Patient Comments: Osteoarthritis - Symptoms

The symptoms of osteoarthritis can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

Comment from: Vinny152, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: September 04

In 2005, my symptoms of osteoarthritis started with pain and stiffness of the knees, primarily over the next two years. The pain in my joints disappeared with the help of pain medication and salves, but the stiffness became worse, necessitating the use of a cane for walking. Now the joints in both hands are swollen and disfigured, but I have no pain in these deformed joints. Some weight reduction did not help the symptoms. Currently, sitting for more than two hours will cause severe stiffness. I try to maintain a moderate exercise program to reduce the stiffness, and I have moved to a warmer climate.

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Comment from: Caberfay, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 04

I have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, but it is not in the usual sites that other people seem to suffer in. Mine is in my neck and shoulders. Initially, my pain was in my upper arms, in the muscles of my upper arms. When I went to the doctor, he immediately sent me for an X-ray as he suspected lung cancer, but my lungs were clear. The next day, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. I was prescribed Tramacet for six months and when I tried to reduce the intake of the pills, I was very surprised to find I was going through withdrawal symptoms. Since then, it is like my nervous system has been affected, and I have attacks of some kind of tension in my arms and legs and must shake them vigorously to settle them. This even wakes me up at night, with sweating and panic. I wonder if I have built up an aversion to acetaminophen, which is in Tramacet.

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Comment from: genea_80, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 22

I first noticed a problem about 5 months ago while lying on a pullout bed. I'd been staying at a relative's home helping her recover from knee surgery, when I noticed a dull ache in my right hip. I ignored it for 2 months before I went to the doctor. By then the pain went from only slightly uncomfortable, to almost unbearable. My doctor ordered x-rays, and he determined that I had secondary degenerative osteoarthritis in my right hip. He explained that my body had grown a small "patch" to correct an injury that I'd sustained as a teenager. When he asked if I played tennis, and I told him that I had and suffered a bad fall he told me that the injury likely surfaced from that incident. At 28, I'm finding myself stiff in the mornings and achy in the movie theater or on long bus rides. The pain is not debilitating, and I am working to keep the disease at bay. I have also noticed in the last month that my right knee (which was also injured in the same fall during the tennis match) is also causing me pain. To all who read this: don't ignore your body. If you have pain, please see a doctor. I waited just two short months, and now I regret it.

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Comment from: Cindy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 19

I have been dealing with the pain of osteoarthritis for three years now. I am a 52-year-old female and have had to adjust my exercise activities to low impact, more repetitions and less weight. It started in my neck then moved to my knees and hips. Now, it is in my right hand. (I am right handed and work at a computer all day). My middle finger is swollen at the knuckle to twice its size and now my right ring finger is too. My doctor said there is no cure for osteoarthritis, so what do I do? Let it keep getting worse until I can't use my right hand at all? Sometimes I take Flexeril and Ibuprofen. They take the edge off, but that is about it. I also go to a chiropractor to get some relief. There are times when one knee will lock up when I am kneeling and working in my flower bed and I have to try to move it around so I can get up. The pain is excruciating.

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Published: July 22

My neck was hurting, and I thought it would go away eventually. After three months, I finally went to the doctor who thought it might be carpel tunnel syndrome, but after the spinal x-ray said it was osteoarthritis. I'm in constant pain, and the celebrex and muscle relaxers are gone. I'm 43 and too young to be dealing with arthritis.

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Published: July 10

I had severe lower back pain that started July 2nd. It felt like the groin area was on fire with the lower back. I could not sit or lay down without pain. I thought I had broken something. I endured this pain for six days by just taking acetaminophen. Realized it was not getting better, then an ear ache came on also on July 7th and went to emergency room at local hospital. X rays showed I had degenerative arthritis. I would have pain but never this severe. Now it is constant.

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