Not sure where to get help?

MariaB Member Posts: 3
I am, or should I say, I was living and working in the French Alps every winter season. This winter I’ve found myself here in the UK going through test after test for numbness in my arms, wobbly legs and what later developed into severe pain in my neck and lower spine. MRI shows up bulging discs in my cervical spine along with arthritis and degenerative disc disease/arthritis in my lower spine.

The hospital has been fantastic. I’m now having physio, aqua therapy, hospital version pilates and pain management. My spinal surgeon has told me that if things don’t improve then spinal surgery would be the best option but I really don’t want to go down that route. I have refused cortisone injections into the spine because the risks terrify me and I know it causes massive hair loss so I am presently only taking oral medication as well as using a tens machine.

I can walk without any difficulty but walking downstairs is problematic as my spine pinches on a nerve. I can’t stand still for long without getting fairly severe pain and I can’t sit up straight for long without it becoming a problem. My left hand has become weak but we are working on that at the moment to see if we can improve things.

What sort of work can I do? I’m sure you don’t know any more than I do. What sort of benefits am I entitled to if any? I need an income of some sort as my funds are quickly running out but we don’t have a benefit adviser in my neck of the wood and I feel like I’m just being pushed from pillar to post.


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums from the mod team, although sorry you have had to find us.

    As mods we are here to help with any problems you may have on the message boards.

    There are lots of lovely people here with a wide range of experiences with arthritis and the problems of living with the condition, plus many who have experience of the Benefits System.

    I'm sure someone will be along shortly to provide good advice.

    Best wishes
    Mod B
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,723
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is indeed a tricky one and well done you for coping so well with so much adversity.

    I think your best bet would be to contact our Helpline people who would probably be the best at pointing you in the right direction.

    We do sometimes get people asking what sort of job they can now do but, unfortunately, we're all disabled differently (and qualified differently) and there's no one-size-fits-all solution.

    These sites might be of some help:

    Also CAB might be able to advise you.

    I wish you the best of luck.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • MariaB
    MariaB Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you SW, that's very helpful :)