looking for coping mechanisms

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Donna Phillips
New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/30/2012 11:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I am a 61 year old female and I have had osteoarthritis for approximately 5 years now. What I originally thought was joint pain in my knees became severely worse over a very short period. The past few years have been pretty rough for me because I have always been quite healthy. When I was younger I was a runner for 20 years which is why the lack of mobility for me is quite distressing, as anyone can understand. My doctor has put me on Allieve and I take regular Advil which helps the pain somewhat, but the hardest part has been from transforming from a healthy athlete to my current state. A friend told me about this forum and suggested it would be a good place to interact with others who are suffering from chronic pain. I am also looking for ways to manage pain outside of pills. My arthritis has recently left me bed ridden and I am getting quite frustrated with my current state.

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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 5/30/2012 11:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the boards....We are glad you found us but always sad to see another person with chronic pain.

Has your Dr. started you on a physical therapy program to help strengthen the muscles around the joints?

How about doing shots/injections of corticosteroids? These can be very effective.

I'm sure it's very hard for you since you were a runner. Unfortunately that is an activity that is so hard on our bodies. Since this is a long term issue now, hopefully you can substitute it with other activities like walking, hiking, or swimming to stay active.

Many of us have this adjustment period when pain goes from acute to chronic. The hardest part is adjusting mentally/emotionally. I had to give up being a volunteer Firefighter/EMT as well as avid photographer with heavy equipment. Those are just way too hard on my neck and were probably some of the cause of my disc issues.

Also, the Arthritis Foundation has chronic pain classes around the US so you can go on their website and see if there are any near you to attend.

The other non medicinal things to help are massage, acupuncture, weeding out any inflammatory foods, not smoking (if applicable), wearing a brace when needed.

I have switched to eating all Organic and this has helped with both energy and less muscle pain.

Again...I'm sure it's very hard to get used to this "new" life, but hopefully you can work with your Dr. to stay as active as possible and do everything you can to prevent further damage.
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006

Donna Phillips
New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/8/2012 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Snowbunny 21,
Thank-you for the warm welcome! I have taken corticosteriods once before. I was optimistic because I had heard very positive things, but I found the effects didnt last long for me. If it comes to it I would be willing to try it again.
Yes that lack of activity is most distressing. I was a  swimmer as well back in my day and when this pain stuff goes down that will be one of the first things I get back to, atleast getting back in the pool a bit. 
I am trying to go to physical therapy as much as I can, my Dr. tells me to go twice a week but lately for the past 3 weeks it has been quite tough for me. 
The organic food is a great suggestion, yet slightly expensive! I have recently moved in with my daughter, which has defintiely helped me as her and her husband like to eat healthy.
Thanks again for your support!      

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 6/9/2012 1:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome Donna to Healing Well Chronic Pain Forum! I am sorry your having so much pain. Knee pain can be really debilitating! Have you ever tried aqua therapy? Sometime that works really well because it takes allot of the weight off your knees. Also alternating heat and cold on them should help with the pain, as well as keeping them up when not doing anything! If you have any swelling in your knees that often helps. The main thing is, is continue with your physical therapy, talk with them about things you can do at home to help you!
I wish I could be of more help to you, but know when your here at this forum your not alone with your pain, we are all here and we can all empathize with you! This is a really good place to come and vent your frustrations about your pain! As there is always somebody that is listening, and will give you support!

I do wish you well.....White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 617
   Posted 6/9/2012 3:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Donna,
I'm on board with the other folks regarding the hydro-therapy.  It's funny...I used to be a competitive swimmer, until it destroyed both of my knees, but now working out in the lower gravity of the water is the only way I can exercise these days.  There's a big difference between doing hydro-therapy exercises and actual swimming, and I would suggest that when you are able to get into the pool, you activily pursue a guided rehab program.  Just jumping in and attempting to swim could do more harm than good.  Trust me on this one.  I know that most all YMCA's and YWCA's have actual hydro-therapy programs and trainers, if such a program doesn't exist through your local hospital system or orthopaedic rehab centers.  Even if it's just getting into the water and floating, a pool can take the pressure off of the joints and help relax the muscle tissues.  Just a friendly warning, be careful when taking both Advil and Allieve, as both can be very hard on the stomach.   Don't take them on an empty stomach and make sure you push lots of fluids with them so they don't sit there and burn holes in the lining of your stomach.  I can't take any NSAIDS, so I'm very familiar with this subject.
Anyway, welcome to the boards and please keep us updated on how you are doing!
Leigh Ann cool
•On Disability for: Chronic Migraines, serious Back and Knee problems (will need surgery eventually), moderate Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder, TMJ, stomach problems
•Divorced, 46, spawn-free


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 6/9/2012 7:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Donna - hello, and welcome from me as well. Knee pain is the pits - and I too would echo the others in suggesting hydrotherapy - whether in the form of formal classes, or just swimming. Are you seeing a physiotherapist? A physio would probably be able to help with specific exercises to help. It may sound strange, but depending on how bad your knees are, even a podiatrist may be able to help - I know a friend of mine has osteoarthritis in both knees and in her spine. She saw a podiatrist, who got her einto different shoes that slightly altered her gait dynamics. It wasn't going to fix the damage in her knees of course, but it did make movement a little more comfortable for her.

Something to consider if you are taking an NSAID like naproxen as a long term med - might be to talk to you doctor about taking a type of medication called a proton pump inhibitor. There are a few different meds in this class, but they all reduce gastric acid secretion and can help reduce the risk of stomach ulcers as a result of being on the NSAID.

Moderator - Chronic Pain Forum

Full body CRPS with spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension,bradycardia/tachycardia, bursitis, CTS, osteoporosis, multiple compression fx, disc bulges.

Oxycodone ER/IR, Topamax, Mobic, Somac, Cipramil, Midodrine, Vit D & C, SCS, baclofen/bupivacaine pump

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 6/9/2012 4:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Donna, welcome to our chronic pain forum at Healingwell. Glad you found us but sorry to hear that you are hurting so much. You've had some great suggestions so far.
I am thinking you would aquafit classes. I really enjoy it and it certainly is a good workout without even realizing it.

Hope you'll keep posting with us and let us know how you are doing.

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