Just diagnosed with arthritis

margareth64 Member Posts: 148
On friday i was sent to hospital for xray after seeing a new locum doctor at my surgery i have had back pain for a long time but it has got worse since i started my new job, my usual docs just fobbed me off with cocodamol 30/500 and said it was a muscle pulled . I do night shift in a nursing home im a care assistant i did work in an engineering factory before this for many years. I went as the doc requested and the hospital consultant showed me xray and said i have arthritis in spine two of my discs are badly worn. He gave me a letter for me to take to my doc. My doctor will not be in till wednesday, so it will not be opened till then, im in agoney help. I went to boots pharmacy and they gave me voltarol 12.5 g which dont help at all heat packs ,thermacare are the only thing that ease it but it never goes away. Will i have to give up my job im very worriedabout this as i work in and emi unit and it is very heavy work but i dnt know if i can stay. im off for a few days supposed to go in for shift on tues nite . im 45 does this mean im going to get worse? sorry for rambling havent slept properly for days too sore to be comfortable. i hoe someone can help me thanks :(


  • dorcas
    dorcas Member Posts: 3,515
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hello and welcome to the forum margaret :D I'm just sorry it's in these painful circumstances. :(

    You've had quite a shock from the xray results that the consultant discussed with you and need time to get more information on the type of arther you have.. which will indicate what treatments you could have. Did he say whether it was OA or RA?

    I think the first thing you need to do though is to get immediate pain relief...and that means contacting NHS Direct for advice and/ or see an emergency doc ....or you could go to A&E and be seen there. Do not just stick it out...you need pain relief!

    the other worries about your job will really depend on the advice you get from the docs about your arther and whether any kind of heavy lifting is now not advisable.....meant time if you are in such obvious pain an not sleeping should you be going back to work anyway?..I don't think so.
    Going off sick for a few days while you get to see your own doc and get proper advice and support would be no bad thing and at least take the pressure of going to work off your shoulders.

    we are here to support and listen to you margaret..this is a tough time for you and we will do all we can to help.

    Our helpline peeps will be 'open for business' tomorrow morning so use the helpline phone number (top of the page) to speak to someone there...it will help you sort through what's been a traumatic event and help give you reflect and focus on what to do next.

    keep your chin up...you are not alone with this. Iris x
  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,300
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Margaret, sorry you are having such pain at the moment - the worry won't be helping either.

    I went to my docs in Nov with what I thought/hoped was a pulled muscle but it didn't improve and it turned out my OA was back with a vengeance ...

    Do they have hoists at work that you can lift clients with?

    Defin try and sort out pain relief via NHS direct/badger clinic/emergency appointment until see own doc again.

    I have to say when did get to see my consultant and he said I was in final stages of osteoarthritis and my joint was disintegrating ... one I was gutted, but two I swear it hurt even more!! Someone else on the forum posted about noticing this too.

    Relaxing will help - heat, aromatherapy oils in the bath, relaxation tape ... a few days off work whilst you find out what is what.

    Don't panic - take one day at a time and let us know how you get on.

  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,938
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Margaret
    Welcome to the forum from the Helpline Team.
    Getting a diagnosis of arthritis can come as a shock but don't panic, don't make any sudden decisions about work and think about taking time off sick until you feel a bit better.
    From your description of what the consultant said and the fact that it was diagnosed on xray makes me think this is Osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis is usually managed by the GP with painkillers & anti inflammatories and with referrals to physiotherapy and orthopaedic consultant.
    It seems hard that you can't see a GP or get a prescription for pain until Wednesday. Is there not an emergency doctor you can see in the meantime? As Iris said in her reply, you can always go to A&E & get pain relief from them.
    Your work is heavy but under the Disability Discrimination Act your employer has a duty to make 'reasonable adjustments' to your working practices and conditions so it is possible that you will be able to carry on with your job.
    At this stage you might find our booklets 'Coping with Pain, 'Living with Osteoarthritis' and 'Working with Arthritis' helpful.
    If you want to chat to one of us here please do ring us on the freephone number.
    Best wishes
  • deborahjane
    deborahjane Member Posts: 120
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    i have had ra for 15 years now.and a worn disc in my back,it is more painful when i am in bed and wake up in morning,i did go to phisio and was shown exercises to do and that did help,i try and do them at home,plus all the medication i take helps to.hope you get some pain relief and feel better soon,as for work could you cut down your hours or ask your doctor if he can help you in any way.
  • margareth64
    margareth64 Member Posts: 148
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi just an update didnt get to see doc till yesterday,tuesday. The doc on call over weekend told me to use heat belts and take voltarol and co codamol 8/ 500. Yesterday my doc gave me diclofenic 100mg and cocodamol 30/500, she is refering me to physio went on the sick as my job aggrivates my back lots of lifting , only one hoist and we havent got the correct slings to use with it! Ive started to take cod liver oil capsules ,any other suppliment i could take? Im feeling a bit happier now still not sleeping great,but i guess the anti inflammritries will take a while to work. Im trying to stay mobile im walking my puppy a couple of times everyday just wee short walks but at least im moving!!Thanks for all your help and advice i dont feel so alone. :)
  • bertyboy
    bertyboy Member Posts: 1,860
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi Margeret you are never alone on here plenty of support from everybody , hopefully you will sleep better when the meds have kicked in and in turn feel a bit better xxx
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Margaret

    Have only caught up with your thread. I am relieved to read that you are feeling a little calmer about it all now. I rely heavily on my anti inflammatories for painful lower back, shoulder and hands. I had to stop them for a week before a knee op and I would not have believed how much help those 2 little pills gave me. I have in fact now just started to take one of them, as an experiment, and so far one, seems to be doing the trick for me :) The anti inflammatories took 48 hours to kick in for me.

    I have also had an injection in my lower back via xray direction and that did wonders for the sciatica aches and pains I had been putting up with for about one year. Perhaps an injection would suit you. This was done via the pain clinic I attended.

    Probably the work you are doing is harmful for your back but as previously mentioned this ought to be discussed between you and your employers.

    Look after yourself and keep in touch, it does help

    Elna x(())
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,938
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Margaret
    Glad you're feeling a bit better now.
    Your employer has to provide you with the equipment you need to do your job so having a hoist but no slings is unacceptable. Have you got a Health & Safety or a Union rep?
    The other supplement you could take is Glucosamine Sulphate 1500mgs a day. It doesn't work for everyone and you need to take it for at least 2 months before you know if it helps you but its worth a try.
    Best wishes