bone_witch Member Posts: 1
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:10 in Living with arthritis

Hello. 😊

I've joined because I'm searching for support, info and empathy from others with arthritis.

I'm 31 years old and I was diagnosed last November (although I have been experience symptoms since August 2021), specifically with arthritis caused by disc narrowing in L1/L2.

I hate it. I'm prescribed amitriptyline (40mg) and codeine (240mg) a day for the associated pain - and believe me, it was difficult to even get those things prescribed. I'm still in pain, all day, every day. It's having such a detrimnetal effect on my life and my mental health (which is not particularly robust to begin with) has deteriorated. I won't talk about the specifics, but it is serious and leads to me being afraid for the future.

I don't know where to go from here. I don't know what my options are. My GP is dismissive of my pain and when I have asked what my options are for other medication he has said that there are none and that if my current painkillers aren't working then he will stop them because they're addictive.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? Do you know what steps I can take next, if any? Is it even possible that I will ever be painfree again and can I have my life back?

I didn't intend for this post to be so negative, but as I was writing this I started crying and I'm just tired of pretending that everything is okay.


  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 1,017

    Hello @bone_witch,

    I’m so sorry to hear of the pain you’re experiencing and the apparent dismissiveness of your GP. You are taking powerful drugs and if these aren’t tackling the pain, then your GP needs to look at alternatives. Most health authorities have pain clinics to which you can be referred to by your GP. I wonder if you could ask about them? They are specialist clinics that look at different ways to deal with your pain, including medicines, complementary treatments, psychological treatments and self help measures. I’ve put a link below for more details about them so that you can speak to your GP with confidence, and below that a link to our website that deals specifically with how to manage the pain of arthritis:

    I’m sure there are many members who can understand some of what you’re going through. The challenges of arthritis pain can affect our emotional health and you are not alone in experiencing this. I’m sure members will come along and give you support - you’re among friends here.

    It sometimes helps to chat to someone, and if you think this would help, do call our helpline. Our advisors can give you information, advice and emotional support:

    Please keep in touch and let us know how you’re getting on. You don’t have to pretend to be ok, we’ve all been there and we know how it can help to share how we feel on bad days.

    Anna ( Moderator)

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

  • Louisa77
    Louisa77 Administrator Posts: 252

    Hi @bone_witch

    Please don't pretend everything is ok here, we know all too well about pain so please don't be worried about being negative, we are here to hear you and support you.

    The links @Anna has shared might be helpful to guide you to have a more informed discussion with your GP and our Helpline is a great resource.

    I assume you know about the meds you are on but in case it's helpful here is some info on Amitriptyline | Side-effects, uses, time to work (versusarthritis.org).

    Pain can be so challenging and can take an emotional toll but it is important to get support when you are feeling low, calling Samaritans on 116123 or Mind on 0303 3123 3393, can be a great way to explore how you are feeling and get some specialist support.

    The community is here for you and there are lots of people on here that will understand so please continue to reach out.

    Best wishes


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

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 411
    edited 22. Mar 2023, 13:13

    Hi @bone_witch , it's heart-rending reading posts like yours, in genuine pain with a dismissive GP.

    I too have GP who feels fine to downplay my condition, basically I'd have to be virtually paralysed before he'd be willing to lift a finger.

    Here's one thing you can try - book yourself in for Steroid injections as they'll be administered by a different doctor. The one who injected me was very empathetic and immediately signed off on a repeat prescription for Naproxen and Omezaprole which was a start. She also refrerred me to Connect Health's MSK dept and I am now in the hands of a consultant who ordered an MRI within 3 days of our initial conversation.

    So, I think there are clearly ways to circumvent an unhlelful GP who is probably anti-presecription through a combination of ignorance and cost-saving. If your mental health is suffering then that's something else to take up with your GP who if they won't play ball you might have to actually call in to speak with the Practice Manager or senior GP to explain your position and ask to be assigned to someone with an understanding of Orthopaedics.

    Good luck, let us know how you get on and feel free to check in for some moral support.