Some success with treating osteoarthritis

Posted by mickeyb2 @mickeyb2, Jun 23 6:35am

Four years ago, my doctor told me I had advanced degenerative osteoarthritis. I had an episode where the arthritis in my neck made it impossible to look up or side to side, During the next two years, my shoulder would suddenly scream and I could not hold a glass in my hands above my waist. For four months, my back pain prevented me from laying horizontal for more than 10 seconds. I slept sitting in a chair. I was on my second large bottle of Tylenol Arthritis, when I realized, I needed something stronger. A physical therapist at Mayo, two different exercise specialists at Dan Abrams, and two Mayo books on arthritis have changed the direction I was headed. For the last two years, I have been following an exercise routine 5 days a week which focuses on building strength, improving flexibility and some cardio. I haven’t had a Tylenol Arthritis in 6 months. The joint pain has not completely gone away. It’s like it’s in the closet, lurking and waiting to come out and ruin my day. I’m going to fight it. Today’s a weight training day and I’ll do some exercises from the Dan Abrams folks that focus on my core and flexibility. These exercises are not easy, it’s taken me over a year to be able to do some of them, I sweat when doing them, but I’ll sleep in bed tonight, I’ll look up and down and both ways before I cross the street, and tonight I’ll raise a glass of wine to my lips and toast my friends at Dan Abrams and Mayo.

@mickeyb2, Thank you for sharing how you have managed your advanced degenerative osteoarthritis and the success you have had. It is a great story of how making positive changes in lifestyle can help with our health. I have degenerative arthritis also and after a success knee replacement I've made some changes to start losing weight and exercising more to build up my strength. I've also been searching for things I can do to help and your story gives me hope and incentive to keep working on the changes I've started. I found a few articles that I've found helpful and hoping it helps others focus on changes needed.

Simple tips for staying active and mobile with osteoarthritis: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoarthritis/in-depth/simple-tips-for-staying-active-and-mobile-with-osteoarthritis/art-20390068

Arthritis pain: Do's and don'ts: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/in-depth/arthritis/art-20046440

Are you able to share any more information on the specific exercises that have helped you the most?

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@johnbishop

@mickeyb2, Thank you for sharing how you have managed your advanced degenerative osteoarthritis and the success you have had. It is a great story of how making positive changes in lifestyle can help with our health. I have degenerative arthritis also and after a success knee replacement I've made some changes to start losing weight and exercising more to build up my strength. I've also been searching for things I can do to help and your story gives me hope and incentive to keep working on the changes I've started. I found a few articles that I've found helpful and hoping it helps others focus on changes needed.

Simple tips for staying active and mobile with osteoarthritis: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoarthritis/in-depth/simple-tips-for-staying-active-and-mobile-with-osteoarthritis/art-20390068

Arthritis pain: Do's and don'ts: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/in-depth/arthritis/art-20046440

Are you able to share any more information on the specific exercises that have helped you the most?

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Thanks for the articles. Knowledge is key to handling arthritis. As to exercises that have helped most, there are two areas. The first is the flexibility and/or range of motion. I target neck, shoulders, spine, hands, and hips. These I do every day. I spend about 20 minutes on these. The second is the weight training, two days a week. Dan Abrams recommended I go from a 12-15 rep target to 6-8 rep target on each of 3 sets. They also suggested I go from an hour of cardio (biking and fast walk) to 30 minutes. With weights, I target upper body, core, and legs. Upper body includes presses, curls, extensions, rows, etc. Core includes side planks, front planks, crunches. I use a foam roller for some of the spine exercises. Legs are several variations of squats. I highly recommend you go to a personal trainer such as those at Dan Abrams. The help they gave with targeting various joints was what helped the most. Form is crucial in protecting the joint, and maximizing the muscle development. I spend about 1 hour on weight training, two days a week.

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mickeyb2 I have osteoarthritis too, but it mostly bothers me in the morning, my knees will hurt. I am Lilypaws and I had that big surgery (fusion) for my degeneration and stenosis (between my L-4 and 5. My surgery lasted 9 hours. It's been a little over 3 weeks and I do pretty well being on pain pills, but sometime raising from a low chair or couch it can be painful. My surgery included T-10 to my pelvis.

