Managing osteoarthritis pain

Joanne29 Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:09 in Living with arthritis


I have been diagnosed with early onset osteoarthritis about 2 years ago. I have seen a rheumatologist specialist who ruled that out and said my osteoarthritis is due to “wear and tear”. This didn’t help me!!

I don’t want to start being reliant on painkillers and paracetamol really doesn’t work for me. It is in my hip, knee and feet.

i was referred to a physiotherapist but this was only via video call and again that didn’t help me!

I’m only 46 and it is really impacting my standard of living. I can’t do things I used to be able to without being in pain. I even struggle walking the dog a short distance round the block without being in pain.

does anyone have any suggestions on treatment options as my GP is also not very helpful.




  • anneb82
    anneb82 Member Posts: 317

    Hello @Joanne29

    Welcome to the online community and thank you for joining us.

    So you were diagnosed with early onset Osteoarthritis 2 years ago and in that time you have seen a specialist who advised that it was due to wear and tear. you have had physiotherapy but this was online and you didn't find it very helpful. It is really starting to impact on your life and you do not want to become reliant on pain medication, most of it does not do much for you anyway. You’re looking for advise regarding treatment options as your GP doesnt have any ideas.

    It sounds like you have been through these last couple of years. Sounds like covid / the lockdown’s have really impacted on you getting the help you need. Im sure once the other members within the community have seen your post, they will be able to give you lots of hints and tips on things that work for them.

    In the mean time, I have attached a couple of links below that I think you will find useful. Please do give them a read when you have a chance.

    I hope that you find the above helpful. Please do continue to keep getting involved in the community and do let us know how you are getting on.

    Take care

    Anne (Moderator)

  • Wyn
    Wyn Member Posts: 2

    This is my first post so I am anxious to learn from other peoples experiences.

    I am 77yrs old and have osteoarthritis in my right knee and left hip. I had arthroscopy on my knee in 1990 and ran regularly up until 2003 when I had to stop due to inflammation and pain. I have since continued exercising down the gym on 3 mornings most weeks, but developed pain in my left hip in 2016. I then saw a private physiotherapist, was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and I embarked on a programme of strengthening and stretching my muscles. I was reluctant to consider joint replacement and in 2019 had stem cell treatment in both affected joints. This may have helped slow the rate of deterioration in my joints initially, but I am now experiencing increasing stiffness and pain.

    I am reluctant to take painkillers, presently my only treatment is Zacin 025% capsaicin cream which I've just started on. I am seeing an NHS physiotherapist in August to see what can be done, but the weighting list for joint replacement in my area is currently 3 years so I've no desire to take painkillers for that length of time.

    I think I have tried most of the recommended options; I exercise regularly, my BMI is 24, my diet is exceptionally good, I don't smoke and drink in moderation, I am on no medication and take turmeric, Vitamin D, black garlic and collagen supplements.

    Does anyone have experience of using capsaicin and is it effective long term? I presently have a 45 grm tube of Zacin which may last me 4 weeks, so i am looking to make my own and have found a good recipe recommended on this site; has anyone tried it?

    After that, it appears my next option is trying paracetamol and ibuprofen. I shall of course continue exercising, maintaining my weight and eating a good diet.

    Thanks in anticipation

  • HelenS
    HelenS Administrator Posts: 104

    Hi @Wyn

    Welcome to the online community, Its great to have you here!

    You have osteoarthritis affecting your knee and hip and are interested in using capsaican cream.

    Its good to hear that you are continuing to exercise and maintain your weight, all of which can help with arthritis symptoms.

    Capsaicin is taken from chilli peppers and it works mainly by reducing Substance P, which is a pain transmitter in your nerves. In trials it scored 5 out of 5 for effectiveness

    I've included the following links where you can find out more.

    Please do let us know how you are getting on

    Take care, Helen

    Need more help - Call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • DebbieL
    DebbieL Member Posts: 64

    Hi Joanne,

    I am 55 and was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis of my lower spine a couple of years ago. At the time I was working full time at a desk job and had given up exercise as I was in so much pain when I got home from work that I took 30/500 cocodamol ( pain relief I was prescribed )!and went to bed. I had seen 2 different NHS physios and they had been no help. To be told this condition was permanent left me devastated. However after my initial feelings of hopelessness I took charge of my life. I was lucky to reduce my working days to 3. I booked private physio and wrote a letter of complaint to the doctors. I immediately got a doctors appointment to discuss my pain relief and a referral to a specialist. I was referred to a specialist back physio. The exercises he gave me reduced my pain and he recommended that I should return to exercise. I accept that every single morning I will wake up with pain and some nights I won’t sleep well. I do ballet and stretch classes, but can’t run or do aerobics. Mostly I only need painkillers at night now. I have 20 mg Nortriptyline and 2x30/500 cocodamol. I don’t want to take painkillers at night but if I don’t I can’t sleep.

    Keep going back to your doctor until you find the right pain relief for you. Heat pads can help at night. Also I saw 3 different physio’s before I found one that made a real difference. I would say that the 4th physio gave me my life back. Not the one before OA but a much better one than I thought I would have.

    Take care