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Degradation of joints ? anyone have any dealing or knowledge of this

Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

It seems that since chemo has ended my joints seem to be degrading to not severe but close to it pain and stiffness. Every joint I have is sore and stiff and seems to be getting worse by the week. Is it that I am so sedentary that I am folding ? I don't feel like exercising because of being so sore. especially in my knees and elbows. It seems that just bending them hurts. Is this what I am to look forward to in the golden years ? If so as the poem goes "The golden years have come at last the golden years can kiss my ***"...I don't like feeling this way. any certain exercise or function that I am missing to reduce the hurt. and I am done with all meds, I have no desire to take any more of anything.....Thanks in advance......Buzzard

Patteee's picture
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

both of my thumbs, and both of my knees- are all shot to crap. Had surgery to replace left thumb joint in November- both knees need to be done- stay away from stairs! Yes, all of this since I finished chemo. Feels as though the cartiledge was bathed in oxi. Isn't this fun??

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4906
Joined: May 2005

There is something that is supposed to be a lubricant for your joints.
I think they are Glucosamine & Chondroitin. I have no experience with them at all but maybe there is more info from people who tried them and it's on the web too.

Sometimes I get stiff all over too, part of it is...age. Too much of it!
I have different joint problems Buzzard.

Joy1216's picture
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

You probably never thought a woman would tell you that you were right. LOL I was stage 1, so no chemo but I do have osteoarthritis in my hands. I've been under the care of a rheumatologist for over a year. I've been taking 1500 mg. of glucosamine chondroitin daily and rarely have pain or tenderness. The doc says I'm the poster child for glucosamine chondroitin. He did say that not everyone has good results like I've had.

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Yes, Buzzard

They "shot" 25 rounds of radiation into each my left & right hip bones and up the shooter as well...life has not been the same and I as 43 then...it gets a little worse as time goes on. I did all the Oxy and 5fu pump and Xeloda, Avastin, and what have you - I'm sure it took it collective toll as well.

Having just days agon brought home our "new Sundance" - he is a puppy all over and over, and chasing him around and down and bending over and trying to get up off the floor, I have hurt the muscles in my back.

I agree with you that since all of the Cancer started, I have not been as active as I used to be - like you, due to the pain and soreness. I started walking before lung surgery and was doing somewhat better, felt more flexible (degrees), but better.

And I was walking after surgery and doing ok - then the holidays came - and I went with it - I need to get back on the treadmill 'cause I'm still short of breath since the surgery and it feels like I'll never be back to where I was before this surgery...

And as Phil says, age can take its toll - we're "dinosaurs" remember, Buzzard :)

Anyway, I agree with you - NED carries a heavy price tag - speaking of golden years, I'm 48, but my onc says the inside of my body is that of a 70 year old man - each decade will be a little bit harder for me with all of the "internal aging."

But hey, what do you do? We had to "make the deal" - trade some health for a chance at life now...tomorrow may never come. So, we traded - but as you have said I guess all things considered, it's still better to be here than the alternative.

Good ol' fashioned walking is where I'm going to start again - that's seems to be the best thing we can do to improve our mobility and flexibility.

Take care "ol' friend" :)


Kerry S's picture
Kerry S
Posts: 607
Joined: Dec 2009

Buzzard, I am going to be 67 next month. I am on the "mostly dead" side of life anyway.

However, I feel better now then I did 3 years back.

My wife and I were just talking about how my arthritis has not been the problem it was before chemo/rad.

Now last year at this time it about killed me to work outside. I could not take much on the tractor at all. It hurt just to climb up into it. I keep about 12 acres as lawn and running the mower was also ruff. Especially with rad burns on my butt. You just have to grit your teeth and go for it. It does gets better. We have all been in the biggest nastiest bar fight anyone could imagine. The good part is we are still here. Use it or loose it.

Aud's picture
Posts: 480
Joined: Oct 2009

I've gotten a lot tighter in the hips/legs since radiation, and I'm not sure if it's a direct result of treatment or the fact that my posture was limited during that time due to "the Burn." I've recently started making daily stretching a part of my daily routine and like Craig says, walking is great. I walk most days.
I recently joined a Pilates class, which focuses on core strengthening and flexibility but I would recommend that only if the instructor is very knowledgable. Even though I'm a walker, when it comes to Pilates, I am OUT OF SHAPE. The instructor was good at modifiying the exercises so that I could still participate. She talked about being patient with the process.

