Best medication for severe pain relie... - Osteoarthritis Ac...

Osteoarthritis Action
916 members269 posts

Best medication for severe pain relief for left hip Osteoarthritis


Hi there!

I am new here but can’t express how relieved I am to have found this app (HealthUnlocked) and your website, I’ve been (in the words of my surgeon and the chief registrar) treated appallingly (“never in my 7 years of practice has a GP spoken to me so badly, let alone seen how badly you’ve been treated”) by my previous GP practice (i’ve just recently, One week ago, changed my GP practice) and so far finding it much better.

I have tried naproxen, cocodamol, etorcoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, amitriptyline none of which worked. Current GP has put me on 50mg Pregablin taken 3x day which is “somewhat” helping, but I wonder if anyone knows of anything better? I am at end stage severe osteoarthritis in my left hip joint & am on the highest (“1st through the doors”) priority list to have my replacement joint surgery as soon as surgeries start again here in the UK.

The last X-ray showed I’ve no cartilage left and my joints are apparently fusing together. Surgeon said that all the blood vessels which nourish the bone have gone, & it’s now blackened from necrosis. This is my left hip joint and socket I’m referring to by the way.

I was a professional long distance and marathon runner from early childhood through my 20’s and into very early 30’s.

When I stopped I continued to “train” ie exercise for hours at least 6 days per week at my gym, my surgeon believes it is this as well as being born with a slight scoliosis in my spine which affected my gait, ergo led to my left hip being ground away at an irregular level, compared with my right hip. Effectively, at age 40 (later this year) I’ve walked/run the equivalent to two lifetimes (ie I don’t have any usual predispositions which normally lead to having developed OA at such an age ie low bone density, overweight, being an older female.)

Any advice on what kind of medication any of you found worked, what combinations etc would be really appreciated. I’d prefer to avoid opiate painkillers if I can, years of being an athlete taught me to power through pain, hence why my surgeon was shocked that I was walking into his surgery let alone commuting to and from work and walking 8-10km (5-6miles) per day, I must note I walk & heavily depend on my cane to enable movement.

The current order to work from home has probably done me a world of good in terms of forcing me to stop trying to “power through the pain” and further damage my hip much as it’s driving me nuts to not be able to exercise.

On that note, also if anyone has some good suggestions of YouTube, website links or others for exercises I can do at home eg yoga, please send me them.

Looking forward to hearing from you, it’s so hard suffering this kind of pain, at my age where no friends understand & especially in the middle of the night, I’ve cried a river of tears and even have a rubber band on my wrist I use to distract me from the pain.

Thank you to anyone who replies 🙏❤️


5 Replies
kohaiOA Ambassador

Hi katya,

Firstly, hi and welcome to HealthUnlocked ☺

So you're aware, I'm not a professional on here. The advice I give/offer is always, purely from my own personal experiences, spanning many years.

You're asking about the best medication for pain relief.. sadly, there isn't any answers anyone can give you other than your own body itself. What I mean by that, is that what works for one person may not work at all for another. Some here are on a specific medication, yet I'm allergic to it.. We can only advise what has helped us individually.

You mention a few medications you've been given - to clear something up for you, what you've listed are "not" all pain relief medications.

The following are anti-inflammatories;

* Diclofenac

* Brufen

* Naproxen

The following are pain relief;

* co-codamol

* Amytriptiline


(I can't comment on etorcoxib, I've never been put on it, but maybe someone else here has).

With the Pregabalin, please bear with it, unfortunately its a pain relief that takes upto a month before it kicks in.

For me, it had no affect at all, but that said, I was on a lower dose daily than you are.

What may help myself, and this community offer you more tips and help is - you mention "this disease" , cartilage and joint - can you elaborate on that please?

Which cartilage/ joint is it?

When you say 'disease', (I don't like making assumptions), are you referring to osteoarthritis? or something completely different?.

The more we, as a community know about what you're going through with your health, which area(s) cause the most pain, the better we're able too offer advice.

Normally Naproxen can be taken with Pregablin, but I don't know you're medical history or why your new GP has opted not to prescribe both.

I hope this helps in the interim


Hello Kohai

Firstly thank you for your very detailed email reply and tips. I have end stage osteoarthritis in my left hip joint and am currently on a “first in, high priority list” for hip joint replacement surgery as soon as the NHS (I’m in the UK) starts up joints surgeries again.

Both the GP’s I saw were very cautious about prescribing me Naproxen long term (4 months was apparently a rare instance and regarded as the ultimate maximum duration) as the side effects of Naproxen are quite significant- kidneys, heart, blood pressure et al were some of the things both GP’s mentioned were high risk side effect areas. I actually got a bad stomach ulcer from taking them despite being on lamsaporazol.

I’ve yet to check but if so, my apologies for the nebulous nature of my post/query, I thought I did say I’ve left hip OA, I’ll try to edit my post to reflect this, if possible.

Thank you for your advice on the half life/build up effects of Pregablin, I’ll try to stick to this. I do suffer also from referred pain in my left knee although apparently X-rays showed it’s fine.

Ok, once again an enormous thank you for your warm welcome, information and suggestions. I’m gonna try to edit my post now asap to ensure I get the best replies.

Warm regards


kohaiOA Ambassador
in reply to katya_katyoosha

Hi Katya,

You don't need to edit your initial post as you've since explained the problem. Most, if not all on here do read through the posts and replies, not just the initial post (like on many other sites), so will see your explanations in your reply :)

I can relate to the referred pain, for some unknown reason I rend to get it in my left shoulder.

I've got OA in every joint and throughout my spine (amongst other conditions).

I was on 500mg Naproxen twice a day for a few years, but as I said before, it depends on the patient and their medical records, the reasons a GP would or wouldn't prescribe them.

But not unlike your initial post, I'm currently with a GP surgery who, like your previous one, (putting it politely) "highly frowned upon in their treatment of patients health and well being.

Many of us here are in the UK too, so we're all left waiting. I'll be changing GP's as soon as lockdown ends.

I do agree with Micky007, in that the best option is surgery for the replacement.

In the meantime, try and keep your joints warm, moving when possible (the stiffness, as I'm sure you're aware, can be horrendous).

Tens patches help me quite a bit when the pain gets really bad. I didn't opt for anything expensive, infact two out of three of mine were brought from charity shops! I just had to get the patches online.

I remember the first time I used my first one. The only way I can explain how "making the mistake of having the settings too high when I first turned it on - was exactly the same as when you see a clip of someone being tazer'd!"

Scared the life of myself, though I did see the funny side later :)

*Adding here - this was 15 years ago, tens machines have come a long way since then.

One thing that I would advise, have a read through some of the post op hip replacement threads. Post op, these questions asked, and the sound advice given may be of use.


My GP put me on dihydrocodeine, it eases the pain but I've been on it so long it doesn't have the same effect, but if you forget to take or try to come off them you knees will certainly know it within the next ten hrs. Nothing will stop the pain but it eases it, only cure is New joins I'm afraid.


Have a look at this - you’ll know most if it, but it does give some exercise you might be able to do

More exercises-

Know where you’re coming from - had my right hip replaced January 2019 - I struggled through on co-codamol - but it was a struggle.

Hope the doors open quickly for you.

You may also like...