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Arthritis treatment (Lisbon)

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Dec 7th, 2017, 08:44 AM
  #1
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Arthritis treatment (Lisbon)

Hello all. I suffer from arthritis and have pain mostly everywhere. The winter makes the pain worse so I was considering making a trip to Lisbon, Portugal in February as there it is 15 degrees warmer than where I live. I googled for clinics in Lisbon, but I did not find much helpful information.

If anyone reading this lives in Lisbon or visited Lisbon for health problems and has some tips on clinics or places in Lisbon where one can have alternative treatment (I take injections so I look for additional treatment) I would be very thankful. Any tip or advice is welcome.
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Dec 7th, 2017, 09:10 AM
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Are you a Portugal citizen? Why single out Lisbon when there are other cities that would be warmer than the unnamed place where you live?
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Dec 7th, 2017, 09:19 AM
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No, I live in northern Germany where it is very cold, rainy and windy. It so happens that when I searched for flight tickets the cheapest ones were to Lisbon. I prefer to travel on short distances, only Europe, due to pain. I looked at cities in France and Spain too. My question strictly refers to Lisbon as I searched for winter temperatures and found cheap flight tickets.
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Dec 7th, 2017, 09:28 AM
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You could also consider Nice. Can't help with clinics, but can't you ask your doctor for a recommendation? Don't forget you will need an EHIC.
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Dec 7th, 2017, 09:37 AM
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Ask your doctor for a prescription for Celebrex or it’s it’s generic Celecobix. It is a very helpful anti-infammatory medicine for arthritis.
A warm and dry climate would be helpful. Do you know Lisbon’s humidity levels in the winter?
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Dec 7th, 2017, 09:39 AM
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Thank you thursdaysd for recommending Nice. I also looked at Nice, but Lisbon is a bit warmer than Nice. Thank you, I have a travel insurance.
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Dec 7th, 2017, 09:40 AM
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The EHIC only covers emergency care, not alternative treatments, but maybe you German health care covers it? I would talk to your doctor and see if he can make any suggestions.
You could have a look at the Canary Islands too - much warmer, good health care and German is widely spoken since there are so may Germans living there.
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Dec 7th, 2017, 09:47 AM
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@HappyTrvlr: thank you for your reply. I am on Cimzia injections and took before Arcoxia and Mtx. Unfortunately, none helped me. I am scared of the harsh winter and if I really invest into travelling to Lisbon, I wish I could make an appointment to some clinic that offers alternative treatments like gym in water. The average temperature in Feb in Lisbon is 12 degrees and it does rain, but at least it is not super cold or snowy.
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Dec 7th, 2017, 11:47 AM
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I just started Cimzia. Will be interested to know if you have any difficulty getting injections in Lisbon, Nice or wherever.
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Dec 7th, 2017, 12:50 PM
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@HappyTrvlr - Celecobix is an NSAID, as are OTC drugs such as Aleve. It may help with the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis but is does NOT affect the underlying disease. Anyone with more than mild disease should be on a DMARD, and if that doesn't work then you progress to the biologics, such as Cimzia, which are given by injection. In my case by a trained infusion nurse in a clinic.
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Dec 7th, 2017, 01:10 PM
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@thursdaysd: I travelled before with Cimzia...my doctor gave me a paper where it stated that I am travelling with it and I presented that paper and the box with injections to the security at the airport. I transported the injections in a box with a cool-thermometer and ice cubes. I went on short flight so I didn't need new ice. But the stewardes can provide you with ice if needed. To sum up, when you travel by plane you need: paper from doctor, coolbox with thermometer and ice cubes.

