Arthritis help

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Nancy, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have arthritis in my feet and lately I've had a terrible time sleeping because just the weight of the sheet hurts them. Also the bone below the big toe is very very sore and I'm having a hard time finding shoes I can wear. I did buy a good pair of tennis shoes today.

    I went on a shopping trip with my easy child this weekend and I was sad that I couldn't walk all day like I use to. Has anyone else found anything that helps? I borrowed some of my Dad's celebrex but that doesn't even seem to work very well.

  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ketoprofen helps a bit more in my book than celebrex does I think.

    Vicoprofen is even better.

    As far as the actual shoes, I think Saucony makes the absolute bests shoes out there for people with arthritis. My podiatrist turned me onto them years ago. They may not be the most stylish of shoes or in the best colors but they wear well, last a long time, and cost less than a hundred bucks a pair. I think the most expensive pair I even found was like $100. I can normally find a good pair for near 80 or less and they will last me at least two years which isnt bad. Another good brand is Sketchers. I like them because they are clunkey and large but very lightweight. I needed the clunkier shoe to allow me to insert the brace.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I'm sorry you're in so much pain :( I don't imagine my prescription-strength Naproxen would help any more than the Celebrex. Maybe Janet's suggestions would help.

    Have you tried soaking them before bed? I read this on a Kaiser website for degenerative joint disease issues:

  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I would invest in a good down blanket. I don't have arthritis, but my feet are very weak. My feet can be very weighted down and bent uncomfortably by the blankets. Anything much more weighty than a sheet is too much.

    I also rely heavily upon the shopping cart when I am out shopping. It takes at least the upper half of my body weight off of my feet. Even if I am only buying one small thing, I always steer a shopping cart around the store.
  5. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    A kinda foot cradle. You can make one out of plywood by making an L shape out of plywood the same width as the bed. Put the bottom leg of the L under the end of the bed leaving the stick part upright. Now make the bed over that and it makes a tend to keep the covers off your feet. Sorry if that is not too clear, any good Occupational Therapist (OT) or PT will know what I am talking about.
  6. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    The last time my RA flared, I took Ketoprofen and it helped. I also got Methotrexate shots in my arm weekly for a couple of months. The flare subsided and I've been in remission now for 3 years after an episode that lasted six months.

    My feet were bad the last time so I had the bunion on my left foot removed. It helped quite a bit with my gait and pain in my foot. Could your foot pain be gout? There are specific medications for that so you should talk to your rheumatologist.

    I feel for you - there have been times in the past when I just wanted to die as the pain was so bad.
  7. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Any chance it's gout? It is so painful that a sheet will cause pain.
    Sorry I don't have any suggestions but I can imagine how disappointing it is to not be able to do what you once did.
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    My mom has severe arthritis in her hands, and hasn't found any medication that really helps. Hers is osteo-arthritis, not RA.

    For shoes, she swears by Clarks sandals. She's a retired teacher, and says these give good support and don't look too bad, either.
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janet the tennis shoes I just bought are Saucony. They fit good and the salesperson told me they are good for people who have feet problems because they have good stability and are boxy in the toe area and the ones I got are gel soles so they cushion the foot. They did help a lot yesterday when I was walking.

    Thanks for the suggestions, I did see something once that kept the sheet off the feet and I may look into that.

    Fran I'm fairly certain it's not gout. My Dad has the same problem and I never understood when he told me the sheets hurt his feet but now I understand. It's that bone on the side of the foot right under the big toe, it's very tender to the touch at times.

  10. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Is it a bunion? My aunt's bunion was so bad that she had to keep her foot out from under the sheet. I had surgery on one of my bunions years ago and it is fine now.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Methotrexate is a DMARD. A disease modifying anti rheumatic drug. DMARD's actually stop the disease from damaging your body. A GOOD treatment protocol for arthritis will use DMARDs, NSAIDS (celebrex is a cox 2 inhibitor in the NSAID class and naproxn, ibuprofen and aspirin are all NSAIDS too). NSAIDS help the pain of arthritis by decreasing inflammation.

    Vicodin (the vico part of vicoprofen) is a narcotic. Most people who use narcotics for pain have a 0.02% chance of having addiction problems, so it is NOT a class of medications to be afraid of. The War on Drugs has unfairly targeted narcotics being used for pain control.

    The NSAIDS carry a very REAL risk of creating serious gastrointestinal problems. If you take them daily you should also be on a medication like prilosec or nexium. More people DIE from NSAIDS than deal with addiction from properly rx'd narcotic pain medications for arthritis. NSAIDS can be a quiet killer. Toradol (ketorolac) is one of the deadliest. It is SO effective at masking pain that you can bleed to death internally without feeling any stomach problems at all. If you are given it to take at home (rather than as a very rare shot at the doctor's office) you should NOT take it more then 3-4 days in a row and not more than 5 days in a month.

    If you take OTC medications like aleve or advil it is important to read the full instructions on the label. IF you need more, or to take them longer than as directed on the package you really should see the doctor.

    Celebrex is NOT a medication you should borrow. It carries a huge risk to your heart. ONLY take YOUR celebrex. It is very very dangerous. That is why celebrex is the ONLY cox-2 still in use. The others were all taken off the market by the manuf. Celebrex chose to stay in the market because it felt the unimpeded access to the market would vastly offset the cost in lawsuits for early death or disease. So far they are winning the gamble, but in many cases the public is losing that battle.

    It CAN be a useful drug. But it can be DEADLY if you take it and you are not rx'd it. It also needs time to build up in your system. An occasional dose will not help.

