osteoarthritis and depression

I have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my spine for the past year I was given co codamol for the pain the last few months has been agony for me as I cant turn round in my bed as my hips are so sore also I have numbness on my thighs going down my legs . ialso suffer from depression anxiety disorder this pain is getting me down. I work 2 part time jobs and I am struggling to keep them up . I m off work at the moment as im very sore . I feel as though the dr thinks I am a hypochondriac or that's me being paranoid can any one relate to what I have written

28 Replies

  • I can relate to the Pain and depression but not your feelings about your doctor. How about a change of GP to one who understands chronic pain . if you have been in pain fo4 more than 5 months you should ask for a referral to the chronic pain clinic. It can be a long wait for an appointment but they will assess your medication , your mobility and help with you managing the feelings you will have about having chronic pain. There is help out there. Good luck


  • Hi, I can understand just how you feel as I have osteoarthritis in my feet, knees, hands and back I have had back problems for years (probably what brought the OA on in my back) I have Gabapentin for nerve pain & co-codamol for the other pain although I just cannot take the dose of the latter prescribed as they make me feel quite bad. I have some days that I can cope & others where I have trouble getting from room to room it's so painful. I get very depressed and did go back to doctors for a referral to see if there was anything more that could be done as it has been 5 years since I have seen a specialist. Was in there for about 5 minutes and was given some Tramadol not good with my blood pressure tablets (stops them from working)! I was made to feel I was a nuisance in fact. At the moment I am not too good luckily I have a good husband but I feel very cut off and very depressed I do need to go back and perhaps see a different doctor at the practice but have not got my courage up as yet as was made to feel so bad the last time I went. You are not alone with how you feel and I guess we are not alone there must be many others, the trouble is people cannot see our pain we look quite normal, a neighbor sent me down some cream for tired aching feet! bless her she meant well, take care

  • Hi I have my Dr to go back to on Tues . I'm going to ask for a referral to pain clinic. I have my work breathing down my neck as been off a lot in the past year as took a relapse with my depression . My back had been sore since then and now it's travelling down last night my thighs were so numb I could have taking any polls to get rid of pain

  • Hi, the comments you made I feel I could have wrote them, I feel the same, but you have made me feel better as I thought it was me that made the doctors react this way, can't get me out of the surgery fast enough, not listening, there is nothing wrong with me only a little pain. I can't make them understand what constant pain does to me. I have stopped trying.I do attend a Pain clinic but have to wait months to be seen, which is no help. It's good to know I am not on my own and others are treated the same. I am a widow in my 70' s and have always been active and have found it hard to come to terms with what osteoarthritis has done to me, I now do what I can when I can and if it means leaving housework for another day so be it. Try not to talk to friends how rotten I feel , as they don't understand,as one of them said to me this week, you should get out more, this is a person who has never suffered anything worse than the flu. I do get out but I don't go on holidays for up to a month at a time I think this was what she meant. I no longer feel angry, I make the most of good days.

  • Hi Normadee, oh how I agree with you regarding comments from other people. Some people always 'seem' to be in much more pain than you but they are the ones who are out and about every day jumping on and off buses, etc, etc. I have learned that if I walk too much one day I will suffer for it the next!! I am a 77 year old widow and since my husband died in January my osteoarthritis seems to have developed in leaps and bounds. I was due for a hip replacement 8th November but it was cancelled and I have to wait for an echocardiogram first because they think there may be a problem with my heart. You're right, make the most of good days! I hope you have a happy Christmas and a few good days.

  • Yes, I can relate. It is miserable not to be listened to, and to feel like a hyperchondriac. My old GP made me feel like this, and I even got to the point where I said "I am not depressed - but I might BECOME depressed if you don't help me work out what's wrong!" She still didn't listen... One change of doctor later, and it turned out I needed a hip replacement!!

    Severe pain is often a sign that something is wrong, so don't let yourself be fobbed off... And bear in mind joints can degenerate quickly, so if you know you have OA in your spine, and if your pain is increasing, you need it xrayed at least yearly...

    Meanwhile, I found/find that a combination of gentle swimming (on your back if breaststroke hurts) and the heat of a sauna/jacuzzi were/are brilliant, both for keeping my mood up and for pain relief - my pain drops by about 80% in water.

  • hi I am going to join the swimming and get a monthly pass . I feel as though I am in my nineties instead of being 51 . my jobs have a lot to do with the pain I am in as I am doing heavy lifting and going up and down stairs all day is killing me .I go back to different dr in my practice on tues hopefully she will give me a line for work as struggle every day.

  • Sounds like you may need a different job, Rattling... :(

  • Did you know that GPS can prescient membership to pools free of charge! !

    Regards Nessie

  • Hi Nessie did not know that . I will ask the next time I go . Waiting on physio with n'hs . Already had physio through my work and acupuncture which acupuncture made it worse as I couldn't move for a few days .

