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OA of the neck/spine

CLARE-MCLARE-M Posts: 5
Hi, I'm new to this site and just wonder if anyone has any advice for me. I'm a 41 yr old female & last week dr told me I have OA - from viewing xray a significant amount of arthritis in my lower neck & spine (xray only taken of my neck area so far). I've been in real pain now for the last 8 weeks at least. I've also been experiencing pain in the area of my coccyx on & off for the last few years too but put this down to my job. I'm a little concerned this may now all be connected. My dr is writing to the consultant so I'm just waiting for an appt.

At the time I am popping pills constantly to help with the pain but its not really helping. I've been Gabapentin 100mg 3 times a day, Ibuprofen (should be 3 times a day but feel like i'm constantly taking them)! & co-codomol which i cant take as its knocking me out which is impossible with a small child and working to manage! I'm feeling tired but as i work shifts its difficult to figure out if its work / pain / medication causing the tiredness.

My dr was very sympathetic and I'm seeing her again next week to see how i'm getting on with the pain management. I'm just curious if you have any other suggestions to help me manage this.

Also my dr said this is a "flare up" - does that mean the pain will eventually go - but possibly return? I dont know much about this and if i'm honest just gutted I've been given this diagnosis & the thought of dealing with this pain constantly is not something i cant comprehend right now - but i do know it could be worse so staying positive through the pain!!! x

Comments

  • valvalvalval Posts: 15,897
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi if it is a flare up when under control it will be much better when the inflimation under control i have physio on my neck the second lot was great learnt loads of tricks to help cope with neck probs good luck hope it settles soon val
    val
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Clare, I don't have OA so can't help that much: I know that some with it take anti inflammatory meds, which can be helpful. Unlike immune-system based arthritises, such as rheumatoid or psoriatic (which are treated with drugs of varying levels of unplesantness) OA is regarded much more as a 'wear and tear' form of the disease, and there isn't a great deal on the drugs front for it. Physio is a good idea, possibly coddling your neck with either heat or cool would help it feel more comfortable. I know the Helpline people will defintely be about tomorrow, it may be worth your while ringing them and asking about their publications - they have a wide range of booklets about arthritis, treatments and how to cope etc. You could also try posting on the LWA forum, more people tend to hang about on there and I think that there are a few who are similarly affected to you. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • tillytoptillytop Posts: 3,460
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Clare and welcome to the forum.

    I am so sorry you are struggling so much at the moment but I know that there are lots of other forum members with OA and, as DD says, if you re-post on the Living with Arthritis forum, I am sure you will get some useful replies.

    Thinking of you.

    Love Tilly x
  • woodbinewoodbine Posts: 140
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Clare,
    I'm also 41, and have OA in my lower spine, and my GP thinks there may be early signs of it in my neck too. I also have it in my knees and hands slightly. My OA is geneticaly caused - my mum has it too. We both find that there are times when it's worse in each joint, and times when it settles down. Sometimes a joint will be extremely painful for a few weeks, and then gradually settle down, and stay that way for quite some time. I think that as I've learned what I can and can't do, and what sets it off, I've become more able to avoid flare ups too.
    I have found physio very helpful when my back gets very painful - the physio can loosen up the tight joints/muscles and so reduce the pain. She (physio) also told me that taking strong painkilers when the pain is bad is vital as this enables you to keep moving and avoid stiffening up more.
    I have also found that heat is excellent for my lower spine - if you can, buy some Thermacare heat pads (they are on a belt that velcroes round your waist) and use them if you are likely to be getting cold (probably every day at the moment ( :D ) they are great for reducing the pain - I find that I can take less painkillers when using them. I have a TENS machine I usewhen the pain is very bad - works so long as the pads are in the right places - be prepared to experiment!
    Pilates is also helpful - the exercises are slow and controlled, but help to strengthen and stretch the muscles. You'll need to find a good teacher who can vary the excercises to work the right muscles without making the sore bits worse.
    The other bit of advice I was given, which helps, is never to say no if you're offered help - with lifting something, for eg - this should enable you to do more when no help is around. Also, ask for an asessment at work - these can be arranged by the Jobcentre even if you're already in work, to see if they can privide any equipment to prevent matters getting worse,
    As I said - the flare up shouldn't last for ever - try to keep positive! :)

    Naomi

    PS I get very tired too - but this should also ease off as the pain improves
  • CLARE-MCLARE-M Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks so much for your replies. I've posted the same message on the Living with Arthritis as suggested & I will give the helpline a call. I had a night shift last night & spent most of the night with a hot water bottle perched on my shoulder!!!! I also had some salonpas patches on too. Either both or one helped as the pain was not as bad as the night before. I'm back to the GP wed morning & fingers x'ed I'll get some stronger painkillers to manage this. I feel like such a lightweight but the pain appears to be getting worse rather than better. Oh the joy of getting older :lol:
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Pain is difficult to manage: it saps one's energy, it can be hard to control and we all have differing levels of tolerance to it. Don't be too hard on yourself. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • helpline_teamhelpline_team Posts: 2,016
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    CLARE-M wrote:
    Thanks so much for your replies. I've posted the same message on the Living with Arthritis as suggested & I will give the helpline a call. I had a night shift last night & spent most of the night with a hot water bottle perched on my shoulder!!!! I also had some salonpas patches on too. Either both or one helped as the pain was not as bad as the night before. I'm back to the GP wed morning & fingers x'ed I'll get some stronger painkillers to manage this. I feel like such a lightweight but the pain appears to be getting worse rather than better. Oh the joy of getting older :lol:


    Dear Claire M

    Thank you for your postings on the forum. It can be very difficult when we are first diagnosed with a condition and we have lots of information about self management that I hope you will find helpful. If you click on the link http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Listedbytype/Booklets this will lead you to our information on managing arthritis and you can download our booklets from this. In particular the booklets that you may find helpful are ‘Living with osteoarthritis’, ‘Coping with pain’, ‘Exercise and arthritis’, ‘Healthy eating and arthritis’ and ‘Working with arthritis’. It is encouraging that you are staying positive and that you are seeing your GP again with regard to pain management and that you are using the forum for support. As has been suggested you are welcome to ring us on the helpline which is open Monday to Friday (10am – 4pm) if you would like to talk to one of our helpline team for more support. I very much hope that this information is helpful to you.

    Best Wishes
    Dawn
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