How can you manage acute arthritis related pain?

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My mother is in acute arthritis related pain and her primary physician prescribed anti-inflammatories. What is available for pain management?

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Expert Answer
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She should see a rheumatologist if her pain is not controlled. There are over 100 types of arthritis, and people can have more than one kind. There may be far better relief available than she is getting. The only way to know is to see a specialist.
Take care,

This is a time for you as a caregiver to kick shins and scream at the top of your lungs!!! No one, NO ONE, should have to live in pain. Remind the doctors that she is not going to become "adicted." She merely needs to be comfortable. She is not going to "recover" and return to gainful employment. She merely needs to "not hurt." Get a second opinion; demand to see a specialist; involve the doctor's omnibudsman; demand to see the omnibudsman for the local Office on Aging; threaten to write the local paper; threaten to call the TV media and go on line with your concerns. Don't give up until your mother is controled enough she can be interested in other things. She man never "get well" but that's no excuse for her to be left uncomforted.
Pain management is so varied, as Carol said. My Mom just went through a period of arthritic pain in her shoulder, knee, and hands. The over-the-counter meds barely took the edge off. The docs finally prescribed Viocidin which gave her hallucinations and altered her personality temporarily, but did take away the pain.
During this period her GP recommended physical therapy. She spent a week in rehab. They gave her exercises and helped work out the pain in her shoulder. At home she continues these exercises and the severe pain has not returned. Now, she just takes ibuprofen and excedrin back and body. She says the exercises keep her "loose." Is your Mother able to go to PT rehab or move a bit?
Feline: My mother too had bone fusion in 1961. Messed her up later in life. Scar tissue growing into spinal cord. Had to have it drilled.
Now she is 93 and in terrible pain. I think you must be much younger.
Why can't your doctor prescribe pain meds?
I sure hope you did get some pain relief from your doctor. It isnt right
to make someone suffer when there is a remedy.
My mom its either, she sleep like she is dead or in constant pain.????
Hi ambsmith, thank you for stating what I needed to hear.. I am elderly and I live in awful pain. I also have had medications injected into my spine, no cure there, just a bandaid for a short span of time. I have had barbaric disc surgery that involved taking a length of my hip bone to fuse my back. I devloped other spinal problems as time marched on. Arthritis, stenosis, and degenerative disc disease along with excess scar tissue from the surgery. I hav run the gambut of so many different treatments. My MD will not give me pain meds without my having to submit to very expensive tests. I live on, or should i say...I exist on SS. and cannot afford these specialists and their fancy machines. I have been told that I will have no choice other than going that route because my pcp. cannot prescribe pain meds without it being approved by a orthopedist. I am so sick and tired of being prodded and poked and all I want is to get some relief from this suffering. I cannot stand on my feet for longer than 15 minutes at a time. I volunteer at a thrift shop here in town that supports a animal rescue 3 days a week. Lately I have been unable to stay for the hours I am commited to because my whole spine feels like it is being compressed and the pain is too much. I am grateful for this forum of you caring people because I need to vent my problem and be understood. I have a appointment tommorow with my DR. and I plan to give him a earful and if he is unsympathetic, I will walk away and contact my local office on aging.
Well here's my update on my Dr.s visit. I told him what I wanted and what I didn't want and he listened. He prescribed Vicodin for pain to be taken every 6-8 hours. While I was there he examined me on the table and found my liver to be distended and swollen. So this coming Tuesday the 22, I will have a ultrasound for my liver and a MRI for my spine. I swear that if we live long enough we will experience everything. Today is Sunday and I attempted to do a bit of housework, the cobwebs and cat hair could not be denied any longer. So I vac. and swept away the dust bunnies. After a short span of time the pain was unbearable. I took a Vicodin and it did NOT work for me. I don't know what to do. I certainly don't want to live like your poor mom. I am in my mid 70s and have a way to go (I think) I'm hoping there might be a med that won't put me in La La land. Thanks for caring, it's so comforting to know that there are people out here that I can vent to. Shalom, Roz
I would also appreciate answers, my mom has an HMO and the general dr. has taken tests for rhumatoid arthritis and says that she does not have that type . They don't want to refer her to rheumatologist if it is osteo arthritis. She has severe stenosis in the spine that gives her a great deal of pain, she is 91.We have tried lots of things, they want to keep her going to get epidurals but the pain dr. says that too much of that type of medicine can make the osteoporosis worse, so we are looking for alternatives. We have tried accupuncture and that did not help.
Sometimes generic pain medications do not work! There is also Vicodin ES. The next stronger medication is Norco. If your doctor will not give you pain meds find another MD ~ Its worth getting brand name pain meds if you have the resources to afford them. Worked as nurse for 20 yrs .
I took my grandma to OrthoTexas for the arthritis treatment.
"severe stenosis in the spine that gives her a great deal of pain, she is 91." This is a lot of times diagnosed as Spondyloisis. You might want to look it up. Current thought is that antispasmodics MAY be of more benefit than meds beyond Naprosin. Its worth considering with the physician.

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