Synovial Syntax

Hands off healing

Posted on: June 30, 2009

Hands on healing

This post is about how little I’ve been touched since I got the RA diagnosis.

When it comes to the health care system, I really expected to be poked around a bit! Loads more than I have been so far. Apart from a few rapid checks of hands joint swellings and a wobble around my largest hand nodule, being positioned for a chest X-ray and the endless slapping of veins to try and find one, I’ve barely been touched. I was thinking after last week’s clinic attendance how much I would actually welcome someone really checking me over. How damaged are my joints, how much do they move? Is that clicking in normal range, or is it a harbinger of flexion doom? Is this pain >here< the joint, or is it muscles over-compensating somehow? Am I over-protecting or under-protecting threatened joints?

After a brief ask about physio, it was clear that this is reserved for much more severe/complicated souls than myself in my part of the NHS. So I have a plan! Once I get my next steroid jab, I'm going to have a double length diagnostic session with an osteopath. I like them, they know so much about the nuts and bolts of our structure, and have sorted out various things for me with me in the past – work RSI, pelvic stuff post-birth. I enjoyed reading a paper recently about osteopathy in rheumatoid arthritis. I’d like to leave with some expert views on what’s good, bad and ugly around my body and some pointers to exercises I can safely work into my daily life.

I’d love to hear from you if you’ve had osteopathy at some point in your RA journey, or for other long term issues.


3 Responses to "Hands off healing"

Dropped in to check up on you 🙂 and spotted this post which I’d missed before. My DH has had a recurrent back problem for probably the last year, and after several visits to physio, orthopaedic consultant, neurologist etc. has finally found relief with an osteopath – she’s the only person who has seemed to understand the issue, what the cause have been and explain why it is happening, and has been the only person able to give him some relief (he was unable to lie down so up all night pacing, and a few treatments at the osteopath really sorted that out). He now goes back whenever he gets a flare up and it has really helped. So we’re big fans here!

Well he sounds good! You can certainly tell when I’m going up or down from a flare but the amount of crackling and popping. Been known to turn heads, for all the wrong reasons. I was just reading about how ‘rubbing it better’ helps interrupt the pain signal to the brain. I’m sure in one of the books you’ve mentioned and I’ve (somewhat slavishly, somewhat embarrassed to admit) been checking out. Either living with RA or the happiness hypothesis. Will try and track it down.

Most of my checkups at various rheumatologists have been comprised of (what I think are) cursory examination of my joints. Usually I am asked to bend my elbow, touch my nose, etc. Although I must say that my current rheumy (the best I’ve had so far) did conduct a very detailed examination during my first visit. Checked every joint thoroughly, even pressed his ear against them to “listen” to them.

It’s interesting that you talk about touch though, when I get out of the bathtub I always rub some lotion on the joints that are hurting the most…it always seems to help, just touching them.

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