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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2008
    Posts
    122

    Default Osteoarthritis - what can you share?

    COTH is such a wealth of knowledge and caring, I would love to hear any info, stories, advice you have for osteoarthritis suffering. It is in my father's lower back and can be quite debilitating. Doctors went through several possible diagnosis before coming up with this one based on XRays.

    First they thought it was Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, then maybe Ankylosing Spondylitis, but based on X rays they think it is osteoarthritis in the lower back and sacroiliac area.

    Other than put him on prevacoxx (joking, just joking) what can be done? Right now he isn't able to get out and move around much at all, and certainly not enjoy the horses. Are there treatments? Pain management? Good physical therapy?

    He isn't as young as he used to be, but I am hoping with the right plan he can get back out and enjoy the animals (and the rest of his life!) a bit longer. I welcome any info you might have to share. He was working with an autoimmune doc previously when they thought it was something else, now they have re-directed him he will be going back to his regular doc to move forward. I just want to know what to expect and what he should be asking about.

    Thanks in advance.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,427

    Default

    Injections gave me my life back.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2006
    Location
    Overland, MO
    Posts
    1,336

    Default

    Might want to look at some alternative medicine --- like acupuncture --- to control the pain. Also, there are different anti-inflammatory drugs that may help. I have arthritis head to toe, and take a prescribed anti-inflammatory that makes a world of difference. I swear by ice packs on my knees.

    The only good thing about it is that science is always finding new drugs to treat inflammation. The arthritis never goes away, but there is usually something else you can try.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2008
    Posts
    122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JSwan View Post
    Injections gave me my life back.
    What did/do they inject you with?

    Glad it helped you!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,427

    Default

    Small doses of steroids. to relieve the inflammation and irritated nerve endings. For the horrible muscle spasms (so bad my right hip touched my rib cage and I couldn't walk) muscle relaxants.

    The goal was to interrupt the pain/inflammation/spasm. Once that was accomplished I felt a great deal better. I was able to exercise, do my back exercises, and slowly resume normal activity. But until that cycle was interrupted, I was in abject misery.

    I'm sorry your Dad is experiencing anything like that. It takes a toll on a person physically and emotionally. I hope he gets relief soon.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling



  6. #6

    Default

    Just a FYI about injections, they have been shown to do long term damage to the surrounding bones.

    As for my osteoarthritis pain, Mobic (or meloxicam) made a HUGE impact in 48 hours. I also buy Magnesium Sulfate in bulk at the feed store and soak in Epsom salts 3-4 times a week. I also love my infrared pad I got on Amazon for $129. Made a noticeable difference after 3 weeks.

    And also if he is having sacroiliac pain I would consider a Serola Sacroiliac belt. $40 and helps a lot. Is low profile and easy to wear under clothes.
    "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2002
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,086

    Thumbs up Physical therapy to strengthen core muscles and Quercetin

    I also have osteoarthitis in my back...large hooks and spurs at L3-L5 that were locking up and causing me lots of pain...which made me not want to move. I have a job where I sit for 12 hrs with little movement, and this is when it bothered me the most. Moving more actually was the best medicine for me.

    A month of physical therapy helped immensely (2x a week). We did ultrasound therapy to help with inflammation, followed by core strenthening exercises. The physical therapist I went to likes to use one of those large "balance balls" for core strengthening. It got to be a joke to them to try to come up with more "difficult" exercises for me. (After horseback riding, sitting on a mere balance ball was nothing to me, after all, I was used to sitting on something moving! )

    I'd been on Celebrex for 10 years, and after my brother died, did some serious re-thinking about my own health. I decided it was time to take a break from the Celebrex, and truth be told, it wasn't working as well as it once had. So, switched to Mobic (meloxicam) for those really, bad days, incorporated the PT exercises into a daily regime to help keep my core muscles strong AND started taking an OTC supplement called Quercetin.

    Honestly, the Quercetin has made a HUGE difference. I only take the Mobic on really, really bad flair up days. A 30 script lasts me over 4 months now. And the truly beautiful thing about Quercetin is that it is all natural, does not have any side effects...not bad for liver, heart, kidney...will not interfer with any meds and also targets low level inflammation that occurs in your arteries, veins and muscles that other meds like Celebrex don't get to.

