I'm just wondering what it's reasonable to expect when diagnosed with OA in the UK?
A series of x-rays have shown that I have it in my big toes, cervical and lumbar spine and thumb joints. At the moment our surgery is staffed by a series of locums as the previous partners retired at the same time.
I am on a low dose of amitriptyline, which is helpful. Then one GP recommended a short course of anti-inflammatories because of a flare-up in my neck causing pain down to my elbow. Another stopped this after 2 weeks because I wasn't positive whether or not it was helping. I have been given co-dydramol for when the pain is bad, but another locum questioned whether I need it - she thinks that at 50 I am young to be on them regularly, but OA is, of course, no respecter of age! I have been told to take paracetamol everyday, and also that it could damage my liver if I do so regularly.
I am obviously not expecting you to give me medical advice, but I was wondering if this is usual for someone in my situation and if there is any pain medication known to be particularly good for OA? Like most people with arthritis, I'm not asking for pain relief for no good reason, and I certainly have no wish to be on medication for the rest of my life, but the pain is beginning to get me down without it. I'm not often in agony in any one place, but severe to moderate pain in so many places certainly gets trying! And, of course, by the time I get an appointment any flare has usually settled down so they don't see me at my worst!
I have been promised physio but not been sent an appointment (yet!) but have not been given the option of seeing a hospital specialist as (or so I was told) they are only interested in seeing people with RA unless and until your OA is severe enough to need surgery. Is this true?
Any help or support you can give will be gratefully received!