Arthritis - What Do You Do?

Lounge By AJsGirl Updated 23 Dec 2009 , 2:18am by yaadie

AJsGirl Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 2:20am
post #1 of 62

Hello to all my cake friends! A question...

Do any of you have arthritis in your hands? If so, what do you do to cope with the pain? Any special techniques or braces or pain medication you use to help you push through and finish that cake?

I'm really struggling with this right now. Thank goodness hubby is always around to color icing for me. thumbs_up.gif

And tips or suggestions you have would be invaluable to me!

61 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 2:46am
post #2 of 62

I had bad arthritis in my wrists a few months ago...I actually think it was a side effect from some medication I was taking but I could barely brush my long hair never mind color and mix icing.It was excrutiating to pipe etc...I took lots of extra strength advil which did help for a few hours but the aching during the middle of the night was horrible.Try getting a perscription pain reliever from your doctor to help when it flares up.My hubby has Gout which is a form of arthritis in his joints.The pain was so bad he could hardly get out of bed or move for about a week and it was aweful to see and deal with.It took me 15 minutes to get him down the stairs on his bum and screamed the whole time.His wrist,knee and ankle blew up like a balloon.He finally went to the Dr. after about the 4 th flare up in a year and begged her to give him some relief.Finally she perscribed Diclofenac sodium which is a strong pain reliever and at least now when the flare ups happen he can take a pill everyday until the swelling passes to deal with the pain..200 times better!!

lindambc Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 2:52am
post #3 of 62

I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. Its starting to form in my hands too. So I was prescribed meds that work pretty well.
But this is what I have found that works for me:

Thermacare heat patches, they make ones for the wrists and hands. Love em. Also motrin. Get a hand massage or a manicure with massage. Those really help. I just give myself more time doing cakes just in case my hands or back need a break.

HTH

indydebi Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 3:26am
post #4 of 62

I have a mild case of it in my hands. When I can remember, before I start a big project, I'll take a couple Aleve's before I start to work, to prevent them from aching.

I also have it in my neck (triggered from a car wreck when I was 16). When THAT kicks in, I walk around in a soft neck brace for a few days, so I really try to be careful in how I lay .. make sure I have good neck support at night, etc.

This must be when she meant, when I said, "I don't mind getting old", and my dear 80 year old MIL said, "you will." icon_lol.gif

cakedoll Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 4:45pm
post #5 of 62

I have very bad arthritis in my hands. About 7 months ago I started taking glucosamine--3 a day, was able to cut it to 2 a day---then I switched to the liquid form by Wellesse. Sams carries it.

I'm one of these people that has a hard time with pills of any kind, and I've found that the liquid glucosamine has a lot faster results. It also has helped my knees tremendously. The recommended amount on the liquid is 1 oz. per day.

I still can't grip anything tightly but it has really helped with the pain and mobility.

ziggytarheel Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 4:54pm
post #6 of 62

I have RA and lately, my hands haven't been too bad.

But here are my recommendations, after years of frequent doctor's visits and physical therapy:

Aleve. I take prescription strength.

A parafin bath. If you can buy one of these, they are fabulous. Plug the thing in, wait for the wax to completely melt, make sure you are not wearing long sleeves (learned this one the hard way!), and dip your hand. Cover in one of the plastic bags that should be with your bath, rest and relax until the wax loses all its heat, peel and if the wax is clean and only you are using it, you can put the wax back in the bath.

Heat in other forms. A hot bath before beginning is great. Leave your hands in the water.

Take care of yourself before, during and after.

yaadie Posted 27 Feb 2009 , 5:02pm
post #7 of 62

I also have RA and it is really bad in my left hand, I wear an elasticised support when I am doing the cake, it offers very little relief but I take my meds, I am concerned that it may end my cake career...icon_sad.gif
I just manage with meds and I bathe my hands in water as hot as I can stand after and massage them, I also take anti inflammatories on a regular basis. extra strength Advil helps with a flare up too.

