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Arthritis in the Knee Question

Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,498
edited November -1 in Off Topic
Ok, let's start by saying I'm pushing 69, 6'3", weigh almost 300 pounds, and have arthritis pretty bad in both knees.

I can't stand very long or walk very far or do much physical activity without my knees becoming so painful that I start to limp badly and finally just have to quit. Sometimes I even have to hit the therapy spa or spray hot water from the shower on my knees to get relief. Heat seems to work better than ice. Hot/Cold patches don't help much.

And now it is starting to cause problems with sleep.

Because of my heart attack I can't take anti-inflammatory medicine, so I'm limited to Tylenol. It helps but not much. Plus I'm worried that taking it might cause even more problems. (A friend died from taking too much Tylenol)

So here's my question: have any of you used any of the other non-medical products (natural stuff like glucosamine) to help with knee and joint pain due to arthritis? Does it work?

I would appreciate any information or experiences, positive or negative, you may have had.

Spring "Knee Bone Is Directly Connected To The Knee Bone" Chicken
Spring Texas USA
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Comments

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,265
    Leroy,

    I have it in multiple joints. Th glocousamine sulfate does give you some relief after a month or two. I stopped taking it but my business partner didn't he's way better. If you combine it with cold water fish liver oil it will help.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    Leroy...sorry to say...I'm not much help in this matters....but I just wanted to tell you: Seeing you with a big smile & with such a good heart & good attitude all the time is a lesson we should learn & keep to bring out & show the best of us. Thank- You
  • I know an elderly person who has serious knee pain. Glucosamine chondroitin helps, especially when used in conjunction with MSM. What works even better for them is Xango juice. It is supposedly a juice extracted from the mangosteen fruit. The company is an MLM deal, and dealing with the salespeople can be a bit of a hassle, but if it works for you as good as my friend it would be worth the hassle. If you try it out use it regularly for at least one bottles worth, preferrably two. If heat helps maybe some of those heat packs you warm up in the microwave would be worth looking into. Good luck. Let us know if something gives you relief.
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,498
    Thanks. I've heard the same thing from other sources, but some say it doesn't work at all.

    Spring "Gotta Grow Me A Glucosamine Tree" Chicken
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,498
    Thanks Beli. I try hard to do all that stuff all the time and hope that it put a smile or two on some faces, but sometimes I have to kick back and let Mother Nature do her thing with me.

    Spring "Kicking Back Hurts My Rear End" Chicken
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,265
    Leroy,

    It works but the caplets are so big you really have to batter them down. I'm going back to it. I can't take any painkillers due to a stomach condition so I know how it is. You have had your share of cold, damp weather this year so you know what that is like. I don't know if you can get Lakota rubs there but they do help as well.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • HossHoss Posts: 14,587
    My 81 year old uncle takes the glucosamine and swears by it.He also sees a REAL chriopractor every 3 months.I take and have heard it is good for joints and your heart,FISH OIL!1000 mils a day,every day.Hope this helps Leroy. :)
  • FatMikeFatMike Posts: 464
    Studies show that Chondroitin Sulfate is very large and has a hard time pro-fusing into the joint compared to Glucosamine which is smaller. Most companies combine the two to lower cost. Glucosamine is the way to go. Most people have to remain on it for 3-9 mths before they see the benefits. I have sent several patients for Hyalgan injections. This contains hyaluronate, and is injected into your knee to relieve pain. Hyaluronate is normally found in the fluid that lubricates and cushions your knee joint. So far good results in people trying to prolong an total replacement. But to be honest with you, If the cartilage is shot and spurring has set in glucosamine may not be your answer tho.
    Sorry for the long post.

    FatMike and growing
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,265
    Tweev,

    My wife is a nurse and she laughs it off too. Placebo or not...who cares if it gives you relief.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • I work on a surgical/orthopedic floor. I have several patients up here tonight that have had knee replacements.

    My first suggestion is that considering your health history and current medical status you do not add any form of medication, herbal or prescription without first discussing it with your primary care physician. We have had several patients recently that were self medicating and almost died. All of these things come with risks.

    Second, unless contraindicated due to your cardiac status, your orthopedist should be considering knee replacement. We see our patients three months after replacement and they want to race me around the halls! They love their new knees. The surgery itself has come a long way.

    And last, as above, if the support structures are gone not much is going to help. Bone grinding bone with nerve endings trapped in between is going to hurt. Sounds like you have serious knee pain that needs to be addressed by the orthopedist.

    Of course my comments and a quarter might get you a phone call on a good day! Hope you feel better soon!
  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
    Spring,

    I have taken 1500 mg a day of glucosamine HCl for several years and it really helps.

    FatMike's comment about the chondroitin is something I've heard before, but they also said the chondroitin is 2 glucosamines stuck together, so it sounds like it should break apart once in the body.

