Medications. What helps, What dont?

Posted , 5 users are following.

I am wondering for any others who have been diagnosed with arthritis what medications you were prescribed and whether you found them helpful or not?

I was initially diagnosed with Spinal Arthritis back in 2012 for which I was prescribed Arthrotec for it. In the beginning I will say it did help me so I can go about my day. Over time pain gradually became worse. In April of this year during a 2 week hospital stay ( Had no mobility (severe pain. couldnt sit, stand, walk) and at first they though I broke my hip. During my hospital stay and extensive testing (mri, xrays, ct scans) I was diagnosed further with Scoliosis and DDD. Since then I've been on Morphine, Dilaudid, Naproxen, Tylenlol 3, also Baclofen. To this date I must say I havent had much success with any of these medications really helping to manage my pain. Does anybody know of any other medication I can discuss with my doctor that may bring me relief? I get such severe pain right now that is so bad I can only walk maybe 1 block before it causes me to double over. At this point in time I cant even shower unassisted. I just want some type of relief even if its just a few hours at a time.

OTC Medications Ive tried

Tylenol Arthritis


Tylenol w/ Codeine

Robax Platnium

1 like, 19 replies

19 Replies

  • Posted

    Is spinal arthritis osteoarthritis?  If so, you would do a lot better to be getting appropriate physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles which support the spine, and avoiding those heavy duty pain killers.

    If it's a different kind of arthritis we need a bit more information in order to give useful advice.

    I have arthritis in my spine, have been doing physio exercises for many years, perhaps fifteen, for my back.  I avoided painkillers from the very beginning as I read aspirin could actually make arthritis worse, even while it helped with pain.  I take a large dose of glucosamine, 1000 mg morning and evening.  This is not a pain killer, and research whether it works or not is mixed, but I feel it's helped me.  I also eat a good, varied diet and am not overweight.  

    I do appreciate you are in a bad way right now but maybe you could investigate mechanical rather than drug methods.  Can you investigate therapies which use electricity or light to heal tissues?  Can't name them here.  These are also often offered by physiotherapists, as well as simple exercises.  

    • Posted

      Thankyou and to be honest the health care system here is so slack in my opinion really. From the time I was first diagnosed all they told me was I had Spinal Arthritis and put me on the Arthrotec. I haven't taking much meds now because really everything theyve put me on had a negative effect but Im starting physiotherapy so im trying to reman hopeful. Because of my other conditions im assuming, the Physiotherapist right now mostly has me like strecthing my leg and hip. Hopefully as I settle in though and time goes in he'll do more. i hope

    • Posted

      That is excellent your physiotherapist is treating you with care.  The last thing you need is injuries caused by overly optimistic therapies!  I don't know why I can't private message you, perhaps that option is turned off in your account?  

      Medicines can be very hard on the body, I don't think doctors always appreciate that.  Much better when they take a holistic view of the patient, not just treating things in relative isolation.  You can find a lot of information on line, much of which may be relevant to your situation.  If we can ever sort out the private message thing I'll send you my little reading list, which I did submit to the moderator a few weeks ago to make sure it was okay and not hearing back I assume it is, but only for private messaging.

    • Posted

      Just had this thought.  Ask your physiotherapist if the muscles along either side of your spine are spasmed.  My physiotherapist said mine were like bricks and she has given me a few treatments, mostly dry needling, which have reset the electrical signals in those muscles and relieved the spasms.  I had no idea my muscles were in that condition.  She called it bad tone.  She told me that in vulnerable people this can even cause spinal fractures!  Apparently I'm in much better shape now, but I see her regularly for ongoing treatment of a couple of conditions and she recently dry needled me again, so I guess they were tightening up again.

  • Posted

    I find anti-inflammatories upset my stomach so much I stick with paracetamol and codeine. I put an anti - inflammatory gel on my knee.  I have had scoliosis since puberty and now get neck and shoulder pain. The knee pain stops me walking far but if I manage a walk I feel much better.  My daughter who is in her 40s has sponylolesthesis and finds amitryptiline helps her get a good night's sleep.  My doctor has not prescribed them for me and says stick to Feldene gel and cocodamol.  I now find my right knee is surning inwards which impedes walking at any spede or for any distance.

    • Posted

      Hello Carole, I too find with the anti- inflamatories they upset my stomach and i become so nauseated. My doctor took me off the Arthrotec because of that and put me on Naproxen which of course does the same thing so i quit taking it. They said that Naproxen was the best medicine to alleviate the pain. but it dont.
  • Posted

    I have had arthritis since childhood and in the spine for 20 years. I currently take Gaberpentin and co codamol. I also take Amitriptyline at night to help with sleep as it relaxes the nerves around the spine. I have tried many things over the years with little sucess. Exercise thou not impact exercises, i only do what is specific for the spine, mainly stretching. A good quality medium to firm mattress is great. I can only sit in one type of chair so it's a nightmare going out for meals etc. I pace myself everyday. Walking is good thou i have mobility problems due to my knees. 

    • Posted

      Sounds familiar: I have a tall hight backed firm chair, a fim to medium mattress and i dread going out for a meal because I can't easlily get up from a dining chair. I also have troubw with 'ordinary' toilets as they are too low. I too have to pace myself.

