just been diagnosed and feeling a bit confused by it all.

mamajeen Member Posts: 6
edited 1. Jun 2013, 08:24 in Living with Arthritis archive
I was in a very bad car accident 3 years ago. As I managed to get myself out of the car, I was told by the hospital I could just go home and that I'd suffered no serious injury. I didn't even get examined. 6 months later, I was still suffering with hip pain and limping constantly. Dr's just gave me some paracetamol and told me it'll just be the after effects of the accident.
A year later, the pain spread to my back. I refused to be fobbed off with more pain killers, so they sent me for an x-ray. No broken bones to be seen, therefore I was "fine." I kept going back to the Dr's every week, and they sent me away for an MRI. Again no bone damage to be seen so I was "fine."
2 years after the accident I had to give up Uni, as I was in so much pain and couldn't attend lectures.
Just last week I was sent to a chronic pain clinic. I was told I have arthritis in the lower part of my spine, so deal with it and to keep taking co-codomol (which I've been doing for last year), and that over time it will most likely get worse.
I know very little about arthritis, and in all honesty my faith in Dr's is gone. I don't agree with having to take this much painkillers, as I know what damage they can do over a period of time. I also don't believe in just letting it "get worse." Surely, there must be something that I can do to help prevent it worsening.
Any advice on how to live with arthritis, and any therapies that help it would greatly appreciated!


  • kentishlady
    kentishlady Member Posts: 809
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Am sorry to hear you are having such a bad time. I have OA in my back which has gradually worsened over the past few years, and recently have been diagnosed with it in my right knee also. I am sorry that you have had to curtail your uni studies. You are obviously very young to have the misfortune to get OA. I fall into the older (much!) age group!

    With regard to your uni studies, have you considered the Open University? It really is a great idea and you will get as much help as you want and/or need. I did 3 courses with the OU after I retired from work and found it extremely interesting. Do find out about it as I am sure you would enjoy it.

    Have you thought of having physiotherapy or hydro-therapy to see if either of those help? I'm currently having hydro. What about asking your dr to refer you to a Pain Clinic if there is one in your area. They are usually extremely good and really understand.

    I do hope you can get some help soon. Am sure you will get more advice from the others on the forum in due course.

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's nice to meet you and I hope we can help.

    I presume you are talking about osteo-arthritis? That has a number of causes and joint trauma is one of them. There are quite a few on here whose OA has begun after accidents of various types. I have it too, thanks to the joint damage caused by my other auto-immune arthritis, called psoriatic. For the latter I take some strong and rather nasty meds but for the OA it's only pian relief and and an anti-inflammatory. My OA is in both knees, both ankles and right hip - it's not nice. :wink:

    Please read through various threads on here and also check out AC's publications. Be wary about reading too much on the internet about arthritis, there are many charlatans out there who promise you the world (with many carefully-phrased ads) about their lates miracle product but don't be fooled; there is not much to be done, even in this day and age of instant miracles. With arthritis they do not exist. Your GP will be the one to deal with this and yes, pain relief will be a constant but that doesn't mean you have to take it as a constant. Over the years you do adjust to the pain - I spent about a fortnight in late January 'moo-ing' with it when my right hip joined in but now it's just in the background along with the rest. Physio may be an option, hydrotherapy too - these are things to discuss with your GP. I wish you well. DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,418
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I've read your second post on the 'Young People's Forum, mamajeen, and so my reply takes this into account.

    First of all, I think your attitude that I can accept that I'm most likely going to be stuck with this back problem, but I won't accept that it can just take over my life. is one that will take you a long way and I wish you every success with it.

    I’m very surprised about the Pain Clinic being so unhelpful. I’ve never heard of them merely advocating more pain relief before now. I presume you will have more appointments there and I would urge you to attend as usually these places have far more to offer. Arthritis Care organize courses on chronic pain and it might help to ask if there’s one in your area. The swimming should help as it’s usually recommended.

    Have you been measured for your walking stick and shown how to use it? I know how to use one when it’s knees or hips affected but not for backs. It’s important to get this right as more damage could be caused if it’s the wrong height or hand. A physio might also be of use.

    I think, most of all, you need to find a doctor with whom you can get on well. It makes all the difference with a chronic disease. If you haven’t already done so try others in your practice and, if you have, ask friends for recommendations for a different practice.
  • bubbadog
    bubbadog Member Posts: 5,544
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, I sorry you are suffering so much, you have come to the right place, you will get lots of information and advice and don't hesitate to ask any questions. My lower back has gradually got worse over time. I have been through many different pain medications. If I where you I would find another G.P if you have lost all faith in yours. It's your right to have a G.P you feel happy with.
  • DebbieT
    DebbieT Member Posts: 1,033
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi & welcome,

    I have OA in my lower spine, hips & knees. I also have psoriatic in my neck, hips & ankles.

    From my experience of OA it's all about exercising & pain relief. It's not great but as arthritis is a lifelong chronic condition it kinda makes sense that lifelong pain relief will help :? I didn't get on with Co-codamol so was switched to slow release tramadol, it means its only taken twice a day, maybe something along those lines is worth talking to ure Dr about?!

    Definitely find a GP you get on with & that doesn't make you feel ure being ignored. It will make a big difference long term for you.

    My husbands pain clinic consultant sounds like ures!! I won't go because of him!! :?

    Good luck.x
  • mamajeen
    mamajeen Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all for your replies.
    I live in a very rural wee place on an a Island in Scotland, so the closest pain clinic for me is about 3 1/2 hours away. Also good Dr's on the Island are a struggle to find. But have managed to get referred for 2nd opinion. So I'm hoping this time I'll come away feeling a little more positive! :)

    Do any of you ever get really shooting pains going up your spine? I get them every now and again. But last night was the worst. I was working at the time and an awful stabbing pain shooted right up the middle of my spine then spread to hip.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,418
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I hope the second opinion proves useful. We have another lady on here who lives on one of the Scottish islands but she has an auto-immune form of arthritis so has to see a rheumatologist. I know she does this by skype (or similar). Is there any possibility of you having a Pain consultation this way?

    Sorry, I can't help with the back pain though a good mattress is essential.
  • DebbieT
    DebbieT Member Posts: 1,033
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have a memory foam topper for my mattress, it really does make a difference, I couldn't afford a whole memory foam one so its a good compromise for me :)

    Again, any exercise you can do to strengthen ure core such as pilates & yoga will benefit you in the longer term & you may even find it helps you quite quickly, if you can do water yoga that will help keep ure spine safer from more wear & tear during exercise due to the weightlessness the water causes.

    There are definitely more pain meds you can try so I'd keep asking ure GP to try others that you may find of more benefit.x