Diagnosis help

Samantha725
Samantha725 Member Posts: 2
edited 3. Nov 2021, 11:26 in Chat to our Helpline Team

Several yrs ago I was told I had Athritis in both hands,recently been told I have osteoarthritis in my left knee.Recently having alot of pain/stiffness in other joints where pain killers ( already take morphine for my bk) are not touching it & all I want to do is sleep.Moved to a new city,Birmingham,Dr is not the easiest to get along with,what is the best way & what to ask for help? Thank you x

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  • Shell_H
    Shell_H Administrator Posts: 552

    Hi @Samantha725 - welcome to the online community!

    I see you've been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis, and while you're on morphine it's not helping with the pain and stiffness your getting in your other joints. You've also recently moved and your new doctor isn't easy to get along with.

    My first thought is that if you don't get on with your new doctor you can always ask to see any other doctor in your surgery. If you find one there you get on with better you can ask to move to them as your main GP. This is perfectly allowed. It's slightly more effort if you don't like any of the GPs in your surgery, you can always move to a different surgery (provided you are in their catchment area) but that's also OK. I'd definitely start by asking to see a different doctor in your current surgery.

    Diagnosis for Osteoarthritis can be difficult - tests such as X rays and MRIs don't always show it, and there isn't a blood test for it, so it can often come down to descriptions of your symptoms and a physical examination by your GP of the affected joints.

    I'm going to link to our page on Osteoarthritis - while you may know some of this already, I'd bring your attention to the sections on Diagnosis, Managing Symptoms and Tips for Managing Pain specifically, as they have some really good information in them

    I'd also suggest visiting your pharmacist and seeing if they can let you know of any over the counter pain medication you could be taking with your existing morphine.

    I personally like using heat as a method to help with pain in my joints - I have an electric heating pad for my shoulders, and I use microwavable heat bags for elsewhere. If you can take a hot bath or hot shower that can often help too. If you have swelling in your joints then cold compresses may help. Antoher thing which helps is exercise - there are specific exercises you can do for your joints which help relieve pain and add strength which can lead to less pain and better mobility in the future. You do have to remember that if it hurts a lot you should stop and take it slower. Arthritis does not improve from pushing yourself, so always exercise within your own tolerance. Have a look at this information:

    I'm sure some of our members will be on with their own tips on managing pain. Do please feel free to look around and see if there are any other topics you find interesting or want to join in.

    Lovely to meet you!

    Shell

  • Hi Samantha725,

    Thank you for posting on our helpline forum, I am sorry to hear that your medication isn’t helping, and you are having difficulty getting on with your GP, as Shell has said you are within your rights to ask to see another doctor at the surgery, possibly speak to the practice manager. Thank you also Shell for providing Samantha with the links to help her to manage her condition.

    To get a diagnosis for Osteoarthritis (OA) your doctor will often be able to diagnose from your symptoms along with a physical examination. Occasionally, they may suggest an x-ray or an MRI scan to help to confirm a diagnosis.

    There are many things that can be done to manage the pain of arthritis, physiotherapy is very important part of treatment for most people with arthritis. They are healthcare professionals who help you to resume or maintain an active and independent life both at home and work. They’re experts in assessing movement and can show you how to protect your joints. They will also provide you with a tailored programme of specific exercises just for you. Other treatments include (as Shell has said) heat and ice therapy, and other therapies including cognitive behaviour therapies (CBT), and mindfulness programs.

    If you feel that the medication you are taking isn’t helping you could ask your doctor about Capsaicin cream, it is a well-tolerated complementary pain reliever if used regularly, particularly beneficial for Osteoarthritis and can be used on several joints, if you do decide to use it, you will need to use the cream 4 times a day, and allow it to build up into your system for at least 2 weeks.

    When sleep is affected, our health can be affected in other ways, often making pain worse and can lead to fatigue and other health problems. Using pillows in different ways, between the knees, behind the back to support the hips may be helpful. Taking any pain relief medication later at night before bed can also help give relief during the night. You can find more on tips on how to get a good night’s sleep on our website.

    If at any point it would help you to talk things through informally and in confidence to one of our Helpline advisors about how you are feeling you are more than welcome to call our Free Helpline on 0800 5200 520 weekdays 9am – 6pm.


    Best wishes

    Chris

    Helpline Advisor

     

     

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