How do they know?

lolly54
lolly54 Member Posts: 4
Hi, am new here and am female and 54..I went to my doctors on monday as I have had really bad pain in my lower back, right knee and right shoulder for a few months which is getting worse..She did a quick examination asked a few questions and then told me I have arthritis. she has prescibed me CoCodamol 30/500mg. I thought that I would of least have had a blood test not just told thats it go away and take these..Can they just diganose it like that? I am really worried..Can anyone help please :(

Comments

  • tillytop
    tillytop Member Posts: 3,460
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    [Hi Lolly, I know you will hear back from the Helpline peeps in due course but you are, as you say, really worried so thought I’d say “hello”. Like you, I would have expected more investigation from your GP, rather than just “it’s arthritis and here are some painkillers”. As you may already know there are many different types of arthritis and diagnosis usually requires a number of tests and investigations. If you have osteo-arthritis – which is what most people think of as arthritis, my understanding that it is caused by wear and tear on the joints and I would expect that a proper diagnosis might include x-rays and/or scans to determine the extent of the problem. Followed if need be by perhaps referral to a physiotherapist and perhaps some advice on pain management. And If you have one of the other types of arthritis, then blood tests and further investigations would be needed to make a diagnosis and you would probably referred to a specialist rheumatologist for treatment. If you look at the “Publications and Resources” section of this website you will find some useful information booklets – there is one called "Arthritis Basics" which you might find helpful. Once you have some more information, perhaps you could make an appointment to go back to your GP to discuss the “diagnosis” and request some further assistance.
    For further help, you could re-post your message on the “Living with Arthritis” forum where you will get lots of support and advice, together with practical suggestions on how to move this forward. Good Luck!
    Tilly x
  • skezier
    skezier Member Posts: 12,150
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lolly,

    Sorry you have had this happen and welcome to the forums, they are a good lot here.

    I just echo Tilly who has covered so much of what you might have expected.

    Sometimes they can diagnose via examination.... If the movement is restricted and you have crepitus well they could make that assumption and be right however I would have through xrays were the next logical step.

    Maybe see a different gp and ask for either a referral or xrays would be a good place to start. Nice to meet you Cris x
  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 15,897
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi i have oa and have not had xrays but do see rhummy they probabully playing the waiting game with you take these and see if you come back if you do it quite bad so move on to next step it goes on like that till they decide the level of treatment is right and you can cope . val
    val
  • lolly54
    lolly54 Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks so much for your replies, yes my joints affected do have a type of grating sound if you put your hand over them you can feel it..I have tried to do some research but I am still not happy with what the doctor has said..Made another appointment for Tuesday to see a different doctor, I also have a few other medical problems including Diabetes and seem to be living at the doctors at the moment its all such a lot to take in..Many thanks again x
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,275
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    lolly54 wrote:
    Hi, am new here and am female and 54..I went to my doctors on monday as I have had really bad pain in my lower back, right knee and right shoulder for a few months which is getting worse..She did a quick examination asked a few questions and then told me I have arthritis. she has prescibed me CoCodamol 30/500mg. I thought that I would of least have had a blood test not just told thats it go away and take these..Can they just diganose it like that? I am really worried..Can anyone help please :

    Dear Lolly 54

    Thank you for your posting and welcome to the forum. The other forum members who have responded to your posting have already detailed much information about diagnosis for different types of arthritis. Just to clarify this, GPs usually diagnose osteoarthritis. They usually do this by looking at your symptoms and how they have changed over time and how your life is affected by these and by physical examination of joints and x rays can be done to confirm the diagnosis. There are no blood tests for osteoarthritis. Blood tests may be done to rule out other types of arthritis. It is natural to be worried when you first receive a diagnosis but there are ways of managing this condition and if you follow the link http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources this will lead you to all our information on the condition itself and on ways that you can manage this. You can also contact us on the freephone helpline on 0808 800 4050 (Mon – Fri, 10am – 4pm) if you would like more support from our helpline team, also the other forum members are a great source of support. I hope this has been helpful.

    Best Wishes
    Dawn
  • carola
    carola Member Posts: 840
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lolly

    Welcome to the forum.

    Usually the Doc's tell us it's all on our head and we have to fight years for an Arthritis diagnosis!

    Tillytop pretty much covered everything that normally happens. I have blood tests now every 2 weeks to monitor the effect the Methotrexate I take is having on my organs.

    I hope you see another doctor and investigate further.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Keep smiling and try not to worry, Carol x
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 8,043
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Carola

    I presume you have the blood tests because you have RA and have been prescribed metho. As others have said, blood tests are not given if the gp diagnosis is OA. One normally is given an xray form though if it is thought you have OA.

    Elna x
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • lolly54
    lolly54 Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well I have been back to GP today and my own doc said yes it is arthiritis now been reffered to physio as well..He has changed my tablets to Tramadol 150 mg slow release and I am still sat here at 2.26am after trying to sleep because the pain is still really bad!!! I have asked about xrays and was told not neccesary at the minute..So reading through all the forums trying to gain tips and wishing this pain would go away :cry: thanks fpr your help it is much appreciated xx
  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,347
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Tilly, sorry you were having such a bad night pain wise. Worry makes pain feel even worse as your body will be tense and your tolerance levels lower.

    Sorry the tramadol not working - maybe try taking it a bit earlier in the evening will help. Mediation CDs help me when I can't relax enough in bed to sleep and help focus the mind off the pain.

    Definitely go back to your GP ... he'll get fed up and refer you to an ortho and for an xray in the end!!

    Speedy
    I have had OA since mid twenties. It affects my hips and knees. I had a THR on the left aged 30 and now have a resurface-replacement on the right - done May 2010.
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 8,043
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I agree, Lolly, keep pestering your gp if you are unable to sleep, in pain etc. One thing to remember, that should the gp dare say it is in your mind, as some of them do, :roll: :x which I find horrenduous, it most definitely is not. One is often referred to physio by the gp, one of the things on their list to tick off. It may help, you never know, that is if you get a good physio!

    I am surprised that your gp did not prescribe any anti inflammatory meds for you which certainly help me with osteo arthritis. Why not ask her?

    I find a heated up wheatbag (in the microwave) is very comforting when unable to sleep or anytime to wrap around the offending joint. Having two wheatbags or more is even better :) should numerous joints be screaming out.

    I wish you well,

    Luv
    Elna x
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • carola
    carola Member Posts: 840
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    elnafinn wrote:
    Hi Carola

    I presume you have the blood tests because you have RA and have been prescribed metho. As others have said, blood tests are not given if the gp diagnosis is OA. One normally is given an xray form though if it is thought you have OA.

    Elna x

    Yep, Elna - that is right. I should've mentioned it was RA! Although a few days ago they are now saying SLE!
    Carol x