    For me, it's been the combination of movement, PT and the Quercetin. Doing the best right now that I've been in 20 years of trying to manage the arthritis.
    "It's not a mistake if you knew what you were doing was wrong."



  8. #8

    Default

    I just started the mobic for my back. the disks are starting to degenerate.

    Did they have you ice your back with a large (and I mean large) ice pak for your back? After my pt, they had me lay on that for 10 min and that helped more than anything for (somewhat) instant relief.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2012
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    271

    Default

    I have osteoarthritis in my back L2 -->S1.

    I did a Zumba session a couple weeks ago and WHAAAAH. Back spasms ever since.

    Thanks for the suggestion PalominoMorgan. I got the Serola belt and that has helped a lot. I feel like a lot of my issue is SI. I think the SI joints take a lot of stress due to the arthritis above. The belt really helped when I rode and isn't nearly as bulky as the other type of back brace. I have been getting so much pain down into my right hip and upper thigh, especially straddling a saddle.

    I also got a Nayoya Accupressure mat. I also started doing some simple Yoga that is targeted to help the low back, hips and sacrum..Amazon recommended that DVD when you bring up the Serola belt...why the heck not?

    I actually don't know what has helped or if by coincidence, my spasms are finally abating but my back is feeling much better.
    I tried to get an MD appointment to get referred for physical therapy and the soonest I could get in was a month.

    Thanks again.

    Alittlextra...how is your Dad doing? My Dad has had 4 back surgeries for stenosis and subsequent failed hardware. It is hard...he gets so depressed that he can no longer do what he used to. Few of us get better as we age but losing mobility and being in pain 24/7 just sucks. I'm trying not to follow in his footsteps and not have surgery...after surgery...after surgery. I'm going to have to work hard at it.

    Susan



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2008
    Location
    Statesboro, GA
    Posts
    980

    Default

    There will be a combination of PT, exercise, medications, natural substances, devices like the back brace, and things like Epsom salt, heat, ice, one of those electrical units which delivers a gentle shock - don't they call it a TENS or something. Anyway, the point is that there will be a combination of things which will help your dad. You have to explore what works and what doesn't, and realise that some things take longer than others. My late mother had to have a lumbar surgery to fuse stuff, and it didn't 'work' on one side. she had injections, we used ice and heat.

    One of the things which gave her the most relief and increased her ability to move was to be positioned with her tummy over a pillow to gently stretch the lower back. Then a towel wet in hot Epsom salt water over the spine, sprinkle on more Epson salts, add another towel.

    when I had a bad lower back/hip and went in for therapy, then let me adjust my own TENS unit, and then almost freaked out when they found I had it cranked as high as it would go. The absence of constant bad pain is a real blessing.

    Does he had a good mattress, by the way? Mine was older than dirt and getting a new one helped.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2005
    Location
    Newark, DE
    Posts
    179

    Default

    I just stumbled onto this thread. Wow, what a wealth of information here--thank you for sharing. I have OA in one knee and spine and the pain just kicked in several weeks ago. The pain is one thing, but the fatigue it causes is brutal. Many good suggestions here.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    5,530

    Default

    I have RA and the Mobic (meloxicam), along with a change in diet and adding exercise, is a life saver for me.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    5,530

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mtngirl View Post
    Honestly, the Quercetin has made a HUGE difference. I only take the Mobic on really, really bad flair up days. A 30 script lasts me over 4 months now. And the truly beautiful thing about Quercetin is that it is all natural, does not have any side effects...not bad for liver, heart, kidney...will not interfer with any meds and also targets low level inflammation that occurs in your arteries, veins and muscles that other meds like Celebrex don't get to.

