Pain management

anijen Member Posts: 13
edited 13. Mar 2024, 12:07 in Living with arthritis

Hello, new here. I'm on the waiting list for a total hip replacement but who knows how far down the line. So far have taken paracetamol and the occasional ibuprofen or aspirin when I know I have to walk any distance or an hour or so before any activity, but the pain has now become 24/7 (particularly after a fall a couple of weeks ago) - I'm reluctant to get onto a regular regime of stronger painkillers and would like other ways of controlling the pain which won't contribute to other health problems further on down the line. (I watched my mother's health deteriorate from the medication to control her RA). It's easy to sit around and become a couch potato, but I know this isn't an option. However walking even a short distance is becoming unbearable (a few years ago I was walking 6 miles and enjoying it), and gardening and housework is very fatiguing. The only mild relief I get is from disposable heat pads - are there other suggestions for getting through this waiting period whilst trying not to complain too much!?


  • noddingtonpete
    noddingtonpete Moderator Posts: 1,144

    Hello @anijen and welcome to the Community. We are a friendly and supportive group and I hope that will be your experience as well.

    Have you tried a good old-fashioned hot water bottle in place of the disposable heat pads? Also others, including myself, find that a TENS machine helps.

    The only other thing is gentle exercise - have a look at our stretching exercise videos

    and Hip Stretching video.

    Depending where you live there a couple of free programmes, see the links below.

    Nuffield Health

    Escape Pain

    Hope this helps,

    Best wishes,


    Need more help? - call our Helpline on0800 5200 520Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • anijen
    anijen Member Posts: 13
    edited 26. Mar 2024, 09:25

    Should I be doing a full set of these exercises daily? I had previously been given three simple exercises by the physiotherapist to do twice a week (which have had very little effect) but I followed the video for the first time yesterday - I could hardly walk by bedtime, so am resting today. How should I go about pacing myself?

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,645
    edited 26. Mar 2024, 09:45

    Hi @anijen

    Sounds as though you overdid it a bit yesterday. The video does say, if you have pain, that next time you do them to take it back a bit. I'd do much less of each of the exercises. I think your physio will be really please that you are doing more than they wanted, but it's essential not to overdo it.

    Resting today sounds like a really good idea.

    Take it steady and you are so doing the right thing preparing for your surgery. I hope you get a date for your surgery soon.

    I hope you are reading the diaries by some of these members @Janlyn @Nurina @JPT @alwayssewing @swimmer60 some of them might be able to advise better than me.

    Take care

    Toni x

  • PJoanne
    PJoanne Moderator Posts: 85

    Hello @anijen

    I have a 'medical bag of peas' in the freezer which I find helpful to dull pain. I keep them wrapped in a bright blue freezer bag and have left strict instructions to the family not to eat them, no matter how hungry. I mainly use an electric heated pad, it comes with various heat settings and time controls, mine was £30 and has been well worth the investment. My local swimming pool has one of those bubbly spa baths, which is very good at relaxing you when you have been in pain for a while.

    All the best


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

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 613
    edited 26. Mar 2024, 14:26

    Hi @anijen

    Have you tried a tens machine? I have had one for many years and I use it either on its own or as a booster for my painkillers.

    There are many different types, wireless, battery and rechargeable all with different modes on.

    Mine is an own brand from 'shoe' the chemists (lol), takes 3 x aaa cell batteries and has wires from the pads to the machine. Options are tens, massage and ems with a whole load of options in each setting and you can set up each pad to operate and different strengths if you want to. I wouldn't be without mine.

    It does come with a belt clip which is as much use as a chocolate tea pot so mine goes in an iPhone cross body bag which means I carry it around easily.

    The leads are long enough to use on any part of your body with a big of jiggling as to where the wires come out (sleeves are a favourite for top half and waistbands for bottom half. )

    Trish xx

  • anijen
    anijen Member Posts: 13
    edited 27. Mar 2024, 06:08

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm a great heat worshipper anyway and do find that helps. Have been known to get up at 4 in the morning to sit in a hot bath for relief! Joanne has reminded me that my previous house had a spa bath - wish I had that now, and the husband I had then to sympathise😥. Will definitely look into the Tens machine - I do have one in the back of the cupboard which my mother used a couple of times, but it's so old I've been afraid to use it - certainly doesn't look anything like the one Trish has shown. Think it calls for some research over Easter. Thanks again for the help xx- I really have to find something to ease the pain.