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Arthritis in knee resulting in me not wanting to go for a walk….

(23 Posts)
MayBee70 Wed 29-Jun-22 14:58:54

I know there have been many threads on the subject but I just wanted to ask people if they can make sense of or recognise my problem. I’ve had arthritis in my knee for years but haven’t seen a doctor or osteopath for @ 10 years as I’ve been managing it myself. I used to go to the gym and strengthen the muscles around my knee but stopped going when the pandemic started. The result being I’ve lost those muscles. And I’ve stupidly put weight on recently which always goes onto my legs ( I’m a proper hips and thighs person). It doesn’t cause me any pain usually; sometimes feels a bit sore on the inside of my knee. But what I don’t understand is this. I can walk round the house perfectly normally, apart from being a bit stiff if I’ve been sitting down for a while. Same with walking round the garden. But if I go for a walk I can’t seem to walk properly. Even if I don’t try to stride out but walk slowly I walk in a very strange way and my whole body aches from being tense. The knee does lock slightly every so often ( never in the house) which I suppose makes me tense. But it means I no longer want to go for a walk and, when I do I don’t enjoy it. The only time I feel happy is walking uphill but I have to walk quite a distance to get to the nearest slope. I’ve put myself on a strict diet and have started doing the exercises the hospital gave me years ago ( which I should have continued to do, especially when I stopped going to the gym). I am going to see my osteopath in a few weeks time ( I’ve avoided going anywhere because of covid) and have been putting ibuprofen on it which seems to be working better than voltarol but it puzzles me why I can walk in the house but not outside. I think it’s psychological. I just wondered if anyone else had ever had the same problem. I’ve got a patella strap but using it does actually make my knee sore. I use walking poles as well.

tanith Wed 29-Jun-22 15:27:11

It sounds to me you’ve gotten anxious about walking outside for various reasons. The fact you are tense is adding to the problem. Perhaps you should see your GP and explain what’s happening talking about it might help he may suggest seeing a physio to help with your ‘gate’. Good luck with your quest to get fitter.

Bea65 Wed 29-Jun-22 15:33:48

[MayBee70] thats me up to a point...when I try walking outside I always have to use a crutch got 2 at hosp physio 12 + years never know when knee gives out and, my daughter says I tend to walk sideways and often she laughs at i looks like I've had a few..
Agree [tanith] it can be anxiety as I don't/cant walk alone but often want tosad

Visgir1 Wed 29-Jun-22 15:43:22

I am now 6 months post Knee replacement.
Please get it reassessed by GP, I too was a Gym goer pre Covid, then I got to the point I could not walk far, the curves in the pavements made it worse, up a little hill agony, I was better walking in the road.
It had seriously deteriorated during Covid time, had a X Ray, result I needed it replaced.
From XRay to operation was 10 months.
Brilliant now, but I'm on the waiting list for second Hip replacement so not much better walking but at least my Knee doesn't hurt.

Chestnut Wed 29-Jun-22 16:03:24

I have started using a shopping trolley and it makes walking outside much easier as it gives you confidence. This one has a seat. It's expensive but worth it as I can walk without fear of falling over:
Sholley with a seat

There are different sizes and types. Here's the Sholley lady demonstrating one of her trolleys:
Sholley demonstration

MayBee70 Wed 29-Jun-22 16:12:56

I never really know how bad peoples knees are when they reach the point of having a replacement. I have friends that have had new knees that seem to be able to walk far better than I can! I know I showed my doctor a diagram of my knee years ago and he said ‘whose knee is that’. When I said it was mine he went ‘blimey’. I wish I’d got the knees I had 30 years ago that I thought were bad then. I always used to say if the twenty year old me was put into my 50/60/70 year old body for a day I would have said how can anyone live like this!

Aveline Wed 29-Jun-22 16:48:43

I knew my knees were in a bad way when I found myself writing my shopping list to fit the locations of the items needed so I didn't have to retrace my steps. It was very seriously painful. Fine now though thanks to my new knees!

RedRidingHood Wed 29-Jun-22 17:33:06

I have RA and OA and osteoporosis so I'm familiar with joint pain!
Don't give up. The more you move the better, take painkillers half an hour before you walk.
And see your Gp.

Lesley60 Wed 29-Jun-22 17:55:19

It’s not my knee, but I have several bulging discs in the bottom of my spine which stop me walking, I’m In terrible pain when I try to walk and apart from pain meds nothing is done, I feel old before my time, planned to travel in retirement but unable to

MayBee70 Wed 29-Jun-22 18:07:18

It’s awful isn’t it. I sometimes think that if I’d been more of a couch potato throughout my life my knees wouldn’t have worn out.

Redhead56 Wed 29-Jun-22 18:16:20

I already had one total hip replacement eleven years ago. I need a knee replacement and my other hip is shot with arthritis.
I highly recommend walking as it helps keep your bones moving. If I sit for long periods which is rare my joints hurt more. I go for a good walk with the dog for up to an hour and a half weather permitting.

Pammie1 Wed 29-Jun-22 18:26:59

You don’t say whether this is due to Osteo or Rheumatoid Arthritis - I would guess Osteo, as the treatment plan for Rheumatoid is different. Knee pain is horrendous and weight gain makes it worse, so you’re right to diet I think, as it will reduce the load on the joint. Don’t give up on the exercise, as the last thing you want is for the joint to seize. There is an excellent knee brace called the Thuasne Action Reliever. It was previously only privately available and quite expensive, but is now available on the NHS. I have used it for some time and find it gives excellent support, reducing pain on movement and afterwards too.

