Pain relief, OA ,

Joanne18 Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:07 in Living with arthritis

Hi all , I’m new to the site however have had OA for 15years ( I’m 48), my doctor has basically told me to stick with naproxen and co codamol for pain relief, my hands are like nik naks at the moment the tops are swollen and very painful, I work full time with children with SEND and have been told I’m not eligible for pip. Can anyone direct me to good pain relief and what’s peoples thoughts re pip? Sorry if I’m asking the wrong questions delete if necessary.


  • Hi @Joanne18

    Welcome to the online community and well done on making this post! OA is not an easy condition to live with and understand how hard and frustrating it is after coping for so long. How long have you taken the naproxen and cocodamol for? This is exactly what I was told to do but didn't feel like it was making a difference. I kept on at my GP, and it wasn't until I saw a different GP at my surgery that I was switched to etoricoxib. It seems to be a little better for me but my dosage has recently been increased too. It may be worth just contacting your GP again to discuss other options. There is of course always topical creams and gels which can sometimes relieve a little pain and discomfort for a short while.

    Here is a link to our Versus Arthritis advice for OA. It includes possible treatments, ways of managing your symptoms and further links should you wish to find out more.

    I hope these are of some use to you, but please feel free to look around the community and join in where you feel comfortable.

    Take care,


  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    I have worked through all available supposed pain killers over the years and in my experience none of them do the job, I have been on Morphine for the past 7 years or so and even that just knocks the edge off.

  • DebbieL
    DebbieL Member Posts: 64

    Hi Joanne,

    Welcome. I’m 55 and have had OA of lower spine for about 3 years. I take co-codamol at night. The doctor offered me nortriptyline to take at night. I was sceptical as this is for nerve pain but it really made a difference. I was able to turn over in bed with reduced pain and it made me sleepy. I take naproxen if the cocodamol and nortriptyline don’t give me enough relief. I also use heat pads and they often help. My physio advised that the “more” I do in the day the better I will sleep and he was right! Pain relief is often trial and error and it may take time to find what works for you.

    I hope you find what works for you

    take care


  • crinkly
    crinkly Member Posts: 148

    I've had widespread OA for 35+ years and have found that changing pain meds every few years has been more effective than sticking with the same ones. I started with NSAIDs and continued until their use caused changes in kidney function (shown in blood tests). I then had Tramadol for a long time, eventually feeling it was making little difference.

    At some point Amitriptyline was added but its side effects proved too unpleasant for daytime use although it remains of significant help at night.

    Following two surgeries on my left shoulder, the latest being a RTSR 3 years ago, I moved on to Co-codamol, gradually reducing the dose until I now take it only at night as it doesn't seem to have as good an effect as it did originally.

    During the day I find (much to my surprise) that Paracetamol now sometimes makes a noticeable difference. That is in line with suggestions that older folk may need less powerful pain meds. I am now almost 76.

    For most of the years I have added Amitriptyline at night and again have reduced the dose until I am taking just 10mg an hour or more before going to bed.

    I'm fortunate in having a GP who is happy for me to adjust the dosage according to need and I know that I have learnt to live with a greater degree of pain than I could previously tolerate. It isn't that the pain has reduced but, in retirement, I can adapt my lifestyle to its presence without dependence on meds. most of the time. By now I am reliant on a wheelchair outdoors as I can't stand or walk without considerable pain due to spinal OA but I remained generally mobile for longer than anticipated.

    I am also very thankful that I have not developed any marked dependency on a particular drug so have had no problems reducing or stopping any medication.

    Re PIP I finally found my teaching job impossible. Moving around the school plus the effects on my hands left me completely exhausted so reluctantly I took early retirement on health grounds at 50. Soon afterwards I applied for and received DLA so have no experience of PIP although I had to appeal for the increased level of support I later needed. I recall that as one of the most difficult times in my life, which has now faded into a blur but it was the hardest of hurdles to surmount.

    I do hope you find support for your journey through this minefield and that you emerge feeling stronger and in control of your own life choices.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,419


    Hi Joanne I too have tried many many medications over the years from pain patches to gabapentin, NSAIDs to Amitriptyline.

    I am so sorry your fingers are so sore and this question is entirely valid and certainly not worth deleting.

    It's odd that Crinkly should mention paracetamol because I am just recently re-using them myself! A friend a little older than me in her 70s swore by them and took them almost until she died of cancer last month. I thought I should give them a go again.

    We are only eligible for PIP if we need help with personal care or are less mobile so you might be right, but have you considered retirement on the grounds of ill health? Sometimes they are keen to 'get rid' of those of us who are a bit of a liability 😕 How long have you done the job????? Also there is ESA

    That's worth a read.

    Take care