I have a couple of Heberden nodules on the ends of my fingers. They seem to have appeared overnight. I am told I have osteoarthritis. I've done some reading about it and feel a little confused about its progression. What can I expect?
I also have quite a bit of joint and muscle pain, especially in the hips and legs. I was positive these problems had arisen from the use of my medications. Now I am not so sure.... Does OA affect the hips? What are the most frequently affected areas? Can the use of certain medications cause this condition, or is it purely a consequence of aging?
Hi, Flowergirl! I have the OA in my neck and shoulders. Hubby has it in his knees and hips.
From what my doctor said, you are most likely to get OA in areas that have undergone previous injury and/or repetitive stress when you were younger. Hubby suffered several knee surgeries ending in replacement that failed. His other knee began to have arthritis from taking the brunt of weight bearing from the other one. His hips have consequently had to suffer, too, because he had to walk in a different way and has developed OA in those as well.
I have been a typist most of my working life and apparently the strain of being hunched over a typewriter or key board for computer has put repetitive stress on my shoulders and neck. I also had an injury years ago when moving an entertainment center that resulted in a pinched nerve in my left neck and shoulder which resolved after chiropractic treatment but doctor said that it would likely come back to haunt me when I am older (which it did).
Hubby is on many medications for various things but I am only on Depo-Provera shots and now in the last few years Tylenol for the OA. I am pretty sure none of mine is medication induced but rather just wear and tear from over the years.
I tried looking up the nodules you described (my father left me medical reference books when he passed on) and cannot find anything either in the medical encyclopedia or my medical dictionary. Is this a relatively new term? Does this refer to swollen joints in the fingers?
Hope I have answered some of your concerns. Sorry you are going through this. Getting old is heck, ain't it?
I have the nodules also. One was painful so I had it removed surgically. The doc said there was a 50% chance it would return and it did about 3 months later. Not much they can do. As it was explained to me, the fluid in the joints leak a fluid and causes them.
I tried looking up the nodules you described (my father left me medical reference books when he passed on) and cannot find anything either in the medical encyclopedia or my medical dictionary. Is this a relatively new term? Does this refer to swollen joints in the fingers? Hope I have answered some of your concerns. Sorry you are going through this. Getting old is heck, ain't it?
Thank you so much for your informative response! I feel so much better now.
Like you, I have worked with computers for many years. I am sure the stress of the fingers hitting the keyboard repeatedly must have injured or weakened the joints and contributed to the calcification of the bone. These Heberden nodules are, as you suspect, just bony (calcified???) bumps over the last joints on the digits. That is what my doctor calls them and I found them on the internet without a problem. Perhaps it is a new term for an old manifestation of OA? They are not too unsightly or restrictive yet, though I am told they will be. Oh joy!... .Luckily, they are not painful at this time, though certainly were while forming. I think I'd better get used to the pain....My big fear is that the OA will affect my shoulders and hips and I won't be able to move. I've had problems with the hips for several months now, often finding it difficult to get up from a sitting position. They hurt most of the time. Lately, my shoulders started getting extremely painful. I am 49. I have been very lucky so far with my other medical issues. Though considerable, they do not involve chronic pain (at this time).
I wonder what medications I'll be able to take when the need for them arises. I know that NSAIDs and impaired kidney function don't mix well. I hope there are others equally effective. I hope you and your husband have found a way to cope with this debilitating disease. At least you can talk to each other about it - surely, that helps a lot. I still have a lot of reading to do - I know close to nothing about this condition. Thank you so very much for taking the time to respond.
best of luck to you & your husband,
Last edited by flowergirl2day; 07-11-2008 at 07:26 AM.
thank you very much for sharing your experience with H. nodules. I really am new to OA and need to educate myself about it. Basically, I am starting from scratch and any information I can get is much, much appreciated.
Flowergirl . . . at this time I only take Tylenol and do "shoulder rolls" (yes, it makes a lot of cracking noise but what the heck) to relieve joint stiffness.
I would recommend you try a natural remedy first. Glucosamine and chondroitin were something my father was on and it seemed to help him. Those should not interfere with other health problems you have but research it to see.
I will try the shoulder rolls. Right now my shoulders are so sore I cannot imagine doing anything I don't have to do. It hurts too much to move my arms. Don't know what's brought this on. Perhaps it's a side effect of my meds, or just plain old muscle inflammation. It shall pass. I think I can take Tylenol, since I've been prescribed both both Tylenol 2 and Tylenol 3 (with codeine) for the hip pain and other aches & pains. It doesn't seem to work on the shoulders though and does not numb the pain.
Hi, Flowergirl . . . while glucosamine and chondroitin are taken internally, you can buy a rub on cream called Capsaiczin which is a derivative of pepper. You will need to make sure that other ingredients included with it are safe for you to take but it is mostly natural. If your Tylenol is picking and choosing which pains to work on (mine does that sometimes), this might be a good thing for you.
I would avoid that Activ-On stuff for arthritis though. Have heard that it is not likely to work (asked doctor about it and he says anyone that uses it and is getting results is experiencing a placebo effect).
Good luck and keep me posted. If I think of anything else, I will let you know.
I will pick up a tube of Capsizescin tomorrow. I wish I had some right now. The only thing that comes even remotely close that I have here is Deep Heating (cream) and a menthol medical ointment. I am going to have to give them a try because I am desperate. I don't think the deep heat can do any harm.
Thank you so much for your help. You've been a life-saver.
Sometimes the old native and folk remedies work better than the new. I hope it works for you! Have heard good things about it (too bad it is not yet available here except by ordering over the commercials).
I have a question: In people with arthritic joints, does the pain come and go? I had very intense pain in one of my finger joints (where a nodule is still forming) for most of the day. I'd describe it as acute, blinding pain. Of course, I had no pills or Lakota with me. Now it's gone. Is this what I can expect in the future as far as the pain - sometimes there, sometimes not? Or is the pain generally constant in osteoarthritis?
Flower Girl....i have osteoarthritis all over my body....some
genetic link i think and i am an old dancer which means repetive use of many joints....My hands look like my mom's..
i have heberden nodes on the little joints of the fingers and
the big suckers are called Bouchard nodes...i have two of the
big suckers and they really hurt and burn on and off. Also your dexterity is impaired which sucks. I have osteo in my
feet spine and had a hip resurfaced last year so i have a metal
on metal implant...i use Motrin when the pain bugs me enough but i am still dancing jazz classes and doing pilates
you just keep on truckin! karen