7yyrt Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 10:15pm
post #8 of 62

Thinner (or warmer) icing makes for easier piping. Also take breaks - no more standing for hours at a time piping basket weave.
Plunging your arms to the elbows in a hot tub or sink eases cramping.

AJsGirl Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 10:20pm
post #9 of 62

Sorry I'm so late in responding. Thank you to all of your for your suggestions. I'm glad I'm not alone. I haven't tried heat, so I'll have to do that.

I'm allergic to Aleve. icon_sad.gif I heard it's a miracle drug though! icon_sad.gif

I'm only 30. My doctor thought I had RA, but my blood work came back today, and it's negative. I'm not really sure what to do now. I just hurt all over, especially in the mornings, and especially my hands.

But the biggest thing has been cakes. I would hate to give it up! But I'm so slow now, a 2-tiered 10 and 6 square took me about 10 hours, including baking time. icon_sad.gif

ziggytarheel Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 11:18pm
post #10 of 62

I'm wondering why your doctor has already completely ruled out RA? Just because of a blood test? The blood test is not definitive.

When you say you hurt all over, is the pain somewhat symmetrical? For example, if one knee hurts, do both? Is it only you joints that hurt? Is your spine involved (no spine with RA)? Are you stiff, not just sore in the mornings?

Try a hot bath every morning. Seriously. It might make a huge difference.

-K8memphis Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 11:35pm
post #11 of 62

I have fibromyalgia and some other stuff--but coral calcium has really worked wonders for me. It's just over the counter.

I try to point myself to good health--sleep & eat right, drink water (does Diet Coke count? icon_biggrin.gif ) exercise, (that nasty four letter word).

So if I get injured it takes forever to heal--the coral calcium helps me so much--the magnesium helps me sleep and cope and I heal better when I do get injured but I don't get the easy injuries either.

I've done Dr. Perricone's 3-day diet too--he points you toward foods that are not inflammatory. He's a skin doc but it helped my insides too. I've done it several times. You can google it if you are interested, lotsa of salmon but you're never hungry.

Blessings on you to find a good pathway for feeling better!!

GenGen Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 11:49pm
post #12 of 62

i'm 37 years old and about 3 years ago i was diagnosed with a severe form of ankylosing spondylitis (google it) its in the family of RA which means i have to see an RA specialist several times a year, as well as this condition affects my eyes so i've been on a close relationship with an eye specialist too. seen those two more then my own personal DR. i have to take weekly injections of Humira, standard doses are once every two weeks, plus 1 cc of methotrexate every week, its the highest level of that medication as well. if i stop responding to these i go to once every two weeks or a monthly infusion.

anyways didn't mean to turn any stomachs etc. i've had to curtail my decorating alot too.. till recently i was doing great hand wise but last month its been a battle to say the least.

so i'm right there with ya.. keeping my chin up as much as i can; finding a smile where ever i can as well heh.. cake decorating; gardening (when i can) and my pets, finned,cats and dog..

we should start a "helpful tips for the frosting challenged folks" section (grins)

GenGen Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 11:55pm
post #13 of 62

oh one tip my dr gave me with alot of the bone pain and aches. keep your calcium with Lots of Vitamin D up. i have to take any kind of calcium that has at least 400 mg or IU i forget which its listed as, 3x a day. even if its in a multi vitamin they said.

another option for the folks who like to take glucosamine chondroitin is that product Elations, its a small 8 oz bottle of juice with 1500 mg of glucosamine and 1200mgs of chondroitin, its lable says its more absorbable then pills which i believe and its low in sugar, and only 30 calories per bottle

you get it in a six pack with about 7$ average price. i opt for this cause i'm sick of taking pills lol. i take any short cut i can. works great, tastes great and usualy easy to find. i buy it at walmart. some varieties come with a coupon= i use it! hey one bottle of juice once a day, yup i forgot to mention once a day. where as many of the glucosamine/chondroitin pills range from 2 a day on up to 2-3 several times a day and those things are HUGE.


at the risk of sounding like a commercial the website is www.elations.com

fiddlesticks Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 11:56pm
post #14 of 62

I also have osteoarthritis and I take anti inflammatories that help a lot but some days nothing will help and I find if I go to the tanning beds it makes a huge difference. It also will last for a few days. I go in the winter when the cold makes all my bones acke so bad .
I f I go tan even 1x a week it really makes me feel so much better.
Plus I take Osteo Bi-flex and that really helps after you have been on it regular .