Mizuna Wed 29-Jun-22 18:30:59

I'm waiting for a knee replacement and my knee's in a shocking condition. I can't walk on pavements without crutches. However, when I'm on grass or soft ground I'm much more comfortable and can manage with just a walking pole. I can even manage my allotment that way.

MayBee70 Wed 29-Jun-22 18:36:13

I’ll check that out. I don’t have any pain though, at least only a bit on the inside of my knee sometimes. They say that the problem with osteoarthritis is the inflammation but I don’t get that. If your knee is bone on bone surely that’s what hurts! I might hit the codeine for a few days.

Mizuna Wed 29-Jun-22 18:51:14

I'm at the bone on bone stage but don't have any inflammation and the pain varies day to day. Yesterday it hardly hurt at all, but then I was mostly at home, taking a bedframe apart. Some days I take codeine, sometimes paracetamol, sometimes nothing. Voltarol I find not much use, though I know it's supposed to be good. Best gel for me is Deep Relief anti-inflammatory gel, which has ibuprofen and levomenthol. The menthol really helps, though I know it's not medicinal.

MayBee70 Wed 29-Jun-22 19:28:26

I’ll try that. I’ve been using my bag of frozen peas so something cooling would really help.

suzikyoo Wed 29-Jun-22 20:04:11

MayBee I am exactly the same as you. Have been on the waiting list for a knee replacement for over 3 years. Was told 18 months ago I was on the Urgent List as bone on bone and no cartilege left. Luckily have almost no pain but my knee just refuses to walk and after a short distance seems to 'lock'. In Feb I received a letter saying I was to have the op at a private hospital and the NHS would pay. Went for the pre op and a very unsympathetic junior registrar asked me whether I knew how dangerous the op was and was I sure I really wanted it !! He said it was expensive and he wanted to therefore wait and just try physio for 6 months. Shortly afterwards fate took over and I had a serious accident so my OA knee became less important. It is live-with-able but I now use a walker - makes me feel an old woman! Could be worse .... At least I'm not pregnant with quads!!

MayBee70 Thu 30-Jun-22 00:18:28

I do worry about the operation; that’s why I want to do everything I can to avoid having it done. Everyone I know seems to have had it done successfully but I worry that I’ll be the one who has something go wrong! Especially as I have really fat knees which I’m sure must be more difficult to operate on than skinny ones.

Spice101 Thu 30-Jun-22 00:28:33

May be the difference between walking inside and out is that inside is flat and stable whereas outside is less so thus your body tensing to accommodate that. It may also be that sub consciously you are more aware of falling when outside.

Elless Thu 30-Jun-22 10:30:56

MayBee70 You have literally described how I am. I do have arthritis but in February I damaged my meniscus and it is exactly how you describe. It is supposed to heal within a few weeks but I am still really suffering. I had a cortisone injection last week which hasn't helped and am waiting for a following up appointment to discuss what is next. You really need a proper diagnosis.

MayBee70 Fri 08-Jul-22 23:51:20

I’m three weeks into my fitness regime ( of a kind) and managed to walk to the castle and walk up to the castle which used to be my nightly walk. I’ve made a point of doing my exercises and have kept on the move throughout the day as much as possible. Put ibuprofen gel on a couple of times a day. Lost @ 7 lbs. Haven’t been taking turmeric which I should do. What I did tonight was wear a pair of Skechers Go Walk which I bought ages ago but have never worn. I can’t, unfortunately wear them on the beach as the insoles aren’t removable and I get loads of sand in my trainers. I still struggle walking across the dunes to the beach. Apologies for being a bit self indulgent by writing this but I want to refer back to it. I think doing the exercises is what’s helped. Although there’s little movement in them they seem to be freeing my knee up.

Charleygirl5 Sat 09-Jul-22 08:10:33

What you need to do is go to your GP and get your knee xrayed. then you will know the extent of your problem instead of guessing. If offered a knee replacement, accept it because you are going to need one eventually and it can make it more difficult for the surgeon if you have stoically carried on.

MayBee70 Mon 11-Jul-22 12:52:09

I think I answered my own question this morning. Several dolphins swimming ( and breaching!) quite close to the shore and boy did I leg it across the beach to get a better view! So it is partly psychological. And it was wearing thicker, more supportive socks with the Skechers that made a difference, not the Skechers themselves, because I wore thicker socks with my usual trainers and walked much better. Also keeping my knees exercised throughout the day stops them seizing up. And ibuprofen works much better than voltarol. It might even be the warm weather that’s helped. And putting an ice pack on my knees before I go out helps, too. I usually just use one when I get back. I was determined to use these 4 weeks to turn my knee around so I hope by the end of this week it will be even better. And I’ll continue to do all the things I’ve mentioned and not slip back into not doing the hospital exercises. I know 10 years ago I said to my chiropractor/osteopath that if we could all afford to have our own personal chiropractor none of us would develop such bad mobility problems and ge agreed with me. I’ve also realised that my arthritic knee is on my right hand side where I have a massive bunion and that throws my knee out of kilter. I’ve had it for so long I forget it’s there ( except for when I try to wear normal shoes).