What is pain?
Odd sort of question but it means so much to everyone and is so different for each person. For me it ranges between 1-10 (on a 0-10 scale) with pain of varying types, what I would describe as electric, nerve numbing, aching, pain which you can’t move away from, long lasting pain, a short lived pain, pain that feels like a hot molten metal Etc etc. Pain gives rise to low emotions which feeds the pain levels and as we know the weather affects us, we are a vulnerable group.
As we now know, you can’t regrow the nerve paths which transmit pain but new neural paths can grow around sites of injury or surgery to complete what is missing, often giving us false messages and creating a ‘pain picture’ of a missing part because of the complicated paths that are created.
Pain is often dealt with by using drugs, often the body will Stop reacting to the drug and sometimes need more to keep acting upon the pain.
I’ve been dealing with this for most of my life and I feel am better at dealing with the increasing state Of arthritis I’m in.
Can you voice your pain and deal with it? Can you help by putting it into words and help others make sense of the state we find ourselves in?
Most of the forums deal with a particular person or type of arthritis when, in truth it is just pain we all deal with and need answers to.
I'll give it a go! When sitting in my recliner I have the back set at about 45 degrees with my legs raised as this is the position in which I feel less pain, when so sat (which I am most of the day(and night sometimes)) my pain can be described as a general ache. When I get up onto my crutches to make a brew or do something that general ache is joined by a sharp pain in my lower back and an increasing pain in my neck. Depending on what I am doing the pain in my hands especially escalates quite quickly. Again dependant on how long I have been on my crutches, doing something, or just out of my recliner those pains previously described are joined by either an ache spreading down my arms and legs, or pins and needles, or a weird type of pain which makes my legs jerk. To reduce pain levels and improve mobility I only use crutches around the bungalow and either my electric wheelchair or mobility scooter outside, combined with a neck support and hand braces. As to nerves finding a new route I can confirm this as I have had the nerves in my back burnt out (radiofrequency ablation) twice and each time the relief was short-lived. Having "lived" with deteriorating OA and Degenerative Facet Joint Disease, as well as several disc issues, for around 20 years (now 62) I have tried all of the meds and treatments available on the NHS and privately and am now left with ever increasing doses of morphine. We had a saying in the forces that pain is weakness leaving the body - unless you have served in which case it is arthritis!1
I quite agree, Airwave. It's different for everyone. We all have different levels of tolerance and one person's twinge is another's agony. We can't really judge someone else's pain which is why I dislike that pain scale beloved of medics. My 5 might be their 3 or 7. As I see it there are three levels - what I can tolerate, what I find very difficult and what I can't tolerate.3
A local osteopath says he knows when patients are in pain because they give in, pay the money and see him.2
I find the pain scale very difficult, I've worked all year on my feet with something hurting in varying degrees somewhere nearly all the time. If someone asks me how I am , I might say what is hurting or might just let it go. Many times I have been at work thinking if any one of my collegues had the same pain they would be off sick in a flash. I haven't bothered the GP with it because last time pre covid , my GP asked if I wanted referral for hip replacement and I felt it was too premature for such action although I did appreciate her proactive offer of getting me on the waiting list-which I declined as covid wasn't yet recognised and I wanted time to consider.. The first time this week when I really jumped up and down (not literally) in pain and went to A & E, coming out with morphine and crutches, I think my friend finally recognised I had an issue as I couldn't walk. She normally tells me it's all in my head.0
@Henrietta, can you go back to your doctor and ask for a referral, and then let the consultant decide whether it's the right time for replacement? They may be able to offer you other interim treatments, such as steroid injection etc. (Sorry, I can't remember the background to your condition).3
Thanks Lily, yes it is still an option but I've no idea how to get hold of "my Dr" at the moment. The local surgery is closed and become a covid centre. The main surgery is by apt only (none available to book). The phones refer you to the website. The website gives you 50 online options then says do you want to speak to someone. Then you go through general covid questions online and list your symptoms at which point you get told you need to see urgent clinician so ring 111 (1 hr to connect and 6 hours to wait for call back from clinician ) or go to A & E. Sorry rant over.1
@Henrietta Oh good grief. That's not a "service", that's an assault course. Last man standing wins. I'm lost for words, I really am. I feel so sorry for everyone who's falling through the cracks because of this extreme condensing of the NHS, till all that's left is the logo and the memory of how things used to be. I remember when I was young my Dad was away and Mum was suddenly feeling very unwell and bed bound, so I just dropped in to see the doc to tell him and he popped round to see Mum later that day. We won't be seeing those days back again. 😥 I hope you can find a way through the maze soon. You just have to keep persevering I'm afraid.1
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