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Chronic pain

In so much pain

28 replies

Glitterblue · 26/05/2021 20:39

About a year ago, I felt something tweak in my lower back and it felt like sciatica at the time. I was in agony with it for a while, but now the pain is in both hips as well as the sciatic area on one side, and right down the backs of both thighs. Sometimes into the calves, ankles and feet, and I keep getting a stabbing pain in one toe, which I have noticed tonight looks swollen/misshapen. I feel as if I can hardly walk most days. I'm in constant, horrible pain.

One hip feels as if it locks sometimes and it really really hurts to unlock it, and some days both hips make a clicking noise.

Sometimes my calves really hurt if I've been on my feet all day, like today - that feels muscular. I can't bend to put my socks on, and can't climb stairs without hauling myself up using the handrail.

I feel as if I'm constantly limping and struggling to walk, and it's so difficult and painful to straighten up when I stand up from my chair and when I get up in the morning.

My hips and ankles feel very very stiff.

I've not spoken to the GP yet because it's all phone appointments and it's so hard to do that when you are at work and it could be any time in the day. Plus I don't know what they would do for me, I am allergic to ibuprofen. I'm on 30/500mg cocodamol for period pain and that sometimes helps but not when I'm having a very bad day. 30mg of dihydrocodeine along with 2 paracetamol and 3 aspirin when taken for a migraine REALLY helps the hip and leg pain and I find myself walking almost normally if I've had a migraine during the night/early morning and taken that concoction.

I know I need to lose some weight and that might help but I'm struggling so much to be able to get any exercise so I'm struggling to lose the weight because I never find just the food side of things on its own to be as effective for me as when I do lots of walking too.

I'm dreading the day DH goes back to the office and I have to walk DD the mile down to school in the morning and home in the afternoon. I used to do it no bother at all but now it's just so painful plus it's all down hill.

I'm dreading not being able to play on the beach with DD in the summer. I struggle to do the housework and the food shopping. It all just hurts so very much. I'm really beginning to dread being faced with steps or stairs, it's so embarrassing.

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1975baby · 26/05/2021 21:24

Surely work isn’t more important than getting to the doctor? Sounds like you really need to. Put yourself first.

QuestionableMouse · 26/05/2021 21:27

My GP told me if I got sciatica symptoms in both legs to get checked out somewhere (iirc she said A&E) because it could be Cauda equina syndrome which can be very severe. Might be a good idea for you to do the same with those symptoms!

PragmaticWench · 26/05/2021 21:30

You absolutely need to prioritise speaking with your GP, urgently. Over the phone if necessary.

Make yourself aware of the symptoms of cauda equina as well.

I'm really sorry you're in this pain, it's awful. I herniated a disc so understand the pain radiating down your legs. Does it burn in your legs or feet?

Glitterblue · 26/05/2021 22:57

@1975baby no, work is absolutely not more important but it's very hard to take a private, personal call at work when it could be at any time of day and my boss is unreasonable 😬

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runwithme · 26/05/2021 23:16

Sciatica can be so much more than physical pain, it is mentally destructive. I had it, and couldn't get rid of it and was just so isolate and angry.
You really do need to see a doctor and get referred to a physio. In the meantime, walk sideways down the stairs, try some pilates, look up the clam and pigeon pose moves on YouTube. Try to apply pressure to the spot that's hard. Hope you get some relief soon x

QuestionableMouse · 27/05/2021 06:28

Book a day or half day's holiday. Do an e- consult. My GP also does calls on a Sat morning.

Put yourself first basically!

Glitterblue · 27/05/2021 08:22

Thank you for the replies. I looked at Cauda Equina - I hadn't heard of that - but the sciatic pain is only at one side and not so prominent now, that only comes back now and again. The main symptom now is sore and stiff hips and difficulty walking from that, and the pain goes down my thighs if I've been on my feet a lot. I can hear the hips clicking some days when I move them, particularly the right one, which is the other side from where the sciatica was. Putting socks and shoes on is very difficult due to the stiffness. Just hoping it's not arthritis, my mum has it and her hips were so bad when she had them replaced, the consultant said they were some of the worst he'd seen. She started with pain in them around my age (45) and didn't get replacements until she was about 65. My husband has arthritis in his knees and they lock and click a lot.

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Akire · 27/05/2021 11:39

I second making time for your health. It could be something simply that had some good outcomes with medication or physio. You could be struggling when is some help. If you are worrying about mile to school then that is significant impact.

If you don’t get time at work for phone appointment then odds are you will be taking time off sick sooner or later so it’s better for your boss to allow a phone call. Go on be brave set wheels in motion with e-consult.

Glitterblue · 02/08/2021 23:58

I know it's taken me ages to get to this point but I finally plucked up the courage today to phone to try to get an appointment with the GP. They weren't able to give me one and could only offer a telephone appointment with the physiotherapist...not sure what will come of that but we shall see. Once he's spoken to me on the phone, he will decide if I need to be seen but it'll be him, not a GP in the first instance.

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StiffyByng · 03/08/2021 00:14

That sounds appalling, you poor thing.

I do have one suggestion for you that might be totally off beam or impractical so apologies in advance.

I had dreadful hip pain when I was pregnant and have since been told I have arthritis, but at the time the pain was excruciating nerve pain all down one side. I was sent to the general email physio team who told me they couldn’t do anything as I was pregnant, and I realised I was desperate for a deep tissue massage. I went to see someone who did sports therapy and it was total agony but I had basically built up a rock hard fascia all down my thigh through months of odd usage and tension and I walked in on crutches and out without them after she pummelled it down.

Your mention of pain down your thighs made me wonder whether it might be worth checking out whether something similar has happened to you.

