Osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, bursitis - pain management

Hi, I'm 75 and have OA in many joints; knees, hands, shoulders, feet, spine. For the past five years I've also had hip bursitis on both sides. I've had steroid injections from my GP, an orthopaedic surgeon and a rheumatologist, none of which made any difference. As part of my fibromyalgia diagnosis the rheumatologist mentioned tender areas in my elbows and, of late, my left elbow is particularly painful - golfer's elbow, from what I've read, as the tenderness is on the inside of the elbow.

I take paracetamol and have a repeat prescription for 15mg codeine so I can mix and match, as necessary. However, I try to limit the amount of codeine I take and usually only take a maximum of 45mg a day because of constipation. I really feel that it would be helpful to talk to somebody about pain management as I'm sure I could manage things better than I do. Some days I feel exhausted. I haven't seen my GP about it, but wondered if a pharmacist might be able to help as it would be easier to see her than getting an appointment with my GP. I'd be grateful for your advice.


  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406


    Ask you GO to refer you to pain clinic, I’m under them at the moment and like you nothing seems to work for me but they can suggest changes in medications and tens machines I’ve recently learned they actually do the tens gloves now too it doesn’t stop the pain I doubt there is a magic pill for that but it distracts the pain rather than focussing on it mines constant when one bit stops another bit starts sooo frustrating many times I’ve just wanted to cry, my pain clinic clinician is so lovely too she treats me with respect and understanding, if you explain to the receptionist at your gp surgery what you want she could send a message for you to your dr

    good luck and stay strong

    love Jona 💐💐💐💐😊

  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 774
    edited 3. Aug 2021, 12:43

    Thank you Jona. So sorry to hear that you're going through the same thing as me! I actually managed to get a telephone consultation with my GP this morning and he has upped my codeine and also the Docusate which I take for constipation. I'm to get back in touch with him in a couple off weeks to see if things have improved. He was very understanding and I'm sure if things haven't improved he'll be open to referring me to a pain clinic. A letter from a rheumatologist I've seen in the past actually advised this, if things became more painful, so I've got it in writing! The GP also offered a steroid injection for my elbow, but I'm still thinking about that one. I have had them before in my hands and to say they were painful is a bit of an understatement! Or maybe I'm a wuss! Anyway, I feel happier this morning that he took me seriously and is actively trying to help. By the way, I've never heard of Tens Gloves, so I'll look into that. Thanks again. Take care.

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406

    Hi, I’m so glad you have got things moving we don’t have to live with pain anymore if you see them at the pain clinic they can get all tens stuff for you and maybe suggest an alternative to pain meds I drink prune juice for my constipation I’ve not got my gloves yet but I have one for my hip and one for my neck feel a bit like robocop at times but as they say needs must I look so attractive though 😉

    take care and stay strong dig those heels in I do now oh I’ve had steroid injections in my shoulders and elbow they’re not pleasant but I’m a phlebotomist so used to needles your not a wuss I’ve seen soldiers pass out when I showed them the needle 6ft tall too x

  • Hi @Megrose489

    Thanks for your post to the Helpline.

    I'm not sure from your post, how you are doing with diet and keeping your weight under control and keeping moving and your physiotherapy routine at home. If you've not seen a physio and learnt daily movements, or have our information about healthy eating, do contact us so we can send you some booklets. If you'd like a chat about self-management routines or any problems with keeping moving, do ring us or email us won't you?

    Managing arthritis should involve more support than prescriptions for medication. Seeing a physio may be a chance to ask deeper questions and judge if there's anything else which might help. Judging a good routine when you live with fibromyalgia can be really hard, so the input of a physio may help you to avoid overdoing things and provoking bad days.

    A referral to a pain clinic is often a good idea - their holistic approach should support you to balance diet, keeping moving, your daily chores etc.

    Exercising with arthritis | Top tips, specific exercises (versusarthritis.org)

    Very best wishes

    Guy Helpline Team

  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 774

    Thank you, Guy. Since I wrote the initial post, not only has my GP readjusted my pain medication, but I've been able to self-refer to a physiotherapist at my surgery and will see him next week. As you said, I'm hoping that getting into a physiotherapy routine will make a difference. I've also sent for the Let's Move with Leon DVD and am looking forward to getting started on that.

    Thank you very much for everything that Versus Arthritis does.

  • Hi @Megrose489

    How brilliant to hear what's been happening. Keeping fingers crossed that things go well.

    very best wishes

    Guy - Helpline Team