But I’m Only 42!

This time, the correct diagnosis:  osteoarthritis.

Short of shoulder replacement surgery, which is only an option in extreme cases,  there are no remedies.  Rather, there is pain management.

Pain management sounds very dramatic, but it’s really simple though it involves a commitment.  Good stretching, regular exercise, occupational therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs and some traditional treatments such as acupuncture are the principal options.  For some people, glucosamine is a viable option as well; the doctor said that if after taking it for 2 weeks I experience no improvement, then it will not be an effective therapy.  I am a very bad pill-taker, but the discomfort is compelling me to pop a couple of naproxen twice daily.

I am not a newcomer to arthritis, but my previously diagnosed joints produce a murmur compared to the hot holler in my shoulder and neck.  Osteoarthritis tends to afflict those over 50 or is often the aftermath of an injury; this is certainly the cause of the arthritis in my knees, as I damaged them from a bad fall when I was a teenager.  But my shoulder?  I have strained my shoulder while gardening on occasion, but didn’t think anything of it.

I am philosophical about the diagnosis.  In some ways, I am relieved that it is not the rotator cuff damage the doctor and I had considered a possibility.    I am relieved that it is not a tumor – a friend had back pain and doctors discovered a tumor in her spine which was removed, causing temporary blindness due to the spine trauma.  Ew.  I am fortunate, as no bones are broken or even fractured.  I am comforted to know that millions of people live very long and reasonably active lives with osteoarthritis.  I am lucky that I am not overweight because this apparently contributes to the pain.  And in a way, I am intrigued as I have never had any health problems; it’s interesting to me.


8 responses

  1. My poor baby…. yes to the glucosamine. I think you should give it 21 days rather than 2 weeks for effectiveness and take a good brand. They sell really good effective stuff at Costco. They even sell it in a liquid form if you would prefer that to pills. Swap around the naproxin for other pain relievers too. Don’t stay on one or you will become tolerant to it.

  2. Sorry to hear that you have a condition that serious, though as you say it could be worse.

  3. Thanks. It’s not really so bad, and I am relieved to know what it is. I feel for people who have the really terrible form of arthritis, RA. It’s debilitating, terribly sad, and the medications have dreadful side effects. There is so much I can do to address the issue, and I was excited to learn that acupuncture has been a very successful pain management technique for many people.

    Thanks for the tip, Amber! I didn’t realize I could do a liquid. That’s how I take B complex. I’m a pill wuss.

  4. Right, sorry to say this but Amber, its time to get those pain fairies and get them good – are they still dredging the lake? Can we dump them in there when no one is looking? Pain fairies are toast I tell you, toast with NO beans or fries!

    *huge huge hugs* to you huns although I just know that you are trying to get out of kung fu dancing but its ok, think you need to get some more shoes though.

    Hopes the pain gets better, lessor and goes poof. I hope you feel betters, more hugs to you!!!

  5. Thanks much. It is the most common form of arthritis, and it is not that bad – very manageable if I am a good little patient and follow the doctor’s prescriptions. Most people in fact probably develop some form of it during their life; granted, they are usually much older than me, but I have a pretty good pain tolerance (thanks, Mom – I got that from her!) so better me than someone who has a lower tolerance. And like I said above, I’m mostly relieved to just know the cause.

  6. Yeah, SF – I have to shop for some swank but comfy shoes. Darn! 😉

  7. PS Happy wedding anniversary to you and ileboy, hope the day and years to come are filled with nothing but happies, warm fuzzies, chocolate dipped strawberries, fermented grape juice and shoes!

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