Osteoarthritis in the neck: I was told 4 years... - Pain Concern

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Osteoarthritis in the neck


I was told 4 years ago that I could only make condition worse, so the idea was to keep it from getting any worse by not hurting my neck. 4 months ago I got in touch with the pain clinic because the Morphine I was taking was starting to make me ill. About a week I spoke to the Advanced Nurse Practitioner who told there was a tablet I could take instead of the Morphine, but she wanted to see me first. Last week I saw her and she said there is nothing more they could do for me and was told to attend regular exercise classes. I got a letter which says at one point. "I have explained that while his pain is horrible, it isn't harmful." So my question who is the Doctors, Keep fit people who all say do not exercise if you are in pain or the pain clinic say I can because the pain won't make me any worse, and what ever happened to the tablet 4 months ago.

10 Replies

Hi Jeff - I don't know about morphine as I'm not on that but I also have OA in my neck (and other places) and I've always been told to do gentle stretching exercises. I was told that if you don't move it it will get worse. So I'm surprised if anyone told you not to do exercises. You do have to be very careful with exercise of course - definitely not too much.

You might be best asking for a referral to a physiotherapist who can show you how to exercise correctly in order to keep your neck as mobile as possible.

I have osteoarthritis in my neck too and have exercises off the physio to do. They are only simple ones and some days it's too painful to do them. Keeping your neck muscles moving helps. I'm currently on butrans patches that help with pain. Are you still taking morphine? X

Hi Victoriapain I have Buteck patches which are the same as Butrans but cheaper. I also have Oramorph which is a Liquid Morphine which I take when needed but just lately is getting more often. I go Birdwatching which is good exercise for the neck. What I don't understand is why tell there is a tablet I could instead the Morphine and then there is nothing we can do for you some 4 months later. The side of the Morphine are getting worse and effecting my job as I have now got to go to Occupational Health and might end up with no income.

Was the tablets supposed to be morphine based? I'm ok on the patches and amitriptyline. Just always sleepy 😴 x

No they were supposed to replace the Morphine. I got the impression that they were something new and somebody said to me that they was more expensive than the Morphine. Also after 4 years on the Morphine that I would find very difficult to stop the Morphine because I am probably addicted to it.

There has been a big change in how we approach osteoarthritis over the years, but it is taking time to filter down. Some of this change is because we have had huge advances in our understanding of pain.

While doing something extreme might damage your neck more, as others said, doing gentle exercises is actually very good for arthritis.

There are different kinds of pain that can be broadly classed into two types, acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain is the pain you have after an injury which stops fairly quickly, chronic pain is pain that goes on for a long time in the absence of injury or after the injury is healed. This is where the brain thinks it still feels pain because it got used to feeling pain.

They found that with things like arthritis some people don't have pain at all. A good example is Ronny Wood the guitarist. His hands look terrible from the arthritis but he doesn't have any pain and has carried on playing guitar.

But it is important to make sure that you do the right exercises and not something that is going to make things worse. I would ask your GP for a referral to the specialist physio that deals with necks and arthritis. Or check to see i you can do a self referral. If they have them in your area it would be faster to go direct rather than though the GP.

You could start right now though with exercises for neck arthritis from the Arthritis UK website: arthritisresearchuk.org/art...

Poppy_Ann in reply to cyberbarn

Hi Cyberbarn many years ago I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my neck along with several other things but at the time the doctor told me he had never seen anyone as bad as I was that there is nothing they can do to help and it will slowly get worse and then I would have to wear a neck brace then as it got worse than that I would end up with a frame screwed into my head to hold my head still but nothing about exercise at the time I had to see a Physio and he told me he would not touch me due to my back being broke in three places it appears things have changed I will have a go at the exercises on the site you have put up many thanks for that.

Regards Poppy Ann

Yes I agree around the issue of moving and exercise, I have issues in my spine and skeleton which is so painful , but good pain meds must be used to keep you as active as possible, I know from experience that with issues around back and neck detreated with inactivity even if I went a week without working hard (as it is a kind of job learning to manage your pain) on my muscles, so as to stop it getting worse. Trouble is with the rules about disability and work people are deterred from trying because it may loose them benefits if they are seen to be too active.

I don't know how bad your neck is but I do know about inactivity making thing's worse for me in all front's, physically and mentally and my pain is a little bit more manageable than it was by worrying about the pain and other thing's, but once I realised it was really up to me,and what was important was my managing my pain in a way that took nothing else in to consideration. Other thing is distraction to keep your mind off the pain a little bit, (it all helps, even it is psychological) just to allow you to function , because Morphine must help to ease the pain, so use it, by not abusing it.

Hi all, The Benefits I get are mostly because I am minimum rate of pay and based on the fact I have got repetitive strain injury to both hands which cost me my job in the furniture industry. They are that bad that if I was to paint a door frame I would not be able to pick a pen for the next 24 hours, so I found a job were I can do it without hurting my hands to much. I have not put a claim in for Osteoarthritis in my neck because quite frankly I am scared they just take the little I am getting of me. Four years ago I was told by the doctor at the hospital that I had got to be careful because I could make my condition worse which as been happening because I still go to work were I have to struggle with heavy objects sometimes. Now the Morphine side effects are getting worse. Now I have a Nurse tells me that is nothing they can do. Also sends me a letter saying the pain is horrible but it will not cause any further harm and discharges from the pain clinic. I have been told by many Doctors and Physio's that if I feel pain stop. I would love to go back to the gym and back to full time work and say they can keep there bloody benefits.

Hermes123. I had O/A. in the neck for countless years, all I have ever been told by surgeons, is there is nothing do for me to try could kill me, never been recommended anything for relief, at times my neck sizes up have a job to turn neck from left to right. As for advances in treatment they have not caught up with me in over fifty years, I still have pain in every joint, I just get so tired trying to cope every day.

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