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Ask Dr. Arun Phophalia Your Own Question
Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 34998
Experience:  MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
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My osteoarthritis seems to be getting worse, or becoming

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My osteoarthritis seems to be getting worse, or becoming more painful in my back and hands. Doctors I have been to know that I cannot take anti-inflammatories because of the side effects, so I get the feeling that they do not want to do any extra x-rays on new places that I hurt because of treatment limitations. I know that I need to see my current rheumatologist, but don't know if he will do anything extra; he diagnosed my shoulder tendonitis and hip bursitis just by having me to resistance moves.
I am currently on Ultracet, originally prescribed to me by a former rheumatologist, for arthritis, fibromyalgia, and to try and ward off headaches caused by either neck arthritis or chiari malformation. My work schedule does not leave me any time to exercise; what does a patient like me do when the pain is getting worse? I'm already taking Ultracet twice a day, sometimes three times.


Apart from the analgesic you are taking; following would help you;

1) Physical therapy; this is the mainstay of the management of the osteoarthritis. Stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, mild weight bearing exercises, swimming on the week-ends etc would be helpful. Looking at your busy schedule; few stretching exercises can be done on your work table during your working hours. Walking in the office as much as possible during work can take care of the other aspect. Going to pool on holidays will further enhance the benefit. You need to incorporate the exercises in your routine as much as possible.

2) Deep electrotherapy; this entails going to physical therapy center and take care of specific issues which are more painful.

3) Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements

4) Diacerin too can be tried which suppose to regenerate the cartilage.

5) Local analgesic sprays

6) Acupuncture

7) Consideration of hyaluronic acid injection in the joints which are more painful. Some physician may inject steroid too for the pain relief.

8) Warm shower in morning would open up the joints.

9) Capsaicin (Zostrix, ArthriCare) is an irritant derived from chili peppers that provide relief by depleting a chemical that transmits pain from nerve endings. Various strengths are available without prescription. (It causes a burning sensation thus one has to be careful while applying and should wear a disposable plastic glove).

10) Acupuncture; most popular forms of alternative or complementary medicine, particularly for pain relief.

11) Analgesic patches too are available for the pain relief.

If overweight is an issue; long term is achieved by weight reduction. High impact exercises should be avoided; like kneeling and bending.

Please feel free for your follow up questions.

Dr. Arun

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I do other things: Thermare heat wraps, which help alot, a rub called Blue Emu when hurting. I've tried Capsacin, but cannot stand the discomfort of when water hits it. My weight is not a problem; I was told by an orthopaedic specialist in 2002 that it was my height-6 feet- that was the problem on my joints. This was during a bad flare which put me on crutches for two weeks. I was in a car wreck in 2000, and have had problems since then.

I appreciate you getting back to me so quickly; I think I will try to get my rheumatologist to prescribe physical therapy and go from there.

You are very welcome.

The injuries during the car injury may have facilitated the osteoarthritis. You are doing significant measures for the pain relief. Starting the very mild physical therapy initially (range of motion exercises / mobilization exercises) and than very gradually building it up, would help in long term.

It is pleasure and privilege assisting you.

Dr. Arun

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