Clift, I'm wondering if exercising in water would be beneficial to you? Like I said, a good instructor is key.

Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004


Since doing chemo I have also had joint pain and muscle pain and stiffness. I have to use a walker because I cannot stand for any length of time or walk any distance without sitting down. I was diagnosed with arthritis and fibromyalgia. I don't think chemo caused these problems, but they definately don't help them.

Hope you feel better!


robinvan's picture
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Haven't seen you here for a while.
Sorry to hear about the arthritis and fibromyalgia. Chemo definitely doesn't help.

Rob; in Vanocuver

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008


My mom has rheumatoid arthritis and so did my grandma. When my joints started in aching and sore, I assumed I was getting it too. I've had my primary care physician request bloodwork to test for it & I've now been tested for it twice and have also had xrays of my feet and knees. Bloodwork came back negative twice for any rheumatoid factor. The xrays showed some possible arthritis, but my doctor said what shows up is minor and shouldn't be hurting as much as I say it does. I've heard sometimes you can still have rheumatoid arthritis with negative tests, but I don't know- I think it's probably from the chemo. It's bad some days! I can barely walk or move some days. I feel like an 80 yr old woman some days at 43! I think it certainly could be from the chemo, Clift. Sorry you're in pain! Ibuprofen helps somewhat.
I know I've read about other people who have joint pain from chemo. I remember all the aches and pains Cheryl used to talk about having from the chemo.

snommintj's picture
Posts: 602
Joined: Mar 2009

I treated my body like sh1t for about 13 years. I beat, battered, and abused myself until I couldn't do it anymore. It's been hard moving around for the last 5 years or so. But when I'm on avastin I become almost immobile. I'm good once I start moving but starting or stopping is extremely difficult. I know it's the avastin because I've taken chemo without it and I move around fine. Once the avastin gets added I hurt. I suck it up but I would love to move around freely.

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ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

Twelve years after chemo I'm on methotrexate for poly arthritis. At one stage a scan showed nearly every joint in my body was inflamed. Auto-immune arthritis and vasculitis has attacked my kidneys resulting in chronic proteinurea(protein loss thru urine) and moderate neuropathy in both feet,legs and left hand. Just to add to the discomfort my left shoulder is frozen. Unfortunately most of the damage is permanent. The methotrexate is a chemo based immuno suppressant. Without it I would be in severe pain. I don't like taking meds but what the heck I am extremely hard to kill. Cheers Ron.

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3336
Joined: Jan 2010

I have not had chemo, so I can't say one way or the other about potential effects to joints and muscles.

I can understand your not wanting to take meds, but some other things which you might give a try are:

Paraffin dip for hands, feet and elbows (I have found this to be soothing, the mild heat helps and then a gentle massage after peeling off the paraffin) You can get your own set up to use at home. Some hair cuttery places have it available if you want to try before investing in your own.

If you have access to an indoor pool, arobic type exercises in the water can help some too. It has been recommended for others who suffer from arthritis and chronic joint pain. It makes it nicer if the pool is heated. If no YMCA or such near you, perhaps a local hotel with an indoor pool might let you stop in for a dip.

A hot rock massage, done by a licensed massage therapist.

A warm whirlpool soak with gentle massage or light activity after. The whirlpool may be the hardest to come by, but again a local hotel may have a hottub that you can arrange to use.

Sorry that you are in pain, and hoping you can find some non-medicine way to help relieve it.

Thank you for being you and offering so much to the rest of us.


Posts: 638
Joined: Dec 2009

Man I am in my mid 60's and if anything can get stiff anymore I don't want a pill to make it go away....LOL Just want to get my 2 cents in on this one ...


Posts: 251
Joined: Jan 2009

My husband last CT scan showed that his joints were degenerating especially the L4 and L5 discs. We know that this is due to the long extensive time on chemo but it bought us more time so it is a tradeoff that was worth making. He is still here with me and able to get out and do things. Buying time is important ...you just have to weigh the cost.

