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Chronic pain

(39 Posts)
MawBroon Thu 17-Jan-19 13:18:13

When my Dr diagnosed osteoarthritis in my right shoulder she warned me against letting it impact my life or stop me doing things I wanted to.
Fair enough, I know there are many much worse than me but I do find myself hesitating if I think I will be in pain. There are better days and worse ones (and nights) but I find myself shrinking from the risk of being jostled on crowded pavements, undertaking any walking other than the bare minimum as that sets it off and of course cannot raise my right arm above about elbow height or carry much.
How do I stop mysel sinking into self pity? It is not going to get better and while Naproxen does a good job I have to watch my stomach too so daren’t overdo it.
I hate waking up feeling in pain or the depression which seems to accompany it.

merlotgran Thu 17-Jan-19 13:27:01

Is it definitely osteoarthritis, Maw? I had synovitis in my left shoulder about eight years ago and the symptoms and my concerns were just as you describe especially not being able to raise my arm.

I tried to rest that arm as much as possible and took all the things I hoped would make a difference like chondroitin and cod liver oil supplements but in the end it took about a year to improve.

I still take the supplements every day but more for my knees than my shoulder. I also found a heated wheat bag draped across the top of my arm gave some temporary relief.

Have you had an X ray?

Doodle Thu 17-Jan-19 13:36:43

maw you have my sympathy. No one wants to be in pain and most of us would avoid doing things that bring it on.
Is it possible to get some other medication that won’t upset your stomach so much or to have something which helps with the stomach problem.
Walking does help with depression so trying to keep doing that but somewhere not crowded. I would try and stick to the activities which keep you mobile but avoid the things guaranteed to cause pain. Do you have a shopping trolley or something that would help you avoid carrying things? One of those stick things with a grabber on the end (!) to pick things up.
Is an operation an option? Gentle exercise and avoid the things that make it worse I think would be the best.
I don’t think you are one to sink into self pity maw. You are in pain and that makes all of us less able to cope with things. Hope you have a better night tonight 😴

Charleygirl5 Thu 17-Jan-19 13:38:23

Have you seen a competent orthopaedic surgeon who deals with shoulders? If so would you consider a total shoulder replacement?

Otherwise your GP could refer you to a chronic pain clinic

EllanVannin Thu 17-Jan-19 13:39:13

I think most of us have good days and bad days whatever ails us. My advice would be to do as much as you can when you have a good day and you'll find that your bad days are/ become more manageable.

During a Dexa scan a few years ago it was found that my left hip showed signs of osteoarthritis. Sometimes it tingles and I can " feel " that it's there so when the weather's good I'll just walk round the block to avoid it locking. Also gentle exercise helps enormously rather than sitting in the same position for hours on end.

With the hip I've been practicing getting out of the chair without holding on to the arms and I've been doing this for ages. I do find that the colder the weather the worse it is.

If you can put up with it, move the arm and shoulder in forward and backward rolls. This will prevent it from becoming static altogether. Paracetamol is all you'll need for the time being. Exercise is important though to the affected part. Try not to focus on your shoulder too much.

BlueBelle Thu 17-Jan-19 13:56:30

My answer sounds like Merlotgran are you sure it is osteoarthritis ? It sounds so much like when I had frozen shoulder I couldn’t get my arm above waist level and it was so painful Is it a formal diagnosis or just what your GP thinks it may be

Tartlet Thu 17-Jan-19 15:17:50

I’m also wondering whether it’s arthritis which is causing the pain. I had something similar a couple of years and no name was ever attached to it but it was nothing like the arthritic pain I have in other joints. I just took painkillers, was very careful what movements I made with the arm and waited for it to ease - which it did but not quickly. I suspect that arthritis is sometimes a convenient rather than an accurate diagnosis of pain for oldies.

Baggs Thu 17-Jan-19 15:22:29

Chronic pain's horrid. You can take paracetamol with naproxen if you don't find that enough.

Willow500 Thu 17-Jan-19 15:37:59

I had a bad shoulder some years ago which was so painful I couldn't even go to bed - I slept on a reclining chair for 2 weeks. I blamed decorating or the way I was sitting in front of the pc - it could have been either but the pain was terrible so you have my sympathy. If it is impacting on your life have you tried other treatments such as acupuncture or a physiotherapist? I know I keep harping on about turmeric but I know four people who are now on this (my husband included) and they all swear by it for pain and also for reflux. It might be worth trying.

Grannyknot Thu 17-Jan-19 15:53:48

HI MawBroon I'm not sure whether I've posted this before, but when I worked with "pain doctors" they rated this video and recommended it to patients:

Tame the Beast: Rethinking Persistent Pain

Charleygirl5 Thu 17-Jan-19 16:03:36

Is it a frozen shoulder which can be unrelentingly painful but usually cures itself after a couple of years.

megan123 Thu 17-Jan-19 17:52:58

Sorry you are in pain Maw with your shoulder. I had trouble with my left shoulder some years ago and it was absolute agony. Like you I had limited use of my arm and sleeping was almost impossible. I used to use a pillow in bed down the side of me to rest my arm on.

My doctor gave me a steroid injection in it which did help and I had physiotherapy later on. It did eventually get better.

Hope things improve for you.

