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Old 07-17-08, 08:24 AM   #1
Tom Stormcrowe
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An Arthritis Question for 50+

I'm just under 50, race license age is 49. I have a wee problem with arthritis in my shoulders. I'm doing mobility exercises, taking Glucosamine and Calcium supplementation, and have to get Cortizone shots about every 6 months. I'm also recovering from a crash injury in the right shoulder pretty well. The question: What other suggestions would you have for dealing with the arthritis?

(A bent is not in the mix, by the way, I loves my upright bikes!)
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Old 07-17-08, 09:13 AM   #2
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Non load bearing exercise and lots of it.
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Old 07-17-08, 09:21 AM   #3
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Add Chondroitin to the gluscasomine, lose weight and experiment with slight modifications in riding posture. Have a third party check your fit / posture and handlebar width while riding.
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Old 07-17-08, 09:59 AM   #4
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Vitamin I (ibuprophen) works for me.
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Old 07-17-08, 10:35 AM   #5
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If you race, you're likely not interested in a "relaxed fit"-style road bike with higher-positioned drop bars. As suggested, seek third-party advice on fit. I won't even mention 'bents. Do you already have a carbon fork to cut down road shock? Moderately wider tires would do that, too. Doesn't seem to be a consensus on how that really affects speed.
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Old 07-17-08, 10:45 AM   #6
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I've been taking Osteo Bi-Flex for a while now, but it took about 4 months to kick in. I also take fish oil and Naproxen for pain. Sam's club has something similar to Naproxen, but I forget the name. All it is, is a stronger Advil. I'm gradually getting off of Methotrexate, but I'll have to wait and see.
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Old 07-17-08, 10:53 AM   #7
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+1 on the Ibuprofen and +1 on the Glucosamine-Chondroitn mixture.

Tom, I'm a pharmacist if you pm me I'll respond to dosage issues. You've been really helpful to me as a newbie cyclist

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Old 07-17-08, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
The question: What other suggestions would you have for dealing with the arthritis?
Ask the doc if he thinks you have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. If your joint stiffness is from osteoarthritis, general wear and tear on the joints, than all the above advice is great. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, see a rheumatologist. You may need a some strong prescription meds to prevent serious, permanent joint damage.

[edit: added 'an autoimmune disease' to clarify difference between types af arthritis]

Last edited by Recycle; 07-17-08 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 07-17-08, 11:27 AM   #9
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As to fit, here we go.





Quote:
Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
If you race, you're likely not interested in a "relaxed fit"-style road bike with higher-positioned drop bars. As suggested, seek third-party advice on fit. I won't even mention 'bents. Do you already have a carbon fork to cut down road shock? Moderately wider tires would do that, too. Doesn't seem to be a consensus on how that really affects speed.
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Old 07-17-08, 11:28 AM   #10
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It's definitely Osteoarthritis. I also have it in my lower spine, as well, but it seems to be progressing far slower.

Quote:
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Ask the doc if he thinks you have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. If your joint stiffness is from osteoarthritis, general wear and tear on the joints, than all the above advice is great. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, see a rheumatologist. You may need a some strong prescription meds to prevent serious, permanent joint damage.
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Old 07-17-08, 12:57 PM   #11
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My left ankle is totally shot due undetected injuries while I was a college athlete. I can't even jog across the street but I can ride and began racing this year at 55. I have tried the glucosimine supplements with no improvement. I currently take 75 MG of Voltaren twice a day to reduce the inflamation and I am able to ride as much as I want. I can even get out of the saddle and sprint up hills with little pain or after effects. As for excersizes, I would suggest doing core muscle work if you are not doing it now. Getting your core muscles stronger will take the weight off your hands and shoulders while riding.
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Old 07-17-08, 02:58 PM   #12
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This may seem a little weird, but for me, fresh tomatoes seem to cause the arthritis in my fingers to flare . I've had much less difficulty with it once I made the connection -- but a big sacrifice since I love fresh tomato sandwiches & fresh salsa in the summer. I wonder if I am the only one?

Now, my knees are a different issue, & MSM/Glucosamine/chondroitin seems to work there. Must be a different mechanism going on there.

To the others' advice, I would only add or emphasize maximizing shock absorption --handlebar cushioning, gloves, etc.
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Old 07-17-08, 03:11 PM   #13
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I thought I had disc problems from years of lifiting too much weight. I finally went to the Dr. with it and he put me through some exersises and told me it was arthritis. I had been taking the glucosomine with condroiton and 1 88mg aspirin a day plus 4 to 8 advil, or alleve a day. He told me to start taking a fish oil capsule a day and put me on 15 mg of Mobic (meloxicam). I have since quit the advil / alleve and most days I only take 1/2 of a Mobic unless I am doing something like roofing my house. Now I rarely have back pain. Every now and then my wife will try to talk me out of taking the Mobic, but after a couple of days the pain comes back. I have also began some exersises on my wifes Palates ball to strenthen my core muscles.
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Old 07-17-08, 04:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrierman View Post
Non load bearing exercise and lots of it.
Right on! With emphasis on mobility enhancement: stretching. It's made such a difference for me that every fourth day's total exercise activity is mobility-only. Not scientific mind, but my impression is that a good bit of my "arthritis" is improved.
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Old 07-17-08, 05:41 PM   #15
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I hate to say it, but that beard looks "bent ready" to me.
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Old 07-17-08, 06:57 PM   #16
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Be careful with the cortisone as it can weaken the cartilage and damage your joints.
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Old 07-17-08, 07:13 PM   #17
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I hate to say it, but that beard looks "bent ready" to me.
As a bearded 'bent enthusiast, I tend to agree....but I'm not posting it!
oops, I guess I am.

