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Old 12-16-2010, 01:10 PM   #21
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I spend 1.5 hours at the gym most days.
I told my wife about this (she has osteoarthritis in her knees), and she wanted me to ask whether the exercises you do would have to be done at a gym.
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:36 PM   #22
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Thanks, toofrugalformycat. You give some very good advice. DW has had some success w/both PT and bracing. Unfortunately, our insurance is very stingy w/PT and the bracing has been figured out on our own. DW definitely has OA (within the last 10 or 15 years) but her original form of arthritis appears to be RA. Unfortunately, the tests used to diagnose RA are not always definitive, so after 35 years, there is only an assumption of RA from the symptoms.

I am going to get aggressive with the new Doc and insist that she treat DW aggressively. If that fails, we'll keep looking for a new Doc.

The issue of Darvocet working primarily by the "acet" portion doesn't seem to hold up for DW. She's tried straight acetaminophen without much relief. I know that's not a controlled study. I know FDA (and its minions of helpers who seem to have come out of the wood work for the past 40 years) have often tried to say that propoxyphene "doesn't work", then they switched to "it's a drug of abuse" and got it put on the schedule (funny that it doesn't work, but you can abuse it) and now "it'll kill you" though we can't show you the grave yards. It's taken 53 years, but they've finally done what they've never been able to do in the past (and not for lack of trying.)

We'll keep looking and working with Docs, etc. on this. It's frustrating and disheartening but it has to be done. Thanks to all for the suggestions. We'll follow up on them. This is a good forum of folks with good minds and better hearts!

Much Aloha
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:36 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
I told my wife about this (she has osteoarthritis in her knees), and she wanted me to ask whether the exercises you do would have to be done at a gym.
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Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
Thanks, toofrugalformycat. You give some very good advice. DW has had some success w/both PT and bracing. Unfortunately, our insurance is very stingy w/PT and the bracing has been figured out on our own.
I tore both ACLs about nine years ago and kept re-injuring my knees. After my second round of physical therapy I still had stability problems from sloppy ligaments and atrophied quads/hamstrings. I had to be careful how I walked and turned, I could barely jump rope, and I certainly wasn't willing to try to do a full squat. Every time I'd try to build up the muscles I'd re-injure something.

A taekwondo instructor suggested custom-fitted rigid-frame carbon-fiber orthopedic knee braces. (He wore them for his knee injuries from a car accident.) They've been around for a while, and some college/professional football teams even fit their linemen for them as part of their safety gear. They're incredibly light yet strong, and they can be adjusted (by the owner) to limit excess knee flexion while stabilizing the joint. They can even be designed to "unload" a meniscus. I got carbon-fiber ones because they're very nearly metal-free and thus could be approved for taekwondo sparring.

Over four years ago I spent $1700 for a pair from Honolulu Orthopedic Supply. (Orthopedic Shoes, Back & Neck Supports | Honolulu, HI) It wasn't clear whether Tricare would pay for them so I paid the full retail. They've life-changers for stability and exercise. They don & doff with velcro straps in about 30 seconds, and they're not even hot or sweaty. I wore them for about two years as I built up my muscles through squats & lunges (and taekwondo). I still keep them around for heavy yardwork (lifting & hauling 70-100 pounds) but otherwise my knees are back to full strength. I get all the knee exercise I need from jumping rope, squats, and lunges-- no gym required.

I'd highly recommend visiting their business for show & tell. The technology is far & away better than anything you usually encounter in orthopedics, along with versions specifically designed for professional athletes (slalom skiing, volleyball, and basketball) and women.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:22 PM   #24
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I told my wife about this (she has osteoarthritis in her knees), and she wanted me to ask whether the exercises you do would have to be done at a gym.
No, I think you could manage without. I do use a leg press but it seems like you could figure some way to fake that or buy a machine for home. You can also do leg extensions with a weight strapped to your ankle, sitting on a table (in fact that's how I do it). I go from one kind of low-to-no-impact cardio machine to another (a couple variations on elliptical and various bicycles) but that is mostly to avoid boredom. A stairstepper is better but my new cheapo gym doesn't have one and I'm doing ok without it. I could probably manage with just our exercise bike at home, especially if we sprung for cable tv or netflix or something to relieve boredom.