PS: I try my best not to transport my injections anymore in the plane. When going through scanning, I am actually afraid that the radiations modify the content of the injection. Maybe you can ask your doctor about her opinion on this.
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Dec 7th, 2017, 01:12 PM
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@hetismij2: thank you for suggesting canare islands, i will look into it too. The german health insurance doesn't cover alternative treatment (acupuncture and so on).
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Dec 7th, 2017, 01:22 PM
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@Tsuki22 - does that mean you are giving yourself the injections? Do you mix them as well?
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Dec 7th, 2017, 02:36 PM
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@thursdaysd: i always ask for a prescription of two injections because I had problems with my fridge and the injections got to a wrong temperature. Yes, I do the injection myself in the leg or belly fat. It is painful every time but after 2 minutes it doesn't hurt much anymore. I do not mix anything, it comes as already prepared injection. All the best
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Dec 7th, 2017, 03:13 PM
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where one can have alternative treatment (I take injections so I look for additional treatment)>

The German health insurance doesn't cover alternative treatment (acupuncture and so on).<

I'd vet any 'new' treatments before taking in a strange place to make sure the practioner is skilled at the job - many may not be - and as someone who is subject to arthritis, weight loss, if overweight, is always listed as a great treatment especially if joints are involved.
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Dec 7th, 2017, 03:13 PM
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Interesting. I am in the US and the injection came as a powder and liquid. It took the nurse 15 minutes or so to mix it. Starter dose was two 200 mg injections at the same time, but the maintenance dose may be different.
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Dec 9th, 2017, 09:11 AM
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Travel insurance isn't going to cover you going someplace for alternative treatments, going to spas, etc. It only covers things that happen to you on your trip. I'm very surprised you say German insurance doesn't cover alternative treatment as I have a very good German friend whose mother used to go to spas for quite a while (3-4 weeks at least) and it was paid for by her German health plan. I can't recall what her condition was, but I've heard that a lot about Germans getting to go to health spas (kuroten) under their health insurance. She did not have expensive private health insurance, I know that. Now maybe it doesn't cover acupuncture (which also surprises me as even many US insurances cover that, at least in limited conditions) but you said you are interested in spas. This article in a peer-reviewed German complementary medicine medical journal says it has been law to cover acupuncture in Germany since 2007, as least for some things.
https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/381151
I work in health policy and international differences in insurance is just one of my interests, so I've read some articles on the German system, that's all.

Anyway, I think you really wnt Hungary, that is known for health spas and is cheaper. I imagine flight costs wouldn't be more than to Lisbon, but the problem is it's not warm in winter. I hesitate to mention this, as I'm not sure of the political situations or problems, but I wonder if something in Greece or Turkey could work for you. Athens is as warm or a bit warmer than Lisbon and they do have thermal springs in Greece.
http://www.discovergreece.com/en/wellness-and-spas
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Dec 9th, 2017, 09:19 AM
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"even many US insurances cover that, at least in limited conditions"

At least with Medicare, acupuncture is only ever covered if the acupuncturist is supervised by a regular doctor. It is also the case that Medicare only covers chiropractic treatment for acute, not chronic, conditions, with a defined treatment plan, and only for spinal manipulation.
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Dec 9th, 2017, 10:12 AM
  #19
 
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From what i have learned, termal waters are ideal for arthritis. They are actually recommended by the Portuguese National Health Care System. Of course, those are to the north of the country.

Regarding Lisbon, you could try the Portuguese Institute of Rheumatology, Portugal's biggest unit in the area. Their Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine sector has hydrotherapy for 38€ month, twice a week. Also you could try firstly their advice regarding your personal symptoms, with doctor consultation: try this email: [email protected]

The adress is Rua Luis Pastor de Macedo, nº 3 - Loja B, little west to the airport. Phone: 21 355 25 70
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Dec 9th, 2017, 10:14 AM
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This is a place we are staying in April, but it isn't in Lisbon, it is closer to Lagos. I know generally there are good flights to the Algarve within Europe, so maybe it might work for you.

I notice they have treatments for arthritis so I thought I would post it for you:

http://www.monchiquetermas.com/en/termas.html

They do have wellness programs:

http://www.monchiquetermas.com/en/wellness-programs
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