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@lilypaws

mickeyb2 I have osteoarthritis too, but it mostly bothers me in the morning, my knees will hurt. I am Lilypaws and I had that big surgery (fusion) for my degeneration and stenosis (between my L-4 and 5. My surgery lasted 9 hours. It's been a little over 3 weeks and I do pretty well being on pain pills, but sometime raising from a low chair or couch it can be painful. My surgery included T-10 to my pelvis.

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It sounds like you're having some significant surgeries. My doctor had talked with me about several surgical options for the arthritis in my spine. I have been very fortunate in that injections and physical therapy have been able to keep me upright so far.. I also had surgery on L5, but it was for a ruptured disc about 40 years ago. Good luck lilypaws, I am hoping this alleviates your problems.

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Thank you all for your input. My second move was losing and maintaining a 200lb loss. The first was quiting tobacco. After more recent falling and breaking my right hip and elbow depression at the longer recovery than the reacement of the left hip with degenerative arthritis 16 years earlier had been an issue. From reading your responses it's evident that my excersizes need to be increased incrementally. Using a support on my phone males a big difference with my hands.

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@mickeyb2

It sounds like you're having some significant surgeries. My doctor had talked with me about several surgical options for the arthritis in my spine. I have been very fortunate in that injections and physical therapy have been able to keep me upright so far.. I also had surgery on L5, but it was for a ruptured disc about 40 years ago. Good luck lilypaws, I am hoping this alleviates your problems.

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mickeyb2 I am doing very well. Just pain down in my 4-L and 5-L where I had pinched nerves. Been walking 3 blocks. I'm glad you are getting along without surgery, for it is a big surgery. Thank you for thinking of me.

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@lolaemma

Thank you all for your input. My second move was losing and maintaining a 200lb loss. The first was quiting tobacco. After more recent falling and breaking my right hip and elbow depression at the longer recovery than the reacement of the left hip with degenerative arthritis 16 years earlier had been an issue. From reading your responses it's evident that my excersizes need to be increased incrementally. Using a support on my phone males a big difference with my hands.

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@loloaemma WOW, I so proud of you. Quitting smoking and losing all the all that weight!! My daughter, who is 40 lost 45 LBs and then gained it all back. It worries me about her health. She has had so many problems with her health. Sinus Infections, Migraines, Asthma, and more. It's always something. Her doctor stopped her from working, because of the Covid-virus and she's suppose to go back the first of August. She still gets paid and got on Medicade. We still have to help her with her rent. I know you still have problems and I hope they go away for you.

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@lilypaws

@loloaemma WOW, I so proud of you. Quitting smoking and losing all the all that weight!! My daughter, who is 40 lost 45 LBs and then gained it all back. It worries me about her health. She has had so many problems with her health. Sinus Infections, Migraines, Asthma, and more. It's always something. Her doctor stopped her from working, because of the Covid-virus and she's suppose to go back the first of August. She still gets paid and got on Medicade. We still have to help her with her rent. I know you still have problems and I hope they go away for you.

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Thank you. The best thing you can do for your daughter is to get her to CBT and OA. My voyage isn't over yet. There's a long story behind me and more again. Societal changes are more open to those who don't fit the expected and are rapidly changing. Fatshaming should be illegal. As a concerned parent you are a valuable resource for her. My good wishes go out to you.

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@lolaemma

Thank you. The best thing you can do for your daughter is to get her to CBT and OA. My voyage isn't over yet. There's a long story behind me and more again. Societal changes are more open to those who don't fit the expected and are rapidly changing. Fatshaming should be illegal. As a concerned parent you are a valuable resource for her. My good wishes go out to you.

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@lolaemma What is CBT and OA? I hope I can get her to one of those, but she is 40 and has a mind of her own. We don't dare talk about her weight gain, but may of too. Thank you f or your suggestions. Let me know what CBT and OA are?

