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JLeslie's avatar

Did your arthritis start in a day?

Asked by JLeslie (59781points) October 30th, 2016 from iPhone

I just saw another Q posted about arthritis, and it made me think of this Q I have wanted to ask for a few months.

My husband and I have a term we use for sudden onset of a medical problem, we say there must have been an “event.”

I have never had arthritis in a joint, and then suddenly I started having pain in my left hip. I think maybe it’s arthritis? I’m not sure, because I’ve never had joint pain before.

It has lasted now for months. It only hurts if I turn my hip a certain way.

I believe there was an event. I also think maybe it’s an infection the researchers haven’t discovered. There was some work being done with antibiotics and rheumatoid arthritis in the past, I don’t know if there still is. I assume this is osteoarthritis if it is arthritis. I think that type of arthritis might be infectious also. I am admittedly obsessed with infection being an underlying cause for many things.

The onset was so sudden that I believe something changed. Either an injury that I don’t remember, or something entered my body. I completely reject that it’s related to simple aging.

That doesn’t mean I think it’s impossible for aging to be a factor in our aches and pains.

How about you? Was your arthritis sudden onset? One day you suddenly realized your joint hurts? How old were you when it started?

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13 Answers

snowberry's avatar

I’m 61. I don’t have arthritis. But a few years ago I was working at an assisted living center and I got a free meal as part of the job. Maybe 3 months on the job and I suddenly had trouble with my joints. They hurt! I stopped eating there and only ate “healthy” oils (olive, coconut, etc) almost overnight my painful joints disappeared.

I felt bad for all the residents there. Poor folks had no idea why they felt so bad.

jca's avatar

I have a little discomfort in one hip but I realize it’s due to the way I get up onto my high bed, putting the other leg up, twisting and pushing off all at the same time. Is it possible you did, or are doing something, where you maybe pulled a muscle or something similar?

ZEPHYRA's avatar

To me it seems all these pains came on rather suddenly instead of gradually. I feel as though I’ve aged at least seven years over the last two years!

JLeslie's avatar

@snowberry That’s interesting. I haven’t significantly changed my diet. It’s only my left hip. I had a few days I felt something in my left elbow, but it was fleeting. I have wanted to go back to a healthier diet when we move into our new house. Maybe it will cure my hip?! You never know.

@jca I really don’t think it’s a pull. I’ve had quite a bit of muscle trouble for years, and keeping my vitamin D up helps mitigate it. Actually, it wasn’t just my muscles, but my tendons to. That’s how it felt to me. I had some muscle and nerve conductivity testing, which I pretty much knew would be a waste of time, and I was told everything was normal and I’m getting old. I was 40 at the time. I was curious to have him test me when my muscles were hurting and shaking, but he said it wouldn’t matter. That makes no sense to me. To create that state I’d have to exercise and tire the muscles right before testing. I don’t shake anymore now with the D.

I don’t remember any moment where I felt a pull that might have caused this. However, I do realize sometimes the initial event goes unnoticed. I would think it would heal if it was caused by some sort of accident or twist, but it might not. Hard to know. Maybe the cushion inside my hip was damaged? Would that be the bursa? I don’t know the anatomy and haven’t asked a doctor. I probably should look up the anatomy so I can better define where the pain is.

flutherother's avatar

The chances are this pain will disappear as mysteriously as it came.

Pachy's avatar

Seems to have become most evident after I retired and became more sedentary. Actually, I think it started showing up a few years earlier, especially in my back and a knee which had both been injured and operated on decades ago.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Last winter I twisted my left knee didn’t think much of it just it was taking a long time to get better but favouring it so much I screwed up the right one as well so went to the Doctor and at that time I was told they they thought it was arthritis and after some tests and X-rays it was .
So no it didn’t start in a day, but was surprised that from a twisted knee to arthritis.