    For me, it's been the combination of movement, PT and the Quercetin. Doing the best right now that I've been in 20 years of trying to manage the arthritis.
    I've never heard of that one. I'm going to ask my doctor about it!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2005
    Location
    Newark, DE
    Posts
    179

    Default

    What do you think causes "flare ups"? It's a mystery to me why the pain is worse some days than others and changes body parts, too: diet, sleep position, all of the above? Chasing the pain has become a daily ritual.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    5,530

    Default

    I have had fewer flare ups once I cut out beef and added seafood - I've read that beef is really bad for arthritis pain in humans as well as dogs so I cut it out for the dogs too (I know, you read so much of this stuff....). I also notice the barometer really has an affect on how I feel. When a huge shift happens I feel like crap.

    But you're right, "chasing the pain" is a realistic way of describing it .



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2008
    Posts
    122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrabee View Post

    Alittlextra...how is your Dad doing? My Dad has had 4 back surgeries for stenosis and subsequent failed hardware. It is hard...he gets so depressed that he can no longer do what he used to. Few of us get better as we age but losing mobility and being in pain 24/7 just sucks. I'm trying not to follow in his footsteps and not have surgery...after surgery...after surgery. I'm going to have to work hard at it.

    Susan
    Thanks for asking! He is doing so-so. The pain is really tough, but he refuses to scale back on anything. I am glad he is still moving around and getting some exercise, but he also does headstrong things he probably shouldn't like scrubbing the outside stairs on his hands and feet and other tough position activities around the house. They seem to make things worse, but he doesn't want to give in and feel defeated by things.

    I do worry about depression with him, as all of this has caused him to feel old, tired, and useless, which of course he isn't! He certainly has been struggling with the mental and physical aspects. I am going to try that serola belt mentioned on the thread. Anything is worth a try. He couldn't get back in to his doctor until June, so we are in a holding pattern for now. Thanks for all the good info and feedback, it helps me a lot to understand things better.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2012
    Posts
    1

    Angry groin tendon strain and osteoarthritis

    Hello fellow equestrians..
    I strained my groin tendon using a different dressage saddle and attempting to stretch my legs down into the position my ridng instructor recommended. Its always been a slight problem but for the last 3 months a major pain in the groin. I went back to my regular saddle, shortened my stirrups, but the damage was done. It catches, hurts when I walk, pain radiates to my knee also. My doctor thinks it is osteo arthritis and not a groin strain... so does not want to do an MRI..I know it is a groin strain...the osteoarthritis is just a minor part of the problem. I have been in PT for a month, started to ride and walk(for exercise) again; obviously over did it and am right back where I started. My horse is for sale... so am riding my riding insructor's horse at this time(when I ride). I am going to insist on an MRI to see if i have a tear in the groin tendon. HELP! Ha sanyone experienced this before?



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 12, 2010
    Posts
    292

    Default

    OP- I've had back issues for about 15 years so I can completely relate to your dad's situation.
    Here are some things that have worked for me:
    1. Core strengthening. Pilates has been best for me but yoga helps others. Once class a week & I'm ok to ride. Whatever the activity, make sure it's supervised by someone with deep knowledge of back issues and an understanding of what motions your dad would like to do (i.e. riding) so they can tailor his program.

    2. Anti-inflammatory meds: Diclofenac works for me but there are many others. Ideally take before and after the stressful activity.

    3. Careful cooldowns: When your dad is active, he needs to make sure he keeps his muscles warm through the entire activity and cools down gradually. Stretching & making sure that if clothing layers were removed while being active, that they're put back on before the muscles have a chance to get cold.

    4. Love the Professionals Choice back brace but try to manage time in it so its adding support when needed not substituting for weak core muscles.

    5. Plan!!!! This is something your dad will have to live with, so he's not going to be willing/able to avoid every activity that's uncomfortable, like scrubbing the stairs. That being said, he can change his approach to lessen the impact of these activities. Some options: break them up into multiple sessions- Scrub 1-2 steps per day so they'll be done in a week. Wear a back brace for the chore. Take stretch breaks between each stair. Plan some time lying on his back w/ pillows under his knees post chore. Use an egg timer to measure time allowed doing things that irritate the back, either for the whole chore or for intervals of rest vs activity. As rehab progresses, the timer can be set for a little longer which will make progress more measurable.

    Best of luck.


    1 members found this post helpful.

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