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  1. #1
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Arthritis cures?

    I have arthritis in my right foot, and lately, with all the standing and walking I've been doing, it's really been acting up. I haven't done much research on arthritis ... for some reason I never thought I would have to ... and my Dr gave me no information other than, "You've got arthritis." Unfortunately I'm feeling while cycling too.

    I don't want to take asprin or other painkillers unless I absolutely have to ... but that's a last resort thing.

    So ... are there foods I should be eating or avoiding? Do creams like A535 etc. work to ease the pain? Are there any other cyclists out there with arthritis?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I have arthritis in my right foot, and lately, with all the standing and walking I've been doing, it's really been acting up. I haven't done much research on arthritis ... for some reason I never thought I would have to ... and my Dr gave me no information other than, "You've got arthritis." Unfortunately I'm feeling while cycling too.

    I don't want to take asprin or other painkillers unless I absolutely have to ... but that's a last resort thing.

    So ... are there foods I should be eating or avoiding? Do creams like A535 etc. work to ease the pain? Are there any other cyclists out there with arthritis?
    Did he say what kind of arthritis you have. By the sounds of it you have osteoarthritis, where the wear and tear on the joint over the years has made the joint wear out.

    Try hot and cold therapy. My wife also has a massager she uses for her ankle OA, as well as capsaicin cream, and a cold pack that wraps around her foot for when it swells. She also has an ankle brace that I got her from the drug store. Elevation also seems to help her ankle. Eventually she will go for a replacement or fusion.

    There may also be a possibility of cortisone, or hyaluronic acid injections.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    Glucosamine & Chondroitin Extra Strength (2 per day) works for me.

    http://www.iherb.com/ProductDetails.aspx?c=1&pid=582

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    Senior Member Crankaddict's Avatar
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    There is nothing bad about taking a regular Bayer aspirin. You may find it will help tremendously since it will relieve the inflammation. One or two aspirin a day will not harm you, unless you have a bleeding disorder. YMMV

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    Senior Member rideon7's Avatar
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    I also have ankle/joint pain related to rheumatoid arthritis. Cycling doesn't bother it but running does. Even so, I refuse to give up running, least not yet. The ache acts up post-run/races. I find that wearing polypro (the rubberized) ankle supports helps a lot. Not only do they support the ankles while I'm running, leaving them on for a couple of hours afterward helps keep the joints warm, and that makes a big difference. Bought mine at the local Big 5 store. Not expensive. They're available in sizes S, M, & L and in any color as long as it's black. Getting the right size is important. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    My arthritis is actually in the joint where the big toe meets the rest of the foot -- the first metatarsophalangeal joint. That whole area swells and becomes quite hot to the touch and red.

    I'll give the Glucosamine a try ... I've got a couple bottles of it here.

  7. #7
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    My arthritis is actually in the joint where the big toe meets the rest of the foot -- the first metatarsophalangeal joint. That whole area swells and becomes quite hot to the touch and red.

    I'll give the Glucosamine a try ... I've got a couple bottles of it here.
    It only is recommended for osteo not rheumatoid. Some bottles say that right on the bottle.

    It would help if you know what you have. Get the informed opinion of a really well respected rheumatolgist if you can find one. The current modern treatment is to treat aggresivly when it is acting up, because the disease damages the joints and once the damage is done it can not be reversed, So they want to save it now, and if it is not bothering you much, back off on the treatments then. This goes agains a lot of hugely uninformed ideas about not taking pills just because they are pills. You could do more damage this way, by not treating the problem. And you can't restore the damage later. If you want to keep riding as long as possible you need to find a good rheumatologist. I found a good one 16 years ago and he keeps me riding as much as possible, Had I not done this I would not be riding by now.

    There are far too many variables to consider just by reading the forums.