    You may want to ask your doctor about Lyrica. It can be helpful for some hand and foot problems.

    Saucony does make an awesome shoe for those of us with foot problems. They include a larger toe box so they don't press on your foot as much. They also do not crunch your toes together much. I have never tried a pair on that did not feel awesome. I can only try 2-3 pairs of shoes on at a time anymore. If I go for that 4th try I spend a few days with my feet cramping to beat the band.

    I also have found Crocs to be a good choice. THey give enough support and shock absorption with-o cramping my feet.

    Z coil shoes are also worth investigating. Usually under $100, they have a big heavy duty spring under your heel. Once the spring compresses when you stand on it, the heel is just about level with the toe bed. I LUCKED into a brand new pair at our church thrift store. They felt amazing when I tried them on. They said they would have to charge more for them than they usually charged. So instead of the normal $2 they wanted to charge me $4, LOL!! I actually paid $5 because they were out of ones and I wouldn't take change.

    When you buy z coils from the store they adjust the spring so that your body aligns correctly. I paid $20 to have mine adjusted simply because they took so much time with me. THey would not have charged me but since they spent more than half an hour working with me I didn't think it was fair. I am planning to take them in for a new heel pad soon.

    Zcoils have that up front cost but they last twice as long. You can take the shoes in and have the heel pad replaced for very little cost. Our store quoted me $20 for new pads and adjustment and $25 for new pads and new springs and adjustment. It was a few months ago, but still. That will give me at least another year of comfy wear.

    I have the "clog" version that my feet just slide in. They also have sneakers and even a few other types. You can see the shoes on ebay or you can see the full product line and find a local retailer by searching for z coil shoes on google.

    Be sure to investigate insoles and other ways to support your feet. We have several podiatrists in town who now carry the Dr. Scholl's massaging gel insoles instead of their private expensive kinds. They are more affordable and they provide an amazing amount of support and comfort.

    Regular massage of your feet can also help.

    IF the arthritis is kicking into gear you really NEED to see your doctor. There are a LOT of DMARDs now. There are also the tumor necrosis drugs, which are heavy duty medications. They include Enbrel, Humira and Remicade, plus a couple of others. These work specifically on a substance released by the disease. They can provide an amazing return to functioning and they can really end the pain for you.

    They DO have side effects so it is not something to jump into. Remicade CAUSES lupus in many many patients. Everyone I know who has used remicade (more than 20 relatives and friends of my parents!) has ended up fighting lupus after trying remicade. Remicade is actually given via IV over a couple of hours spent at the doctor's office or hospital. Enbrel and Humira are medications you injejct into yourself. Each one comes with pre-loaded syringes or with injector pens similar to the imitrex injections or an epipen. You just clean the skin and then put the loaded pen against your leg and push a button. I hate those so I got actual syringes preloaded with the medications.

    When they work they are miracles. For some patients, like me, they never have any effect. For some they just stop working after a few months.

    I strongly suggest using the various DMARDs that are NOT these tumor necrosis factor medications. While they didn't help ME, I have seen my mothers hands go from having "ulnar drift" where her fingers point more than 45 degrees off of their normal angle (they shifted to be angled toward her thumb more than they came straight off of her hand). It was excruciating and it was almost impossible to do any normal activity with her fingers.

    Mom takes Arava and it is a miracle medication. Her fingers not only work but the hands look normal and are as close to painless as they ahve ever been.

    So, this is a ton of info. Use what you can. Write down info about DMARDs and about the other medications and then consult your doctor about this. It is important to start real treatment early to avoid permanent damage to your body.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    That sounds like a bunion. You may need surgery to get any real help, but it is important to figure out if arthritis plays a part in it. If there is ANY arthritis it is important to start treating it with a DMARD. Otherwise you will end up with permanent damage.
  13. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks Susie, a lot of good info. I also have it in my finger joints and my hip and back and it travels to different parts. I will check into those shoes. At times the first joint of my pointer fingers looks gross. My mom, dad and sister all had/have the same problem. While I haven't had xrays, my sister's toe looks and feels the same as mine and she went to a foot dr and he sd it was not a bunion. Also it travels like I said before and there are times when my feet are fine and the pain is in my hip or back.

  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I hope you have a rheumatologist. A good rheumy will be your partner to keeping those traveling pains booked on a journey out of your body!

    With the family history you really NEED to be on a DMARD. They are not necessarily expensive. The Arava is available in generic. So were the other ones I tried.

    They can keep your future as pain free as possible. Otherwise you can find your activity severely limited in the future. Possibly the near future.
  15. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I have plantar fascitis (sp) in my feet, and pain in my hips and lower back. The only shoes that work for me are either Dansko or Sanita (they are the same shoe - they company just split). They come in European sizes and I would strongly recommend trying them on because they seem to run a bit small. (My EU size is 38, but I wear a 40 in those shoes.)

    After that you can buy them at They have free overnight shipping and free return shipping, and are a tad less expensive there than at the mall stores.

    I haven't had to use my cane in a while since I started wearing these shoes.

    NSAIDS for this kind of issue are supposed to be taken regularly, i.e., twice a day, whether you're in a "flare" or not. Like Susie said, Celebrex is not one you should be borrowing.

    If those aren't working and you have an autoimmune rheumatic condition, then you should talk to your doctor about DMARDS.

    The other thing that has helped tons is a heated mattress pad. They have them on Amazon, but they are cheaper at Walmart.
  16. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Sounds like you might need a trip to a good Rheumatologist.