I have started using Joint Plus Gel (from Tower Health in the UK) it certainly takes the edge off my pain and makes life bearable. I am learning to do things differently like resting the mouse mat and mouse on my lap to save stretching my arm out. When I use the walker I am trying to keep my arms close to my body as possible but doing this I do not feel safe. No confidence to walk without it as my balance is not good. Has anyone any suggestions how to feed yourself when arms are to painful to get the food to my mouth?
Hi rosebud - the glucosamine contained in the gel is something contained in cartilage, it has a little bit of evidence for praps helping osteoarthritis etc. and eucalyptus & rosemary help pain, inflammation & are soothing. Great that it helps.
Simplifying things is important, but remember not too much, we do need activity as a little exercise.
Painful arms really are a pain,
I know. As well as the mouse on your lap praps a small table (or cardbox(es) or something as a makeshift) might be a good or even better idea.
My idea for eating would be similar. In hospitals/clinics the pull out “tables” are higher, similarly at home bed tray tables/breakfast tables with legs might help everywhere. I use pretty tissue boxes similarly to make things (laptop, trays) higher and leave a space in the middle.
That can be medium high, but also higher.
The way I’ve heard the Chinese really eat rice etc. with chopsticks cd help too, holding the bowl to the mouth and then shoving the rice in with the chopsticks. You could chop up your food first, then move the plate or bowl to your mouth once, rest your elbows on something, the table or a tray table on it etc. and then just move your fingers, not your arms.
I understand the problem with the walker, similar on my bike. Praps the height of the handles can be changed? Or some device can be fixed on to them so you can vary the position of your hands & arms? I need my handlebars fairly low and way out, for my back, but too low increases the strain on them…
Simplify means generally getting everything nearer to where you need it, i.e. organizing everything in kitchen, the whole place so that everything necessary is near to where you will use it, similar things near to one another. Every time we move more than 2 or 3 times we could think about how to simplify by reducing the movement. But when we are well, movement is often good, if it is not too one-sided. When we are not well we can’t do so much, but whenever possible we can try to use the time for planning simplification.
This is a good thread we had on that topic in January, btw…
Seenie was going to “pin it to the top”, I can’t see if it at the top of anything tho
In case typing is a problem, speech to text might be a help at times…
Thank you both for replying to my email. JayCS thank you for your tips, I will certainly experiment with some of them. I do have osteoarthritis in my neck, hands and spine. The way my elbows are very swollen I would not be surprised if I have it in my elbows as well. When I spoke to my Dr about it, she just said nothing can be done and of course just learn to live with it.
Thank you Seenie. I do not do any cleaning I am just not physically well enough to do it. I do have a cleaner but with lockdown and then when she was coming to me to bring me some books in February somebody went into her car, which was then a right-off she has not been able to work since. My PA (Carer) has been keeping things under for me but she has now left and my new PA is still learning the ropes, which is exhausting for me showing her what to do.
My PA cooks me four meals every two weeks for the current week and the following week when she takes me shopping. The meals for the following week I do put into the freezer. Then each week I cook two meals in advance myself. I just would not be ablde to do the things I do if I had to cook everyday myself.
When I lift anything even a jug of water I use two hands so I do not put an extra strain on my arms.
Everything I do takes time as I have to pace myself and have plenty of rests because of doing this I do not get the the things done that I need to. Then frustration sets in! I try to do several different things throughout the day and in this wat I seem to be able to cope.
I have had to stop wearing dresses because not able to get my arms up to take them off. I certainly get plenty of exercises especially at night when often I have to get up several times to go to the wetroom. That is because I have another medical condition.
My cupboards in the kitchen were lowered for me when I moved in nearly 9 years ago. I hope some of this information helps others.
Please will you explain what you mean?
Do you mean speech to text? You’d need software with which you can dictate and then just check & correct what was understood instead of typing. Might take a bit of getting used to first, but it’s surprising what these apps can recognize nowadays.
Thank you JayCS for explaining that to me. Typing is good for my hands as it gives them exercise but not able to do it for long periods. I try to limit myself how long I am on the laptop.
Hello Rosebud! I may have a couple ideas for you. Have you ever tried the drinks with protein in them? A couple brands are Ensure and Boost. They contain vitamins and protein. You could drink a couple a day in addition to your regular meals. They come in many different flavors too. And you can order them from Amazon and have them delivered right to your door. You could use a straw to drink them instead of raising your arms. Have you ever heard of people who can’t eat food so they get their nutrition through tube feeding? These drinks are what is used in tube feeding but they do not have a flavor. I’m really sorry you’re having such pain. It’s hard to be independent and take care of yourself when you’re in pain. From what I’ve learned, if you have arthritis, it is important to keep moving and using the affected areas, like your arms. I guess it really hurts to do this, but it does decrease the overall pain. Do you have a rheumatologist? I just saw my pain doctor today. In the room I was in, they had all these different pumps that are implanted inside you. Some deliver pain medication, while others are nerve stimulators. I think that’s what one was. Hmmmmm. Now I’m doubting myself. But, the nerve stimulator does not deliver medications but works to reduce pain. I have a little lap table that I use. It has a hard, flat surface, but is padded under it. I’m almost 54 years old and received mine as a birthday gift when I was in grade school! I think I was 8 years old! I use mine a lot. I bought my mom one on Amazon. I am moving to Minnesota on August 31st. Some ladies from church are helping me pack. I need to go to bed but wow, my body hurts. Take care Rosebud! Hugs to you!
