I've yet to be diagnosed but my symptoms are beginning to look like RA or some kind of arthritis. Anyway, Im waiting to see a rheumy, but in the meantime, my PCP doesn't want me taking any more NSAIDS for various other health reasons. Besides I heard they make the arthritis worse in the long run. So what else helps?
Unfortantly the only other pain meds for RA aside from OTC are all by prescription as they have narcotics in them so its not something you can go into a store and buy. I would talk to your PCP about getting a pain med and ask about tylenol as its not an NSAID so you may be able to take that or something that has tylenol in it like Narco, Tramdol or Lortab.
Take herbs. Tumeric, boswella, tart cherry tablets. Your local health food store has a whole cache of naturals that can help.
I've heard through the grapevine that zyflamend really works for inflammation. Its all herbal. Bought a bottle today.
First off, wait for your diagnosis.
DEMARDS are an alternative which your rheumatologist will introduce if they are indicated . NSAIDS can be taken with meds that minimize stomach problems. But don't be taken in by pseudo cures.
Thanks all for your suggestions. As far as the NSAIDS, its not my stomach; that is made of iron. It affects the blood pressure, kidneys and heart and Im a diabetic so my risk is higher of damage from them. I am looking into the herbals. I do use glucosamine with MSM. Tylenol does absolutely nothing. I have some ultram, but I only use it when I am in severe pain, and it doesn't really help very much, anyway. I'm afraid to abuse anything because I'm afraid it won't work for me when I really need it.
I think Im going to invest in a shower massage to loosen up the stiff joints in the morning and wait for a diagnosis. It really gets tough at work, though. Im on my feet ten hours and moving at a good clip the whole time. By the end of the day, my knees are practically locked up. I thought movement was good for arthritis. After a couple days off work, I start to feel a bit better. Then I go to work and feel like crap again.
I guess not having a diagnosis is making things more confusing at the moment. I think once you know exactly what you're up against, you can have a plan.
Hang in there - I'm in the same boat, with unspecified inflammatory arthritis - not exactly RA, kind of like RA sometimes, might someday grow up and be RA . . . But, there are other things that help with inflamation, and there's something called a 'Pain Inflammation Cycle" - pain causes inflammation causes pain . . . They don't really understand it but it exists. But bottom line is you have to stop one or the other to interrupt the cycle. Natural stuff for inflammation - cherry extract capsules, 4 - 8 a day, spread out (maybe breakfast, lunch, dinner time frame.) Vitamin C, acts like a natural prednisone - up to 10,000 mg a day (spread out). Start with 3-4 thousand mg, and work up to where you have a little 'intestinal distress' and back off by 1 thousand. A really good joint compound - check with your health food/supplement folks, but it needs to have the standard MSM, etc. PLUS mineral and herbal stuff. I take one called Joint Health - 5 capsules a day. (This particular one has vitamin A in it, and too much A can make your hair fall out, so I had to back off from 6 to 5.) I also use a topical pain thing that has glucosomine, msm in it, called TheraPain Plus. It works quickly, not greasy and the smell goes away. It delivers stuff directly to the joint(s) that hurt. I order it online at Reliefmart.com. Google Palindromic Rheumatism and see if your symptoms match - it's not widely recognized at this point, but very specific symptoms that many rheumatologist want to lump in with RA. Remember too that hurting serves no purpose, so do all that you can and when all else fails add a painkiller, and sometimes a muscle relaxer does help. I think we all have muscle tension from the stress of the other, and that in turn agrivates the arthritis. Good luck!!!
As your doctor if you can try Limbrel. I can't take NSAIDS either and Limbrel has been a lifesaver for me. It's a natural product by prescription only that doesn't have the side effects and problems of NSAIDS. It's made such a huge difference with my RA, OA and even with the fibro that I have and it's safe.
I never heard of Limbrel. I googled it and it looks very interesting. I will ask about it. Thanks.
You're welcome. It's really changed my life and the company is really wonderful too. They arranged to drop off free samples to my doctor for me to try when I ask and provided lower cost options for me when my insurance wouldn't cover it. I highly recommend getting in touch with someone via their website to get some info / samples, etc. I have Primary Biliary Cirrhosis in addition to RA and it's the only safe anti-inflammatory I can take. Good luck!