Pain killers just not hitting the spot

Hi, i’m a guy 47 with osteoarthritis in my neck, lower back due to an annular tear and in my hands.

currently taking the following meds:

maxitram 150mg x twice daily

co-codamol 30/500mg x two four times a day

gabapentin 100mg x three a day

and Duloxetine 60 mg x one a day

these used to all work great but have noticed it’s a bit hit and miss as to their effect, wondered is this common? Am I going to have to look at something stronger? And a bit worried as it’s having a real affect on my family as every so often i’m Taking myself off to have a lying down.


  • Hi @Darko74

    Thank you for posting on the forum.

    I am sorry to hear about the OA you are experiencing in your back and neck, and hear your concerns regarding your current medication and whether you may need something stronger. I also hear your worries about your family as at times you must lay down. Have you discussed what’s going on for you with your family, if you have that’s great because it will help them to understand and be able to support you. If not maybe this is something you could do.

    It sounds as if you’re going through a challenging time, you are very welcome to call our helpline: 0800 5200 520 (weekdays 9am-6pm) here we can take our time to talk in more detail, which can sometimes be helpful.

    We are not medically trained on the helpline, though as a lay person I would think medications can vary in their effect. It might be a good idea to have a review of your medications with your GP so that they can advise you further.

    You mention your neck and lower back and I wonder if you have had any physiotherapy, if not this too would be something you could ask your GP about. Keeping moving is important, so having the right exercises may be of help to you.

    There is a cream called capsaicin which is only on prescription, something else you could mention to the GP. It is drug free and an effective very well tolerated painkiller. Lastly, you could ask your GP for a referral to a pain clinic which too might be useful for you.

    If you would like to hear about the experiences of others, please repost on the 'living with arthritis' forum, where hopefully you will receive more responses.

    I hope the links to our neck and back information will be useful for you

    Best wishes


    Helpline Team


  • Darko74
    Darko74 Member Posts: 8

    Hi, had a few sessions of physiotherapy when didn’t go so well, ended up with a therapist leaning on my back trying to manipulate it without any joy. They gave me some photocopies of some exercises and that was it, nothing I couldn’t get myself so disappointed with the service. An mri showed up an annular tear in my lower back and they won’t touch me surgically until I lose control of my bowels, great. Then I had an mri on my neck this showed up arthritis and it’s just about using painkillers to manage my situation, been to the pain clinic attended a course not exactly beneficial but was great to be around people in the same boat. My job moved me into another job and I ended up getting a less favourable contract and ended up losing £200 a month. I asked for flexible working and will probably be turned down. So am at a loss as to were to go from here feel taken advantage of by my employer. Pains not getting better and under a lot of pressure with regards to my family. Will think about ringing your helpline.

  • alexander1
    alexander1 Member Posts: 70

    Hi sounds like you have a similar issue to me.

    I am on full doses of




    also have 30mg amitripoline

    plus sertraline 150mg( supposed to help with nerve pain as well as depression)

    I am with pain clinic so have access to lidocaine plaster which GP can’t give I believe

    I use ibrugel

    TENS machine

    if I have a spasm then I can get diazepam to get me through

    the doctors have said that I might be used to the tramadol and to try and switch over to another opiode

    however they want me to reduce to 4 a day over a month before they switch but can’t stand the pain

    i am due shoulder replacement soon and will be given oxy liquid for surgical pain and will try to switch during that time

    The one experience I have that actually gives some relief is hydrotherapy just floating in the pool.

    I have recently been put on methotrexate and a 3 month dose of prednisone( this is heavy duty and did make some of the difference)

    Not sure if that helps but there are some other things that might help and TENS machine disrupts pain signals

    Also in terms of work you may be considered as having a disability and you get certain protections you have look at disability on ACAS web site also have you applied for PErsonal Independence Payments