Thank you Freedom I used to have Ensure drinks when I have been in hospital. My GP is against me having them now and wants me to eat normally. Yes, it is important to keep moving with arthritis and I do as much as possible. I did have a rheumatologist but she discharged me and refused to see me as there is nothing she can do. I am sorry you are in a lot of pain, I hope you get some relief from it soon. That is so good to read that ladies from your church are helping you move. I hope that goes well for you and you will be happy in your new home. Thank you Freedom for your hugs, which are greatly received. Hugs and prayers back to you as well.
Hi Rosebud , have you tried soup to go ? Campbells and a few others make these microwaveable containers so no prep , no clean up , you could use a straw so your not picking up the soup cup too much . Several varieties available. Also if your pain will allow I’d try to do some very mild stretches for the upper extremities like finger flexing, wrist rotations, shoulder rolls just to maintain mobility because when we avoid using a group of muscles they become more stiff and even more uncomfortable . physical therapy and massage may also benefit those sore arms. Best of luck to you .
Hi Jse123 I have not tried soup to go because I do not know exactly what is in it as I am on a strict medical diet for another condition but I do make my own soup. Just made a batch last week. Thank you for the tip of drinking with a straw. I’ll give it a go. I do exercises but not the ones you mentioned, but I’ll try anything to get pain relief. Thank you for all your help and advice.
Hi Rosie Rosebud! have you thought about putting the soup you make, into a blender? You could blend it until it’s thin enough to pass through a straw. Any maybe they have different size straws. Ensure + ice cream = a yummy protein based treat. It is true that a person can live on ensure alone, however, since your GP wants you to eat regular food, maybe he/ she would be ok if you drink 2 as a snack?
Thank you Freedom. I do blend the soup I make but perhaps I need to do it just a bit longer to make it thinner. The pain in my arms has eased today I am therefore wondring if my walker is the cause of the extra pain, as a couple of other people have had the same problem either with themselves or their relatives. I have not been out since last Thursday and therefore not used the walker. I know walking is difficult at times with painful legs, feet and lack of good balance but I am certainly not ready to have a mobility scooter yet. I say use it or lose it!
I started using a walking last May. I recently noticed that I put a lot of my weight on my hands and arms. Does that make sense? I do it without realizing it. Because my feet, ankles and legs hurt more with ambulation, I think putting more weight on my hands, wrists and arms relieves some of my leg/ feet pain. Oh boy! The circle of trying to relieve pain! Let me know if you find anything that helps.
Oh yes, that makes a lot of sense! That’s exactly what happens to me on my bike too.
But my elbows also hurt a lot even when just walking freely, as well as my right knee.
As twisting my right leg out and in alternately helps, I’ve tried it for my arms, that works too.
Checked with my wife to do it subtly, so it doesn’t look too strange…
So I’m doing it more with my arms now when cycling, and continually shifting weight & twisting, helps.
Nordic walking with sticks hurts my arms, exactly like your walker.
But so much that it’s not at all worth it: My legs and arms hurt then. Twist-stretching is better 4 me.
Do you have a stationary bike or a road bike? If it’s a road bike, did you have it properly fitted to your size, weight etc.? My road and mountain bikes have the handle bars fitted so that I’m sitting more upright which helps not put a lot of weight on my upper body. I’ve never liked biking where you have to bend your neck to see where you’re going. Now that I’ve told you all this, I haven’t been able to ride my bike in 2 years. I hope to sell both bikes and buy an electric bike.
Hi Rosebud 74,
Thanks for the tip on the gel will have to see about getting some and trying it. My problem lately is my right side of my body is very painful all the time, feels like someone is sticking a knife in me, never stops. Just below the right breast and in the side and goes across the stomach area a bit as well and the back. I’m hoping the gel will help, have tried so many other things, so fingers crossed. Had blood tests and ascan in Feb, and was told was all clear!
Road bikes - I’m the opposite here due to my back & backside, which is most important - so “circle of pain” again…: I need to be stretched straight forward at 45°, so my handle bars have to be pretty far forwards (on some like horns). Also for my knees the saddle has to be really high so the legs are straight at the bottom. So my bikes look like I’m a giant. I’ve come out of a club or similar to people wondering what a big guy rides that bike, and then they see me and want to see me ride it.
But I have had to bring the handle bars closer now, due esp. to neck like you say.
I have mostly old bikes which can stand at the train stations without getting nicked too quickly. -
Before the amino acids I was thinking about getting ladies’ bikes with a low middle bar and only using the best ones, but better again now, so not rushing it…