GP not listening

Has anyone any experience of GP not really listening!

I first noticed 1 bone spur on my fingers back in May I then started to experience severe pain in my hands I was referred privately to a rheumatologist in July to rule out Rheumatoid arthritis. I had a scan on my hands and was told I have major damage in my hands but it didn’t look like Rheumatoid Arthritis so was passed back to GP. I was already on naproxen for knee pain. Since August I have now developed painful bone spurs on every finger and experience severe pain every day ! Not only my hands but my feet and toes are now affected, both knees and I have pain in my legs I also found a small lump on my fibula bone which is painful and hurts when walking ! The pain keeps me awake at night and some days I am in so much pain I can barely get out of bed then others it’s more bearable. Unfortunately the scan done privately the doctor doesn’t have access to and after two visits to the gp abput pain they decided to X-ray my hands to see how bad it is ! No results yet. But I feel like they think I’m exaggerating the pain told me to use voltarol gel !

im so frustrated as I am concerned that this OA is progressing quickly I thought it was a slow process but can’t get any answers from the doctors or advice on proper pain relief!

any advice please


  • Hi @Kempkat

    Thank you for posting on the Online Community. we are sorry to hear that you are going through a tough time with your arthritis and that you feel that you are not being listened to by your GP.

    Osteoarthritis (OA) can affect people differently some people have the condition in one area and some have it in several and understandably it can be very difficult to cope with when you have it in multiple areas and can affect how we feel from one day to another, we hope that you have a good support network with family and friends that you can talk to, but also if you would like to talk things through informally and in confidence, you are welcome to call our Free Helpline on 0800 5200 520 9am - 6pm weekdays.

    For your hands you could ask you GP for is a referral to see a Hand therapist who have done further training in treating conditions affecting the hands wrist, arms, and shoulders. They are normally in a hospital setting and can advise on exercises, preventive treatments and they often use wax bath therapy which uses a bath of molten paraffin wax which is one of the most effective ways of applying heat to improve mobility by warming the connective tissues. Wearing splints can also provide support to the hand and wrist. Some can be used when you are carrying out everyday activities and some are for when you’re sleeping and resting. The hand therapist can also advise if these would help you as well.

    Not being able to sleep at night can have an effect on how we feel, possibly speaking to a pharmacist to see if they can suggest anything to help with this. Other ways to help is you could try relaxation techniques to help you sleep, some people find breathing in slowly and deeply, holding your breath for a few seconds, before breathing out fully and slowly, also a warm shower or bath before you go to bed can help to relax you. Research has also shown that people who have trouble sleeping and also with many forms of arthritis may benefit from Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) this is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. It helps you break down what feels like an overwhelming problem into smaller more manageable parts.

    Hope that you get the results back from you x-ray very soon, when you speak to the GP ask him to refer you for physio and also for a prescription for capsaicin cream which is a drug free complementary treatment, which is recommended for osteoarthritis and has been given a score of 5/5 for effectiveness for this condition, it is only available on prescription from your GP. When applied in the form of a cream it is thought to provide pain relief by temporarily changing the way our body process pain which works mainly by reducing Substance P, a pain transmitter in your nerves. If you were to get the cream, it would need to be applied 4 times a day and allowed to build up into the system for at least 2 weeks.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Advisor