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Suggestions please for pain and stiffness!


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#1 summer

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 11:31 PM

Hello, I'm just wondering what anyone takes for stiffness and joint pain?
I suffer from stiffness mainly in my lower back and feet,achilles tendons, ankles, to the beginning of the calves. My joint pain I probably get 3-4 times a week mainly in my legs. I am a bit fed up of painkillers which will take away the joint pain but does nothing for the stiffness.

I have tried anti inflammatories, which does nothing, the only thing that worked was Prednisolone, which I have now been off for 12 months.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I do have CREST/limited Scleroderma and Fibromyalgia.

Many thanks to all
Celia

#2 Sheryl

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 12:41 AM

Ced, sometimes I feel like a run down, worn out robot. Stiff and jerky and in need of a bit of some type of oil lubricant. I take the Ibuprofen and take my time getting out of bed. I make sure the feet and legs are working. I stretch and try not to go to far and get a spasm or charlie horse. I continue soft stretching and a few leg lifts and crunches then I get out of bed and stretch my back and arms a little. I stagger, limp and hobble to the restroom and hope I am able to work out the kinks before the pain sets in. Take my meds and go for it. Some days there is no hobble just the pain. Other days I feel great. I have been taking the fish oil in hopes that something will make a difference. What ever you do, don't stop working those tendons and joints. You'll need them for a long time, dependable or not.
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

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#3 RememberingToSmile

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 02:38 AM

Hi there,

I am sure you'll get a lot of sympathy and good suggestions on this issue!

I find the only thing that works with my feet, ankles and knees is to get myself into the warm therapy pool at my gym and walk forward, backward, and sideways until the joints and tendons are fully worked. I then spend time stretching, but the sideways walking recommended by my PT really makes the difference from what I do daily at home.

That and taking my acetaminophin at least an hour before I get out of bed in the morning are my favorite self-care tid-bits lately....

I look forward to reading the other responses.

-RTS

#4 annkd

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 09:30 AM

Ced - This is a really good topic, especially during the winter months. Besides the pain meds and whatever stretching I can do, I rely on therapy wraps. They heat up the area (neck, back, hips, etc.) and last for about 8 hours. There are many out there in the marketplace but if you want specific names, send me a message and I'll let your know the brands I use. Take care, Ann

#5 Wohali

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 05:36 PM

Have you ever tried water exercise as a way to deal with the pain? Where I live we have a water exercise class for people with rheumatic conditions which is done in warm (93 degs F) water as we're told that cooler water makes people with fibromyalgia hurt more. I find the water therapy helps as a means of very light exercise and stretching plus the water pressure can help relieve minor edema.

#6 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 04:09 AM

Hi Celia,

My lower body pain and stiffness has been very significantly helped with excellent shoes and custom orthotics (insoles), as well as a thick feather mattress pad on top of a well-made bed (the feathers hold body heat, and provides extra custioning which also helps to reduce pain for me; ours was $49 on sale and did the trick, probably nearly as well as the very expensive ones).

I was on many medications plus frequent chiropractor visits, when I overheard a chiropractor say to someone else that he'd be out of business if everyone had good shoes and a good bed. And I thought, my, they are keeping the real secrets to themselves!

Try doing an internet search for "corrective footwear". I only have one pair of shoes now, but they are heavenly. I think when I was healthier, my shoes and bed didn't matter much at all. But with arthritis...yipes...to be able to lessen the pain of standing, walking, sitting, and sleeping without having to pop a pill for it, is delightful.

After these basics are covered, then stretching and mild exercise become lots more possible, if they are some of the culprits involved with increasing your pain and discomfort.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#7 ChefKat

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 06:36 AM

Ced-
I hurt a LOT too. My first physical therapy appointment is this afternoon actually. I know we'll just be doing paperwork and junk but they'll be working with me in the hospital's heated pool pretty soon. I can tell you if it helps me.. I'm scared that they might over-work me but they swear I'll be fine, even better maybe. I was in the ER yesterday on IV for pain meds because, even though I take a lot at home, I woke up and couldn't walk. And that's not even what the meds are for!!
I hope you find more relief soon.
:)

Also, do we know anything about that glucosamine condritin stuff? I'm sure I spelled it wrong. Does anyone know if that would help with joint mobility without reacting to all of our other meds?