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@lilypaws

@lolaemma What is CBT and OA? I hope I can get her to one of those, but she is 40 and has a mind of her own. We don't dare talk about her weight gain, but may of too. Thank you f or your suggestions. Let me know what CBT and OA are?

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Sorry I should have be clearer. CBT is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – talk therapy end OA is Over Eaters anonymous a 12step program. Based on the discovery that most people who keep losing and gaining weight have an emotional unmet need and working the steps assist in self discovery. I also was an active participant on. Inspire.com a self help online therapy. It's run by professionals and have members internationally with participant group for every issue mental emotional and physical. It was my first contact to find my answer within and others led the way to by opening up about their feeling a anonymously. I read prodigiously a primer is Were ever I go there I am. OA has available literature. It's not your battle but you can offer ammunition. Good Luck

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Thx for sharing your osteoporosis journey.
I’m 79 n had a surgical menopause at 42. Now I’ve advanced osteoporosis w numerous pathological fractures despite of supplements, exercise n nutritional diet.
I’ve seen some improvement after on n off (due to repeated fractures) power weight lifting program 👍👍.

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@zing451

Thx for sharing your osteoporosis journey.
I’m 79 n had a surgical menopause at 42. Now I’ve advanced osteoporosis w numerous pathological fractures despite of supplements, exercise n nutritional diet.
I’ve seen some improvement after on n off (due to repeated fractures) power weight lifting program 👍👍.

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A short answer won't be enough but I'll try. I had many false starts when my efforts went backwards because of other physical impediments including those caused by terrible physical therapy. I'm not a Pollyanna but trained myself to extract something from every experience positive or negative. And find a way to use them in the puzzle of existence to my advantage. My 77 BD is next month. Unfortunately everyone operates in their best interest. Even those whose profession is helping. Something remains submersed. Having a strong sense of self helps one steel their will to continue. Thinking out of the box is necessary use your imagination in concert with your knowledge. You know yourself better than anyone else. It works or I wouldn't be able to function. You can do it.

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@mickeyb2 Hi this is lioness I have O.A all through me My Dr gave me Molexicam to take but said no nsaids with it. It really helps also for my hands I do exercises on YouTube which hurt in the begining but help Spine is arthritic heat helps heating pad and vibrator hot showers. I also use Ice when swollen then heat afterwards . Hope you get some relief

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@lioness & all – I just thought I would clarify – Meloxicam is an NSAID, and unless under strict medical supervision, one should never take more than one NSAID at a time – too many associated risks. Some of us cannot take any NSAID medications, which makes managing arthritis a serious challenge. (I cannot use Tylenol either.) My doctor has me on a med similar to neurontin to block some of the pain signals, which helps a little.

To manage arthritis pain and stiffness, I keep moving – I walk every day no matter how much effort it takes to get out the door.

@lolaemma – I completely agree about the risks of bad PT – I had 2 courses at a back & neck pain clinic a few years ago that made me much worse – I finally sat the medical director down and explained that therapy is not a "one size fits all" proposition, and using the same equipment and regimen for every patient was ridiculous. Needless to say, I was reluctant to try PT again, but the pain doc convinced me to try.

Now I am undergoing a course of PT that is focused on regaining lost flexibility – a lot of sustained, gentle stretches. This is paired with specific physical manipulations by the therapist to release some locked joints and muscles on my spine and in my legs (he is trained in osteopathy and PT.) The results so far have been amazing, and he thinks this is just the beginning of the improvement I can expect over time. After my wrist/thumb recover from recent surgery, we will add resistance/weight training too.

Good thing I'm retired – between walking and 2 sets of therapy exercises, it takes 2 hours a day, and later this week I will add hand therapy twice a day as well. Thank goodness for Medicare & my health insurance – I am so fortunate to be completely covered for 50 therapy visits per year.

I guess the takeaway is that there are no cures, but there are treatments for arthritis. These are not a one-time thing, but a lifestyle commitment. Since my goal is to be able to stay active with my young grandsons, the effort is worth it for me.

Sue

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@sueinmn Yes that's why Dr told me not to take a nsaids as it would be to much

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