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Pain relief for osteoarthritis in knees

(80 Posts)
Teacheranne Tue 20-Mar-18 11:53:46

Does anyone have suggestions for effective pain relief for arthritic knees please?

I have been on various painkillers (paracetamol, naproxen, codeine, tramodol, injections, physio, acupuncture, reflexology and now amitriptylin) but nothing seems to help. I find it very difficult to walk even short distances so food shopping is a nightmare, i struggle even to shop at a small supermarket attached to a petrol station! I am unable to exercise which I need to do to lose weight as I know that will help. I was told three years ago that X-rays of my knees indicate that both are bad enough for knee replacement surgery but at 58 I was too young!

I am going to my doctor tomorrow to ask her for different pain relief which I think will mean going to opiate varieties which I am reluctant to use but I guess for a short time will be worth it to be pain free.

srn63 Tue 20-Mar-18 12:25:25

I think the only thing that will give you pain relief is to have the knees replaced. It's rubbish that at 58 your were too young, mine were done at 55 and 57, never looked back since.

tanith Tue 20-Mar-18 12:57:54

Ask your GP to refer you to the Orthopedics dept you are certainly not too young, my hip was done at 57. You need to be clear how this affecting your daily life and your sleep do not be fobbed off.

ginny Tue 20-Mar-18 13:10:34

As above, ask your doctor to refer you for x-ray and then the extent of the problem can be seen. I had both my knees done a few years ago at the age of 59.

Megram Tue 20-Mar-18 13:30:14

I had a hip replacement when I was 51. To my mind, it's more important to be pain free and active now to prevent more problems in old age. Also, life is for living and enjoying. Don't be fobbed off. I hope you get some help.

Teetime Tue 20-Mar-18 13:45:52

I sympathise teacheranne I have a very painful knee it hard to describe and so hard to relive. I endorse what others have said about going back to the GP only an orthopaedic surgeon can tell you if surgery is appropriate. I hope you get some relief soon though before that.
I was wondering if anyone had found a knee support helpful. I cant do anything about my knee until I have the surgery for OA on my foot in 2 weeks time (other leg)!

cornergran Tue 20-Mar-18 14:01:48

Yes, totally agree a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon is overdue. Your quality of life and mobility are oh so important. If it helps I saw a consultant recently who cautioned me against leaving tkr too long, he said in his view patients recover far better if they are reasonably mobile when the surgery is booked.

teetime I’ve found a light knee support helps sometimes, anything too constricting makes my pain worse. We’re all individual as are knee issues. Suspect trial and error is the way to go.

jura2 Tue 20-Mar-18 14:27:45

Yep- replacement the only option. The younger you are, the stronger you are- the better the outcome (younger meaning around 80).

I have found that the under knee bands (from Decathlon) very useful pre op.

OldMeg Tue 20-Mar-18 14:31:45

Thankfully my arthritis isn’t so advanced that I need anything replacing, but I did have a nasty flare up a few weeks ago that left my hobbling and in pain, even at night.

I started an elimination diet - three foods specifically, and was virtually pain free. So I reintroduced one suspect food and had a flare up the folllowing day that lasted for three days.

Back on the elimination diet again and pain free again. Able to walk without knees, hips, ankles and back aching. Will try reintroduced another of the suspect foods in a week or two.

This of course may just be a coincidence. As they say ‘once is accident, twice a coincidence but three times begins to suggest a scientific possibility’!

Charleygirl Tue 20-Mar-18 15:40:31

Before you see your GP do your own research re an orthopaedic surgeon. Ask friends and only accept somebody who prefers to work on hips and knees. You do not want a Jack of all trades and master of none.

Do not be talked into having both knees done at once.

winterwhite Tue 20-Mar-18 16:09:09

What were the three foods, then, Meg.

Lazigirl Tue 20-Mar-18 18:35:43

I have osteoarthritis of knees and hips but not bad enough for surgery and I am also interested in your elimination diet OldMeg. I don't understand the chemistry of it because isn't the pain in osteoarthritis caused by loss of cartilage and bone is rubbing on bone? I know some do think diet does help.

mostlyharmless Tue 20-Mar-18 18:56:36

Your knee pain sounds bad enough to need replacement surgery.

But I’ve found taking Curcumin capsules is very effective at reducing inflammation and pain. I took ibuprofen for twenty years following a car accident that damaged my knee. Since I started on Curcumin (a couple of years ago) I no longer need ibuprofen and am pretty well pain free.

Curcumin 95 including black pepper works best for me. It costs about £15 a month for 2 a day. It might take a few weeks to be fully effective. Worth a try if you have arthritis.

Envious Tue 20-Mar-18 19:02:47

I imagine you’ve tried temporary relief with something like Biofreeze? It might take the edge off the pain for a while. I use it to help get to sleep. My knees need replacing but I can’t afford it living in the US.