    If you are very active and it swells up it's possible that two days off can have you ready to ride again. That can allow the swelling to go down.
    Warm up as slowly and carefully as you can stand to do, it helps a lot. Continuing being active may never let the swelling go down. Consider that a day off here and there, and the correct treatment now will be an investment in your future years of riding. My estimates have me getting my worse arthritis problems 2 years before your age, and now it's 16 years later. And it's really good I did the right thing.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  8. #8
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    I take glucosamine sulfate, but not the chondroiten. I really like this stuff for inflammation..
    http://newchapter.info/product/produ...&-KeyValue=108
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    All my Dr did was to X-ray my foot for another problem I was having, in a different location ... we suspected a stress fracture. When she got the X-ray back she said that I didn't have a stress fracture, but that there were early signs of damage in the first metatarsophalangeal joint, indicating arthritis. That's all she said. She didn't seem at all concerned. That was about a year ago, and at that point it didn't bother me too much. But a year later, I've been doing a whole lot more walking, and now it is starting to bother me.

    I don't know what kind of arthritis it is, I don't recall my Dr saying.

  10. #10
    Member bioman63's Avatar
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    I have the same pain in the toe joint as you. I was thinking maybe I had gout? I am going to follow this thread to see were it goes. Cheers Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    All my Dr did was to X-ray my foot for another problem I was having, in a different location ... we suspected a stress fracture. When she got the X-ray back she said that I didn't have a stress fracture, but that there were early signs of damage in the first metatarsophalangeal joint, indicating arthritis. That's all she said. She didn't seem at all concerned. That was about a year ago, and at that point it didn't bother me too much. But a year later, I've been doing a whole lot more walking, and now it is starting to bother me.

    I don't know what kind of arthritis it is, I don't recall my Dr saying.
    I would bet that it is Osteoarthritis. Many people who get old enough will get OA, and OA is common after an injury to the joint. It is also usually unilateral and is a sign of worn out joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is almost always bi-lateral, and is a systemic disease that is thought to be an auto immune disorder and is usually accompanied by things like fatigue, appetite loss and generalised stiffness. RA can also affect other areas of the body other than joints.

    Part of the RA diagnosis is to have blood tests done, whereas in most cases with OA a diagnosis may be found with a history and an x-ray. Sometimes there will be a synovial fluid analysis, but most blood work with OA will be negative, where with RA in most patients they will be positive for rheumatoid factor, and other markers will be elevated in blood tests as well.

    If you have gout, or gouty arthritis it may be exacerbated by alcohol use, certain drugs, hypertension and starvation.

    I would also second the use of glucosamine and chondroitin. Although I have read literature that says it is as effective as a placebo I have talked to many people that swear by it, and when I was taking it I was able to start jogging again, which I was not able to do for many years. I had to stop because the nausea was more than I could stand.

  12. #12
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    Someday RN: are you in nursing school too? I'm 24 and I have OA in both knees. The more it hurts the more I need to move. If I'm not active they hurt like crazy. I take Motrin regularly and tylenol when I can't stand it as the Dr. ordered. It's one of the reasons I stay on the bike year round. Walking bothers my knees more than riding does and keeping them moving really does help.
    I'm riding again in the Tour de Cure, and of course looking for sponsors and riders: My TDC page

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  13. #13
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StokerPoker View Post
    Walking bothers my knees more than riding does and keeping them moving really does help.
    You might need better arch support or even more. I use eSoles or my knees hurt.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  14. #14
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    +1 on seeing a rheumatologist. That's a very complicated discipline. That it's a toe joint seems odd to me. On the glucosamine - take 500 mg. twice/day. If nothing happens in a month, you can discontinue. My experience, anyway. Some people are helped greatly, some not at all. But seeing the specialist much more important. There's nothing like a correct diagnosis. Amazing how hard it is to get such a thing these days.

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    I've had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in my knuckles, knees, and ankles since I was about 14 (29 now). Your basic treatment in NSAID (Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) like Ibuprofen. Then it goes up to gold salts, cortisone injections, and more invasive treatments.

    Ibuprofen in like 600-800mg doses should do something - thats about a "normal" does.

