Neck Osteoarthritis

Hello I have posted before, I am 75 and have OA in knees neck and spine and possible hips and hands. The main problem is the neck. I was diagnosed way back and told I had degeneration of the spine. At the moment I am finding it very hard. I have a lot of anxiety and am very down about the pain also other family things. I don't sleep well but the pain is much better at night once comfortable. A bag Flare up started last year and lasted along time Christmas and New spolit. I was just beginning to think it was easing when i had an appointment at the eye clinic for my glaucoma check and shaving to sit with head forward for tests they do I am back to square one it is mainly right side of neck going down the to the shoulder blade. I can only take paracetamol or ibuprofen gel neither of which really work. I know I walk with head forward I try to do my exercises but it is so hard. I had covid end of November ad that did not help. I cannot go out for more thqan about 30mins with out being in awful pain and need to come home and need to lie down. .I am having trouble with cooking and housework my husband also in pain with hips so we just try and help each other but itis getter harder. I have heat pads both electric and microwaveable but don't seem to get them in the right place to help. I am going to try and call the doctors tomorrow morning but I don't hold out much hope of getting a phone call let an appointment. I am sure you are all familar with you can only call a 8am for an app and if and when you get through all slots are gone. I feel like there is no help out there in the past I asked for fresh xrays but was told not worth it they seem to think it arthritis just take pain killers and also as I have anxiety evertyhing is blamed on that. Any suggestions

Comments

  • Sheelee
    Sheelee Member Posts: 152

    Hi Liberally13,

    You really sound as though you have your back against the wall.

    A couple of things come to mind. I know it's not sufficient, but have you thought about ringing 111. I know they will almost invariably say GP, but what they do is contact your GP by email, which immediately shoots you up the priority list. You could see if they could ask if they could see if the GP will ring you, effectively triaging you without you having to painstakingly listening to some annoying music on the phone. I have to say, I no longer sit listening to the phone jawing on. I keep it next to me and get on with washing up etc. It's far less frustrating, and if you have to ask them to wait whilst you get your washing up gloves off, they are fine about it.

    Also, I do pay for massage. I've learnt loads about where the source of pain is, which may not be where you primarily feel it. If you're on line, there is loads of information on there too.

    I suffer with migraines, and 95% of time, it is caused by neck tension. That's why I cringe at the thought of arthritis in the neck, spine or indeed feet (which a neighbour of mine has).

    Have you thought of ringing the Versus Arthritis Helpline too? They have all the most up to date information and may have some really useful suggestions.

    Good luck to you and your hubby xxx

    Sheelee

  • Liberally13
    Liberally13 Member Posts: 39

    Thank you Sheelee for your kind words. I had not thought of ringing the Versus Arthritis Helpline.

  • Lane
    Lane Member Posts: 115

    Hi @Liberally13

    I understand that your OA to your neck is causing you some pain and anxiety and wandered if you would be interested in some information. I see that you have received connection with another member and as she has already mentioned the benefits of massage:


    It sounds like you are dealing with a lot right now and even though it can be difficult to do, and maintain exercise, it's about finding what suits your need. Is there any particular exercise that you like? I have also attached a link from our website that may give you more information about managing pain:


    It's good to see you reaching out to our members, do continue to chat them.

    Best wishes.

  • Liberally13
    Liberally13 Member Posts: 39

    Update on neck arthritis. I spoke to my GP Monday afternoon. she offered me Amitriptyline at night but I reminded her I could not take them because of my glaucoma. Then Naproxin but said I would have to take a PPI to protect stomach since I have had gastritis twice and know that I get side effects to ppi's (they make my ibs worse) I declined I now have a prescription for Voltorol Gel. Too early to say if it is working as yet and hard to put on your neck and back and get it in the right place my husband has been trying to do it for me and he is in pain himself. I feel like people think I am wrong to refuse certain medications but I won't risk my sight or suffering from stomach pain. I have been reading up on neck arthritis and Dowagers hump an d it sounds frightening. I know I walk with my head forward and my husband said I have done so for years. Now I am frightened this is permanent and can only get worse. I don't know where to go from here. I really cannot take the pain. It is not too bad first thing in morning and at night is okish as well. It gets worse as soon as I walk about start to do household jobs and going out for anything more than half an hour causes awful pain. I am beginning to think that I will end up housebound and that frightens me. Does anyone know anything about this subject. I have exercises for neck and shoulder which I do everyday except when the pain is at its worst. I worry about how we will cope both being in pain. It does not seem like Doctors can help much. Some years ago I had an Xray of my spine which diagnosed the arthritis I also have in hands and knees. When I saw the consultant regarding my knees he happened to look at the xrays of my spine and he said you must be in a lot of pain as your spine is in mess. At the time I had no back pain just the slight stiffness in the neck. This was 10 years or more. Now I seem to have pain everywhere but the neck and shoulders are the worse. After spending 18 months in pain every day with gallstones before surgery was done. I had been looking forward to a better life but it seems it make not be that simple. I am 75. Thanks for reading this.

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 390

    Hi @Liberally13

    To make applying your cream easier, get one of those washing up sponges on a stick, cut off the scouring bit and use that for applying the cream - my husband did this for me when I had to apply it to shoulders when he was at work and couldn't. Also try a wheat bag that can go in the microwave which also works well. I also have had smilar to this for over 10 years and am at last having surgery on it next week. See if you can get a referral to the muscular skeletal team who can arrange mri/ct scans - it might be that you have something that can be fixed with surgery. Mine should've been fixed in 2019 but they discovered my vertebral artery was in the wrong place so I got referred elsewhere then covid struck and messed everything up.

    Has anyone suggested Gapapentin for pain releif? Amitryptiline doesn't suit me and I can't take anti inflammatories and this has given me sone pain relief.

    I hope you find something that works/some relief

    Trish xx

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,600

    I just use something like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vive-Lotion-Applicator-Your-Back/dp/B075XZJ12V/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?crid=3IFI2F16YOD01&keywords=Sponge+lotion+applicator+for+disabled&qid=1675286293&sprefix=sponge+lotion+applicator+for+disabled%2Caps%2C260&sr=8-2-spons&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGY&psc=1 (other disability sites are available) to apply E45 to my lower legs, which I can't otherwise reach, as my skin is dry and I think it's this that has caused cellulitis in the past.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 390

    That's a good product - maybe I should've copyrighted my version as there was nothing on the market when I needed one!

    Thanks @stickywicket I'll make a mental note for next time I need one

    Trish xx

  • Liberally13
    Liberally13 Member Posts: 39

    Trish9556 Thank you for your reply. That is a good idea about the washing up brush will look for a suitable The one mentioned from Amazon by sticywicket is good but as it is a gel I am applying I worry I might end up using too much gel It might though be good for my husband to apply moisturiser on his dry skin. With regard to referrals I forgot to add that I did see a rheumatologist around 2017 The outcome of that was mild fibromyalgia against a bqackground of wide spread OA. My blood tests were good at the time nothing raised for inflammation and RA. Regarding Gabapentin although I have heard of it I don't know much about it. I hate taking any tablets really because everything seems to cause ibs to flare up. I also suffer from anxiety and am bad at the moment so many things in my life are worrying me or making me sad once again I cannot take any anti anxiety medication because I have glaucoma I won't risk my eyesight. I had both medication and counselling around 2021. The counselling did not really help as the problems which made me anxious were not something they could fix. I hate being old have always dreaded it. I think being an only child has not helped.