Michaelknightsleatherjacket · 03/08/2021 00:18

Really feel for you OP. Have you tried a tens machine ? You can buy little ones in boots. Mine was £20 I think. It helped loads .

Nat6999 · 03/08/2021 02:56

Have you had your hips Xrayed? It sounds like you have bone rubbing on bone & may need either resurfacing or a hip replacement. Get a face to face appointment with your GP & after you have had your Xtays ask to be referred to a hip specialist.

Glitterblue · 08/08/2021 17:06

Thank you for the replies. @StiffyByng thank you, that's definitely worth looking into.

@Nat6999 no, the physio said xrays would be much further down the line, after 2-3 months of physio. The pain is absolutely through the roof today, I'm struggling to even get around the house. I just wish I had something to even take the edge off the pain when it's this bad. The cocodamol that I have is doing nothing today at all. I'm getting so down, with being able to do so little 😩

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Glitterblue · 11/08/2021 01:12

Update... I finally got through to the number that the physio gave me, to make an appointment. It has taken so many attempts and I've spent so much time on hold and being cut off, but I finally got through. Turns out I have to have yet another phone appointment with another physio, the man I spoke to last week is nothing to do with these people and I'm not sure what the point of the call with him even was. He spent about half an hour or more past week, asking me a lot of questions, and I'm going to have to go through all that again with someone else. My appointment isn't until 9/9 😫 In the meantime, the pain is getting worse and worse. My hips are so stiff and the pain is absolutely excruciating now. I can't walk far at all - even walking round the house is so painful. I can't do daily chores easily now and even getting dressed is a challenge. Last week's physio said he thinks it's either osteoarthritis or adhesive capsulitis of the hip but we won't know until someone actually sees me. I've to have 3 months of physio before anyone else will see me. Feeling so down about it all now.

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StiffyByng · 11/08/2021 17:58

That’s dreadful. I hate how often it’s getting raised as an option here now but is a private assessment out of the question?

Glitterblue · 12/08/2021 02:50

@StiffyByng we are seriously considering trying that route. It's just awful - I've had similar problems today just trying to get an appointment to speak to someone about the dreadful migraines my 11 year old gets - 2 in 5 days and she has now started being sick with them too which is horrible for her. But ended up going round in circles trying to get her an appointment. It's ridiculous at the moment.

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Oceanbliss · 12/08/2021 03:00

Sounds like nerve pain. Anti inflammatory medication does not work for nerve pain. Doctor prescribed me Lyrica (which is an epilepsy medication), which was for the nerve pain. Also prescribed me a muscle relaxant that contained paracetamol that I can’t remember what it was called. I also had physio therapy for the spinal injury that was causing the nerve pain.

I hope this helps. Please find a way to get medical attention because it will not fix itself and could be harder to treat if left undiagnosed and untreated for too long.

Good luck and you have my sympathy as I know how debilitating that pain can be. Flowers

Oceanbliss · 12/08/2021 03:02

Also, even though I couldn’t afford it, I had to go private to get the treatment that I needed.

PennyWus · 12/08/2021 03:50

My mum had private physio, it was £45 per appointment and absolutely excellent. She got an appointment really easily, too.

I've no idea what is wrong with you, but if you could get a physio appointment that will tell you something, at least.

The Physio my mum used was associated with her gp surgery- in fact used a room IN the surgery! Obviously so many people give up waiting for the NHS service that the GP team decided to permanently house a private service on their premises!

I do hope you can find some relief for the pain. Flowers

Glitterblue · 18/08/2021 23:40

Finally, after a LOT of fighting, I had a call from a GP this afternoon then he fitted me in tonight at the end of surgery.

He was really shocked that I'd had such trouble actually getting to speak to a GP and thought the physio would at least have been face to face but it wasn't. He did an extremely thorough examination of both hips, I've to get both hips and my pelvis xrayed on Friday as well as blood tests. Then he will take it from there and decide the best course of action. One of the hips is showing the symptoms of bursitis but he said that doesn't explain the fact that the other hip is sore and clicking and locking. Arthritis is a possibility but it wasn't his first thought. He's prescribed Tramadol and diazepam for now, to see how I get on with those. He also suggested a steroid injection into the hip but I was too much of a wimp as I've heard they are extremely painful 🙈 He said I can think about it though and go back for it.

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StiffyByng · 22/08/2021 05:20

Glad you saw him finally, and got some good painkillers.

I’ve had both a steroid injection and also (more successful) an injection of local anaesthetic directly into my hip: the latter is usually done under a general but as I was pregnant it was done without. The steroid injection doesn’t stand out in my mind at all as being unpleasant, but I would have been very pleased indeed to have been knocked out for the other one.

Glitterblue · 24/08/2021 14:15

@StiffyByng that sounds so unpleasant 😫

I had my xrays a few days ago and I'm just back from the blood tests. He wants to test for a whole load of things- vitamins B12, K and D, rheumatoid factors, iron levels, inflammation, thyroid, liver and kidney function, full blood count, blood sugars. Now I feel really nervous in case any of it comes back with anything nasty!

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picklemewalnuts · 24/08/2021 14:22

Better to come back with something nasty, but treatable, than go on in uncertainty.

Don't be afraid of the treatment options, even the steroid injections. They seem really variable, hurt sometimes and not others.

SpindleWhorl · 02/09/2021 01:16

I wish my GP(s) were so thorough. I hope you get some answers soon.

Glitterblue · 02/09/2021 15:54

Well I finally have a diagnosis. I have severe osteoarthritis in my hip, and need to have a hip replacement 😩

While I'm utterly terrified at the thought of surgery, I'm glad to now know what it is, and that I will be able to get my life back again.

Thank you all for your replies, hope everyone is doing OK.

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