Hamilton resident, Elaine McCreadie, 57, an administrative officer with South Lanarkshire Social Work department, knows all too well the burden of constant, nagging discomfort which osteoarthritis can bring.

 

At its outset, four years ago, painful fingers when working on her office keyboard led her to her local GP and, subsequently, to an appointment with a radiographer whose X ray diagnosed osteoarthritis.

 

Unfortunately, a variety of treatments including pain relief creams, herbal sprays and anti-inflammatory drugs provided no solution and things steadily got worse with Elaine finding that her left hand in particular was becoming of less and less use: opening a bottle top or a jar, was becoming almost impossible.

 

And there were other concerns. “Aside from the constant pain in my fingers I started to become concerned about the possibility of having to give up work. If I couldn’t properly use a keyboard, how could I be an effective team member at work”, she said.

 

The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are joint pains and stiffness as well as problems moving the joint. Some people also have symptoms such as swelling, tenderness and grating or crackling sound when moving the affected joints.

 

For some, the symptoms can be mild and may come and go. Others experience more continuous and severe problems which make it difficult to carry out everyday activities. Almost any joint can be affected by osteoarthritis but the condition most often causes problems in the knees, hips and the small joints of the hands.

 

At length, a friend of Elaine’s husband recommended that she contact Ever Clinic in St Vincent Place, Glasgow, where, he understood, effective treatments to alleviate the pain and suffering of her condition were available.

 

After a consultation with Ever Clinic director, Dr Cormac Convery and his team, she undertook a 20-minute-long treatment on the twenty knuckles of her left and right hands.

 

Dr Convery said: “Treatments that use steroids to treat osteoarthritis in hands, ankles and other joints, do not address the problem, permitting only the temporary dampening down of pain.

 

“Our approach, with Platelet rich fibrin, or PRF, is a simple ten-minute procedure using factors derived from the patient’s own blood which, after being put through a centrifuge release biologically active proteins which counter hard and soft tissue damage and promote the healing process. As a result we can deliver both improved function and reduction of pain.”

 

Uncomfortable at first, it took a couple of days to settle down but the agony that had plagued Elaine at night, requiring her to use grip gloves and regularly swallow pain killers, had disappeared and she was no longer in constant distress.

 

The relief lasted for around the year at which point Elaine returned to Ever Clinic for a further treatment.

 

She said: “I can’t praise Ever Clinic enough. The treatment they gave me was so worthwhile. To be pain free for a whole year was a godsend and I had no hesitation in returning for further treatment when the time was right.”

 

At the same time, and encouraged by the success of her treatment, Elaine’s husband, Gordon, approached Ever Clinic to see if its experts could ease the intense pain he suffered from an arthritic knee joint which was preventing him from sleeping at night.

 

Again, the treatment was successful and Gordon can now enjoy hours of restful sleep which he could barely imagine before.

 

For Elaine, the treatment she received has allowed her to continue in her job.

 

“It involves lots of work on the keyboard and without the treatment I received I feared I would have had to quit work since I was latterly in severe discomfort whenever I had to type.

 

“My employer knew the circumstances under which I was working and were very supportive of the treatment I received…I would not hesitate to recommend Ever Clinic to others.”

 

ENDS

 

A version of this story appeared in The Hamilton Advertiser here.