrointestinal damage prevents that.....alas. Tylenol doesn't do much for me.

I grieve, daily the loss of Cymbalta and Aleve.

Every morning, I wonder if I can really 'go on'.  I take my meds, and wait a while.  Then my pain subsides a bit.  Mostly I renew my mental efforts to suppress the pain.  Evidently when I'm sleeping I don't use those mental tricks.

My knees are bad enough for replacement surgery, but I am not a candidate due to my profound neuropathy in my legs.

My neck isn't really bad enough (on MRI) to warrant surgery, and that surgery is horrible, anyway.

I haven't consulted THE specialist for shoulders yet.  My shoulders are eligible for replacement (MRI), but again, I'm not sure about that surgery as an option for me.  I think I would be eligible since walking isn't part of the post surgery PT.

Mental Pain Suppression:   I took a course in pain control from Duke.  The Primarily involves meditation, mentally closing the 'pain gates' in my spine which carry pain messages to the brain, and distraction (playing games, listening to music, activities with others.)

Even focusing on this post has lowered my perception of pain!

Exercise    I chose this retirement community because there is a warm water pool in my apartment building.  AND it is in a 'solarium'  full of light and I can see nature and the sky when I am in the pool!  I will go there this morning. And I just roll with my walker out of my apartment and into the pool room.

I carry out a memorized program of movement and stretches which takes about 30 minutes.  I also spend time just floating and 'bicycling my legs' gently.  This is actually aerobic and raises my heart beat.

Everything I do in the water is easy and doesn't hurt.

I now go down into the water on one of those elevator chairs.  This is marvelous as the worst part for me of using the pool is going down and the up the pool stairs, pulling myself on the railings.  Terrible to do.
But I don't need to do that since I learned to use the lift.

So those are my techniques, SjoGirl.  And now I'm feeling better that when I first woke up.

Regards, Elaine
« Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 07:14:18 AM by Carolina »
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katie1111

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Re: Helpful tips for controlling OA?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2019, 03:26:30 AM »
I use Blue-Emu ointment on my knee.  It can be used several times a day and has no odor.

Katie1111

irish

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Re: Helpful tips for controlling OA?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2019, 10:14:02 PM »
Has anyone researched and ought compression gloves for the hands. These are used with RA and osteoarthritis. I am going to find some. I looked on line and found quite a few but I don't order online. I hate returning and figure I would screw up my computer and make a mess.

Now, have to tell you what is keeping me from being really crazy. I have osteoarthritis in my thumbs and it can be wicked. Also in some other fingers too. Also, probably have some neuropathy from diabetes and then the arm and hand fingers neuropathy from carpal tunnel and spinal cord compression. I take no pain meds and have used heat and cold packs and occasional tylenol. I avoid pain meds always----so far. Anyway I would sit and watch TV and wrap my hands yup really tight in my afghan and the tight pressure would decrease the misery.

So, I pondered on this and wondered what would happen if I bought the vinyl gloves and wore them. I buy the one size fits all for 4.98 at Walmart. Contains 50 gloves. So I tried it and they help. Some days I have to put them ion several times. I can't do any work that used fine hand movement (even cleaning) because of the numbness and pain. Wearing then gloves helps and the long they are on the better my hands feel. I try to put them on during the day for at least 4 hours before taking them off. You will notice that your hands will sweat some. I didn't sweat at all when I first started the gloves and it had to be from the neuropathy.

I am now sweating a little and when I take off the gloves I wash my hands and dry good. I have not gotten any fungus rash yet but if I do I will pick up over the counter cream from Walmart. They have a new anti fungal cream in health/meds department. It in in a long narrow box and cost less than a dollar. In the anti fungal for feet and jock itch department. 8)

My doctor told me that the slight compression of the gloves is what helps. I went through several episodes of really cold white hands this winter (from my anemia I was thinking) and the gloves really helped. They help the ends of my fingers be less painful.

