Arthritis Action
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New to osteo arthritis and need advice

Hi all, I'm a 50 year old female. I've had raynaud's since my teenage years, degenerative disc disease in my spine for about 10 years, multiple food intolerances for 6 years and mild chronic kidney disease for about a year. I'm actually pretty fit and healthy, despite that list. I'm a healthy weight, exercise regularly (walk, swim, Pilates), don't smoke or drink and eat a healthy, balanced diet. However, recently I've developed OA in my fingers (about a year ago) and now I think I've got it in my knees (very painful). I'm waiting for the results of an X-ray by I wouldn't be surprised as it runs down the female line of my family.

My nan, her mum, and my aunt were all crippled by OA mainly in the knees and hands and I'm very worried I'm going down that route.

My question is this - if my GP tells me there's evidence of OA on the X-rays, do I just accept it and wait for the inevitable or should I seek the advice of a specialist to try and help with preventative measures so I don't end up like my nan? My GP has indicated that there's not a lot I can do if it is OA, but I thought I'd check here with people who've been through this. I'm in the UK and I have private healthcare insurance. Thanks in advance

6 Replies
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Sorry to say but there is not a lot you can do to stop osteoarthritis you have a good weight and are eating healthily and exercise regularly. I started with back & feet problems everything I like to do involves being physical but things have slowly progressed I have it in my back feet and hands and have had one knee replacement. All you can do is learn to cope with it and hopefully for you it will take a log time to progress

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Thanks for the reply, yes I'm hoping it does take a long time to progress too!

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As far as my knowledge goes there is nothing that can be done to stope the progression of Osteoarthrites but working to keep the muscles around d affected joints strong can provide some protection. I managed to keep my spinal problems at bay for a decade by keeping my back muscles strong and my flexibility the best it could be.

You seem to be doing that already with Pilates and swimming. See a physio or chiropractor and ask if adding in weight exercise is a good idea. I worked a lot with weights and it certainly I proved my bone strength which I believe helped support the crumbly bits !

Sadly with me a cycling accident ( argument with a small van) laid me up and I started to some of the muscle tone. Aging didn't help.

Hands are another case though.

Hope others here can help but I would see a physical therapist. More than one if you can afford it till you fi d someone you can develop a programme with.

Best of luck

Dee

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Oh that's handy thanks, my healthcare insurance will cover for physio therapy so maybe I should go down that route and get some advice.

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If you have Raynaud's it can be a sign that you have another connective tissue disease, like an inflammatory arthritis. (It can also be entirely separate and unrelated....). However if the arthritis in your hands is in the knuckles and middle finger joints that could be another sign. In that case I would push your GP to test you and refer you to a rheumatologist.

If the problems are in the top joints of your fingers then most likely OA, so my answer is a complete red herring.... and as others have said you're doing the right thing so far, but physio would be a good add on.

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Yes I wondered about the raynaud's/arthritis connection so my GP has already blood tested for signs of inflammation and the ANA (?) test. Both have come back clear so it looks like it's primary raynaud's and OA and the food intolerances and CKD are all unrelated. But yes, I will discuss a physio with my GP when my X-ray result come back for my knees.

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