Managing the pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis

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cry Does anyone have any tips on pain management? I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and have had since 2005. At the moment I take methotrexate by injection and have been since November last year. I have the arthritis in every joint and the pain I experienced recently when I had a bad flare up was unbearable and I could get no relief despite taking Dihydrocodeine and paracetamol. I did get steroid injections in both my shoulders three weeks ago and that has helped but the pain is starting to get me down. I never have a pain free day just different degrees of pain some days worse than others. My consultant is not very approachable nor is she very understanding so I can’t talk to her. When I was first diagnosed I did not think that after all this time I would be in this situation in fact the pain is much worse. I have also tried relaxation tapes but they did work for a short while but not now, I get to agitated to listen to them. Anyone any ideas?

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  • Posted

    Hello poppet doll.

    Very sorry to hear your problems with RA. There are other RA medications that you could try as an alternative and very often a gp will be able to prescribe them for you to try. There are also lots of other and different type of medications for pain control too, also tens machines, hot and cold therapy and visits to pain clinics via your gp.

    The sad fact is that many medications have side effects and don't work as well as we hoped, that some people spend a lot of time finding out what is best for them. If you don't give them a try you'll never know. I would advise you to go to your gp and have a chat about it all.

    I have had RA and now osteoarthritis for nearly 60 yearsand have had good consultants and bad ones. You can request to see a different consultant if you feel the one you have is not working with you properly.

    I did this once and to be honest it was fine and everyone has forgotten I asked now, as the department is far too busy to worry about someone changing consultant.

    I have lots of surgery's, epidurals, steroid therapy etc; It is hard living everyday with this disease.

    It is a case of finding what helps you best and can take quite a while getting pain to a reasonable level.

    Most of us find that full pain control is not attainable but being more comfortable is the goal.

    There is a charity called Athritis Care, which has a great forum full of people like us. Google it and have a look. Also one called Pain Support.

    There are lots of tips and ideas that may help you, they do help you to feel that you are not alone.

    Good luck and hope you can get some relief and more help soon.

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  • Posted

    hello, first of all it is very important for an individual to be knowledgeable about his/her disease condition. rheumatoid arthritis is a condition where pathogens increase in the blood stream and settle in the joint space. due to the deposition there is infection and inflammation in the joint capsule effecting bones, muscles and importantly nerves. the synovial fluid dries up and the friction within the joint leads to more erosion. this leads to roughness and spike formation on the bone lining. these spikes hurt the muscles leading to pain. pain killers block the sensation of pain, they are not able to reverse the disease condition. steroid make you feel good for sometime, but pose side effects and deteriorate the disease condition. the treatment is to eliminate the disease pathogens from the blood stream, and revert back the pathology by restoring the synovial fluid. ayurveda has a sure treatment for arthritis and it has benefited many people with severe conditions. no other science especially allopathy has answer to this condition.
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  • Posted

    Hi FannyJane thanks for your response. I did try a tens machine once but it didnt really do much but i have never tried hot and cold therapy but i will. I will also go on to the web sites you mentioned.

    It is good to know that there are people out there with the same problems as myself and you have given me the courage to request another consultant as i have since found out i am not the only person to find her manner terrible. I do beleive she does know her job but she has no " bed side manner " at all and when you are in pain and feeling really terrible you really need reassurance which it something this person is incapable of. Thank you for your kind words.

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  • Posted

    HI Dr Sunita thank you for explaining my condition noone has done that for me before and it is very helpful for me and i now understand a lot more. It is a shame that my own consultant did not take the time to explain any of this to me, i dont even know the dose of the steriod that she injected into me i have just gone along with everything she tells me to do and have never questioned her at all. As i said she is not the approachable type but i am going to ask for a different consultant. I am not saying she is not good at her job but she really needs to brush up on her people skills as i have discovered i am not the only one who is unhappy with her. Thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions and when i see the time you responded i realise you must be a very caring and kind person. thank you again

    Best wishes


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  • Posted

    Hi Poppet doll, thanks for getting back to us. Dr Sunita has explained it really well, us ordinary people wouldn't know where to start with the medical bit. We just know what it's like to live with the horrid disease.

    The Tens isn't for everyone but some people find it masks their pain a bit. At least you gave it a try so know it isn't for you.

    Good on you about the consultant, sometimes you come across one that isn't for you, I've had both good and not so good in my time. When you find a good one who explains what is happening to you and puts you at your ease and is also realistic about what they can actually do to help, it's so nice.

    Unfortunately though, we sometimes have to accept that nothing is going to completely take the pain and discomfort away, just lowers it a bit and helps us feel more comfortable with it all.

    Many of us live with chronic pain, it is the hardest thing that we have to bear and I think that many doctors hearts drop a bit when they come across us. They probably really want to help but are limited in what they have to offer and what we can either tolerate, in way of side effects to medications or surgery that may not actually work as well as we hoped.

    So I wish you lots of luck in your journey through RA. Do give the websites a look, they are very informative and help us to understand the disease. If nothing else they help you to feel that you are not alone. There are other sites out there as well if you look through Google.

    My best wishes to you, Fanny Jane.

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  • Posted

    For pain management you may try for Acetaminophen, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Topical Corticosteroids (Cortaid and Cortizone), Corticosteroids, Antidepressants, Opioids etc.


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