Telly Thu 17-Jan-19 17:53:44

Why not go back to the GP and ask for a referral to a pain management specialist? They will be able to review your medication and other advice you have been given. Living with chronic pain is so difficult it is hard not to let it take over. Hope you get some useful advice. Best wishes

MacCavity2 Thu 17-Jan-19 18:07:17

Maw it’s ok to feel depressed when you are in pain. Judging by your posts depression won’t last with you. Your feet are firmly on the ground. I can’t take pain killers so use ibuprofen gel on my painful knee.

Nannarose Thu 17-Jan-19 18:20:20

I would definitely ask for help with pain management - there may be a special unit, or a patients' group where people share ideas.
Nothing works exactly the same all the time - I use a mix of heat bags, TENS (including the pen version )and analgesia. I also have exercises that I do regularly and carefully, and I would ask for a physio referral if you haven't already seen one.
I would say that analgesia and anti-inflammatories work best when you take them regularly. This doesn't always fit with the idea of taking as little as possible
I tend to know when I am having a 'good day' and can take a lower dose, or a 'bad day' and take maximum dose. If I am away, or having a busy day, I simply take maximum dose.
Some people find that tablets or gel work better for them, so you do need to try things out.
For me, it is best to find a balance between keeping moving and not doing too much.

MawBroon Thu 17-Jan-19 18:40:29

Lots of brilliant suggestions and welcome sympathy - thank you all.
I have seen about 4 different Drs ad they have come up with tendinitis, rotator cuff injury and osteoarthritis respectively! Wear and tear!
I had a steroid injection back in October which “lasted” until just before Christmas and have another booked for early February.
I am having it X rayed tomorrow morning (who knows, it might be another -itis! ) and will try acupuncture next as well. I am spending a fortune on Voltarol heatpads/deep freeze pads/Voltarol gel and Nytol to help me sleep!
The psychological aspect is one I need to address and while I aren’t opened the link yet as I have been out all afternoon, I look forward to looking at that.
After years of looking after Paw I had got used to being the fit and well one and suspect I am just not ready to accept that I may have a chronic condition which I may have for the rest of my life.
I am not ready for that scrapheap! grin

MawBroon Thu 17-Jan-19 18:41:06

“Haven’t opened the link” oops

Sussexborn Thu 17-Jan-19 18:42:23

Sorry to hear you are in constant pain. It really gets you down at times. I have had a lot of help from
I found the group friendly and supportive and pick up lots of useful information from them.

Tartlet Thu 17-Jan-19 23:24:49

The general painkiller which works best for me is higher strength co-codamol (15g codeine) which is prescription only. I’ve never found voltarol to be very effective.

I don’t know whether this will work for you but when I had my shoulder problem I folded a spare duvet to put on top of the bottom sheet to give some extra softness to lie on. (My sore shoulder was the side I habitually sleep on).

I empathise with anyone who has chronic pain. It’s so debilitating.

travelsafar Fri 18-Jan-19 07:13:37

sorry to hear you are suffering so much pain and hope the x ray reveals something which can be put right

Dontaskme Fri 18-Jan-19 07:52:56

I know how you feel MawBroon. I have arthritis in lots of joints confirmed by xrays, including my shoulders. Like you, the thought of someone knocking into me makes me scared, although how often does that happen in real life? I have fibromyalgia too which doesn't help!
I was prescribed Tramadol at the end of last year and I have to say for me it makes the pain easier. Maybe look into it and if you feel it might be for you ask if you could give it a go?
Hope you get some relief soon

Mamissimo Fri 18-Jan-19 08:44:22

I’ve pm’d you. 🙂

Anja Fri 18-Jan-19 08:48:02

Sorry Maw to read of this. Chronic pain is a nightmare. As you say it affects your sleep so that makes everything worse.

annep1 Sun 10-Feb-19 23:08:16

Had a look at the video and will visit the website- thanks Grannyknot.
Chronic pain every day is the pits. You get past crying- uses up valuable energy. I have fibromyalgia.
I force myself to do a half hour walk when I can maybe 3 times a week. The official advice given is to keep moving your body. But like you I'm not going to deliberately cause myself more pain no matter what anyone says. I think rest helps particular pains.
I try when I am able, to do fun things rather than housework. (Ive had to lower my standards.). This keeps me optimistic most of the time. Fun things that are manageable like painting, jigsaws, puzzles, reading, tin whistle, papier mache. ( as opposed to cycling, hillwalking, circle dancing....things I used to love). Its amazing how many new things you can find to enjoy that are easier on the body. You have to try to keep looking forward and being positive- not always easy. I think I may try acupuncture again. It can be helpful. wishing you well Mawbroon.

paddyann Mon 11-Feb-19 00:23:01

Try ACTI PATCH its available from Boots and online from Amazon..I think .My daughter used it for her Fibromyalgia and it worked well for several months.Sadly nothing works for terribly long with Fibro but the relief she got when using it was fantastic and gave her her life back for a while.Its similar to tens m/c but theres no sensation from it and you wear it 24/7 .Each one lasts a month .I think they do a trial size that only lasts a week for around £5 .Its certainly worth a try .Go online and see the brilliant reviews for all different illnesses/conditions.Hope it helps .