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Arthritis in the neck

matildamatilda Posts: 3
Dear all,

I have been reading your site with great interest. I am in fact emailing you about my mother who has severe arthritis in the neck. She lives in France and there does not seem to be equivalent associations for help with regards to living with arthritis.

She retired a short while ago and was looking forward to activities such as gardening, playing the concertina ... and has not been able to do any of these activities as she has been crippled with chronic neck and wrist pains. Her doctor is nice but doesn't seem to offer any advice about her condition apart from wearing a neck brace. She uses maximum doses of paracetamol and aspirin but is allergic to pain killers such as ibuprofene. Her doctor refuses to prescribe physiotherapy because he says he does not trust them and they could do more harm than good. I would be really grateful for some advice as I do not have the knowledge to help. I have read about items such as magnetic pads or infrared self treatment but do not know how effective they are. I have also read about the TENS machine but aparently it should not be used in the neck area. The Alexander technique seems great but does not exist in this area. She decided to look at special armchairs and then decided they were too expensive ...

I look forward to hearing from you.

Matilda

Comments

  • helpline_teamhelpline_team Posts: 2,009
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Matilda

    Thank you for getting in touch. It sounds like your mum is having a really tough time at the moment. It's a little difficult for us to say what specific help is available for your mum - as a solely UK charity we don't have extensive knowledge of what treatments she can access overseas. But having read your post it stuck me that her doctor seems a bit... well, old fashioned. Neck braces haven't been recommended for ages - in fact current wisdom is that you should keep your neck as mobile as possible to prevent it becoming stiff.
    And as for not trusting physios, well a good physio could show your mum some potentially helpful neck exercises and would also be very careful so as not to harm her neck in any way.
    I would have thought it could be very useful for your mother to see an orthopaedic specialist. I'm not sure if she needs a referral from her GP but waiting times are generally much shorter than they are in the UK.
    There's also a really good booklet that your mum might like to read: http://www.arc.org.uk/arthinfo/patpubs/6024/6024.asp

    Best wishes
    Paul
  • matildamatilda Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Paul,

    Thank you very much for getting back. I printed the brochure you sent me off for her and she is feeling much more positive already. We are going to insist that her GP sends her to a specialist who will probably be able to recommend a physiotherapist. I thought the neck brace a little strange myself as I have neck trouble and was told not to use one but I thought that it might be different in the case of arthritis.

    It is also a great help for her to know that she can get advice elsewhere if the doctor does not come up to scratch.

    Thanks a million for what you are doing.

    Matilda
    Hi Matilda

    Thank you for getting in touch. It sounds like your mum is having a really tough time at the moment. It's a little difficult for us to say what specific help is available for your mum - as a solely UK charity we don't have extensive knowledge of what treatments she can access overseas. But having read your post it stuck me that her doctor seems a bit... well, old fashioned. Neck braces haven't been recommended for ages - in fact current wisdom is that you should keep your neck as mobile as possible to prevent it becoming stiff.
    And as for not trusting physios, well a good physio could show your mum some potentially helpful neck exercises and would also be very careful so as not to harm her neck in any way.
    I would have thought it could be very useful for your mother to see an orthopaedic specialist. I'm not sure if she needs a referral from her GP but waiting times are generally much shorter than they are in the UK.
    There's also a really good booklet that your mum might like to read: http://www.arc.org.uk/arthinfo/patpubs/6024/6024.asp

    Best wishes
    Paul
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