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arthritis flare ups - depressing

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,899
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Arthritis, Osteoarthritis
Hello All,

I have had arthritis for years, but nothing like it has been the past three weeks.

I have been on Voltaren for close to 20 years. Before I took the medication I could not make a tight fist with my hands. With Voltaren I was back to normal.

Okay fast forward - Three weeks ago I woke up and the joints in my fingers, wrist, shoulder, lower back and hips hurt with that nasty arthritic feeling. That lasted 2 days, and then the arthritic pain was in the background and I felt good again.

The following Tuesday, BANG, another flare up of my arthritis in the same joints. Thank goodness that only lasted for a day.

Then this morning I got ZAPPED again. This is getting downright depressing.

When I would have a "bad weather" day with my lower back pain I initially thought it was perhaps due to the atrmospheric pressure, etc. However, I could never find any correlation. One of those bad days would just come without any warning.

Enough background - Questions - Have any of you had similar arthritic flareups, etc.? If so, were you able to find something that would help?

All of your experiences, thoughts and advice are most welcome.



  • Oh yes, it happens to me a lot. I have severe DDD in the lower back and it hurts a lot with the cold weather. My knees, wrists, ankles, and fingers join in to give me trouble as well. I have to take motrin to survive this time of year. It is depressing when you wake up in the morning in so much pain that it's nearly impossible to get out of bed. It's a good idea to set your alarm to take your medicine before you wake up, so that it's in your system already.
  • I actually have to do stretches before I can even think about getting out of bed. Some days I hurt so bad, I cry. I'm only 54 and wonder what it will be like in 20 years. Have you tried aqua therapy? It has really helped me.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    You are not alone here. I have been battling with severe osteoarthritis for
    almost 30 years. At first it was most noticable in my hands, wrists, and feet.
    The past half dozen years it has wreaked havoc with my vertabrae requiring
    surgery to both my lumbar and cervical spine.
    You may need to have your Dr change your meds as your body may not respond as well anymore to the meds you have been on for so long. Over the years my rheumatologist has had to change my meds for me when they became not as effective over time.
    My mornings suck as well especially in colder weather but once I get going and stay motivated I can do well.
    Depressing? You know it friend! But I put on my game face, pick myself up, and try and stay busy to take my mind off of it. Try and remember it is not only hard on you but the ones that love you as they don't want to see you suffer.

    Take care and I hope you find the relief you deserve.
  • Hello Everyone,

    Thanks for sharing, your thoughts and advice. Nice to know in a way that the arthritis pain I have is real because unfortunately you too have it. AND that you too get this depressed feeling.

    Meydey - Okay, so this cold weather DOES make it worse. This past summer working in our gardens I would feel great. Of course then, I too was getting more exercise.

    Motrin I beleive would be a NO No for me being I'm taking Voltaren. Is that correct?

    Maddysmom - What kind of stretches do you do? No I have not tried aqua therapy, but I'll talk to my PM doc about it.

    For your info I'm 72. I am thankful for the good days I have.

    Ranger - Likewise for me it started with my hands. About that time I also found out I had DDD.

    You have made a good point about perhaps a change in medication may help. That perhaps the Voltaren isn't as effect as it once was. I was questioning that myself this fall when once in a great while I'd have a bit of an "ache" in my finger joints.

    "My mornings suck as well especially in colder weather but once I get going and stay motivated I can do well." That's what I try to do for my ole back pain, but this arthritic pain really puts me down. How do you get yourself motivated when at least for me all I want to do is sit in my recliner with the heating pad on. Your post and encouragement will help me to kick myself in the butt and try to get moving.

    "Try and remember it is not only hard on you but the ones that love you" - Very true. Just this morning I said to my wife "This arthritis really gets me down." Her reply "Tell me about it" in other words for her too.

    May tomorrow be a "good day" for all of us!!

  • I bring my left knee up to my chest and hold for 10 seconds, then do the same with my right knee. (5X each) Then I bring both knees up to my chest and slowly sway back and forth 4 or 5 times.

    The aqua therapy is great because the buoyancy of the water lets you excercise without putting pressure on your joints. My local rec center has classes specifically designed for people with arthritis.

    Happy New Year to you. :)
  • My doc put me on prednisone for five to seven days, which eased the pain off immensely and gave me back my life.

    I stretch every day; I learned a routine at a pain clinic, so I can't really go into details about the whole thing, but pelvic tilts, "cat" stretches (on your hands and knees arching and stretching), forward bends, "one vertebrae at a time", gentle backward stretches and side to side stretches are a few of them.

    I am currently on Froban, also known as Flurbiprofen, and it has been a big help to me. I have ankylosing spondylitis as well as a few other issues, so am also on methotrexate; an awful drug, but it has helped me a lot as well.

    I'm with maddysmom, too; there are some great arthritis exercise programs offered at most pools, and they are very gentle.

