Osteoarthritis in hands and feet

I was diagnosed with OA in April in my hands and feet. It seems to have progressed very quickly as now have pain in both ankles and wrists and now getting problems with my right knee.

My Doctor referred me to a rheumatologist and she said they don’t deal with osteoarthritis. I am at my wits end as I take codeine, amitriptyline but nothing seems to help the pain. I just get told to exercise and take pain relief. I exercise regularly but it’s very hard to do when your feet are in pain.

Can anyone with similar issues advise if there is any pain relief that works.

Thanks Jayne


  • Tom
    Tom Member Posts: 522

    Greetings, @JBooth130 and welcome to the forum.

    I see that you have been given a diagnosis of OA effecting your hands and feet. The Rheumatologist, whom your GP referred you to, commented that she didn’t deal with OA, not particularly helpful. I think you should discuss with your GP and ask for a referral to orthopaedics.

     I attach some links to general information, that I hope you will find helpful:


    Good luck and do please let us know how you get on.


  • Hi Jayne (JBooth130)

    Thank you for posting on our helpline forum, I am sorry to hear that you were sent to see a Rheumatologist to help you with you Osteoarthritis, as you have probably realised a Rheumatologist deals with inflammatory condition and not the condition you have.

    I would possibly make another appointment and go back to see your doctor and ask to see if you could be referred to see a physiotherapist. Physiotherapy is an important part of treatment for most people with arthritis and they can help with a programme of specific exercises that will help with stiffness and strengthen the muscles. If you feel that your currant medication isn’t helping you could also speak to your doctor about a drug-free, effective, and very well-tolerated painkiller called capsaicin, available on prescription for osteoarthritis. Capsaicin is a complementary medicine extracted from the pepper plant (capsicum), which works mainly by reducing a pain transmitter in the nerves

    Self-help treatments do help as well, heat is an effective and safe treatment for most aches and pains. You could use a wheat bag, heat pads, hot water bottle, its bests that you do not leave it on for more than 20 minutes. Many people find that ice is helpful when used to manage short-term knee pain. Ice packs can be made from ice cubes placed in a plastic bag, or wet tea towel. You could also use a bag of frozen peas or buy a ready-made pack from a pharmacy. Ice can be also applied for no longer than 20 minutes. 

    Thank you Tom for adding those links for Jayne, I have also attached a couple of links myself that will hopefully help.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Advisor

  • JBooth130
    JBooth130 Member Posts: 5

    Thank you I have just asked for capsaicin and I got it prescribed on Tuesday but I did have to ask for it. I have also bought an infra red lamp as I went in an infrared sauna and it helped with my hands. I will ask my GP to refer me for physio and Thankyou for the links I will have a good read of them. It’s very frustrating as I have always been active and the pain in my feet is unbearable.

    I normally get nerve blockers annually as I suffer from coccyxdenia and I think these may have masked some of my symptoms. Unfortunately these have been delayed due to Covid,

    thanks Jayne

  • JBooth130
    JBooth130 Member Posts: 5

    Thank you for your advice.

    I have been prescribed capsaicin cream and only been using it a week and it has been a game changer. Can’t believe how much better I feel.