  • Hi All

    Just reading your posts and feel so sorry for you... It IS incredibly hard living with chronic pain and I admire anyone with it for their courage... Esp. when there are so many folks who just don't get it... Incl. far too many Drs!

    I just wanted to say in case this helps any of you that there are things you can do/try if the Nhs isn't really cutting it: -

    Bear in mind that tension and stress can increase pain levels dramatically.

    Fear and/or anger can cause huge amounts of pain in the body where it lodges itself and gets 'stored'. Sometimes it is deep seated from the past but it still has a biochemical effect and you would be AMAZED at how many people feel their pain levels substantially subside or disappear completely when they release these emotions at the root of them using techniques like EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) - Yes even people with broken bones, crumbling spines etc. EFT is starting to become available on the NHS but still a long way to go. Ask if it is available in your area.

    Basically anything therapeutic that helps your muscles relax whilst releasing energy blocks is good. (Energy blocks are like dams in your body's energy system that stagnate areas of your body and block the flow of vitality that your body needs to restore and repair itself. They also accumulate 'debris'; toxicity, tension, negative emotion etc. which leads to increased pain, imbalance and degeneration.) Yoga (a gentle variety!) is good as it combines stretching, mindfulness and release-breathing and is good for you on all levels. EFT is good too as it relaxes and releases simultaneously. Acupuncture and reflexology are helpful over the long term. Swimming is great as it is relaxing, low impact but aerobic. These things combined with heat therapies. Warm climates! Some people might consider emigrating to South of France lol! (I only say this ask it worked for someone I know). Tai Chi is great if you do it daily. Jacuzzis, hot tubs, hot bottles?! Magnetic therapy/bands.

    Also Endorphins help reduce pain... So watch more comedy/feel good films?!. Write a list of all the things that feel good in your body. Maybe it's listening with good speakers/headphones to exquisite music.. Moving to music that you love. Loving intimacy. Something that when you listen to your body you know it is relaxing and enjoying... As long as it does no harm do it as often as you can.

    Avoid heavy lifting and bad posture! Avoid stress or if you really can't then find ways to counter it like mindfulness, NLP, CBT, EFT, meditation, quality counselling, The 3 Principles, praying... Whatever suits you!!!

    Importantly ALLOW yourself the time and whatever resources you can to do these things. There may be people in your life who you feel don't give you permission.... You may not give YOURSELF permission! Well I give you permission!! It really is vital for your quality of life. Maybe there are some changes you can make that are fair to everybody including you?

    Of course It does make a difference if you have plenty of money but there are still a lot of things you can do on a budget. Make a start just by doing one thing if it all seems too much!

    The things to aim for are : -

    Listening to your body and giving it as much love and care as you would to someone who is very dear to you... If you hate your body or are cross with it for being so painful it will only make things worse unfortunately... Body's respond hugely to love. Speak kindly and encouraging to it. (This was recommended to me by an amazing friend of mine who is 102!! And she's right! It helps!!!)

    Keep your inner energy in good flow. Tai Chi is excellent for this. Anything that you do just physically is not always enough... It HAS to involve the BREATH! Either aerobic or deep breathing is very helpful in both aiding circulation and oxygenation and releasing toxins...but exercises that coordinate breathing, stretching and movement are particularly good. Otherwise energy therapies like EFT, acupuncture, even massage, to relax muscles and stimulate the energy flow so that the body's healing vitality can get through to the areas that are struggling are very important.

    Make room for as much joy as you can in your life. Prioritise it more. Seriously. It can make a big difference to your quality of life and that will in turn benefit those around you. But pay close attention to how your body responds to things; Sometimes the mind or emotions are enjoying something but when you listen to your body it is actually saying 'no'! You may have grown to hate your body because of all the pain you experience through it but actually bodies never lie and they have a huge amount of wisdom and are really worth listening to!! Also dialogue with your body! Speak lovingly to it... esp. the parts that hurt. Work WITH your body as an ally. It doesn't want to cause you pain and misery. But you need to be a team.

    Diet is also important. You will want to avoid toxic and processed foods. Raw fresh foods help increase your vitality levels. Quality supplements. Help your body detox and hydrate by drinking enough water, also if you haven't already, try cider vinegar or Honeygar which is very refreshing and incredibly good for you. Find a herbal tea that you really like (they don't all taste awful!).

    I'm not saying any or all of these will free you from all pain obviously, although there have been enough accounts where even people with crumbling bones have become pain free, but the more you help your body the more your body will help you. Love is the key. Don't be harsh on yourself. Your body has tremendous innocence and power. Don't blame your body or yourself. Just give yourself permission to listen to your body's needs and meet as many of them as you can lovingly and wholesomely. Get to know your body as you would a close friend. And get all the quality help along the journey that you can. Your wellbeing is actually really important.

