Pain advice

I was diagnosed last summer with RA. Taking Methotrexate and Prednisolone(for 2 months now). Pain relief is Meloxicam 15mg a day. I work part time. The last few weeks my pain and inflammation has ramped up. And, I'm not sure what to do next? My Rheumatologist has suggested adding in Sulfazaline. I'm loathe to take anymore drugs considering the current regime seems to not be helping. Any ideas? Also, can anyone suggest drug free pain management? Someone suggested I try a TENS machine but does it help?

8 Replies

  • If you are living in the UK most Rhuematology departments follow the NICE guidelines when treating Rhuematoid disease. So you need to try 3 dmards before they will consider a biologic as this is very expensive. The referral for biologics need to be go through a process to be accepted or it's post code lottery. (I'm not very sure of the process as not been through it myself) but someone on here might be able to help.

    Hope you feel better soon

  • My issue is more immediate help with pain relief. I know the NICE guidelines and I know the hoops I will have to jump through. I was just looking if anyone can suggest any immediate things I could try to manage my pain rather than a handful of painkillers which wreck my stomach and don't help anyway! Thank you for your response.

  • I have a morphine patch it helps

  • I take three DMARDS (MTX, hydroxy & Sulphasalazine). Individually they don't do enough but together they work a treat. Since I'd hardly ever needed more than an occasional paracetamol before I was rather reluctant about the idea of some 80 tablets a week. But I've got used to it and it works which for me was the important thing! And I rarely need extra pain relief now.

  • I've already been on Hydroxychloroquin and taken off it. Sulfasalazine is my 3rd one to start in a few weeks. The problem is that the inflammation in my hands and elbows have incapacitated me for weeks now!

  • I find a TENS machine works well for hips and shoulders. I'm not sure it would be any good for elbows or hands. Have you tried heat pads? Also I find compression gloves good for hands and support bandages for elbows, wrists and ankles. Hope you find something that helps.

  • I used my Tens machine last night and it worked a treat. While I still felt pain, it was at least 50% less than the night before and I managed to go off to sleep without the sleep meds! It's a mini machine with small pads. I rubbed some gel inand slept with my elbows on heat pads. I already use compression gloves and compression on my elbows. Work today so see how they fare later on! Thank you for all your suggestions.

  • That's good. Anything that helps makes a lot of difference. If you still have a lot of pain, you might need to ask your GP for more pain relief e.g. Co-codamol or Tramadol. Best wishes

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