MrsJamJam Tue 20-Mar-18 19:04:24

I would be very interested to hear about the elimination diet. OH has bad knee pain but tries to be stoical and avoid drugs. That means that he hobbles slowly and it makes him look old. Which he hates!

OldMeg Tue 20-Mar-18 19:59:34

The three foods I’m eliminating are tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. Re arthritis flare ups, the ‘itis’ part ...
‘itis’: Suffix meaning inflammation. For example, colitis is literally colon inflammation or figuratively inflammation of the colon. The ending -itis is one of the building blocks derived from Greek (in this case) or Latin used to construct medical terms.

winterwhite Tue 20-Mar-18 20:16:46

Thanks, Meg, that’s interesting. I don’t eat enough peppers to make a difference, but eliminating tomatoes would be a wrench. Worth giving it a go if it works for others. Oranges bad for arthritis I once read.

OldMeg Tue 20-Mar-18 20:30:51

winterwhite there is really very little research into diet and OA, what little there is suggests there is a tentative link.

While the medical profession can offer very little in the way of help it’s up to us to manage the condition as best we can.

Losing weight is a first good step, but I’m only a couple of pounds overweight. Keeping moving is good advice, but what happens when it’s too painful to even walk?

The question I’m asking myself is why can I walk well this week but a couple of weeks ago I was almost crippled with the pain?

Something is setting this off and this is probably causing inflammation of the joints and damaging cartilage. It’s almost like rheumatoid arthritis but my GP tells me it’s OA.

I’m half expecting to be shot down in flames 🔥 but I don’t care if I can find the trigger and eliminate them, or reduce the severity, that’s my aim.

So in the meantime I’m experimenting with elimination these plants and if it makes a difference (which it seems to be doing so far) then great! And if not then back to the drawing board.

jura2 Tue 20-Mar-18 21:00:00

Oldmeg- fair enough. I know what 'triggered it off' - a terrible car crash on the 22nd of December 1970 - which completely smashed my right side- and being in traction for over 4 months with a massive pin through my leg - 7.5 months in hospital and 2 years to learn to walk again and a leg permanently 2.5 cm than the other.

So I won't shoot you in flames - but I refuse to let you make me feel guilty for needing knee replacements. Thanks.

Deedaa Tue 20-Mar-18 21:15:49

Teacheranne I was told the same at your age but the consultant realised how my knees were deteriorating and went ahead. A friend of mine who lives in France and has had both his knees replaced says that they leave it much too late here sometimes. Mine were done 12 years ago and are still fine - and pain fgree!

Nanabelle Tue 20-Mar-18 22:24:55

It does seem strange that some foods seem to make things worse. I have had osteoarthritis in my knee for over twenty years and the pain is now less that it was in the early days. Why - possibly because I no longer sit on those tiny chairs in a reception class! I once did the 15 day no carbs diet and was amazed that my knee pain also went! But like all diets, I am not good at sticking to it. I had to stop pilates and swimming, but do still do yoga and cycling , and my walking is done mostly on the flat. Maybe that is why it is better now. I have an old book by Margaret Hills, called Curing Arthritis Diet Book, which recommends cutting out tomatoes, potatoes and peppers too. She recommends taking cider vinegar and also molasses daily. All best wishes to you TeacherAnne because it can be a very painful and debilitating condition.

Tegan2 Tue 20-Mar-18 22:32:19

A few years ago I had terrible tummy trouble. I did an elimination diet as advised in Dr Ali's Nutrition Bible. I still refer to it from time to time. I take my turmeric in the form of golden paste and I'm convinced it helps me, even if it's just a placebo effect. I was going to have radiation treatment on some benign lumps on my foo but when the consultant said that I'd have to stop taking turmeric before I had the treatment I realised that turmeric must do something for him to say that. So I just continued with the turmeric and, thus far, the lumps haven't grown any bigger.

cornergran Tue 20-Mar-18 22:55:09

I certainly wouldn’t condemn your exclusions oldmeg. I have been advised to cut out or drastically reduce these foods by two different nutritionists along with aubergine. They are all part of the same plant family and in the view of the nutritionists aggravate inflammation of any kind. My advice came years ago when I sought help to manage fibromyalgia. I have osteoarthritis now and know that if I eat potato in particular the discomfort is much worse. I seem to be OK with peppers and aubergine, tomato is a definite source of increased pain. I go back to we’re all different and approaches will vary with us all. If something works and is not harmful in other ways why give ourselves a hard time about it?

Nelliemoser Wed 21-Mar-18 07:07:36

Have you tried Flexsiseq. It is a substance, non prescription that is supposed to help lubricate worn joints you can buy it over the counter. It seems to work on my thumbs. Arthritis UK were promoting it. Google it. I can't get a link on my tablet.

littleflo Wed 21-Mar-18 07:57:07

I use Voltarol 12 Hour pain relief. I am not sure how effective it will be on pain as intense as yours.