Life with OA What to take besides NSAIDs?

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Hi I've had heberdens nodules starting to appear in my fingers since I was 30 yo and progressively it just got worse. Both my hands are affected and it's painful especially my fingers on my left hand. I've never took any painkillers. A year ago I had a baby at the age of 39 yo and that's when the pain flare up in my fingers and also started for the 1st time in my hips! I know I have OA in the hips too and it's just so painful but I know it will only gets worse. 

I'm now taking glucosamine and use a voltarol cream on those days when it's too much pain to cope with.

what I would like to ask is anyone started this early having OA and what medications you use to deal with pain. I couldn't take NSAIDs because had my gallbladder removed and now have very sensitive stomach. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Sorry to ask the obvious but have you seen the GP about your hips and have you been referred to the hospital......if not thats your first port of call.....referral to the hospital. If its OA you will be referred back to the GP probably but at least he will know what painkillers to give you. If they dont work go back and ask to try something else.

    If you are not taking NSAIDS  volterol I found was excellent. I take Naproxen so now cant use use voltarol because I would be over dosing.

    But GP, then orthopaedic consultant at the hospital

    Good luck

    Eileen  UK

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Leni, are you female? I started having OA symptoms round about menopause time. I believe that's when most women first experience problems. Some docs say it's when the hormone levels, ie, oestrogen and progesterone start to fluctuate. I was much better while taking HRT but stopped this after about 10 years as I read it's not good to keep it on for too long as you get older. Fifteen years on from there and I'm fast becoming more disabled as it's now affecting my spine plus multi joints. It's classed as a wear and tear disease too so whatever your job/lifestyle in the past probably has some bearing on your hands too. I used to knit and sew a lot in my 30's/40's! I have to take Tramadol, plus amitriptylene, paracetamol,(in UK)! The GP's have asked me to reduce the diclofenac, (Volterol) tabs as they are considered bad for older people, (heart/stroke risk)! They do help me if having a really bad day though. The gel or cream is not nearly so effective. Her in UK I've been told that glucosamine and chondroitin are not effective in treating OA! I found hot water therapy helps my hands, exercise in warm water, like bath or shower. Swimming in a warm pool is good too. (Hydro therapy.) Some hospitals have them here. Best to speak to your GP about any treatment before trying it anyway.

    Best wishes Ellie UK

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    • Posted

      Yes! I had a baby and that's when my hip discomfort started. Some days it feels like both buttocks hurt too. This disease runs on my mum side of the family unfortunately. It's very unlucky. My mum has done a lot of therapy but after years of that she found that applying ice in her hands is the best.hydro therapy sounds good. Thank you so much for the relpy
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    • Posted

      Best to see your GP again if you've not already done so. It could be hormonal as I mentioned but you need blood tests to find that out. Also to make sure you don't have Rheumatoid or other auto immune problem.

       Best wishes, Ellie. X smile

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  • Posted

    Hi 

    Are you SURE you have OA, as it a) sounds too young and b) sounds as if you may have e.g. Rheumatoid or Reactive Arthritis at this age, especially if flared after childbirth (a known sign).   I would ask your gp to refer you to a rheumatologist ASAP and ask for rheumatoid tests as they would then put you on biologics to stop progression... I would definitely get a second opinion here as sounds at least to me if you have an autoimmune issue not OA. Where do you live?

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    • Posted

      I live in England but I'm from Portugal.  My mum have OA since her 20s now she's 65 and she's been through several operations: hip, knee, feet replacement. She's in pain daily. I seemed to have her disease but you're also right. Doctors never knew exactly what mum has osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis or both? I'm really scared I'll be in so much pain that I can't enjoy my baby anymore. I don't like taking pills because of stomach. 

      What can be done to stop progression? Thank you

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  • Posted

    Hi, 

    You need help and must go and get it. Where in UK do you live?  It sounds very unlike OA to me at your age and if it is Reactive or Rheumatoid arthritis, then the earlier you are diagnosed the better. The treatments are MASSIVELY different to when your mum was diagnosed for Rheumatoid due to teh advent to biologic drugs. There is also a clinical trial taking place where a magnetic thing controls the vagus nerve and controls the flares.  You must seek help urgently. This is what must say to the GP: " I believe i have Rheumatoid Arthritis as it has been triggered by my baby's birth and is bilateral and also due to my age. I shoudl liek to be referred to a Consultant Rheumatologist as soon as possible to be tested for Rheumatoid and Reactive Arthritis as i believe that if i have either disease, the earlier i am treated with biologics the better. Pleae can you refer me as a matter of urgency as i do not believe i have OA given my symptoms, age and what triggered it."   If you have private health care with your job etc, then you will be seen in next few days. If not, then you will still be seen quickly.   IT IS IMPERATIVE FOR A GOOD result if you have Rheumatoid, that you start biologics within 3 months. Dont take no. If you are truly stuck, reply here and tell me where you live and i will try and find you a Rheumatologist.   The longer you wait, the worse it will be.    Dont be afraid - if you have Rheumatoid or similar autom immune condition the drugs are massively different to even 5 years ago. But urgency is key. Go srot ASAP.   Ask your GP to refer you to a Rheumatologist specialising in Rheumatoid Arthritis as he will a) do a blood test b) do an ultrasound c) do an xray. This will enable a precise diagnosis what sort of arthritis it is. If it is (unlikey) OA, then he will refer you to a colleague specialising in this.   Do not delay. Do tomorrow. the prognosis for Rheumatoid is much much better if you start biologics ASAP. 

    Dont be afraid, much has changed since your mum was diagnosed. Fidn out EXACTLY what you have got first of all - this needs urgency, a blood test, xray and ultrasound. This will be definitive and will leave you in no doubt. You can then start the right sort of treatment.   As you have a specific trigger (giving birth) this is a key indicator of Rheumatoid or other autoimmune arthritis not OA.  They are very different. I would drop everything ASAP and go get the correct diagnosis, as speed is of essence with the new drugs.  

     

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