JLeslie's avatar

@flutherother I always hope that with every twinge, cyst, and other blip in my health. Unfortunately, it’s been many months now, so I’m doubtful it will just disappear, but it would be great if it does.

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: That’s why I was asking if there’s something you are doing repetitively, which may not be a one time injury, but day after day (as in my example of getting on my bed), it might be stressing something.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I don’t think so. It mostly has to do with when I bend down and am turned out. Like a ballet turn out. I notice it when I need to lift something, when I do Zumba, or other dance, or if I bend my leg when sitting in a half Indian style (excuse my non-PC there).

I wasn’t exercising for a couple of weeks so I was almost pain free for days on end. If I remember correctly people with arthritis wake up feeling badly, and using the joint helps. Is that right? Although, when it’s really bad it is hard to do things. I know my MIL couldn’t button her blouse at one point. She still has trouble doing some tasks. Like opening a can with a manual can opener is very painful.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I have worked with, many years ago, two people that had Strep throat when they were much younger, one had rheumatoid arthritis in multiple major joints (a result of the of the Strep /Scarlet fever.) The other died at 56 from a heart condition that hardened the heart valves and Inflamed the heart sack.

It didn’t start in a day but there was the day they had Strep.

I’ve got Osteoarthritis in both ankles from a congenital joint condition, the day I was born I was going to have Arthritis.

Pandora's avatar

I feel the same as you. It felt like it came on suddenly. I read some articles once about the possibility that sudden arthritis onset may be related in some cases to a viral infection.
Then there are things that may make it worse. High uric acid levels that cause gout will worsen it. Do you eat a lot of shell fish? Women rarely have gout but it isn’t unheard of.
I did two things when it was discovered that I had arthritis. I had my blood drawn and found out I was low in vitamin D and started to take vitamin D, and drank plenty of water and cut back on foods that would raise my uric acid. I don’t have gout but my husband did so I made meals that would also change my uric acid levels just in case. I also stretch in the morning and evening before bed and walk the dog 2 miles daily. My husband hasn’t had a severe gout attack in over a year. Holidays is usually worse for him because he indulges in food he should avoid, but he drinks plenty of mint tea to keep it from keeping him down for more than a day. When he first got it, attacks would be frequent and last for a week or more and get really bad for him. Now. It’s 2 days tops and not as painful.
As for me the pain is gone and when I feel like my knees or sciatic nerve is acting up. I watch what I eat and bone up on more vitamin D and massage the achy parts.

It may also be something simple. Like you are sleeping the wrong way, or you need a new mattress. I found getting new firm mattress really helped my aching lower back. I can’t sleep on a soft mattress. My back will feel like it went through a shredder.
So long as I do everything right. I have no pain. When I get a little lazy about watching what I eat or exercise, I find I will go from painless to painful in 2 to 3 days.
Also I think allergies may also have a connection. When my allergies are bad, my body tends to ache. What ever you do. Don’t stop moving. I find laying down for a few days to recover makes it harder to recover. It seems especially so after 50.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora I watch my D pretty carefully. I have been down in the gutter in D levels in the past and never had joint pain from it, it’s always been muscle pain. Anyway, I’ve kept my D well above normal for many months now, and generally at least minimally normal for a few years, so it doesn’t seem to be related to that.

The gout thing is interesting. I don’t believe I have gout, because that is usually a constant pain, but I do think it’s worth me trying some diet changes. I need to be better for heart health anyway.

Doing nothing helps me feel better, not the opposite. I don’t wake up in pain. It’s pain with certain movements. From what you wrote it sounds like you wake up in pain. I think maybe mine isn’t arthritis, but rather an inflammation, or lack of cushion in a part of the joint. I’m guessing. I don’t know the hip anatomy well, and my family doesn’t get much arthritis, no one has ever had a joint replacement, so I wasn’t around joint discussions much in my lifetime. No gout in my family, except my BIL used to get it very very badly for weeks at a time, and a change in his diet has been miraculous.

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