Hello, so I've been morbidly obese for a while now and a few months ago I started noticing pain in my lower back. I didn't think much of it because of my size but then a few weeks ago my left hip and feet started hurting as well. Well a few days ago my neck and left shoulder started hurting also. I went to the doctor because I thought it may be rheumatoid arthritis. So my doctor sent me to have blood work and a few x-rays done (back, hands, and knees). He told me my blood work was fine but I did have early arthritis in my back and knees. So now I'm not sure what to do. I'm only 28 and it's going to be hard for me to lose weight. I keep thinking that being up on my joints is only going to make it worse so I just sit around but I find myself feeling worse when I'm sitting. I don't have a very thorough doctor and it's almost a waste to go see him. That is why I'm on here trying to figure something out. I did start taking glucosamine and chondroitin (spelling). Will the popping sound my joints make when I get up or move go away eventually if I lose enough weight or is that permanent? Thanks for any help.
Last edited by bigdiesel717; 01-13-2013 at 08:43 PM.
Ok so another update that may help someone reply. I recently had my gall bladder removed and ever since the aching at my left hip is worse. The doctors gave me percocet 5s to help with my gall bladder pain but they haven't been enough so I've been taking ibuprofen and my joint pain remains. I'm very lost right now.
Osteoarthritis can develop at almost any age, especially if any of your joints have been injured. Certainly morbid obesity will also put extra strain on your joints and wear them out faster. We've had people here who have had this happen.....including myself. Not morbidly obese but obese and wore out my knees pretty fast.
But here is the "rub" with OA. We think that staying off the joint will help it but it doesn't help...it actually makes it worse. Joint cartilage requires the constant infusion of joint fluid all through the cartilage to keep it working and it gets that infusion by us moving our joints. That pressing and squeezing motion of movement and pressure, is what keeps the cartilage from falling apart. We stop moving out of pain and it stops that cleansing motion of fluid into the cartilage and accelerates the cartilage falling apart and the pain.
So if you can get up and walk regularly and move all your joints regularly, it will hurt at first but the pain will go away with time as you move.
And some of your pain may be the muscles. The less you move, the weaker the muscles get and then when you do move, they are strained. Muscles spasms hurt terribly and may be more of what you feel than anything else, especially in your spine.
I would try to find a good physical therapist who can work with you and if you can, find a physical therapy establishment that has a warm water therapy pool(not hydrotherapy but a real therapy pool). At 92* and only 3-4ft deep, they are wonderful for moving those aching joints, soothes the muscle spasms and may even help you lose some weight.
Thanks for the reply. What I don't get though is I thought by taking percocet and ibuprofen some of my pain would go away but it didn't which leads me to believe it is something else along with arthritis. I was diagnosed with gout in July and now I'm wondering if the build up of uric acid in my body is just making it worse if there is something else wrong on top of the osteoarthritis.
Last edited by bigdiesel717; 01-22-2013 at 06:30 PM.
Hi looking at your last post I really like the idea of getting in a pool and starting an exercise program. This is good for non weight bearing good for the joints and all. I have fibromyalgia and find it very useful.
I would definitely give it a try to get some initial weight off before moving to walkin/running core exercises for the back. Make sure the pool is a good 83" or so.
Gout can affect your knees, but not your spine. Your low back carries the weight of your entire upper body, so it is most prone to injury and wearing out of the discs that cushion the vertebrae. You are very young, and even though losing weight sounds hard, it isn't nearly as hard as living with chronic back pain, having to possibly have back surgeries, and knee replacements. Staying overweight will accelerate the arthritis and degeneration of the spinal structures, and those problems can be devastating and disabling. Your best bet is to make up your mind to change your lifestyle, lose weight, get low impact exercise and stay active. Prolonged sitting is the worst position for the back pain, as it increases disc pressure more than standing, walking. Strengthening your core muscles (back, abdominal and obliques) will help support your back structures. The aforementioned swimming in a warm pool is great advice. I would avoid weight lifting and do low impact aerobic exercise. A few visits with a good dietician and joining a weight loss club such as weight watchers could be very helpful. Exercising with others at a gym can provide extra motivation to keep moving in the right direction. There is no easy answer, and no time like the present to start making some healthy changes. It will be worth it in the long run. I remember you couldn't imagine living with gout when you were diagnosed, and you are doing it! The arthritis may very well get better when you take the strain off your joints. In the meantime, antiinflammatories like Naprosyn OTC can help with the pain when you need something. I would be sure your uric acid is checked periodically too to keep it under 5.5, to protect your joints from gout damage.
