Pain Relief


Hello, I am 73 female with osteoarthritis in lots of joints and one hip replaced about 9 years ago, The other hip has been grating for a couple of years but has suddenly got a lot worse, sometimes I can hardly walk and then it is almost painless! I know my lower back is dodgy but because I get some groin pain I presume it's the hip that's in trouble. My other joint pain has been pretty manageable just deformed fingers which hurt like mad one day and then not the next. I usually manage without pain relief. I am now taking paracetamol and ibuprofen for the hip but don't know that they're doing anything to help. Obviously I'm not going to get a replacement any time soon but I would like to ask my doctor (if I can get through) for stronger pain relief. I wonder if anyone has found any help from medications like amytrypteline, diazepam or gabepentin. I know all meds can have side effects but I don't like codeine which causes me constipation. Thanks for any experiences.


  • YvonneH
    YvonneH Member Posts: 1,076

    Hi Hiphoplil,

    Great to meet you, it isn't good when joints decide to leap to the front of the queue pain wise and create mayhem.

    I have osteo in multiple joints and regularly take amitriptyline which I'm sure helps, I take it at night and it helps relax the muscles. I also have an electric blanket so my bed is toasty warm when I get into it, again to help my joints relax. However pain relief tablets are weird in that some work for one person and for others you would think in the same situation get no relief, so it might be try it and see.

    Here's our leaflet on pain killers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

    It can be useful to keep a pain diary, just jot down the date, a pain score with detail if needed and whether there was anything you did that might have affected the pain one way or another.

    Take care

    Yvonne x

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520

    The acid test of whether a medication is effective is to stop taking it (obviously NEVER with prescribed medication) and if things worsen you know it is assisting. I often wonder if people expect pain relief to remove all pain - none of it (no matter how strong) does so, it merely dulls the sharper edges. In my experience the stronger the relief the more you are removed from the pain, not vice versa.

    I manage on 30/500 cocodamol, a minimum of four per day during the winter and yes, I have to agree that constipation is an issue but, to my way of thinking, that is far more easily dealt with than the pain. I am not a fan of figs or prunes but I eat them because they are good for my overall health and certainly help to keep things moving. My late Ma's GP prescribed Movicol for her (she also took cocodamol for OA) and I daresay mine would for me but I take enough meds and don't want any more. For the same reason I have refused amytryptaline et al. If I only had OA I suspect I would react differently but . . . .

    I have two kinds of arthritis, everything hurts all the time so at least I know where I am with it. I began when I was 37 and am now 61and pain is a way of life. For the auto-immune one I have to inject medication and that, I think, is enough of a challenge for my system! Pain is distressing, frightening and can lead to isolation, I hope you are soon able to sort something out with your GP and that life becomes at least a little more comfortable. DD

    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Hiphoplil
    Hiphoplil Member Posts: 13

    Thankyou Yvonne and DD. There doesn't seem any point in keeping a diary as I can stand up and walk with no problem pain, but that can change after a few steps, or I can stand up and the pain is so bad I can't walk. I have to make sure I always have a stick to hand and then have to be careful not to trip over it! Luckily so far it doesn't hurt in bed whereas before I had the other hip replaced I couldn't sleep for the pain but with that hip there was no groin pain. Because the pain comes and goes I don't know if the para and ibuprofen do much. I know nothing will get rid of pain completely but I'm frightened I won't be able to manage to look after myself assuming I don't succumb to the virus. I do take antidepressants (along with magnesium , turmeric and cherry extract supplements) already which help to give me a certain detachment. I realise there are many, many people in hard to bear constant pain and if it wasn't for the current covid crisis I wouldn't be so keen to find a stronger medication for me. Hope I don't sound too self absorbed. Thank you both again for responding. Linda

  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,468

    The trip down the stronger painkiller route is one that will fail, our bodies soon become used to the strength and will become immune to their affects often within weeks, this why addicts need more and more drugs. The side affects will continue though.

    Ask your GP for a referral on a Pain Clinic Course, it’ll do you more good than drugs.

    its a grin, honest!

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,569

    I do take codeine when needed honestly it is worth it for me (I stopped pain patches a while a go which were good for a while, but I think I got used to them as Airwave said), but always have a very small glass of prune juice which helps no end.

    I tried gabapentin up to the max dose post back surgery up to the max dose, but it failed to help me.  Others though swear by it. Amitrips I do use and can really relax things over night so facing the next day is easier.

    In light of the COVID virus I can see that pain relief is the sensible option for you for a while to come so yes I would be seeing what the GP can offer in your shoes.

    Once things return to normal you can explore other options like physio and pain clinics and ultimately maybe surgery.