OA and muscle pain - help!

katie5 Member Posts: 242
edited 1. Feb 2011, 13:39 in Living with Arthritis archive

I'm new to all this and I hope you can give me some much needed advice and a few encouraging words!

I've had OA of the neck, spine, feet for the last 19 years - I'm now 40 years but feeling much older. I suffer badly from muscle pain in my upper back - does anyone else have this problem? Everything I do seems to aggrevate my upper back muscles which are always knotted and tense. Any suggestions on how is the best way to relieve the tension and to strengthen the muscles?

thanks guys


  • traluvie
    traluvie Member Posts: 2,579
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Katie...

    Sorry you are suffering..

    Unfortunately i am unable to help... they are a great bunch on here and i am sure someone will come along soon and help you...

    Welcome to the forum... look forward to seeing you around..

  • caterina57
    caterina57 Member Posts: 1,424
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Katie
    welcome to the site. I too have OA & spondylosis, sadly this arthur has decided to wander and I have some pain in my hands knees and R hip as well as my back and neck.

    I found that going to aqua robics helps, but sadly as there is no cure its more about managing pain with a mix of meds and mild exercise. Too much and I suffer too little I am stiff getting the balance is sometimes a problem.

    I know just what you mean about the knotting in muscles and if they go into spasm its torture.

    Sure others will have some helpful advice for you too

  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Katie, hope you are not suffering too much at the minute, I know what it is like, I have it in my lower spine but my muscles do spasm there too... It is bloody horrible.. There isn't much that I find helps me other than rest and maybe some tamazapam every once in a blue moon if the docs are willing to give me them :roll:
    Sorry I haven't been any help, but hope that you are ok hun..

    n035.gifRa-1996 -2013 RIP...
    Cleo - 1996 to 2011. RIP
  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,315
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Katie, and welcome,

    you need to self refer or get your GP to refer you for physio. As long as you have a good one, they will do a bit of manipulation and work out an exercise programme for you.

    I also find remedial sports massage really helps - I have to pay for that myself.

    I would also recommend treating your own trigger points (these are the knots you describe) as they refer pain to elsewhere. If you interested I can post a book link for you.

    Do you use heat too?

    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.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I reckon they are sore because you may well be holding yourself awkwardly. None of us on here move with fluidity, grace and elegance, awkward gaits lead to tense muscles and extra strain all over the shop. Like speedy I have regular sports massages, mainly to unknot my neck and shoulder muscles - they ache from crutch strain. I try not to hunch my shoulders or put too much weight through my arms etc but sometimes I cannot help it and everything tightens. I also do some gentle stretches (as shown to me by my masseur) - stand with one arm above your head, slightly bent at the elbow, then move it back behind you - gently and not too far! Repeat three or four times and it can help to relax things. Heat might also work (not necessarily things massaged in), a wheat bag or hottie draped around or on the affected area might loosen things a little. I hope you can find something to help. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • katie5
    katie5 Member Posts: 242
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    thank you all for the kind words and useful info.

    thanks for the advice on trigger points I have a book which covers this and find it really good - I've had physio several times over the past 19 years and are only ever offered 6 sessions and never been given an exercise plan - the last physio actually said to me that I would never get better because I hurt my neck in a car accident - I've never been in a car accident he had the wrong persons notes so I don't have much faith in physio at moment. I do use heat - my hot water bottle is my new best friend!

    think will try again with physio and make sure I get a exercise plan this time.

    thanks again for support

    Katie x
  • chris7
    chris7 Bots Posts: 2,696
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Katie

    Some good advise here and I do hope you find something that helps. Sounds like you need a better physiotherapist to guide you correctly. The first physio I saw sounded like yours but when told my GP she thankfully referred me to a specialist physio who dealt with arthritis. Most of them just seem to thrive on sports injuries which do get better and simply dismiss those of us with conditions we can only manage for as long as possible. :roll:
    The second one couldn't have been more helpful, and referred me for hydrotherapy too which was bliss! It may help to ask about hydro if you think it is for you. Just an idea.

    My hip OA which affects my mobility causes my overworked leg muscle to go into orbit when it spasms so you do have my sympathy. Ouch! I know some docs do prescribe some anti-depressants which are also muscle relaxants so I believe. I have been prescribed Diazepam (was better known as Valium ) for when things are really bad and do find it helps though it is rationed and only used occasionally. It should be considered a last resort. Do stick to the hot water bottles if you can and I can't tell how good the hydro pool was. :grin:

    Hope you do find some relief soon
  • woodbine
    woodbine Member Posts: 140
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    I have OA in my lower spine, (I'm 41) but often have knots in my muscles higher up my back and also in my neck - I agree that it's probably something to do with the way pain in one place affects posture, etc.
    I found that changing the way I sit at work - getting a better chair and having an assesnment to get the monitor, etc, at the right height made a considerable improvement - may be worth checking this if you sit at a PC a lot - you can find lots of online advice about this, or there may be an HR or H&S person at work who can help.

    Whe I was particularly bad a friend advised me to see an osteopath. I was a little unsure how this would help, but it made a lot of difference. He had a full length mirror in his room, and by gradually stretching me and pulling me, interspersed with massage to losen me up, I could clearly see the improvement in my posture, even after 1 session. The pain improved for quite some time. The osteo in question is also a physio, so he gave me some exercises to help things to keep improving.

    It's not a permanent solution / cure, of course, but an ocasional session helps a lot. I also have a friend who is trained in massage and aromatherapy, and find that a session with her can often loosen up a stubborn knot in the muscles - though you probably need a few weekly sessions to get the best effect with this one,
    Hope you can find something that works soon,

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,491
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Katie from me :grin:

    I have exactly the same issues from my neck too!!!

    Oh I am so glad to speak to asomeone with that problem.....is it kind of 'underneath' your shoulder blades?? If it is I am sitting here with it now :smile: I often stick those heat patches on these and have NEVER mentioned it to any medical person. Like you I don't have a great deal of faith in physio having just finished a course of 6 for something else.

    SPEEDY please may l have the link - I want to fix me if i can :grin:


    toni xx
  • katie5
    katie5 Member Posts: 242
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    the hydro pool sounds like heaven I'm trying to muster up the courage to go back to GP to be referred again but its so disheartening.

    Toni - I'm sorry that you have pain in the neck too.....nightmare! yes it is behind my shoulder blades and is burning and hurting right now.

    can i ask have you used the pain-relief gels I'm tempted to have a go thinking it'll be better on my stomach than taking lots of tablets feel like I'm rattling at the mo.

    katie x