The thing is to get a good physical therapist who is new, or keeps up with the new stuff, and will work with you, and takes you seriously.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:45 PM   #25
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I am going to get aggressive with the new Doc and insist that she treat DW aggressively. If that fails, we'll keep looking for a new Doc.

Much Aloha
You are welcome, and I wish you success on your journey.
If you want PT you may have to request PT, rather than wait for your doctor to suggest it.
My orthopedist (who is a surgeon) thinks "aggressive treatment" means knee replacement. The last two times my knee acted up - 2 years ago and about 8 years ago (a piece of scar tissue breaks off with a crunch and floats around - ouch) I go to him, he x-rays it, tells me I need a replacement but I'll know when I'm ready, I demand a prescription for physical therapy and a new brace, and within six months, I'm better than before the crunch because I have been given better exercises and a better brace (and maybe because I listen better to the PT, too, and request/demand diagrams).

I know PT can be really expensive, though, so I feel your pain about that, too! I only had to go a few times, then I continued on my own.
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:11 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by toofrugalformycat View Post
You are welcome, and I wish you success on your journey.
If you want PT you may have to request PT, rather than wait for your doctor to suggest it.
My orthopedist (who is a surgeon) thinks "aggressive treatment" means knee replacement. The last two times my knee acted up - 2 years ago and about 8 years ago (a piece of scar tissue breaks off with a crunch and floats around - ouch) I go to him, he x-rays it, tells me I need a replacement but I'll know when I'm ready, I demand a prescription for physical therapy and a new brace, and within six months, I'm better than before the crunch because I have been given better exercises and a better brace (and maybe because I listen better to the PT, too, and request/demand diagrams).

I know PT can be really expensive, though, so I feel your pain about that, too! I only had to go a few times, then I continued on my own.
TooFrugal, do you have any knowledge or opinion about excercises for the hip? Years ago I got a hairline fracture of my pelvis through the hip joint socket. Never had any trouble with it once it had healed and stopped bleeding. I don't know what the joint looked like on x-ray. Coming off a car crash 5 years ago it has begun to hurt, and there is joint narrowing described as mild to moderate. The pain is really not that bad and I do not want a hip replacement, I can walk pretty long distances with some pain but not what I wold call bad pain. But I would surely like to get back into some fast dancing like Lindy Hop, and that can really get me hurting. Also, sometimes a quick jolt of sharp pain makes my muscles shut down and although I have not hit the floor I am not really confident that I might not.

Can't brace a hip, but excercise would seem to fit the bill.

The PT I went to after my wreck was against weights. He definitely helped me, but it was pretty focused on my lower back rather than hip.

Do you have any thoughts?

Ha
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:49 AM   #27
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The thing is to get a good physical therapist who is new, or keeps up with the new stuff, and will work with you, and takes you seriously.
Thanks to you and Nords for the suggestions. Why do you need the physical therapist -- can't you just do the exercises? I'm not challenging you -- it's just that my wife, coming from an athletic background of modern dance and aikido, is something of a know-it-all about this sort of thing, and I need ammo to convince her.
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:31 AM   #28
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TooFrugal, do you have any knowledge or opinion about excercises for the hip?
Do you have any thoughts?