    Good luck.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,720
    Rich, you here so much about arthritis, but until you actual have it and it progresses you really dont understand the whole picture.
    I've had some recent flare ups, the resulted in a series of tests that my Pain Management doctor wanted to get done. The MRI's came out negative, which is good news, I think but that other side of the coin, they just told me that my arthritis in several areas is progressing rapidly.
    Luckily, there are ways to combat arthritis or at least deal with it. I am trying everything I know and what I have read to keep things like this under control
    Hopefully, your flare up will not last that long. Look at it this way, you are on the downside of a peduncle swing, but at some point, it will have an upward turn.
    Good luck, we all find our own ways on how to make sure we get through anything
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Hello Ron,

    Seems like those arthritis flare-ups are fairly common (unfortunately) for people having arthritis.

    For the past few days the arthritis has stayed in the "background". Hope it stays that way.

    Yep, one has to think positive.

  • RichT said:

    You have made a good point about perhaps a change in medication may help. That perhaps the Voltaren isn't as effect as it once was. I was questioning that myself this fall when once in a great while I'd have a bit of an "ache" in my finger joints.

    I would suggest that instead of Voltaren, you try Mobic.
    I was on Voltaren back in the 80's, then went to Vioxx, and have been on Mobic for several years now.
    For me, it works very well. Takes about 2 weeks to kick in.
    Still take pain meds and have facet joint injections, but each plays a role. With arthritis, you need all the help you can get!
    With finger joints, I read recently that this can also be tendons getting snagged. Mine get sore occasionally and if I move them I can feel the tendon go back into place.
  • Hello Peter,

    Thanks for your post and thoughts. Amazing, for some reason I have not heard of Mobic before. I will definitely mention it to my PM doc and get this thoughts.

    However, there is some indication from an ongoing study that "Mobic may be even riskier than Vioxx" regarding heart attacks. That does raise some concern.

    Have a Good Day!!

  • Hi RichT, just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...........
    I have noticed that on many occasions my blood pressure is a bit high, then later on it drops back to a good level.
    I'm now wondering if I'm being affected by Mobic?
    It has certainly risen a lot since I started on Mobic last year. I don't think I have any heart problems to worry about, but it does concern me.
    Glad you mentioned it.
    I'll ask my GP tomorrow.
    When he takes the bp, it is really good, but I see the spikes in my home tests.
    The last time I fronted up for blood donoring I had to wait for a while until the bp was acceptable.
  • Hello Peter,

    AHHHhhh, you are an excellent "data keeper" and observer. Your observations regarding your blood pressure are most informative, and to me mean more than any "third party" mention of such an effect.

    Tomorrow I'm going to lock the door when my PM doc comes in. lol I have a lot of questions to ask him, and especially about Mobic.

    Hope you have a sunny day.

  • Hello Peter,

    In my chatting with my PM doc today, and about my arthritis "flare-ups" he suggested that I try Mobic. I then mentioned to him that from what I have read it is just about as bad as Vioxx regarding heart issues. To which he replied "yes, it and others do have the potential of causing heart issues". YET, he still wants me to try Mobic.

    After my ESI tomorrow I'm going back to Voltaren for a few weeks and see how that goes before I try Mobic.

    Peter, while on Voltaren I would like to take my blood pressure like you do so that I have a "baseline". Would you be so kind and send me a PM on the home blood pressure device you use/recommend. Thanks


  • hi RichT, at the blood bank yesterday my bp was 166/92, and the time there before 3m ago it was 169/101. Both times I visited my GP afterwards and his readings were both 140/90.
    Still a bit high, but dropping.
    He didn't think that Mobic was the cause, more likely an artery problem.
    My cholesterol level is also a little high so have begun a strict low fat diet-especially after Xmas! We had been having a few creamy sweets for a while so it has caught up with me.
    Now I feel nauseous or just not hungry, probably a symptom of the arthritis, so it should be no problem cutting back.
    From what I have read, NSAIDS can exacerbate existing heart problems, but I don't know if they actually cause them.
    So, in view of my elevated cholesterol I'm inclined to think that my arteries might be a bit clogged, so a strict diet should see a good result.
    I will stay on Mobic rather than change two things at once.
    I read somewhere that any drug that has the potential to benefit you must also have the potential to harm you.
    So I will keep a close eye on things, but can't face the prospect of losing my little helpers!
  • Hi RichT, didn't forget!
    We use an Omron M4, which we have had for a long time.
    Has been reliable and easy to use.
    I keep a daily diary to record any exciting events (usually none) plus medications and a general note on pains or other physical things of that nature.
    May not lead to anything, but if you have the notes they may be helpful at some stage. Without them, just memory, well..................
    Blood pressure records I keep on a record sheet downloaded from the aust Heart Foundation. One for each of us. They stay near the monitor.
  • Hello Peter,

    Thanks for the info on the blood pressure device you use.

    It will be an interesting experiment. Thursday before I had my ESI the blood pressure was 124 (can never remember the second number). After the injection it was up to 142. Nurse said it is normal for it to go up during the procedure. Just a bit of that "concern" I guess.

    It is SOOOooo good to be back on Voltaren again. A little ache now, but nothing like it was when I was off of the med for 4 days. I'm going to see how things go. If I start having "bad days" again, then perhaps I'll give Mobic a try. Now I have to kick myself to routinely check my blood pressure.

