New Lady - would really love some advice

rewinder4
rewinder4 Member Posts: 5
edited 1. May 2013, 08:12 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hello, hope you don't mind a newbie coming in asking for help, but I could really use some advice from people in the know.

Basically I've had ongoing pain for about a year, getting worse, and its most pronounced in my upper back, knees and feet but I have stiffness and soreness in all my joints, as well as pins and needles in legs and arms. Im only 30 so it took a while to get my GP to take it seriously. After blood tests and xrays of my back and knees, GP says I have early signs of arthritis in my back 'and thats all'.

So she's given me some Naproxen and Co-codamol and a referal to a physio at the orthopedic centre, and that was it. She seemed to be of the opinion if it wasn't on the two xrays they did, there wasn't much she could do. There was no further aqdvice on what would happen next. I asked about seeing a speciallist as I am experiencing a lot of pain and limited movement, but she said she can't do that, and all further referalls have to go from the Physio department to any specialist.

Is this normal practice for OA? I feel like I'm being fobbed off to be honest. If any one can advise on this and what I could expect, I would be very grateful.

Many thanks xx

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,248
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Of course we don’t mind a newbie coming for help, rewinder4 :) It’s what we’re here for – to pool our knowledge and empathise.

    To answer your final question – I guess it’s about par for the course for OA, yes. Are you being fobbed off? Maybe. There’s not a lot can be done for OA other than exercise and pain relief and ultimately surgery and it is GPs who deal with it. If the pain is bad, you can ask to be referred to a Pain Clinic where you will learn techniques to help with it.

    A specialist would be a rheumatologist but they only deal with the auto-immune forms of arthritis, not OA. ‘Stiffness and soreness’ in all your joints might indicate that a referral would be useful if only to eliminate these forms. As for the pins and needles – I can’t relate to that. (Mine’s RA with free added OA :roll: )

    I have no idea why your doc would say that any referral has to come from the physio unless it’s either a money thing or because you have been referred to a hospital physio dept as opposed to a physio attached to the practice. I’d certainly try to talk this all over with the physiotherapist.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • rewinder4
    rewinder4 Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for the reply!. The physio is attatched to the hospital, so maybe that is why they are handling the referal.

    I know that it's going to be a matter of managing the OA rather than any treatment per se, but I would have liked my GP to have explained things, offer some lifestyle advice, ANYTHING at all. Maybe I was unlucky but my GP just seemed to not be very bothered. That said, she never been very helpful, it took her nearly two years of pain to diagnose my gallstones :roll:

    Again all advice is so welcome and thank you for being so friendly
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,248
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    There's quite a bit of lifestyle advice in Arthritis Care's 'Publications and Resources'. Try looking here http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Listedbysubject And, if you'd like to talk it all over with someone from our Helplines, I'm sure they will also be able to offer more info though some of it is just the shock and getting one's head round things. Please feel free to ask anything you like on here. We'll all chip in :D
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • Trayce
    Trayce Member Posts: 110
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    could be as the physio is within the hospital but mine could to do referal said it had to be gp suppose each area system is different
  • Tubby
    Tubby Member Posts: 177
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Rewinder4, when I went with similar symptoms as you (except I already had psoriasis), the GP said I just had unexplained pain which would probably never be explained, put me on Diclofenac and told me to go away. After a couple of weeks, I went back and insisted on a referral to Rheumatology. I was grudgingly sent and in about 5 mins the consultant diagnosed "classic psoriatic arthritis". Once diagnosed, I was referred to the physio, occupational health and podiatry not the other way around.

    You may not have an inflammatory arthritis (I really hope for your sake you don't) but it is worth letting the specialists look at things. I didn't suggest or ask for an appointment though - I requested it, politely but firmly.

    Hopes this helps and good luck

    Tubby
  • rewinder4
    rewinder4 Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for your help everyone. I've just found out it's going to take three months to see a Physio so it looks like I'm in for a long haul to get any definate answers or help.

    There is occasionally another GP there, I might see them and see what they say. On another note, I'm very glad to have found this site, makes me feel a little less bewildered by it all!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,248
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Seeing a different GP would be a very good idea. With 3 months to wait for physio, it could be Christmas before you get a rheumatology appt at that rate. Go for it! You are perfectly entitled to do so. And do let's know the outcome, please.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • rewinder4
    rewinder4 Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well, I have a plan then! wish me luck and I'll post back :)