And to add to the great advice you've gotten so far....Percocet may not relieve the pain...it never did for me. Ibuprofen only takes a little of the edge if I take the max dose or 800mgs.
Sometimes the only thing to do is lose some weight.
I finally did lose when I needed an MRI and I didn't fit in the machine...something you too may face. It hit me that what if it was cancer and not just a bad knee or back? What if I couldn't be diagnosed or treated because I didn't fit in the darn machine. So I lost a bunch of the weight and lost a lot of my pain too. But I already had totaled out my knees. Too late for my knees but not too late for yours. If you think your arthritis hurts now...just wait. And having both knees replaced...you have no idea how badly it hurts.
I'm just so lost. I think my problem goes farther than wear and tear. I think mine is worse due to the level of uric acid in my blood. I mean I haven't been the most active person my whole life but I haven't just lounged my whole life either. I know everyone is different but I can't figure out why my hip is the worst part of my pain. I thought I read that the back is usually the worst. My hip aches on the outside of my body but I feel it to most towards my pelvic region. Oh and why do the joints crack when I get up? Is that something that will go away as I lose weight? My story is a sad one because I lost over 100 pounds from May of 2010 to March of 2011 and gained it back because of a different foot problem I had. The reason I figured percocet would work for me now is because of how early of a stage I'm in. I read where pain meds help earlier on. I'm kind of flabbergasted because I always thought osteoarthritis came on one joint at a time and when multiple started hurting I assumed it was a different kind of arthritis. So I'm guessing getting into the warm pool at my local gym is the best bet but what about a stationary bike? I read where getting your heart rate up helps and I just can't see myself being able to get my heart rate up in the pool now. When I was able to swim laps I could get it going but I doubt now.
Oh and when will I know if I need anti-inflammatories? I mean how will I feel I guess is the main question.
Last edited by bigdiesel717; 01-24-2013 at 06:43 PM.
Hi I got a recumbent bike from one of the small super stores some do have a weight limit that may be a good idea! Mine has an Mp3 player hookup, a face fan but I add another on the side, has good back support, seat moves 8 programs, bad part I had to put together ugh. Have it in the corner of bedroom it's about 5' long 2 1/2 ft wide. I can slide it around.
It's made by goldsgym I think it was around $300. It's digital the fan and readout run off 6 as batteries. I can't ride it right cuz I twisted my ankle.
Can't wait to get back on it but I can't wear tennis shoes!
I give up. There has to be a reason I'm getting bad this fast. I realize I'm a bigger person and knew arthritis would come quicker than usual but not this fast. Last night I played Wii bowling for about 20 minutes and today I woke up feeling like I got hit by a bus. My neck, shoulders, hips, and back all ache. I tried to get into a new doctor yesterday because my doctor just isn't thorough enough and I was denied because the new doc doesn't accept Caresource. Prescription pain pills don't work and neither do over the counter pain relievers with anti inflammatories. I'm lost.
Hi, diesel, i will tell you my story...I am 51 and have been dx'd with OA in my lower back and right shoulder. Lots of pain now for about 1.5 years, been through the pain management (pills) thing for about 8 months now and nothing worked. I am now off the pain meds, why? well I have been told by every specialist that I was overweight and that was the reason I had so many health issues, only about 40lbs overweight. So 3 months ago I started a weight loss eating program that didn't require exercise, as my OA doesnt allow me great movement. I have lost 20 pounds with eating veggies, protein, and limited carbs and the constant pain I was plagued with has gone away. I still have pain from activity but I can almost tolerate it. I am also trying Acupuncture again. My advice is to find a good registered Dietitian and try dropping a couple pounds to see if that will help.
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I need to do this diet that requires little exercise. I'm going to hop in the therapy pool tomorrow at the local gym. I have no clue what exercises are bad for my arthritis other than weight bearing stuff. I figured sitting down and doing certain exercises would be alright but I was wrong. I'm seriously confused as to what is going on with me. It's like my whole body is going through it and I'm not sure why my shoulders, wrists, and elbows are involved. I'm really thinking it has something to do with my uric acid levels being high for so long. That is the only thing that makes sense to my non medically trained mind. I also read where a lot of people drop weight when they get arthritis. I've gained weight. I read where people's joints sometimes hurt when their kidneys are barely working. Can someone tell me why? My urine production has decreased and it's been dark every time. I guess I wouldn't have so many questions if I had a better doctor. Thanks to anyone who can help