Chronic joint pain and gabapentin

Posted , 9 users are following.

Thousands and thousands of people suffer chronic pain, and I am one of and them the nhs doesn't seem to have the facilities to help us. I damaged my back as a teenager and although I managed to train as a professional ballet dancer was forced to retire at age 25.

Since then the backache has got worse and been joined by shoulder pain and ankle pain and now knee pain - also my fingers are swollen at every joint making them look like a witch's.

My GP prescribed nsaids, co-proxamol then co-codamol, tramadol, and now gabapentin. He refuses to send me for an mri scan but xrays have only shown normal 'wear and tear' damage (I am 74).

I think the problem is that I'm so used to putting on a cheerful face for the world no-one takes me seriously, although the pain reduces me to crying and I know I'm not a nice person in the privacy of home - all due to pain.

Gabapentin (only 300mls so far) has proved quite effective although the side effects are worrying. I am in 'la la land' and forget words and names, its like walking around in a haze - completely spaced out. The biggest problem for me though is I have gained 10lbs weight in a month although my appetite is non-existent. This cannot continue as I was quite portly anyhow due to beng so inactive.

Has anyone has similar experiences, and does anyone have any helpful suggestions?

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6 Replies

  • Posted


    I don't know much about the arthritis you're experiencing, but it sounds to me like your GP is just pushing you up through the list of increasing strength medications. That sounds like guesswork rather than specific treatment. Maybe you should consider changing your GP, or at least get a second opinion. Not all GPs are familiar with or can recognise all conditions, so it might be worth taking a chance with a new one, as you are entitled to do. Even just mentioning this to your current GP might help encourage a better service.

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  • Posted


    I'm no doctor but I think you should consider changing GP's and push for a referral to the hospital....Sounds like osteoarthritis but like I say I'm no doc. I was advised by the pain clinic to go onto gabapentin but when he got in touch with the GP she said she didn't think it would help me much, make me very very drowsy and would do nothing for the lack of refreshing sleep. I have Osteoarthritis, had a hip replacement, also scoliosis and spinal stenosis and tend to waken up about 5 times during the night and waken up feeling as if I hadn't been to bed!!!!!

    I'm in pain as well ....on Naproxen and paracetamol....full dose of both and codeine if I need it



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  • Posted

    Dear Eileen

    Thank you for your sympathetic reply. I hadn't thought of osteoporosis but I suppose at my age its very likely, also I've never had a bone density scan offered which is again surprising considering my age. I thought these were routine.

    I recently went for a course of acupuncture and have had 3 sessions so far, I am rather sceptical about this and will wait and see. I walk out of the place with almost a spring in my step but sadly by the following morning its back to square one. At least the young lady with the needles is helpful and actually listens, also she remembers what I've said from visit to visit which does make you feel less like a malingerer. I don't think I'll be able to afford another session of six visits though and apparently the nhs in this region don't fund it.

    Anyway, thank you for your interest, I hope you can find some relief and a good night's sleep soon.

    Love Barbara.

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  • Posted

    Hi Barbara,

    I've tried acupuncture for my back/arthritis in hips......I was offered it on the NHS. Ever thought about that?

    It was the physiotherapist mentioned it.

    I had 6 sessions {free} and each session I felt much better for about 5 out of 7 days....for me that was a result!!!

    It was then left for a couple of months and I had another 6 with the same result...5 out of 7 days....a lot less pain

    Then that was it.....He would have kept on doing them but "the powers that be" thought since it wasn't helping for 7 days that it wasn't justified.....then this year I was offered some more but then the orthopaedic surgeon started doing some injections so it has been put on the back burner for now.

    If I don't reply its because I'll be away for a week from tomorrow not because I'm ignoring this thread and I will get back to it.



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  • Posted

    I know this is old but I have to say . I was in so much pain i was planning on killing myself. No one believed me. I finally got enough pain relief to start taking myself off of other meds to see what would happen, the gabapentin was making me swell, BAD!! Toes, fingers ,ankels, hands, INSIDE MY SHOULDER; it felt like my arm was being ripped off. I don't know if you have found your answer but now im able to start to fight back. Sometimes gabapentin isn't for everyone.

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