Treating the pain

Hello, I wondering if I am the outcast first rheumatologist gave me narcotic pain meds to treat the pain while we try meds to control the disease. She said this was common practice and that I should not be concerned with it and once we find the right medacine I will no longer need them and we will go from there. She has since retired.

My new rheumatologist was apparently apauled that I was recieving pain medacine for pain, and said that she would never prescribe narcotic to an RA patient. I understand that there is a correlation between narcotic pain meds and fibromyalgia type pain, so I understand. But for me the quality of life I have while taking my medacine is WAY higher than with out...with out I have a very hard time. I'm a mother of 3,4&10 year old. Train horses and homeschool. When I have gone off my pain meds my life depletes to a sad version. And I miss being active. I use cimzia, but I don't think it's doing what I want and I've had to go off three times due to infection and other insurance reasons. I have failed many other treatments as one doc told me, I personally think they failed me...anyway. I've been through the methotrexate, plaquanill...and many others. I do take mobic and a muscle relaxer but that was before the Ra, I've always had back problems. I also use prednisone spairingly. I was on a high level for too long and muscles started going tiny atrophy so I cannot control pain that way anymore hence why we had started the slow release pain management.

Am I the only person who counts on pain medacine to control pain?

Thank you and please no snarky attitudes with your answers, I'm asking because I want to know how others control pain, not to hear about what I'm doing wrong.

12 Replies

  • Hi, zbratianu! 👋

    [No snarky attitudes here thank goodness! 🙏 ]

    Merely supplemental info:

    There's a "Pain Concern" forum ( ) with some wonderfully insightful, empathetic, remarkable folks, who may also be able to share some useful information with you. 👍

    (Merely an additional resource if you're interested.)

    Wishing you speedy pain relief, zbratianu. 🙏 🌺 🍀 🌞


    Kind regards, ☺️



  • I too had my rheumy prescribe pain meds for flares, breakthrough pain etc. Mostly my pain is handled by the medicine regime but when I flare I have the pain meds for those times. If your disease is not well controlled you need pain meds. Gentle hugs and good luck.

  • Your not alone. My physician prescribes me a nacotic pain medication for break through pain, it's not a lot or a high dose. It does make a difference in my quality of life. I know this sounds strange to most but I choose quality over quantity. I too became very sick with infection on the methotrexate. I'm not on any medications to slow my RA as of now. I am a Registered Nurse who works around sick people (makes it difficult to take immunosuppressants) I have 4 children and I train dogs. I don't want to loose those things that matter most to me. The pain medication, though many people and doctors don't like it, gives me the ability to continue to do those things. Without it I have no desire to crawl out of bed. I am fortunate enough to have this conversation with my doctor who does understand that I hate being a spectator in my own life. I hope they find something or allow you to continue on your previous regime. After all it should be our choice as to how we want to live. Take care.

  • Thank you all, it is very comforting to hear that others are going through thensame thing. I too have a hard time keeping on immunosuppressant medicine as I am around a lot of dirty things. Lol. But kids, farm and all don't give me much of,a chance. I tied to go sledding and scraped my hand on the ice, was on my summer turnout so I'm sure there was poop, because my tiny scratch took very my finger. And when I started to cook for thanksgiving I noticed the red line. So, ER yes. Months off biologics...yes. Now they are not doing anything for pain. So with out my pain medication I'd be very unhappy with my life. Thank you all again.

    How do u find energy to do. Nursing?

  • I'm a am also concerned with my new rheumys obsession with my non visibly swollen hand and feet, but hey are...they just never saw me when they weren't. They never get huge, but bug and red and hot. My my send rate is always normalish. If my RF wasn't >3500, they probable would never have even taken a second look.

    I feel so bas for those who don't. It makes getting treatment so much easier when it's already so hard.

  • It is hard to continue to do nursing. I plan my days carefully. I make sure to get plenty of sleep the night before I work. I also make sure I'm home no later than 6pm the night before I work so that I can unwind from my day, take a long hot bath to loosen up my joints. I try to manage my stress which takes looking at things differently. I give myself a day off every week from having to do anything. No dishes, no laundry, no cooking. I get to spend that day catching up on rest if I'm starting to feel exhausted or if I'm pushing through a painful week. I have decided to give in a little so I don't have to give up everything I love doing. I'm sure as time goes by I will have to give in a little more.

  • I am on methotrexate and continue with joint and muscle pain. I take Tramadol, a non-opiate. I don't feel like it's working after I pop the pill, BUT in about 30 minutes the pain is gone. In other words, you don't notice a euphoric feeling like a narcotic, but it works nevertheless.


  • Hi! I definitely have to have narcotic pain meds to control my pain. I'm going through a really rough time now and for the last 3 plus months have been in severe pain. I had the Rituxan infusion over a month ago and it hasn't helped at all...I've actually just gotten worse. I have a great rheumy who prescribes whatever I need to get me through. I have seen another rheumy in the past who refused to prescribe narcotics. Clearly she has never been in severe pain because lets face it, NSAIDs just don't even cut it! That said, I've discovered the only thing that truly helps me is Tylenol 4. All the other pain meds make me deathly sick. If I didn't have the 4s I would be totally non-functioning. I'm a mother of a 3 year old and a 4 month old and we've recently had to move in with my parents because I'm unable to care for them during the day while my husband is at work. I feel I would be fully bed bound if it wasn't for the pain meds. Some rheumatologists just don't get it. I'm lucky I have one now that understands (possibly because his own wife has severe RA). My advice is find a new rheumy or maybe ask your primary. You shouldn't have to suffer!!

  • Hello, I have to use narcotics for my ra pain. I think you might need a new dr. If your insurance will allow. I'm not trying to tell you what to but just a suggestion :)

  • My rheumatologist does not give pain meds and keeps trying to get me to get off of them. I started with a pain management doc for my back before I had RA so he gives me meds and doesn't give me a problem. Only thing is that u have to go every month for med refills (florida). I would be unable to work every day without them. I have fibro, RA and multiple issues with back and still working on other diagnoses. Good luck, hope you get some relief soon

  • I was diagnosed 4 years ago and was given vicodin for pain. My body would eventually get used to the pain medication so my doctor would increase my pain meds about every 6 months. Last year I was taking 4-6 oxycontins per day. About 15 months ago, my doctor told me that he was no longer going to write me prescriptions and that I would need to go to pain management. I went to pain management and they made me feel like a junkie. I quit going to them and quit taking the pain meds cold turkey. What I found out is that it didn't matter whether I was on pain meds or not, the pain was close to being the same with or without the pain medication. The only thing good about the pain medication was that it would give me a 2-3 hour window to be able to go grocery shopping, run errands or clean the house. Now without the pain medication, I'm basically homebound. This past winter, I spent 9 weeks confined to my house. I'm happy that I'm no longer on the pain medication but my quality of life suffers for it. I hate this disease , oh how I hate it!

  • I use tramadol for pain and it works most of the time!

    I am on predi 5mg, methotrexate 20mg a week, Humira . This works for me.

    Good luck! I know how much pain you are in and it's tough. Honey, hang in there! Change your rheumatologist!!!!

You may also like...