Osteoarthritis of neck


Any suggestions for best relief of pain and stiffness of neck without strong medication .I use heat and massage


  • PeterJ
    PeterJ Administrator Posts: 883

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Loggiemod
    Loggiemod Member Posts: 220

    I have always found TENS machines to be a good way of relieving pain and stiffness - give one a try. Our local Pharmacy had one for about £10 and it was money well spent. My wife also got good use out of it for her shoulders.

  • Saxophone
    Saxophone Member Posts: 20

    Thank you for your suggestion

  • DonnaC
    DonnaC Member Posts: 12

    Hi, I was looking for answers for the same question. I’m taking dissolvable solphadine max at present, obviously not everyday but when I need it. I’m waking up with headaches, feeling really sorry for myself. Dr prescribed antidepressants amitriptyline but not had any yet, a bit scared to be honest, but going to have to submit & take them as I finding it hard going especially now I’ve started to have issues with my left ankle. I’m going to be 55 soon and this is not what I thought my life would be like, I imagined in retirement my hubby & I would be like those hikers with a backpack on walking through those quaint Yorkshire villages. Here I am with a heat pad wrapped around my neck wondering if I should have a couple of solphadine or could paracetamol/ibuprofen do. Had to beg my Dr to even get an x-ray. She gave in & told me I have stages 2 & 3 in my neck. Didn’t even know about different stages! If there’s anybody out there have any tips of pain management or any other info you can give, I’d be grateful. Neck OA seems much rarer than knee/hip. Now I have it in my neck, ankle, fingers seem stiff also first thing in the morning, am I going to get it all over? Definitely, it has to do with declining oestrogen. The future looks bleak, my sympathy to all who suffer, young & old.

  • stellabean
    stellabean Member Posts: 307

    Hi Saxaphone and DonnaC I have OA and spinal degeneration in most of my spine I was diagnosed at 40 when I was attacked at work and ended up with a neck injury. The consultants advice was just to sit in a wheelchair if walking caused me pain. I didn't take his advice and am still walking ( now with 2 crutches ) I find keeping mobile helps keep me sane. To be honest having to use a wheel chair scares me witless, I live in a rural area we have limited pavements and most of our hamlets are accessed by footpaths or rough tracks scenic but not ideal for wheelchairs.

    My problems began over 20 yrs ago with that injury, and I have used a tens machine, had accupuncture from GP ( he left needles in once and forgot I was in the other room and locked me into the surgery I set the alarm off) and a specialist physio which I found has been the best. I have OA in most of my other joints now but find keeping them as mobile as possible helps I do pilates with my physio( she specializes in sports injuries) we use Zoom now and our group is the old crocks with spinal and OA problems. I have tried antidepressants but found they didn't agree with me, I have been to pain management but was told my pain was only so bad because I would not talk about my 6 miscarriages ( I couldn't work that one out).

    I find doing something I like even if it tires me out or causes me pain, I am going to have pain even if I sit and do nothing anyway, helps me feel better and when my mind is concentrating on things I can ignore my pain to some extent. I do gardening ( I am only allowed to use a trowel) growing seeds and harvesting stuff to share with people , I walk to my horses field to feed him 3 times a day and if I am not too tired I will accompany my hubby on a longer walk with our dog. I like baking and enjoy making cakes for friends and neighbors. This is the first Christmas when I haven't been able to knit my daughter some socks but I aim to get back to it soon.

    I was advised to only used one pillow to sleep with and to make sure it allowed my neck to remain in as normal as possible position. I use a rucksack to carry any shopping as this keeps the weight off my arms. I hope you find something that works for you it can take a while.

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    I use a cervical collar when my neck is not supported by being in my recliner (which is not often); I use a V pillow at night as I am sleep on my side and tuck it in both sides of my neck, I also take amitriptylene amongst other meds. When I started to take it it did leave me woosy next morning for a few hours but as I cannot work and live on my own that did not matter too much, at least it gives me more than the 2 or 3 hours I used to have.

  • crinkly
    crinkly Member Posts: 148

    I'm another with widespread OA that was apparent in my neck at diagnosis when I was in my mid 40s. Over 30 years later it has caused gradually increasing problems but at a rate at which I have been able to adapt accordingly.

    As Mike says it's important to find the best sleeping position, which will take a bit of trial and error and will be affected by other arthritic joints. Selecting a high-backed chair or any seat with a good head rest when sitting for more than a short time is also helpful.

    I've taken Amitriptyline at night for many years and still find it makes a significant difference. To avoid a zomboid morning I take it a couple of hours before bed. During the day I always choose to sit immediately facing TV, other screen, speaker etc when possible so I don't have to turn my head too much.

    Over time my neck has become less mobile and sudden movements can cause brief dizziness so are best reserved for emergency situations only! I try to put my neck through its full range of movement several times per day but don't otherwise follow a specific exercise plan. Maybe I should but what I do seems adequate.

    I can't say it is particularly pleasant but my 'future' has not been half as bleak as I might have imagined at the outset. The first years with OA and probably other forms of arthritis are definitely the worst but human nature is great at finding alternative ways of working and eventually replacing some of the more physical activities with absorbing alternatives.

    I'm happy to report that (at 76) I am about to embark on a new online role in a national voluntary organisation so continue to lead a full life (with the incredible support and encouragement of husband and family plus the assistance of whatever aids I find useful) despite gradually increasing mobility issues.

    When I reach the end of my allotted span I will have no regrets and so much for which to be thankful. Arthritis is definitely a pain in the neck and in other places but by no means the end of a meaningful life. I well remember the initial mental struggle but it's well worth confronting that head on in order to reach a better place for the rest of life.

  • Tracie
    Tracie Member Posts: 57

    Hi saxophone

    I could not manage without my wireless tens machine it's amazing .about £80 from amazon but having no wires is so much easier.

    I get through 1 every 2 years I wear it every day .it has 2 x batteries you charge n you but sticky pads honestly highly recommend for neck pain.