Will I need surgery for my arthritis?

Most people with arthritis will never need surgery.
However, surgery can help in some cases when other treatments have failed to help reduce your pain and improve your mobility.
Click Here to find out about the common types of surgery for people with arthritis if necessary.

Will pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy affect my baby?

No – Your baby/babies will not be affected, it is a condition specific to the mother.

Am I experiencing pelvic girdle pain because I am hypermobile?

No – Although it is very important to keep mobile joints strong with exercise and avoid repetitive movements which may cause irritation.

Will my pelvic girdle pain go once I’ve given birth?

Yes – The majority of women suffering with pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy will experience complete resolution of their pain after birth.

Why am I still feeling pain?

You can continue to experience persistent pain long after the initial injury has healed.
It is not a simple problem. There is no dividing line between skin, muscles, nerves, the spinal cord, the brain and thoughts, beliefs and emotions – it is the nervous system as a whole that produces your pain experience.
The fact that environmental and emotional factors can influence pain does not make it any less real.
See rest of ‘Persistent Pain’ section to learn more about why you still hurt.

Isn’t pain a signal of damage to the body?

Not necessarily – Persistent pain often reflects a problem with the pain system itself rather than damage in a particular part of your body. It’s a bit like a fire alarm that sounds without a fire.

Why haven’t I been given a diagnosis?

Persistent, or chronic, pain is a valid diagnosis. Just because you haven’t been given a specific diagnosis, such as a torn ligament or compressed nerve, doesn’t make your persistent pain any less real.

Will an X-ray or scan tell me what’s causing my pain?

No – Not in the majority of cases and can actually do more harm than good.
Pain is poorly correlated with x-rays and scans and many changes seen are part of the natural ageing process and are not predictive of pain and are not a reason to avoid activity. Many people will have these appearances on imaging, whether they have pain or not. See this link.
Remember that persistent pain is less to do with local tissue damage and more due to an over sensitive pain protective system so an X-ray or scan will not help with guiding further management. You can still be experiencing pain with a ‘normal’ x-ray or scan.
Don’t worry if you’ve already had these types of investigations and have been told you have ‘degeneration’, this finding is not a reason to stop activity or to just accept being in pain. Go to Self Help section for more information.

Why can’t I have stronger medication?

Stronger medication is not necessarily more effective and can result in unpleasant side effects.
You might even become dependent on the medication. People can develop a tolerance to medication they use regularly, meaning they need stronger and larger doses to get the same pain relief.
Also, the drugs that are often used for acute pain are not usually effective for persistent pain.

Should I stop if it hurts?

No – Persistent pain is less to do with an injury to your body and more to do with the brain and nervous system. Pain is like an alarm system that occurs when the brain perceives threat of damage to the body and wants us to act. Therefore, pain can still be felt even after the body tissue has healed and the longer pain persists, the weaker the link between damage and pain.
Hurt is rarely equal to harm with persistent pain so it’s still safe to move even if you are feeling pain but do this in graded way so that you slowly build up a tolerance. This gradual exposure to movement can in fact reduce the threat value to the nervous system and slowly reduce pain as well as build confidence to be more active.
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