JP59 Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:10 in Living with arthritis

Hi I have been told by physiotherapist that I have osteoarthritis in my knee. I hadn’t had any issues until three weeks ago when the pain started so it has been a bit difficult getting my head around the fact it’s not going to go away. I have been unable to get an appointment with my GP, they prescribed Naproxen for 9 days which did help with the pain at night but as soon as I stopped taking them the pain returned. I have now been given a prescription for a month but GP still hasn’t seen me and says an X-ray is not available to me at this stage. I just thought the X-ray would give an indication of condition of my knee. Her only advice was to lose weight. I am not sure for how long I will be given the Naproxen. Just wondering if this a common response from GP and any advice for pain relief especially at night once the Naproxen has gone. Thank you


  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,485
    edited 18. Apr 2023, 10:15

    Hello @JP59

    I see from your post that a physiotherapist has diagnosed you as having Osteoarthritis of the knee which has clearly come as a huge shock to you. You haven’t actually seen a Dr and have been prescribed a month’s supply of Naproxen and been told to lose weight. You have had no images taken either and quite understandably would have liked to know the extent of the deterioration in your knee.

    This information might be of use if you haven’t already read it:

    I am pleased to hear that the Naproxen is helping with your pain and it may well be that your Dr will continue to prescribe it. It is an NSAID which is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Longer term I am sure your GP will want to see you or you could request a face to face appointment yourself, perhaps taking someone with you to support you. It can be difficult to be assertive, but it seems that these days we do have to be quite ‘pushy’ to get what we need.

    If I have understood rightly your Dr has suggested weight loss. This not easy when you are less mobile, but it can certainly help with the pressure we put on our joints - particularly knees. I am attaching some information which you might find useful:

    This new member @Harmonica72 posted this morning about sleep issues you might be able to support one another.

    I’ll leave you now to ‘meet’ some of our members who are likely to have their own tips to give you.

    My best wishes


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  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,599

    In my experience x-Rays usually only come into it when the GP thinks the joint(s) might need surgery. I hope that, if it helps, you can continue to take naproxen, maybe with a stomach-protecting med as it can be harsh on the tum. (Take it with food. That helps. Even just a piece of fruit. It doesn't have to be a meal.)

    Best of all is exercise. Check out the knee exercises on here, go swimming or use a bike. It all keeps our muscles strong and protecting the joint. And be assured - weight loss happens more through diet than exercise. The exercises are to protect your knee(s) not to enable you to lose weight.

    Trying to spread your naproxen doses out so that you have some left for bedtime will help. But also there are other types of pain relief besides the NSAIDS. You could ask your GP if there is something you could take at night instead.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 356

    Welcome to the Forum JP59,

    Ellen has already provided some very useful links to content on the website which is a great place to start because when it comes to understanding and managing Arthritis, so much of it is down to us as indivduals.

    As you've outlined, there's only so much GP's can do and some are actually quite unhelpful.

    I think that managing our condition is broadly split into 2 areas - pain management and exercise/physio and the 2 go hand in hand because you need to be as pain-free as possible in order to exercise and undertake physio. So where to start?

    I note you've already been in discussion with a Physio so that's a great 1st step. It won't won't be easy to do without good pain management and it will take several months before you feel the benefit but try to build them into a daily routine. I can recommend elasticated knee supports to aid stability and boost confidence.

    It could be a good idea to contact your GP for a repeat prescription of the Naproxen and Omeprazole which is usually prescribed at the same time to prevent internal bleeding. There's a dedicated section on pain management, the link is here: https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/managing-symptoms/managing-your-pain/. Apart from prescribed anti-inflammatories and painkillers, there's lots of healthfood supplements and gels to experiment with as well. Some may work, some may not - it varies from individual to individual.

    Now exercise - as well as dietary considerations exercise is so beneficial in not only keeping weight off and being healthy but it can help affected joints to retain their suppleness and boost mental health at the same time. Walking's the obvious one to start with, whether outside or on a treadmill in the gym but other low impact activities include swimming and cycling and these will also build strength too.

    Good luck and do check in with any questions or worries, etc