Last edited by cranky old dude; 07-17-08 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 07-17-08, 07:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
I'm just under 50, race license age is 49. I have a wee problem with arthritis in my shoulders. I'm doing mobility exercises, taking Glucosamine and Calcium supplementation, and have to get Cortizone shots about every 6 months. I'm also recovering from a crash injury in the right shoulder pretty well. The question: What other suggestions would you have for dealing with the arthritis?

(A bent is not in the mix, by the way, I loves my upright bikes!)
I take 1600 units of Vitamin E for my knees.
You might give some a try?
Mon 80 mi
Tus 86 mi
Thur 87 mi
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Old 07-17-08, 07:23 PM   #19
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Take a look:
59 y/o w Arthritis in feet, hands, back.
Rides 5 days a week. 81 gears, can hold 24 mph forever.
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Old 07-17-08, 07:43 PM   #20
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I have had arthritis in my lower back for several years. I tried all the joint supplements, the glucosamine, chondroitin, even green lipped mussels, with no apparent results. A flare up last week finally sent me to a chiropractor last Monday. I figured what the heck, I wanted new xrays any way, to see how far it had progressed, and if anything else was going on. It definitely showed arthritis, but also a couple of vertebrae were rotated slightly, pinching a nerve, which is probably why the pain is radiating down one leg now. He "crunched" my back around a bit, and that afternoon and the next day it was even worse, which he warned me would happen. I went back in for another go around yesterday, and it not only was much easier on me, but today I am nearly pain free, even after mowing the lawn and working in the yard. Maybe chiropractors aren't quacks after all? I'm starting to feel a bit of hope now.
The MDs suggested surgery to remove bone spurs, but it's got to be pretty bad before I let somebody near it with a knife. I've seen the results of back surgery too many time to even consider it unless I'm bedridden.
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Old 07-17-08, 08:30 PM   #21
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I have problems with my bacK

HI,
Many back problems and joint problems are due to long term weight bearing exercise.
I was having serious thigh pain and problems with my legs.
It turned out to be mild spinal stenosis due to jogging most of my life,as we age some bones in the back can devolope flairs that press on nerves and cause pain.
Your shoulders could be due to old injury.
Biking for the past month has vastly increased the strength in my legs. the lower back pain is easing off.
and I climb stairs better.
Any low impact excersie is great for health and shouldn't increase the pain in your joints.
I can't take the nasids ( ibuprofin,naprisin,and the rest). so I really need to be careful or I will be hurting alot. I haven't needed any pain meds since I stopped the jogging.
Ive read that biking may burn more fat than running if done for long distance and at a even a slow pace.
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Old 07-18-08, 05:52 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
As to fit, here we go.

Tom, Take a good hard , and honest, look at this photo of yourself. Notice that you're not a
kid anymore and you need to adjust your riding style accordingly. Also look into a pair of
"knee saver" pedal extensions to get that left ankle more straight.

This really is a "pay me now or you will pay me later" time in your life so get used to it.

If the pain gets really bad ask your doctor about "Arthrotec" pain meds. They are an old,often
overlooked, pain med without the side effects of the newer arthro pain meds.

Oh yes, Cortizone shots are hard on your liver to avoid them as much a possible.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

Last edited by Nightshade; 07-18-08 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 07-18-08, 06:34 AM   #23
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Yeah, I already addressed the pedal problem (ankle). I switched to egg beater clipless with Body Geometry shoes and eliminated the off foot position nicely. MUCH more comfortable.

By the way, I refuse to grow up..... I can still outride most 18 year olds on the planet.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
Tom, Take a good hard , and honest, look at this photo of yourself. Notice that you're not a
kid anymore and you need to adjust your riding style accordingly. Also look into a pair of
"knee saver" pedal extensions to get that left ankle more straight.

This really is a "pay me now or you will pay me later" time in your life so get used to it.

If the pain gets really bad ask your doctor about "Arthrotec" pain meds. They are an old,often
overlooked, pain med without the side effects of the newer arthro pain meds.

Oh yes, Cortizone shots are hard on your liver to avoid them as much a possible.
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Last edited by Tom Stormcrowe; 07-18-08 at 06:41 AM. Reason: Added some to the post.
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Old 07-18-08, 08:28 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
Yeah, I already addressed the pedal problem (ankle). I switched to egg beater clipless with Body Geometry shoes and eliminated the off foot position nicely. MUCH more comfortable.

By the way, I refuse to grow up..... I can still outride most 18 year olds on the planet.
Tom, At some point yer gonna have give up the drops and go to more upright bars or suffer
real shoulder pain. I think you know that already. Don'tca?
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 07-18-08, 10:21 PM   #25
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Hubby had total shoulder replacement of the left shoulder 2 years ago, and he's looking toward replacement of the right shoulder within the next year or two -- osteoarthritis in both shoulders, yet none in any of his other joints (yet). He can ride a road bike but must be in a more upright position than your pictures show. I can't imagine leaning on your forearms being any good for your shoulders.
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