#8 jefa

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 07:08 AM

Hi, ChefKat - I think the water therapy should be helpful. I can't imagine that they would push you beyond your limits, but be sure to raise this as a concern.

As for the glucosamine and chondroiton, we just had an article about it earlier this week: Glucosamine and chondroiton don't slow arthritis

Elsewhere there is a link to MayoClinic.com articles on Glucosamine: Does it affect blood sugar? and Glucosamine supplements: Can they rebuild cartilage?
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#9 Karenlee

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 07:10 AM

Chefkat,

Good luck with the PT.

I would be careful with the OTC joint therapies and ask your doctor first. Some of us with this have too much joint tissue so taking something to build it up may not be a good idea. I think that is more for people with thinning cartilage, although I could be wrong.

Karen

#10 susie54

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 10:36 AM

Hi Ced,

I concur with most here. Heat therapy wraps, rice heating wraps, hot spa or tub, and light exercise and STRETCHING. It really helps the most. I try to learn new stretches all the time. I hope you get some relief. Susie54

#11 Little Red

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 05:45 PM

Hi Ced

I too have major stiffness, pain in all my joints. I do lots of stretching, move my hands and feet before I get out of bed. Physical therapy also helps a lot. I was walking in the pool but had to give it up took too long to warm up afterwards.

Stay warm, Little Red

#12 canon

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 06:57 PM

Ced,

Sorry to hear you are feeling so bad. This pain is a real challenge. Stretching seems to help on and off; sometimes heat wraps, and ace wraps help too. Tylenol will take some of the pain away for awhile. Prednisone helps the most but I need to stay away from that too. The fish oil I was hoping would work but will have to give it more time. My joints have been popping and snapping lately too especially my elbows, knees, neck and ankles. Does anyone else have osteoarthritis in addition to the arthritis you get with scleroderma? This too is aggravating.

It does seem to help talking about it with others who understand what you're going through. Thanks everybody.

With gentle thoughts.

Judy
A happy heart is good medicine.

#13 Wohali

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 08:19 AM

Judy,

I have osteoarthritis in addition to the CREST/Limited Sclero. I take a strong NSAID because the arthritis is so bad. However I'm going to have to come up with another solution because it appears it is causing ulcers and possibly even liver damage. I took a glucosamine/chondrotin supplement for over a year thinking it was helping at least a tiny bit, but I have stopped it and am not feeling worse therefore I think I was wasting $15 each month for nothing! A friend gave me some turmeric and swears it helps her arthritis pain. I need to put the powder into capsules and give it a try. I just can't seem to get motivated yet to do it.

#14 canon

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 06:18 PM

Wohali and Ced,

Wohali, NSAIDS are really bad on your stomach, be careful. The spasms with osteo is something else too.

Ced, Have you ever talked with your doctor about plaquenil or maybe you take it already? It mainly helps with skin problems but I found after many months it did help alittle with joint pain too and the lit on it does say it might help some.

With gentle thoughts.

Judy
A happy heart is good medicine.

#15 summer

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 06:09 PM

Thank you all so much for all of your suggestions, I am surprised at the response to this post.

Shelley, I am still trying to find the right orthotic for my shoes, I know this will help a lot and of course money is an issue.

Judy, My rheumatologist will not put me on anything like Plaquenil, there motto is, treat the symptoms if they can, watch wait and see. It is so frustrating, but what else can I do. I have tried a few Rheumies else where and their attitude is alot worse.


Many thanks and I will keep you updated.

Celia

#16 Buttons

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 03:47 AM

Celia I sometimes find the joint and muscle pain difficult t deal with and along with others I use heat wraps etc. The best one is an electric heat pad (they use them in the hospital on the Rhuematology Ward) I place it behind me while sitting at the computer or in an armchair and it is lovely, you can also use it to wrap around your arms or legs, its approximately a foot wide by 1½ feet long. I also take amitriptylene for nerve type pain and co-dydramol. My Rheumatologist thinks alot of the pain is caused by the Raynaud's. Also like Shelley I have orthotics made specially for me which does help some of the knee, hip & back pain, in fact I have just taken my moulds in today to get a fresh pair made up.

I don't think any one thing solves the problems so it's a matter of trial & eror to find something which works for you.

Take Care

Jensue