Many thanks for your replies. Ducky can you tell me what biologics are please? It might be a bit different over here in Australia. Ducky the neck pain started ten years ago when I had a major car accident and seems to flare up when I do anything repetitive or am in a fixed postion for a long time - hence the reason I can no longer do office work. I had a knee reconstruction in December 2005 and they took away alot of the arthritis in that knee but it has all come back. The foot pain started about a year and a half ago and am on methotrextrate for that and that works well. The degenerative arthritis was diagnosed when I had a bone scan in August last year. I did a course on self managing your arthritis at my local arthritis foundation and learnt alot of things I didnt know. I have managed to lose 17 kilos in weight over the last couple of months and try to walk every day if possible.
Istone - I have tried hydotherapy in warm water but when I lost my job I could no longer afford to go anymore. I could go to the open session at my arthritis foundation that costs $4 but the problem is that I need to take my pain medication in the morning so that means I cant drive to get there (not going to risk having an accident). But I do it when I am good. I do use a heat pad and a tens machine and they seem to work. Istone - according to the bone scan I do have osteo in all my joints and my whole spine.
Ducky - actually I technically have osteo-arthritis as my diagnosis (RA test came back negative - but the doc said that sometimes that is a false reading) but my pain was so severe and my inflamation was so painfully obvious that the doc immediately started treating me as if I had RA. After a few years of going through the typical RA treatments (with some merciful improvement but with lingering problems) I have just ended up on Enbrel (which seems to be working very very well).
Blondie - before my first visit to the rheumatologist (which took me about nine months) the pain became almost unbearable. It took several weeks for steroids to even take the edge off, and many many months of that plus methotrexate and a few other things just to get the pain to a tolerable level where I could at least function of sorts. I'm in the USA and not sure if the drugs we have and the drugs you have are even available in each other's countries. I admittedly know very little about such things, but I've never even heard of the drugs you mentioned.
I agree with Ducky about losing weight. I was "puffy" at the time my symptoms decided to go from irritating to arse-kicking. I've managed to lose a total of 50 pounds over the past couple of years (half of that since 9/07) and I truly believe that is a big part of how I feel today.