Lack of professional help

My arthritis started badly in knees and hips last spring. X-rays show severe degeneration of hips, knees and lower back.

I only found out these results by looking at my records on line despite the radiology dept flagging up that GP needed to contact me. Since then I’ve had a couple of 5 min phone calls with GP and a referral to the MSK team, 3 months ago.

I chased this up via my GP as I really want to talk to a specialist about what the results mean now and what my options are now and in the future. Instead I’m getting a phone call from a physio despite me telling the GP that I already see a physio privately who herself said I need to see a specialist.

Pain is getting worse and I feel very low


  • Hi Nicholaj,

    Thank you for posting on our helpline forum, I am sorry to hear about the pain that you are experiencing and not being able to see a specialist. Just to confirm with you, is your condition Osteoarthritis (OA) it is important that you are aware of what type of arthritis that you have, as there are several different forms of arthritis and how you would treat one type of arthritis isn’t necessarily how you would treat another.

    OA is a condition that affects our joints, it starts when the cartilage within the joints start to wear thin and roughens, joints become weak and less supportive and can affect several areas including hips, feet, hands knees shoulders. We call it wear and repair, this is when the body is trying to repair itself. For this condition we suggested physio which you have already done by going private. 

    It can be helpful to get specialist advice and support on managing your condition, and we can only suggest that you trying to pursue this if you feel that this will help you, alternatively you could also ask your GP to refer you to a pain clinic. This way you’re able to explore further options, aside from just medication, to help manage your pain and condition. They are practitioners at the pain clinic who can explore medication, physical therapies, psychological therapies and complementary & alternative therapies and medicine.

    For OA treatments it can include painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory creams and gels, heat/ice therapy. There is also a very well-proven complementary cream available for OA that you can ask your GP for. It’s called capsaicin cream and is available on prescription from GPs in the UK. It is particularly effective for the knees and hands and can also be used in other joints. It works mainly by reducing Substance P, a pain transmitter in your nerves. The effect builds up over time, if you do get to try it, you may not start to notice a reduction in your pain levels for a week or so. As the active ingredient is chilli so it’s important not to use it on broken skin and to wash your hands thoroughly after applying it to avoid accidently transfer it to the eyes or other delicate places.

    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


    Helpline Advisor