GenGen Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 12:03am
post #15 of 62

i wish i could take the tanning beds.i can get a once a week tan for free right now. just the meds i'm on say stay out of the sun as much as possible ( grumble) i'm pale enough as it is.. i'd scare the folks at the North pole- i bet their tanner then i am!

-K8memphis Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 12:47am
post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by GenGen

i'm 37 years old and about 3 years ago i was diagnosed with a severe form of ankylosing spondylitis (google it)...




I googled it--Oh my!

Hope you feel better and you get this thing in remission permanent like.

L & P,
Kate

GenGen Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 12:52am
post #17 of 62

well i wont ever be in remission. its barely controlled as it is right now at the high level of medication its at. i did have stressed out times but i take every little victory as it comes. even if its a day where i can get out of bed ok; thats a score in my book icon_smile.gif

cookiemama2 Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 12:57am
post #18 of 62

I find the heat patches are not hot enough. I buy the hand warmers (at the dollerstore) and use a tensor bandage to wrap it around my knee...lasts for atleast eight hours.

Chiara Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 1:03am
post #19 of 62

I know this will not help relieve immediate pain but if you start to take Glucosamine it will help all your joints.
Glucosamine is a protein that is between all joints and as we age it decreases.
This helps replace it. It is oral and available in most drug & health stores. It will take effect roughly 3 wks after you start taking it. It has to build up in your system so you are not going to see anything overnight. This is not a chemical drug but rather a natural product.
Now, if you have a shelf fish allergy this is not for you. They take the glucosamine from ground up shells.

I hope you all become pain free one day.
Claire

Wildrose6633 Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 1:31am
post #20 of 62

I have both Osteo arthritis and Fibromyalgia I currently am still recovering from my 2nd knee replacement surgery. Both of my knees destroyed by severe osteo. Now my Back is beginning to go. And my hands and feet ache and ache. I am still struggling to garden in the summer and to bake small cakes and goodies for friends and family beyond that I no longer can keep up with decorating cakes. icon_cry.gif Wish I could but I no longer can book, icon_sad.gif so I am still happy to surprise my friends when I can work.
You guys keep hanging in there maybe soon I will be able to add something to the gallery again.

Barb

GenGen Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 1:45am
post #21 of 62

one common misconception is glucosamine alone isn;t much help or as much as it would be w/o the combined chondroitin with it.

AJsGirl Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 2:42am
post #22 of 62

Thanks again everyone. I have insulin resistance, PCOS, pelvic congestion, fibrocystic disease, and high cholesterol. All of it is under control right now, so trust me when I say I'm a diet and exercise junkie! icon_biggrin.gif

I am taking glucosamine/condroitin already. I did think about switching to the Elations though.

littlecake Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 4:21am
post #23 of 62

I used to have carpel tunnel in both my wrists...it was awful, after a heavy weekend I was almost afraid to go to sleep, because I'd wake up with raging pain....it was so bad I'd sit on my hands till they went numb to get relief....

When I wore magnetic bracelets it really seemed to help....it was bad, but not nearly as severe....(i was skeptical too)

I prayed and prayed for God to heal me....(told my wrists to "line up with the word")...i didn't see any difference, but I kept praying...what seemed to me like wimpy prayers, (it was going on so long)...well.... about 18 months into it one weekend I noticed my hands weren't swollen....and no more pain, that was 3 years ago, and it has never come back....I'm grateful to Him every day....

TrinaH Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 4:29am
post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJsGirl



I'm only 30. My doctor thought I had RA, but my blood work came back today, and it's negative.




RA can't really be crossed off the diagnostic list based on bloodwork (unless of course, the bloodwork tells them that it IS something else) or so my rheumatologist told me.