I hope this suggestion helps someone else. Also, it seems like money down the drain, but consider the amount ofo money paid out if one needs to buy pain pills. I always feel that the natural think like heat and cold, etc and any other crazy thing I dream up can help some and if it decreases the pain and makes life better that is great. I don't have to be pain free to be happy. ;D

Take care all. Irish


katie1111

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Re: Helpful tips for controlling OA?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2019, 03:53:23 AM »
      I use Blue-Emu.  It is an over the counter lotion that does not smell, can be used several times a day and has worked for me.  You have to use it for a few weeks to see its total benefit.

Katie1111           

SjoGirl

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Re: Helpful tips for controlling OA?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2019, 12:19:10 PM »
Thanks, everyone! I have not tried Blue Emu yet, maybe after I finish my Ben Gay I'll try it.

My one issue with topicals is that the pain is widespread, top and base of spine, hands, knees, feet, etc. I have pain meds and cut back earlier in the summer, I'm learning that on days when I do a lot, like house cleaning yesterday, I need to up the meds to the approved total does and add topicals like Ben Gay, use a heating pad, etc. I also remembered that I have an electric stim machine and should probably pull it out.

As for compression gloves, I have used crafters gloves which I found at Joanne Fabric then bought via Amazon. I find they have just enough pressure, but not too much. They are washable and I keep pairs stashed in many coat pockets, even in summer, in case it's cool when I walk in the a.m.

I also use hand braces which my neurologist gave me a prescription for so insurance covered much of the cost. They help keep my hands and wrists in line and really reduce the thumb pain a great dea. The only problem is that I then sometimes get more pain at the base of my neck. 

I have read some books about pain management and do try to distract myself, deep breath or meditate. I find that deep breathing has really helped sometimes if I wake up in pain at night.

Thanks all, I appreciate the input!
Raynauds, sero-negative RA, Primary SjS, osteopenia, degenerative disc disease, disc protrusions,stenosis, Carpal tunnel,  poly neuropathy, myoclonus, hiatal hernia, esophagitis, viral infection, Leukopenia. Restasis, Vitamin D, B12, Evoxac, Lanzoprezole, calcium acetaminophen.

Skylar

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Re: Helpful tips for controlling OA?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2019, 04:14:25 PM »
I do have the answer.

I wouldn?t expose myself to an unnecessary and expensive MRI unless my doctor felt it was truly needed for a diagnosis and treatment.

As for the pain from Arthritis, including Osteoarthritis can be eliminated or ameliorated with diet. It can?t cure OA, and it cannot repair the damage to the joints but diet can help eliminate most of the inflammation in the joints so you can move more easily with less or no pain.

Dr John McDougalls diet is anti-inflammatory which helps reduce the swelling in the joints. I?m amazed at how effective it is. If the regular diet doesn?t work there may still be a few foods that need to be further eliminated so he has an elimination diet for that. Again it?s not a cure, it doesn?t repair the damage but it makes living with OA so much easier

 I?m not allowed to put a link here that works, but if you put www in front to this it should take you to the correct page. .drmcdougall.com/health/education/free-mcdougall-program

The beauty of this way of eating is you get everything you need, protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals without any additional vitamin pills or supplements except for B12. You will need to take B12. It meets the US government guidelines and if you are unsure you can check it yourself on Chronometer or other similar app linked to the USDA requirements.

If you are serious about getting rid of this pain then follow this diet seriously for 3-4 weeks and you will find success.

irish

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Re: Helpful tips for controlling OA?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2019, 11:34:48 PM »
I have problems with my upper back and lower neck and had a fusion over a year ago in C4C5. I have had some issues lately and I picked up a pillow at Walmart that is sort of u shaped and can be made into a pillow. It is very soft and you can have it up over your shoulders and neck and down your back. I sit in the recliner with it reclined some. This really has helped my back settle in place and recover from the pain after it gets bad. Worth a try. It is not washable but can spot clean it. Around 9 dollars. Irish

SjoGirl

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Re: Helpful tips for controlling OA?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2019, 10:03:36 AM »
Irish, thanks I'll have to check that out.
Raynauds, sero-negative RA, Primary SjS, osteopenia, degenerative disc disease, disc protrusions,stenosis, Carpal tunnel,  poly neuropathy, myoclonus, hiatal hernia, esophagitis, viral infection, Leukopenia. Restasis, Vitamin D, B12, Evoxac, Lanzoprezole, calcium acetaminophen.