New member

WWDG Member Posts: 3
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:07 in Living with arthritis

Hi there, I am a 54 yo woman with osteoarthritis. I was diagnosed about three years ago after being sent for an Xray and was told I would be referred to Ortho. However Covid then happened and it seems that nothing has been done about this. Upon enquiring I was just told to do the excercises and take pain killers. Now before this all happened I was very fit and active and ran regularly. Unfortunatly the pain that hips cause me means that I had to give that up, I do however keep active by swimming, doing aquasize, yoga and doing resistance work at the gym. I do all this despite being in pain most of the time. However I feel that I (like many others I am sure) have been 'forgotten about' by my GP, and its seems impossible to be able to get in touch with them. My pain seems to be near constant and I do not want to live on Pain killers. (I do take Tumeric and vitamins and calcium tablets every day) I have so much less energy than I used to and this plus the near constant pain I am in is seriously effecting my moral. I have joined this community for moral support and advice from people who know what I am talking about .


  • Shell_H
    Shell_H Member Posts: 548

    Hi @WWDG - welcome to the online community!

    I see you were diagnosed with Osteoarthritis before COVID hit, and you had been advised you were being referred to Ortho, but it never materialised. You've since been in touch asking for updates, and been told to keep taking pain killers and doing your exercises. You have been doing a lot of exercise (I'm exceedingly impressed!) and yet you're still in constant pain and you have less energy.

    You are right in thinking that your feeling of being "forgotten about" is not alone, but that doesn't mean you can't keep reminding your doctors that you deserve more support. I'd request a referral to both a pain clinic and a physiotherapist. I know you already do an impressive amount of exercise, but the physiotherapist could also help with manual therapies which may help your pain as well as offer advice on exercise specifically to strengthen your affected joints. Both of these services could help you.

    It is important to know that just by being in pain you are expending energy to cope with that pain. You are also likely to have worse sleep while in pain. Both of these factors will contribute to your lack of energy. Instead of worrying about being on pain killers I'd be asking your doctor for a prescription to stronger pain killers, and if you never use them at any other time you should try using them about half an hour before bed to give yourself the best possible chance of getting a good nights sleep. It's also not worth spending your life being in pain because you're worried about pain killers - it's a much better choice for you to take the pain killers and have a happier and more relaxed life, as well as being under less stress. Long term pain can affect many different aspects of your life, and you don't want to make it worse than necessary.

    All that said, there are a lot of useful other ways of helping your pain. I'm personally a fan of heat - I use some heat gel on specific areas which hurt, I have an electric heated pad for my shoulders and neck, hot baths and showers help and relax (as well as help with sleep) and I use the microwavable wheat germ sacks which you can put a drop of essential oil to smell nice while heating areas - like my knees. I've shared a couple of links to different ways of mitigating pain below, and I hope they help!

    Also have a look at this booklet: Versus Arthritis - Feelings matter: Emotional wellbeing and arthritis information booklet

    Do please have a look around the community and join in any conversation you feel interested in. We always welcome new people 😊

    Lovely to meet you!


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,016

    Hello @WWDG

    Nice to meet you and welcome you to the online community.

    It may be time to get assertive (In a nice way!) you do need and deserve more help. Write a much pain.... when what you can no longer do.....what you do to help yourself including meds and the yoga etc.

    Then request further help ideally a face to face apt with your GP. Shell has suggested physio and pain clinic both are good suggestions. The other thing worth saying is a lot can change in 3 years who knows whether your hips might now be in need of surgery? My Own MIL had had an X-ray two years before she went back to the GP to find they were bone on bone and had surgery within 3 months. This was Warwickshire and pre-covid of course.

    I do my best never to see/speak to a Dr alone I find the support of someone, my husband or at times brother/sister, means i get fobbed off less easily. Also they 'hear' things better than me if you know what i mean.

    Take care

  • Arthuritis
    Arthuritis Member Posts: 412

    @wwdg @frogmorton So sorry to hear about your situation. It still amazes me how ignorant or disorganised GP surgeries are in this digital age.

    As frogmorton advises, you will need to firmly get your doc’s attention. They do have a lot of patients and are invariably poorly organised, not setting automatic reminders for clinically vulnerable & in pain patients like you.

    I was given steroids which worked like like magic, but your RA doc should be able to determine if its right for you.

    We are all cheering you on!

  • WWDG
    WWDG Member Posts: 3

    Hello everyone. Just a little update on my situation. So last year I got so fed up with the pain and nothing helping that after much badgering I finally got another x-ray of my hips which resulted in a very interesting phone call from a GP who could not believe that state my hips had got in in such a short space of time , in fact he kept asking if I had been in an accident or had a fall since my last x-ray (which I have not). In February this year I finally got an appointment at the hospital for a clinical review which resulted in me being put on the waiting list for a double hip replacement. I am now on Zapain, Omeprazole and Senna tablets to help with the pain, and medication side effects. I still try to do my aqua fit classes 3 times a week but had had to give up the yoga as I don't want to risk dislocating my hips (a real possibility according to the consultant at the hospital) If anyone could recommend another exercise I could do as well as my aqua fit I would be most grateful. It really does make me wonder how I could have gone from the "mild only slight wear on one hip" to needing a total hip replacement in less than three years !

  • Fran54
    Fran54 Member Posts: 166


    I am so glad that you have persevered with your situation and hope that you don't have to wait too long for your hip replacement. I have read several times on here how people's arthritis symptoms have worsened very quickly ( I have found this out for myself unfortunately ). Regarding exercises have you been referred to Physio for relevant exercises? If not have a look around this site as there are exercises on here that may help. Do let us know how you are getting on.

    Take care🙂

  • dansmam
    dansmam Member Posts: 14

    Hi @WWDG I've recently been diagnosed with moderate osteoarthritis in my knee, it was a shock to find that I had it as pain came on suddenly 4mths ago so really wasn't expecting that diagnosis.

    My doctor didn't even mention a referal to ortho or a pain clinic. Only MSK but finding some of the exercises too difficult. I've been put on Naproxen and told to take paracetamol, the doctor seems reluctant to prescribe anything stronger.

    I had my first steroid injection 6 days ago, it hasn't stopped the pain completely my knee is still stiff and cracks all the time. Nit sure if that is normal?! The pain was really bad over the weekend but seems to have eased a little tonight.

    I too feel a little forgotten about and as if I've got to beg the doctor to provide stronger pain relief and thus far not being heard.

    I'm finding my moods are very up and down depending on whether I'm having a good day pain wise or not. I also feel a lot more lethargic than I previously did so can relate to a lot you said in your original post.