Ha
I'm a retired computer geek. So sorry, no, I can't even pretend to be really knowledgeable about this stuff other than from experience of my own personal pain relief and increased functionality (and those of friends) through exercises initially guided by a physical therapist or educated personal trainer.
Where there's life, there's hope. It seems like someone out there could help you.
When I dance anymore, I don't do a lot of hopping anymore myself, I must admit, but with belly dance techniques you can do a lot of pretty wild moves, low impact. I haven't ever been a schooled dancer like you, though. Did I mention the geek thing?
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:55 AM   #29
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Thanks to you and Nords for the suggestions. Why do you need the physical therapist -- can't you just do the exercises? I'm not challenging you -- it's just that my wife, coming from an athletic background of modern dance and aikido, is something of a know-it-all about this sort of thing, and I need ammo to convince her.
If your wife "knows it all", she's not in pain, and her body works great, if I was her, I wouldn't change.

I personally needed a physical therapist to tell me what exercises to do, proper positioning, how not to break myself while doing them, etc. Bad form, wrong amount of weight, wrong exercises, can make things worse.

I'm female, and old enough to have had absolutely no athletic coaching, ever, other than "go, go" (went through school before Title 9) up until my 30's when I finally got a therapist to help me with my severe knee pain.
And over the years, what worked for me before no longer works (body older and more worn out) so I need more instruction on different things to do, orthotics for the shoes, etc. I'm lucky I'm not a horse.
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:31 AM   #30
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And over the years, what worked for me before no longer works (body older and more worn out) ...
Tell me about it -- my wife is 69 and I'm 68. Thanks for your very helpful advice.
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:09 AM   #31
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Thanks to you and Nords for the suggestions. Why do you need the physical therapist -- can't you just do the exercises? I'm not challenging you -- it's just that my wife, coming from an athletic background of modern dance and aikido, is something of a know-it-all about this sort of thing, and I need ammo to convince her.
In the knees area, a sports-trained PT can make sure that the knees are correctly aligned, pointing in the correct direction, and remain on track during movement.

And that's just for walking.
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How it went down
Old 02-12-2011, 05:12 PM   #32
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How it went down

Let me see if I have this right. My understanding is that a Dr. Sidney Wolfe from Ralph Nader's band of contrarians got himself appointed to the FDA'a advisory panel where he somehow managed to get the panel to vote (14 to 12) to recommend removal from the market. The FDA replied that the evidence did not warrant a ban and favored a product warning label. "Public Citizen" then launched a suit against the FDA who apparently surrendered. At some point in the action, the manufacturer "voluntary" withdrew the product. The manufacturer's other more profitable product is Roxicet, a percocet clone (oxycodone and acetaminophen). You all can draw your own conclusions as to motives and opportunism. None of this passes my smell test.

I have managed chronic pain successfully with darvocet for years. I can not take NSaids. The only alternatives for me are stronger and more dangerous opiates. Dr. Wolfe and the FDA need to be seriously rebuffed by medical professionals and patients alike. The only class action suit that needs to be brought here is on behalf of the millions of us who are the real victims of the loss of use of this important medicine.

Unfortunately, such a suit would not profit the legal vultures out there.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:35 PM   #33
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In the knees area, a sports-trained PT can make sure that the knees are correctly aligned, pointing in the correct direction, and remain on track during movement.

And that's just for walking.
It's taken a while, but my wife finally got referred to a PT for her knees. So, we'll see how that goes.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:40 PM   #34
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I have managed chronic pain successfully with darvocet for years. I can not take NSaids. The only alternatives for me are stronger and more dangerous opiates. Dr. Wolfe and the FDA need to be seriously rebuffed by medical professionals and patients alike. The only class action suit that needs to be brought here is on behalf of the millions of us who are the real victims of the loss of use of this important medicine.

Unfortunately, such a suit would not profit the legal vultures out there.