GOOFYLADIE's picture
Posts: 233
Joined: Aug 2009

Well I had chemo at 31 I had it every 7 days to ten days depending on my counts. I have knees of a 96 year old woman I am 43. I have to have knee replacements but that is going to wait until I can't stand it anymore. I just had anterior cervical fusions on 4,5and 6 and7. My lumbar area is next along with shoulder surgery. They said I was hit with 3 times the chemo that most of you are hit with today. Because a female, my age at the time 12 years ago should not have colon cancer. Stage IV at that.They were not sure how to go about it, so they blasted me and I okayed it. I wanted it gone. I invested in a Bubblifier the kids call it. I got it at Sears. You place the mat in the tub and it shoot water thru it giving you a portable hot tub. It connects to small motor it is loud but not overly noisey. I can go to sleep with it on. My husband hates to use says how do relax with that loud *** thing. I guess for the comfort it gives me easing the pain in my hands, neck and back I just forget the noise. It cost about 40.oo bucks. There are more expensive ones too at Bed Bath and Beyond. You don't have to leave home to feel good. Matter of fact you jump in and get out feeling great and have an awesome day.
Good luck Buzzard. Don't get angry at it, get even! You already got even by being NED! Don't even let it test you on the little things! LOL
Make it a Great Day!
Goofyladie (Cass)

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

My joints bothered me a great deal after chemo (folfox 6 w/ avastin so take your pick which one). My Type 1 diabetic brother in law told me about a supplement he orders that he really believes in that has Hyaluronic Acid in it. I googled and read up on HA and was very hopeful.

I ordered some and began taking it over 2 years ago. It's one of those things that takes a while to build up so you don't really notice if it's helpful or not. After I hit my 5 year cancer free mark this past fall I reevaluated all my supplements and decided the HA wasn't doing anything and I could save money by not taking it. So I stopped taking it in Nov.

Now that my exercise level has increased and almost 2 months have passes since I stopped I can tell it does help and I NEED it. I have started taking it again and will not stop again.

Check it out, I think you'll be pleased and want to try it. The one I take is pretty pricey but came personally recommended. Oh and most will say to take 3 tablets a day.....take 1 morning, noon, and night instead of all at once. As I am building back up on it I can really tell the difference breaking it up.

Hope to meet you @CP8!!

Lisa P.

HollyID's picture
Posts: 951
Joined: Dec 2009

I don't know if this is relevant or not, but my nephew was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia when he was 18. He did chemo for quite a long time, took steroids, had a bone marrow transplant and at the tender age of 20, has had one hip replaced and he is looking at having the other one done. He used walking crutches which put so much pressure on his shoulder joints as well. They're (his orthopedic surgeons) hoping that they might resolve on their own when his hips are replaced and he won't have a need for his crutches. His orthos believe it was all caused from the steroids.
One hell of a thing for a 20 year old to live with. I'm not saying this because he's my nephew, but no 20 year old kid should have to live like that.

I agree with Kathi. We put poisons in our body weekly, bi-weekly or whenever. They give us steroids to lessen side effects. We take a med after med after med. It's no wonder we're all messed up.

I'm lovin' and wishin' and hopin' and prayin' that this is something minor, Buzz.

Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

and it is minor in the grand scheme of things and thank all of you for the well wishes also, it makes a man feel pretty good. I just don't like admitting that there is something I can't fix....so I am trying to physically fix my aches and pains without meds...I do have a hot tub and use it every night. It is a lifesaver for me. and really it is a minor problem, I just can't run like I did before chemo and surgery and ok Im just feeling a little sorry for myself...Im going to Jiffy lube tomorrow and getting and oil change, that should do it....Thanks everyone, Im just gonna get off my lazy butt and start exercising like I am hearing some out there saying "Get off your lazy butt and exercise"...Guess thats what I'll do......Love, Hope and Jack Lalayne.............Buzzard

jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

Go to the gym and get on a stationary bike or other non-weightbearing equipment,lurk a bit, ask questions. Find yourself a personal trainer who knows what he is doing and hire him/her for 3 mo. This time of the year sometimes they have specials on gym memberships. Water is a great choice too. I have arthritis and I'm guessing it is hereditary since my mom had both hips and both knees replaced. Do you have neuropathy in your legs and hands? Mine is not debilitating, but not fun either. The barimetric pressure seems to make a difference with all of the fronts coming through this time of the year. Since we have had so many digestive issues with our colons, my doc thinks acetaminophen is better than ibuprophen, 2 docs have reccomended hydrocodiene. Can't drink alcohol with that though. Hmmm
Hope yours gets better soon.
Jo Ann

just4Brooks's picture
Posts: 988
Joined: Jun 2009

I dont know if it was the radiation or the chemo but my hips just kill me!!!

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Radiation, man - I've never been the same since. No question in my mind - I'm in QA so I know before and after results. I know trends and patterns and the rads went through our hips into our internal organs - "some rain must fall" right?

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