I wonder if they did Rheumatoid Factoring, hmm. Up to 40% of people with RA have negative RA factors though..

What type of doctor did your testing?

TrinaH Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 4:34am
post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by GenGen

i have to take weekly injections of Humira, standard doses are once every two weeks, plus 1 cc of methotrexate every week, its the highest level of that medication as well. if i stop responding to these i go to once every two weeks or a monthly infusion.




Wow, your medicine box sounds like mine!! Instead of Humira, I take Enbrel. I also take the injections twice as often as the standard dose schedule (twice weekly vs weekly). I take 17.5 mg of methotrexate too... on top of Azulfidine and Plaquenil! Not to mention the crap to fix the problems all those meds cause (folic acid, calcium, vit d)

GenGen Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 7:10am
post #26 of 62

i liked enbrel for my joints but it wasn't controlling the iritis which is a symptom of the arthritis i mentioned above. the iritis was so agressive it took double the humira. i miss how the enbrel helped my joints feel though.

yah i'm on the folic acid,vit D,calcium and some anti inflammatory pill as needed

just bury me now or make me really numb lol j/k

maryj Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 12:21pm
post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by GenGen

i'm 37 years old and about 3 years ago i was diagnosed with a severe form of ankylosing spondylitis (google it) its in the family of RA which means i have to see an RA specialist several times a year, as well as this condition affects my eyes so i've been on a close relationship with an eye specialist too. seen those two more then my own personal DR. i have to take weekly injections of Humira, standard doses are once every two weeks, plus 1 cc of methotrexate every week, its the highest level of that medication as well. if i stop responding to these i go to once every two weeks or a monthly infusion.

anyways didn't mean to turn any stomachs etc. i've had to curtail my decorating alot too.. till recently i was doing great hand wise but last month its been a battle to say the least.

so i'm right there with ya.. keeping my chin up as much as i can; finding a smile where ever i can as well heh.. cake decorating; gardening (when i can) and my pets, finned,cats and dog..

we should start a "helpful tips for the frosting challenged folks" section (grins)




I too suffer from asnkylosing spondilitis. Although my Iritis hasn't flared up in almost six months. Excercise!!!! I ride bike, even in the morning when I am at the stiffest. I have a stationary bike for the winter, but my husband and I ride every morning before we go to work in the warmer months. Swimming laps in a pool is also very helpful.

maryj Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 12:29pm
post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by GenGen

one common misconception is glucosamine alone isn;t much help or as much as it would be w/o the combined chondroitin with it.




A friend is a pharmacist, he told us, after taking a continuing ed class, that Chondortin and sulfate work exacttly the same when combined with glucosamine. The glucosimine sulphate is way cheaper than chondrotin. Save money on the glucosimine and more money for cake stuff!!

mjballinger Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 12:51pm
post #29 of 62

As always, I feel it necessary when anyone recommends anti-inflammatories (ie Motrin, Advil) to use caution. Taken regularly they can and DO cause stomach irritation and can lead to big problems. I had a perforated ulcer last year which was attributed to Advil and Motrin. People think they are harmless, but they are not. And if you are taking them, please do not ignore any stomach aches.

I love all the ideas I've seen though, paraffin baths, therma-care, etc...

-K8memphis Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 2:51pm
post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjballinger

As always, I feel it necessary when anyone recommends anti-inflammatories (ie Motrin, Advil) to use caution. Taken regularly they can and DO cause stomach irritation and can lead to big problems. I had a perforated ulcer last year which was attributed to Advil and Motrin. People think they are harmless, but they are not. And if you are taking them, please do not ignore any stomach aches.

I love all the ideas I've seen though, paraffin baths, therma-care, etc...




The heads up is good one. Thank you for that.

However, taken regularly does not always cause the problems if they are taken as prescribed. I have used ibuprofen for decades in the highest dosages and do not have any discernable stomach damage because I take it with the proper food to help it digest inside me and not ingest me in the process.

So I'm sorry you have the bad issues and I'm not saying you didn't take it correctly I'm just saying regularly usage alone does not cause the problems.

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