    The Glucosamine +/- chondroitin rebuilds cartilage. If you have bone-on-bone arthritis or spurs, it may not help.

    Suggestion: Less expensive route - Get some "Osteo-biflex" at WalMart or Sams. This is a quality product and though it is the combo product, it has some other "stuff" in it that will help it work. It will take at least 60 days to see a substantial effect, though some people are lucky and feel better sooner.

    Also, get you some quality fish oil tablets (not the cheapest ones in the big box stores, as they can contain contaminates). Take 1000mg or 1500 mg per day. Great anti-inflammatory and it will also lower your triglyceride level if you need that corrected! If you are on a blood thinner, the fish oil might increase the effect slightly, but it shouldn't be a significant change.

    Let me know (email) if that doesn't help and I will let you try a bottle or so of what I take (comes from mail order and a little more $$). The Osteo-Biflex should help.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
     
    I have bad knee pain probably due to my weight. My wife has had arthritis for many, many years. Her arthritis used to come and go as move to different parts of her body and often knees & wrists.

    Over many years we have tried many different suggestions, fish oil, different vitamins, MLM 'juices' I can go look in the fridge to see the latest one. Those things just didn't seem to do much for her. This current bout for her just isn't going away and there isn't much relief day or night. It has put here on crutches and we are close to getting a wheel chair.

    For me taking Elations (avalable at walmart) gave me relief within about 8 days. I stopped and the knee pain came back started up again and the pain went away. I was just going to get some more tomorrow and start up again then I got to looking about Elations and found this page. But what seemed more interesting was a link towards the bottom of the page - take a look it is a big comparison on different products. I haven't looked at how biased the review is (or who did the review) but it is interesting on the surface.

    I think I will try some Flexoplex tomorrow.

    http://www.consumerhealthportal.com/Elations/

    We are looking for something that will work too.

    GG
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,498
    You are correct in that I should discuss any medicines or supplements with my primary care doctor and my cardiologist, especially since I take Plavix and aspirin, along with three other drugs. And I do discuss it with them first.

    I'm told that surgery is ALWAYS the last level of treatment options, and that modern medicine has many new non-surgical treatments that weren't around five years ago.

    Even my own doctor says I should lose weight and exercise in order to reduce the level of pain and the level of damage the extra weight is causing.

    Unfortunately, when I'm hurting I don't want to exercise so I revert to being an 'EZ Chair Diner.' And for some strange reason, the most convenient foods are the ones that contribute to the problem. Catch-22 at its ugliest...

    Actually, I'm kinda loading up information that will better help me to understand my situation both now and down the road.

    I feel fortunate that I have two functioning legs. Some people would be happy to trade their totally numb and useless legs for mine, even with the arthritis. I'm not complaining as much as trying to learn as much as I can about the subject.

    I lost an eye due to a botched cataract surgery and I'm slowly learning to live with it. Prostate surgery was another surprise to me and after six years I'm still adjusting to not having one, but I'm alive and free of cancer. My heart attack and resulting stents told me I needed to make an adjustment there as well. In all three cases, the results could have been much worse and I could have even died.

    No, I'm not complaining, I'm just curious as to what I can do to help me better understand my situation.

    Thanks.

    Spring "Why Use Ten Words When A Thousand Will Do" Chicken
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
     
    Clark,

    How much is the Biflex and how much/many do you take a day?

    Kent
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,498
    Interesting link.

    Thanks.

    Spring "Tweaking Me" Chicken
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,498
    Needless to say, there seems to be an unlimited number of products out there that will cure all that ails me. I have to check each one out and then discuss them with my doctor.

    Right now I'm kinda limited to Tylenol.

    Spring "Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones But Moans And Groans Are The Words That Hurt Me" Chicken
  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
    GG,

    It's about $20 a month, maybe slightly less.
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,498
    You would think that by now we could just shoot some high-end go-juice into the knee and it instantly goes to work rebuilding and lubricating the parts of the joint that isn't working properly.

    Spring "Squeeeeeek Squeeeeeek, Squirt Squirt, Squeek" Chicken
  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
    I have used the Osteo Biflex in the past and it works well, without interfering with most other meds. It runs about $20 or less per month. Glucosamine is a sugar, found naturally in our bodies, thus most docs will not object to you taking it.

    Some of the other stuff, I'm not sure about. The fish oil - you should let you MD know about that for sure.

    Misippi "Achie, breakie knees" Egger

    Say goodnight, Leroy ---
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,498
    81 huh! I'm just guessing but is he fairly tall, under 200 pounds, dresses well, a smooth talker and is sort of a 'ladies man?' After going to all that effert he must surely have a game plan to impress the ladies LOL...

    Spring "Beware Of 80-year Old Men" Chicken
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,498
    I seem to recall reading something about that stuff. I'll look it up again.

