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Pain relief without pills

quintus Member Posts: 4 Listener
Hi Claire, my problems with pain seem small compared with yours. I have Osteoarthritis in both knees and constant lower back pain. I used to take anti-inflamitries but stopped because of the risk of heart/stroke. I also used to take Paracetamol and Tramadol but gave them up last year as they weren't having much effect anymore (been on them for over 8 years). The pain in the knees is only a problem if I stand/walk its worse up/dowm stairs. The back gets worse during the day whatever I do. I am thinking of asking my GP for something to help but only in desperation. Is there any thing else you can suggest?


  • Sue52
    Sue52 Member Posts: 78 Courageous
    Hi @quintus

    I suffer from Arthritis in my wrists also osteoporosis. I am like you, I really like to avoid taking pain relief as I have a very low immune system due to taking Humira.
    Have you tried Hemp Oil and Coconut oil. I rub this into my wrists and for some reason it really does help. 
    Let me know if you try it and if it works for you
    Best Wishes
  • quintus
    quintus Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi Sue, where do you get your oils from?
  • quintus
    quintus Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Also Sue, is your Arthritis Rumatoid or Osteo?
  • ClaireSaul
    ClaireSaul Member Posts: 92 Pioneering
    Hi @quintus,
    Great to meet you.  Please, please don't compare your pain to mine, or anyone else's!!  One of the first things I was taught back in the late '80s as a student nurse was "pain is what the patient says it is".....I am well aware that all too often health care professionals don't follow this through and maybe don't have the correct communication skills to be able to work with their patient effectively.....but I firmly believe that pain, or indeed any chronic condition, should be compared to someone else as we are all individual. BTW this is supposed to be positive, not a rant from me!
    I think that you were probably right to stop taking the tramadol - it is highly addictive and has little effect with the type of pain that you are describing, and likewise paracetamol is not the most effective for arthritic type inflammatory pain.  Were you told to stop taking anti inflammatories by your GP?  Whilst I can't advise you to take specific analgesia and I don't know your full medical history, I am wondering if you have tried a topical gel preparation that contains for instance ibuprofen to apply to your knees?  This might help calm down some of the internal soft tissue inflammation surrounding the joint.
    Chronic conditions so often cause a chicken and egg situation, and this could be the case with your back and knees.  Your difficulty with mobility due to knee pain has undoubtedly caused you to move awkwardly - protecting your body from pain - but this in turn can trigger problems elsewhere, most commonly the lower back as your centre of gravity is thrown off kilter.
    Whilst moving causes you pain, immobility could also cause you even more problems as your body become deconditioned.  Don't worry, I'm not about to suggest you run a marathon, but I would suggest that you try some gentle stretching such a pilates, which could greatly help your knees and your back.  Back pain is often worsened by weak muscles....the movement & exercise to build up the muscles hurts...and we have another chicken & egg cycle.  Are you able to swim/physically get into a pool?  using buoyancy in the water can be great for all your joints and muscles, whilst giving you some exercise and building strength in your core muscles.  In some areas GPs are able to refer for hydrotherapy - this might be worth asking.
    Epsom salt baths are a firm favourite with people, along with heat pads and as Sue suggests massage with essential oils can help - I will have a look around my contacts and come back with some suggestions.
    I have probably given you more than enough in one answer.....but I will come back to you!
    Claire Saul
    Chronic Pain Advisor
    [email protected]
  • quintus
    quintus Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thanks for your reply.
    In answer to your question: "Were you told to stop taking anti inflammatories by your GP?", he agreed with me when I raised concerns over reports at the time that research had found links to heart/stroke with long term use.

  • Sue52
    Sue52 Member Posts: 78 Courageous
    Hi @quintus

    Good morning to you. I get them both from Holland and Barrrett. My arthritis is Rhuematiod and osteo . 
    Rhuematiod in the wrists and osteo in my back. If that is at all possible


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