    A couple years ago, my mom started taking alfalfa pills and she says the do great for her joints. And well its dried alfalfa! lol

  16. #16
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    My suggestions:

    Shoes. Better ones. Avoid the Walmart ones!! Spend the money for the proper support for the time you spend standing. It will be the cheapest option, even though good shoes may seem expensive at the time or purchase. Even consider seeing a podiatrist who can prescribe and/or make inserts that provide the right amount of support around that joint.

    Diet. Look at it critically for factors that encourage the symptoms.

    Try to avoid long-term drug use. The drugs result in problems with other more important parts of your body, including the liver and kidneys. My father had cortisone injections long-term and it resulted in atrophy of his muscles and tendons, and complications with other organs. Warnings have been issued fairly recently about ibuprofen usage relating to heart conditions.

    The worst case of athritist I have seen was an active, buxom and delightful woman woman who descended through hell -- and beyond -- to a wizened, emaciated and contorted figure. It broke everyone's heart to see her deterioration. She tried everything, including a move to warmer climates, gold, and the invasive treatments, and she continued to work when she could through it all.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  17. #17
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    I have been told that pineapple is good for it. I eat it due to liking it and it is of course very cheap here. (50 to 75 cents for a large one)

    For me, the cure was a warm climate all the time. My arthritis is due to genetic circulation problems. I barely can tell I have a problem now - before I had pain for 6 months of the year.

    But, you sort of have to figure out what kind you have and then keep trying things.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post
    You might need better arch support or even more. I use eSoles or my knees hurt.
    I've thought about that...of course, thinking only gets you so far...
    I'm riding again in the Tour de Cure, and of course looking for sponsors and riders: My TDC page

    My family tree is full of nuts

    potato chips have sharp edges..they are like little snowplows for your arteries

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    All my Dr did was to X-ray my foot for another problem I was having, in a different location ... we suspected a stress fracture. When she got the X-ray back she said that I didn't have a stress fracture, but that there were early signs of damage in the first metatarsophalangeal joint, indicating arthritis. That's all she said. She didn't seem at all concerned. That was about a year ago, and at that point it didn't bother me too much. But a year later, I've been doing a whole lot more walking, and now it is starting to bother me.

    I don't know what kind of arthritis it is, I don't recall my Dr saying.
    There is no cure, just symptom control. It appears all types of arthritis respond well to exercise from what I've read lately.

    While it sounds like you might have arthritis, you want to be absolutely certain that arthritus is the real problem. The medical types are basically unreliable in assessing these kinds of issues based on my experience.

    My latest experience started over a year ago when my wife supposedly sprained or at least damaged her ankle. After about 6-months, she regained some functionality, but any real physical activity would result in pain. She convinced her self that she had arthritis as a result of the ankle trauma. That opinion was further enforced by two women she met on the trails that had hurt themselves in a joint area and had what they and their doctors determined to be arthritis as a result.

    I was skeptical of all this and kind of nagged her to get medical help, preferably from a specialist. After the X-rays, the first doctor pronounced arthritis. I was still skeptical that arthritis was the real cause of the problem. We all have some arthritis as we age, but normally it's not dehabilitating.

    Well, three doctors later and an MRI, it was determined that it's a torn tendon. After rehab, ishe's doing much better. However, IMO, it's still not healing completely and the next phase might be an operation.

    X-rays are not all that reliable when it comes to joints/tendons/ligaments/muscle issues. That was the case for my shoulder problem and my wife's previous foot problems. MRIs gave a much clearer picture. For my shoulder issue years ago, it was much more damaged than even the MRI showed. X-rays showed only a very minor tear to a tendon.

    Good luck!

    Al

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    She didn't seem at all concerned.
    .
    That comment by itself indicates to me that another opinion is a good idea. When I developed my shoulder problem which turned out to be due to a mal-formed bone, I told my doctor that it hurt when I lifted weights over my head. He told me to stop doing that. It was impossible to stop with out giving up canoeing. That was not going to happen if at all possible. I had to go out of town to get properly diagnosed and repaired.

    Al

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