    Thanks.

    Spring "Blow & Go Juicer" Chicken
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,498
    Low quality and misleading or false information about these unregulated products concerns me.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    Spring "Not Telling The Truth Is Worse Than Not Knowing The Truth" Chicken
  • ASTegaCayASTegaCay Posts: 97
    SC,

    A guy I used to work with, had both knees replaced, a few years ago. He was in his mid 50s. He had several knee surgeries form blowing out his knees being a lineman(climbing poles and all). Now he walks about 3 miles a day and has lost a lot of weight.

    The Problem is the doctor tells you losing weight will help, but in the mean time you can't exercise because of the pain, it a catch 22.

    When he had both knees done at the same time he was up and going within a couple of weeks after surgery, with out pain.

    I wish you well and hope you get the pain relief you need.
  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,859
    Leroy,

    When I was 22 I was hit by a car and was damn near killed. Spent months in the hospital with two full leg casts on. Both knees were involved and the damage was pretty severe in both knees. One doc said I would never walk without a brace and a cane.

    Fooled them and never used either. For a long time I was able to function pretty well with the occasional use of some pain killers.

    As I got older things got worse.

    Used to hate waking up in the morning knowing what was coming with the day. Ate pain killers for years and continued to feel lousy. The day finally came when I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

    The joint in my right knee was bone-on-bone and had been for some time. It wasn't pain, it was agony 24/7.

    In 2000 I had my right knee replaced with a phony one compliments of a pretty good surgeon and The Baptist Hospital in Boston.

    The recovery and rehab is pretty nasty but at one point I realized that the pain I was enduring was declining by a factor of 100 each day and I began to think of the knee replacement as a miracle!

    Finally in 2005 I had my left knee done and today the only joints in my body that DON'T hurt are my knees. And let be tell you that's BIG!

    I was 60 years old when I had the right knee done and 65 when the second one was finished.

    Like you I'm now 69 and not terribly overweight.

    Should have done it sooner when the doc's suggested it. Knee replacement is not an easy operation but, when it's all over it's like being a new person.

    Have your docs suggested replacement yet? Or are there complications that won't allow a knee operation?

    Carey "Not tap dancing but walking without pain" Gilbert
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,498
    Thanks. I suspect your friend followed his doctor's advice about how important it is to do the followup therapy. And the result was a successful surgery.

    A few years ago knee surgery was often unsuccessful and many people wished they had not done it. I don't have a problem with knee surgery but only as a last resort. If and when I do have it done you can bet I will be doing all of the recommended followup therapy until they tell me I can stop.

    Spring "Don't Stop, Keep Going" Chicken
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,054
    ive taken it and it works pretty well. seems it works best if you use it for 6 to 8 months then stop for a while, then back on it. really worked well with my old shepard, at 15 it was getting time to put him down, on the glucosamine and chondroitin he made it another 3 years. you really want to talk to your doctor first though to see if any bad side effects can happen with your current meds. a friend of mine on one of the blood pressure meds almost bit the bullet a few weeks back, he took an alieve in the morning and a tums later on, they said it temporaliy shut his kidneys down and shot his salt content up 7 or 8 hundred percent. its amazing he wasnt warned about such a thing before hand, he has had migranes his whole life so the doctor should have expected that
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,498
    Funny, I always thought you were a younger man, maybe 67 LOL...

    Sounds like you are a happy customer. That's all I'm looking for.

    My doctor stresses all the other options before surgery. And as far as I know, there are no physical reasons why surgery cannot be done. Emotionally, I suppose there is some reluctance but if it can give me better mobility without pain I think I can handle the brief period of recovery.

    Thanks for your story.

    Spring "Sometimes The Best Option Is Plan B" Chicken
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,498
    Yea, I can't take any meds without talking to my doctor first. Even an over the counter med.

    I have to read every label entirely and then still ask. I'm surprised at how many medications have cautions and restrictions for those with glaucoma. Well, among my collection of ailments, I also have glaucoma. I even have to ask before taking vitamins, eye drops and cold medication. I'm beginning to think I will need to ask before buying new underwear LOL...

    When I sawed through my fingers last year I had to make sure the emergency room people knew I was taking Plavix, a med that causes me to bleed at the drop of a hat. Even a thorn prick can turn a white paper towel into a mass of red in a short time. As you can imagine, I go through a lot of red paper towels around here, mostly because I’m clumsy, but sometimes because I’m really clumsy.

    Sounds like your pouch benefitted from glucosamine. Good.

    Spring “Drip Drip Red Red” Chicken
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,054
    ive got back pains that come and go, 3 months to a year before the pain lets up, the stuff does help as well as low doses of ibrepropane. it takes a month before it starts to work, and then it only works so long for me. about half that work here take the stuff, the metal trades can be hard on the body. its worth a shot if the doctor says try it
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