Arthritis pain

Hi there,

I am writing on behalf of my 76 year old mother.

She has suffered from osteoarthritis for many years but is now in almost constant pain in her knees, neck, back etc.. Her Gp can only offer her paracetamol as she is allergic to neurofen and taks a few other medications ie bisoprolol, levothyroxine, statins for other ailments and he is reluctant to put her on strong medications. She spends many days in bed and feels on those days that life isn't really worth living. On her good days she loves walking and being outside in the fresh air. It's so sad to watch her going down hill and not be able able to anything about it. She lost my father a couple of years ago so it all looks a bit bleak. Can anyone advise?

Thank you.

7 Replies

  • You poor mum - that's so sad that her quality of life is so badly affected and that her GP isn't able to help. Has she been offered Amitriptyline or Pregabalin at all or ever been X-rayed or refered for physiotherapy or to a rheumatologist?

    If not perhaps you could go with her to the GP and be assertive on her behalf - explaining how depressed she's becoming? Perhaps if the GP knew just how grim things were for her now they would be more proactive.

    This community is for sufferers of inflammatory arthritis which affects all ages - so you may find more suggestions and support through Arthritis Care as well - but many here have OA too. And if your mother is this badly affected everywhere it may be that there is an inflammatory dimension to her suffering - in which case the GP isn't necessarily the person to diagnose or treat her but should refer her on. Sometimes I suspect doctors see a person's age before everything and this isn't right.

    If, for example, her full blood count is checked plus ESR and CRP and her inflammation levels are found high then she might be suffering from polymyagia rheumatica and oral steroids would help her enormously if this were the case.

    Otherwise I can only suggest tai chi, acupuncture and other complimentary treatments might help ease some of her suffering. Good luck in your daughterly quest.

  • Thank you! She has been treated for polymyagia rheumatica with oral steroids but this treatment has now come to an end. My mum didn't enjoy the effects of the steroids but the relief in her arms and sholders was geatly relieved. Her GP says the blood resuts are all good now. As far as I'm aware she has never been offered Amitriptyline or Pregabalin or been X-rayed or refered for physiotherapy or to a rheumatologist so I will accompany her to her next appointment and make these suggestions. Fingers crossed!

  • If she's had PMR then it's quite likely it's come back. There is a PMR HealthUnlocked so you could ask there too because it's quite wrong that she's still in this much pain. Good luck to you!

  • Thank you, that's exactly what I feel too. No body should have to suffer so much in today's world of modern medicine.

  • I'm sorry to hear your mother is in so much pain teach2, it's very difficult to cope if you're unable to manage it well & that can lead to other issues, people can become very down even depressed. It can also have an effect of the rest of the family, it's difficult to see someone you love in pain & not knowing how you can help or even if you can.

    I have Rheumatoid but also Osteo, diagnosed both at the same time in 2008 when I'd just turned 48, though unlike your mother I'm fortunate that I'm able to take strong pain relief. There may be other avenues she could be considered for, would you be in a position to accompany her to discuss her issues with her GP? If you could I think that would be helpful, when in so much pain it's difficult to express how things affect you. It's too easy to become muddled with such pain & then emotions rise to the surface but if you were able fill in the gaps maybe her GP would understand just how her pain is affecting her life. Your perspective of how it affects your mother will be useful as well.

    If there is any evidence of any other previous inflammatory conditions it wouldn't be unacceptable to request specific blood tests & (looking for inflammatory markers) & depending on thoee results referral to Rheumatology. Imaging could help determine specific problem areas & possibly steroid injections offered either into specific joints or a generalised one.

    Pain clinics can be helpful for alternatives to meds, though again she would have to be referred by her GP.

    Physiotherapy would also be an option, it seems contradictory but exercising helps with OA, a Physio can suggest specific exercises suitable for her. If I sit too long even with my pain relief & NSAIDs, I get breakthrough pain. It's worse in the evening so best if she can get up & move about periodically.

    Maybe a read of this link from Arthritis Research UK would be helpful to further understand the condition & prepare a list of questions & suggestions for her GP, also Arthritis Care have some very helpful information

    If you need any more help, information or experience do ask.

  • Thank you so much. I will do all of these things. I am sorry to hear that you have these conditions. Life is more difficult when you have ongoing pain. Best wishes.

  • Hi sorry to hear your Mum is suffering with so much pain. It's hard to witness. Hope things improve soon, hug to you and yiur mum xx

You may also like...