    Regarding high cholesterol. I hope your change in diet helps. For me it took Lipitor to do the trick. I've been on it for years now. Now about 175-185 and the good cholesterol is in the good range.

    Have a GREAT Day!


  • I have been reading a lot today and trying to get caught up on everyone. Glad to hear you are doing better, Tracy and that the MTX is helping you.

    Ron, congratulations on the good news from your MRI.

    Rich, what helps my flares is the 5-day Medrol pack(high dose prednisone). I am on this now, as I have been in a flare for a few weeks.(I blame it on moving plus cleaning, shopping, etc for Christmas) But I finally got back on my MTX a few weeks ago, so am starting to feel better. The incision from my foot surgery finally healed and also the blister. I was in wound care clinic with those from Sept to Dec. I have something else (BIG NEWS) to share also but it deserves its own topic. So will start a new thread with that.

    So glad to be back,


  • Hi Everyone, I just joined this site after going on it everyday for the last 2 months.I was wondering if any of you have OA in Every joint? Mine started in 97.In 2002 I had a r. hip replacement and it has been all downhill from there.My back got rapidly worse and finally had a laminectomy on L-4,L-5,S-5,S-1 and foramin onL-5 root,S-1 root,inferior L-4 root in April 08,meanwhile,broke my ankle,inside and outside bones,don't know how.Saw teh Dr. about shoulder pain-says I need a shoulder replace and by the way,when did I break ny collarbone.Told him I never broke it but x-rays showed a fracture on each side.Had a bone scan- showed OA in all joints-even toes !And finally, had the L hip replaced Aug.08.Has anyone else expierenced this kind of OA and where will it end !
  • Hello Jackie,

    Welcome to SH. Your "looking in" during the past few months I'm sure has given you a "good feel" about the people who post here.

    So sorry to read about all that you have been through and are continuing to go through. How is your hip replacement recovery going? I hope well.

    Jackie, my thoughts and prayers are with you. OA is not an easy road.

    Take care.

  • Hi everyone,

    Would it not be wonderful if these forums did not exist and we were all perfectly healthly? I admire each of you for your courage and the information your willing to share with everyone.

    I have been on PM for the past year and a half. Tried most of them. The best so far is MS Cotin 15mg ( he wanted me to tak 30mg) but I resisted. Percocet for BT.
    Well, I am treated for 4 herniated disc, and everything else almost that can be wrong with the back. My symptoms of pain and location changed frequently, but guess what the worst pain was diagnosed by me. It was ignored as just a part of the back problems until I insisted on an x-ray. I mean insisted. I have to have bilateral hip replacements and the orth. evaluated me extensively and my primary pain is from my hips. I am to where I could not even walk into the large hospital with my cane to see my first grandbaby. Talk about emotional ...... well I was. So the gist of all this is ....take control of your care and make sure someone listens, you are not imaging your pain.
  • Hello Lynn,

    Welcome to SH. Thank you for your very kind words.

    "take control of your care and make sure someone listens, you are not imaging your pain." AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!! EXCELLENT words of wisdom.

    I hope things get better for you. May I ask if you have had ESIs? They have worked for me and keep me away from the knife.

    Take care.

  • :D langston2, hi and welcome to the forum! =D> you have come to the right place for support and some good times away from the pain. have a look around and make yourself at home. good luck as you face your pain problems. Jenny :D
  • Rich T, i was reading over your post and what shows through so much is your kind heart. :X taking the time to respond to each post takes time and dedication. something SH is all about. anyway, i do hope this cold weather is not giving you alot of problems. ~X( i can feel it down to my bones and i live in sunny southern California!! :D good luck! Jenny :)
  • Hello Jenny,

    Thank you Jenny for your very kind words. This time of year the weather does enable me to post more. In about another 4-6 weeks I'll be out doing my "gardening exercises".

    Jenny, I'm actually shocked that living in sunny southern California, today you can feel that nasty arthritis "down to (your) bones". Seems like no matter where we live ole man arthritis still zaps us.

    Today, here in Northern Virginia the temp. went down to 4 F. I am pleasantly surprised that since my last ESI on 1-8-09 my arthritis has stayed a bit in the background. Not sure if there is a connection or not.

    May tomorrow be a much better day for you. Perhaps some of the warm sun and swaying palms will help.

    Take care. HUGS


  • :D i know it sounds so ludicrous to be cold here when there is a deep freeze all over the United States. but when the temp. dips to 40 in the night i do have to say it is cold!!! LOL! i want to move to the White Mountains in
    Arizona and i have no idea how i will deal with the colder weather there, it snows. you must be frozen to the bone Rich!! goodness, now i know why all of you move here! =)) i will think of you as i walk by the bay with the sun above and the palm trees all around!!! =)) i hope the sun peeks out a bit at your house. Jenny :)
  • Hello Jenny,

    AHHHHh, I feel warmer already! Thanks

    Spring will not come soon enough for me. Can't wait to get my hands dirty digging holes. lol

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