I am really sorry to hear that you are in so much pain. I have those days, too. As I have learned how to manage my disease, the pain has been decreasing on more days than it used to be. 4 months ago I added Xeljanse and that has really helped, as has Cymbalta, which was used as a pain reliever long before it was prescribed for depression. I have found a lot of good information on RA in the Canadian RA site. Just Googled it for you and found this link regarding dealing with pain: http://www.arthritis.ca/pain There is a wealth of info there and I have used it for encouragement and a different country's viewpoint than mine. I use Biofreeze, which can be purchased at nearly any chiropractor's office. Usually costs around $10. a decent sized tube. Some PTs sell it, too. Ditto with the ice. Some days a hot tub works wonders. I do mild stretching and exercise in my hot tub when the pain and stiffness are bad. That helps. When I have to use pain killers I try to stay ahead of the pain. By that I mean take them when it first starts, not when it's so bad I can't stand it. I take them at bedtime some nights if I know that I am likely to be woken up with pain. This is especially important for me when I am in flare. When I am in a really bad flare, I do range of motion, set one goal for the day and do it, then rest. I find it helps me to lie down every half hour or so and rest for 10 minutes. Sometimes it helps to have a good cry. Crying releases the stress chemicals from the body. Over time I found I learned my body's cues and how to respond to them. It takes time to learn to manage anything new and RA ping pongs around with symptoms from day-to-day, so I hope you will allow yourself a learning curve. Hang in there, life can get better. It has for me.
Denise. I'm so sorry that you have this horrible disease. I was diagnosed with RA when I was 44 and it was in my knees mostly as well.
The first thing you should do is get one of your doctors to put you on Prednisone. It will reduce the swelling and therefore, some of the pain.
The other thing that worked somewhat for me were ice packs. I wore ice packs on my knees 24/7 even in bed. It was the only thing that helped them feel better. I'm afraid I don't have a lot of solutions for the hands as I haven't had too much trouble with them but from reading the posts on this team, I've heard that soaking them in warm water with epsom salts (I think) is good. Also, I've heard that some people have success with warming gloves.
There's some good information on there and the members of this team are also a good resource.
Do you have a rheumy yet? I honestly believe that aggressive treatment will help you the most in the end. My rheumy started me on prednisone, methotrexate and sulfasalazine right from the get go and today, almost 10 years later, I'm only on one RA med and I feel good 90 percent of the time.
Good luck to you and please feel free to ask and vent anything you need to. That's what this team is for.
I am so sorry Denise. I am Laurel, 67, and I have had RA for about 15 years. For pain, over the counter Blue Emu cream works well for me. For my knee, I sometimes wear a compression sleeve...those elastic items you can find in drug stores. For my hand, I may put them in warm water. I have found that I need to monitor my energy. Sometimes, you just need to rest and ice areas that are hurting. I used to take Aleve, but it upset my stomach. Other times, you make yourself move. Your RA doctor may have some exercises for your knees.
Laurel Rockport, Texas
Central time zone
current weight: 172.0
Fitness Minutes: (15) Posts: 2 12/15/13 8:39 A
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