    • Posted

      Good morning Elisabeth. I try to walk some to try and help but currently i can only go so far, i mean my body knows how much it can take right. my doctor told me not to stop going for small walks and i try but sure gets frustrating when you can only go as far as a block because its hurting so back you cant stand up. Oh my god do I ever know what you mean about sitting. Im the same way now. I find so far the only kind of seating i can sit is a padded one like a couch kind of thing but not all restaraunts have that so its rough. Then of course if i sit too long (more than 15-20 min) I get the most excruciating pain in my groin. Have you ever maybe went to turn your head one day and turned it too fast and felt like a sharp pain in your neck? Well i get something like that in my groin and its so bad i can walk. My doctor though doesnt seem to know what that is caused by. Waiting on xray results for it.
  • Posted

    Morning to Youdontknowme:  I agree with all that Elizabeth has said.  All that  I can add, and I can presume that is already the case, but if not, then I feel having a Good Rhuematologist looking after your needs, is a way to go, as well.

    ​Am feeling for you, as you do sound as if life is dealing you  a hard blow.

    ​I do also have osteo in many parts of my body, but not to your extent, I feel.  There are other meds that you can take, when the pain becomes too much (added to what has been mentioned ....the Gabapentin and Amitriptylline which are very good), for as you say, even for a short period of relief.  A rhuematologist is a very understanding person when it comes to treating Osteo, and other painful conditions: so if you do not have one that you are comfortable with, then keep looking for a relatively newly specialised one, who may know of the more up-to-date meds available.

    ​                                                    keep in touch so we know how things go for you.                                                           Bron

    • Posted

      Good morning Bronwyn. Thankyou for responding. I dont want to sound silly or something but what is a rheumatologist? Are they the same as physiotherapist? Ill have to for sure look into one and set up a consultation. Dont get me wrong, I like my FP and completely trust him with alot but it seems I cant really get clear answers as far as the arthritis goes etc. He knows about issues I have now with my hip (since April) but nobody seems to have a clear picture of the cause. I will be going back to hm of course or someone else because though nobody has ever mentioned it even being possible, I am wondering to myself after doing research that possibly I may have Hip Osteoarthritis. Doing research I have all the symptoms that is mentioned. To be honest which I told my doctor, I have had 3 children which my oldest was 30 hrs labor but I would rather go through labor all over again than go through the pain from all this.
    • Posted

      A rheumatologist is a specialized physician, one who has expert training in diseases of the bones and muscles.  They also have received training in treating auto-immune disorders.  If your GP is not able to give you a definitive diagnosis and treatment is ineffective it is perfectly in order to get referred to a rheumatologist.  In fact that is what should happen.  It's just as if you had a problem with your eyes - you would go to an ophthalmologist.  Or you'd see a dentist for your teeth.  And so on.

  • Posted


    Scoliosis is not a disease. Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. The spinal bones protect the spinal cord which runs through the foramen (fancy word for hole) of each vertebrae. The vertebrae stack on top of each other. On either side of each vertebrae a nerve root from the spinal cord innervates a specific area of the body. The nerve roots biforcate, one becoming anterior (front) the other posterior (back).

    When one developes scoliosis, the vertebral column curves towards the side of the body as opposed to being straight up and down. If you stand on two feet and bend forward at the waist, others will be able to see the curvature of your spinal column.

    So, when the vertebral column curves, the nerves to may parts of your body are compressed. Compressed nerves cry out with pain, numbness, tingling, burning and are unable to tramsmitthe messages both to and from the brain.

    You may respond to a brace wgich will encourage you spine to become straight.

    As to degenerative disc disease...a disc is inbetween each vertebrae of your spinal column. This discs are shock absorbers that also protect the nerve roots. Remove a disc and the nerves become compressed and cry out. It is possible for the loss of discs to cause scoliosis.

    Surgical stabilization may be suggested.

    My question is: what caused the disc degeneration? Whatever caused the DDD needs to be treated The scoliosis is a symptom.

    Meantime, perhaps you will temporarily accept that your body is in crisis. Your body needs rest.

    After all of the testing, what did your physician suggest as a course of action?



    • Posted

      I have developed some scoliosis, still fairly mild, probably from osteoarthritis.  My physiotherpist has been a dream and over the past year various strategies, including dry needling and me doing a slew of exercises, my spine has straightened somewhat.  
    • Posted

      Anhaga, please share rhe exercises that have helped your scoliosis...

      thank you


    • Posted

      I would also be interested in the exercises for scoliosis. Thank you
    • Posted

      The exercises were specifially prescribed for me and involve for the most part lying on a long foam roller.  The physiotherapist has also done gentle manipulation of my spine.  I'm sorry, I really can't share these exercises.  It's not the same as sharing the sort of generalized exercises which are given out for weak back muscles or strategies to avoid bending the spine when lifting objects from the floor, that kind of thing.  These are specifically designed for my particular condition.  

    • Posted

      I know it isnt and my daughter also has scoliosis. To be honest with you and though it sounds crazy I truthfully dont know what caused the DDD. Im looking into finding a doctor elsewhere that specialises in these as I really cant say my Fp has been much help. Dont get me wrong, hes a great doctor for everything else. Other than physio my doctor perscribed me various medications that all of which isnt very much help i find. Somebody also mentioned (i forget who, sorry) about looking into a rheumatologist so I am looking into that also.

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