I am not a medical professional. But it's my understanding that Darvocet is an NSAID (acetaminophen) plus an opiate. So if you have been taking Darvocet for years, you have been taking an NSAID for years. You can do your own reading on acetaminophen. It's my understanding that because acetaminophen is in so many OTC drugs, people often unintentionally overdose and damage their livers, and now I see an example, you didn't know you were already taking acetaminophen.
I learned about this while trying to get an elderly relative's meds straightened out. In this particular person's case, when Darvocet was taken off the market, they found that Tylenol alone (OTC acetaminophen) was enough to relieve pain. But of course every person is different. I am sorry you have pain. I know personally, it's a b*tch when you do, and I hope you can work with a good medical professional and find relief soon.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:02 PM   #35
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I am not a medical professional. But it's my understanding that Darvocet is an NSAID (acetaminophen) plus an opiate. So if you have been taking Darvocet for years, you have been taking an NSAID for years. You can do your own reading on acetaminophen. It's my understanding that because acetaminophen is in so many OTC drugs, people often unintentionally overdose and damage their livers, and now I see an example, you didn't know you were already taking acetaminophen.
I learned about this while trying to get an elderly relative's meds straightened out. In this particular person's case, when Darvocet was taken off the market, they found that Tylenol alone (OTC acetaminophen) was enough to relieve pain. But of course every person is different. I am sorry you have pain. I know personally, it's a b*tch when you do, and I hope you can work with a good medical professional and find relief soon.
Thanks for the kind words. I was aware that some consider Tylenol to be an NSAID, but others authorities do not (see Paracetamol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). If it is, it certainly has not been linked to the kinds of problems associated with the more "modern" NSAIDs. Liver damage is the primary concern - and that usually only with overdose.

DW just got another set back in her battle with pain. She has taken NSAIDs for over 30 years now and she is beginning to show signs of kidney disease. Her nephrologist (2 weeks ago, I couldn't spell that) has taken her off her NSAIDs. As the drug leaves her system, I can see almost daily changes in her pain level. She is working with a rheumatologist, but he doesn't offer much at this point. We hate to go to the "hard stuff". Possibly, alternative medicine is next. Thanks again to all who have offered ideas and support.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:09 PM   #36
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Acetaminophen is not usually considered an NSAID -- it is an antipyretic (lowers fever) and analgesic.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:33 PM   #37
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Acetaminophen is not usually considered an NSAID -- it is an antipyretic (lowers fever) and analgesic.
Oopsie, I'm glad I prefaced my post with "I am not a medical professional". Thanks, Rich_in_Tampa. Strangely, many years ago my doctor offered a choice many years ago of aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen for arthritis pain so I ASSUMED (wrongly) that they were all NSAIDs. But many things have changed since pterodactyls flew.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:09 PM   #38
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Acetaminophin does absolutely nothing for me. I'd prefer they'd just give me the good drugs, and leave that out. But I remember reading somewhere that it's a result of the weird-assed way we look at "narcotics". Thank you war on drugs...
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:47 PM   #39
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Acetaminophin does absolutely nothing for me. I'd prefer they'd just give me the good drugs, and leave thyat out. But I remember reading somewhere that it's a result of the weird-assed way we look at "narcotics". Thank you war on drugs...
I haven't said anything derogatory about the Feds for a couple of days, so I'll chime in - again. The Feds have lost the "war on drugs" but they can point to their prosecution of Docs (and even some "drug seeking" patients) as 'real' battle victories. Kind of like cops cherry picking speeders at noon when there is no traffic, snow, rain, etc. to confuse their radar. The "speeder" couldn't hit another car if he tried (there aren't any). Not saying there are no "issues" with scheduled drugs. There are. it's just that the Feds are no different than anyone else. They go for the easy kill (like when Docs have to keep records which are easy to check and difficult to "prove" as legitimate - pain is very subjective, after all.) Not so easy when the drug dealer on the corner carries a bigger gun and doesn't keep records. End of rant - for now.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:21 PM   #40
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It depends what you used acetaminophen for. I have seen patients use it as an anti inflammatory or antithrombotic agent...

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Acetaminophin does absolutely nothing for me. I'd prefer they'd just give me the good drugs, and leave that out. But I remember reading somewhere that it's a result of the weird-assed way we look at "narcotics". Thank you war on drugs...
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