  • Thank you Hannahkat for all that info, I feel a little better already 😊

  • I take Co-dydramol and Zydol at night for arthritis pain. Ask GP for them. If he says no see another doctor. Co-codamol are dished out like sweeties, but are not strong enough to make a difference!

    Regards Nessie

  • Co Codamol don't help me I have been giving 600 of them in the past 2 months . I keep telling them they don't help they say I'm limited because of other pills interacting with my other medication

  • What other med are you on?

  • im on ramiprill for high blood pressure , ventalin in haler for asthma also 2 venlaflaxyn for depression and omeprazole for stomach

  • Hi nessie you mentioned zydol is that a pain killer like tramadol as when I took tramadol everything I was eating I felt as though I was choking and it gave me a very dry mouth .

  • From what I understand about the med you are on..you will need to be very assertive with your GP. ..he can up your pain relief. .he just doesn't want to!! :(

  • ok thanks I will do that as want to get back to work asap before I lose my jobs

  • Rattling1, I can relate to what you're going through. I also have OA , mine is in my feet, hands shoulders and knees. It started in my hands two years ago then by last year it have started in my feet. By the time April have had gotten here this year I was starting to feel it in my knees , shoulders and elbows I also feel it in my hips at times on my bad days. Cooler temps seem to set the pain off for me . Now that the cooler temps have arrived I'm feeling it more. I have tried four different pain meds to ease my pain and not a whole lot has helped me. I was told the last time I went to the rheumatologist that if what he gave me didn't help that maybe I might have to be put on celebrex. I do have bad days with my OA arthritis .I've been looking for ways to help me with my OA as far as devices that can help me get around better. Weather it be a wheelchair or something else. Last year was hell for me and I don't want to go through that again this winter. . Good luck.

  • JDQUINN75 my pain gets worse during the night were my hips are so sore it prevents me from sleeping and I get so frustrated . My sis tells me it's all in my head

  • Rattling1 , To me that would be a false statement. It's not all in your head. You know when you hurt . I've been there. I find that alot of rest helps me. When I'm off my feet I'm the most comfortable. It hurts me to stand up during the day for a long period of time. That's why I've been looking at other options for me. I'm still not sure what would help me the most. I'm also feeling it in my hips as well. Do what helps you the most. You know what hurts you the most. If it helps you to stay off your feet then do so when you can. I also find for me when I can that the most comfortable thing for me to ware as far as shoes go are my moccasins " slippers" . Don't get me wrong I have had some sleepless nights do to my arthritis and some unbearable nights as,well, on more than one occasion. Take care.

  • HI , I can certainly relate to this and I feel sorry for you .When your a sufferer of arthritis and the pain is always there you feel lonely and isolated which leads to depression . I work part time as a carer and I find it increasingly hard to manage . the dr says live on painkillers but you worry about this too . I am now receiving physio on my neck and back and it eases it a bit . I wish there was more support for sufferers

    I am on antidepressants to take the edge off the depression.

  • had a bad night last night pain really bad and couldn't take any more pain killers as had already taken 8 . don't know if this pain will ever go away . my daughter coming up today she wants to take me to town to get me out as haven't been out in 4 weeks apart from going to dr which I had taken a taxi. I am doing my exercises for my back but the big problem is my legs are numb and that's whats getting me down

  • hi I know just how you feel I had to give up my job a care assistant which I loved ,I had to sell my house and bought a park home so I didn't have to go upstairs ,this was the only way I could afford to leave work,I have just turned 60 but cant get state pension until I am 66 so my husband is supporting me and I hate not having my own money and am getting very depressed about it,some of these gps should have arthritis themselves then they might realize how painful it is,keep going back to your gp and eventually they might realize you genuinely need help good luck

  • you should apply for pip as you are not 65 it wont affect your husbands pension . you should phone them and they will take your details and send you out a form its worth looking into . good luck

  • Hi. Just reading through all the replies. I know your post is about a year or so old, but just thought I'd like to join in with the conversation a little.

    I have Severe Osteoarthritis, diagnosed about 11 months ago, & bloody hell it's painful, as we all know!! Plus it's getting worse.

    Feels as if not enough is being done or offered to those with OA.

    Me personally, all I have is the medication. No other help has been offered. No local community Arthritis groups within my area. Nearest group is 15 miles away (I don't drive).

    I get most of the information from this forum, which has been really helpful.

    I take my days as they come.

    Hope your all well as you can be. 😉


  • Hi Ruthytootie2

    I've just read your post and agree with it wholeheartedly.

    It seems as though if you have OA you just have to take pain killers and put up with it. There is no help out there for us no one understands the pain we are in or how it effects our day to day life. As you say we don't have local groups where we could discuss our problems and help each other, that is why this group is so important to us all.

    Like you I take each day as it comes.

    Hope you all have some pain free time


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