Could this be RA or is it something else?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Finger joints are painful & stiff, mainly the middle joints of the fingers. When i am finished doing pushups, my wrist are so stiff. If i put my hand palm side down on say a table and apply a bit of pressure i get pains in the top side of my hand.If I flex my arm & move my wrist/hand at all while doing it, i get a shock/zap type of feeling in my lower forearm/wrist area. When i crouch down for say about 10 seconds, when i stand back up my lower legs are stiff. My knee joints ache. Throat feels tight and swallowing saliva feels harder but eating & drinking is not a problem.

Any answers appreciated, thank you.

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  • Posted

    Hi, it could be. Depending on other things such as when and how it has started, how long are you into this, does resting help and so on. Not an MD, so please call your dr and schedule blood tests. Not that a negative test is a sure no (about 50% of patients with RA don't have conclusive blood tests) but it would be a start... As well as success of treatment for RA if the dr decides to put you on prednisone or suchlike. Hope for you that this is not an RA. And that you will feel better soon. Good thing that you keep excersising. It does help to stay fit.
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    • Posted

      When i wake up, my finger joints are painful and stiff, they loosen up as the day goes on but it never really goes away. If i lift weights my fingers seem to loosen up and not be as stiff or painful but like waking up, it's always there.
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    • Posted

      Hi Mike, it all sounds matching, but once again, there are many illnesses that impersonate one another. I am in ~ the same pain/stiffness condition right now (hurts to type) but the life goes on, right? :-) that's the important thing to remember about RA in general...

      I didn't get your comment about your GP. Anxiety? It's his/her duty to treat you regardless of what any of you think of one another... Maybe you should consider changing the GP and not only scheduling an appointment to reumi... As well, in most cases (but I am not from UK, so maybe it's different here), you need your tests before you get to reumi to speed things up. The initial tests are standard. And relatively cheap if it comes to this. Every GP knows them. I hope that this all will be resolved and that you will feel better soon.

      Try to avoid sugar for a while and see if it helps you. Crocus and cherries may help too. What else? Less salt, less milk (I am almost off dairy products). No white flour. This is to begin with ;-) 

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  • Posted

    Hi mike

    I would say firstly go see your GP. Took me 3 GP visits before a referral to rheumatologist and then had to wait a few weeks to be seen. Naproxen helped me and cod liver oil and tremadol. I would say you have a lot of symptoms I had especially stiffness, shock pains and sore throat (swollen glands is a side effect of RA as I have this also). I have recently been diagnosed with RA at the age of 35. I Suffered all sorts of pain and stiffness all over my joints since jan even had it in my jaw so struggles to eat or talk on bad days, it's only been until recently that I felt better when I started on oral Steriods and will be on methotrexate soon. Just waiting until after my hols to start. Good luck I hope you get on the right track to treatment as RA won't go away but can be treated well and you can usually lead a normal life.

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    • Posted

      Yes I am very shaky and wobbly. Always dropping things and very Clumsy and foggy head some days. There are many side effects of RA I would have a good read up on the symptoms as I did and I had almost every one.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for the help. Do your muscles get tired fast, or did they? Like holding a cellphone up in one hand for like 10 seconds my forearm will fatigue pretty fast and i have to switch hands or put my hand down and then put it back up.
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    • Posted

      Just chiming in on your conversation!  I, too, have a problem with the phone issue!  I was diagnosed with RA in November.  I thought I might have carpal tunnel so I went the route of orthopedic doctors.  After a year I finally had a blood test that diagnosed me with RA.  Recently I was taken off methotrexate because of breathing problems and am trying to resume using the treadmill.  I have put on a ton of weight because of prednisone and my rheumatologist finally took me off of it.  I am having a hard time because my wrists ache so bad!  I don't have much balance so I have to hang onto the bars and besides my wrists, my forearms can hardly stand the aches!  I'm hoping I can continue and get better balance so I don't have to hold on.  

      In the beginning I couldn't flex my wrists either.  I keep saying I can't do hand stands anymore...never could anyway!  My forearm was so painful it felt like I had broken it!  Right now I am on Enbrel injections weekly and tons of vitamins.  My thought is I will probably have to have something else besides that.  The swelling in my hands has never decreased.  The swelling in my feet and ankles turned out to be from edema and I have melds for that now!  My whole cupboard is filled with medication...don't have room for coffee cups now!  

      My thought is, you need to be tested.  Like Michelle said, you can have a false reading.  A good doctor can determine that you have RA without a positive test.  I wouldn't call myself lucky by any means but my RA factor was 815 with normal range being under 14 so it was a no brainier!  

      I can only wish you good luck and pray you don't have it!  

      Good luck and keep us updated!

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    • Posted

      I have difficulty holding my baby boy for Long and have to switch arms so yes my muscles do feel weaker. I can't stand for long periods or my ankles will swell up. You have to do as little as possible to put strain on your joints although mild exercise is great for keeping your joints moving. I always found my stiffness improved once I was up and about and moving. Usually took 3 hours into the day to feel better as mornings were the worst. Struggled to get out of bed some days as the pain was unbearable.
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  • Posted

    Hi mike

    This does sound very much how mine started but then I wasn't doing the kind of fitness programme you are doing, so maybe it s something else causing this for you.

    I would get to the gp ASAP .. He may well do blood tests to see if there is sign of inflammation or something called rheumatoid factor, but a rheumatologist can diagnose from clinical evidence.

    While it s good to keep joints moving I was told not to put extra strain on joints so maybe pressups aren't a good idea till you know what s happening as the pain sounds like some kind of inflammation in your joints.

    hope you get some answers soon.

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    • Posted

      Have you seen the GP a few times about this? I am surprised he hasn't taken this further. I actually asked mine if I could have blood tests and from there was referred quite quickly to rheumatologist as ' something unusual ' had come up on my blood tests. By the time I went in about 3 weeks, my shoulders, wrists, fingers, knees were all painful, stiff and swollen so I pretty well knew what the diagnosis would be. I had already seen a physio for what we thought was tendonitis in the shoulder . Physios are also very good at spotting  the difference between inflammatory joint problems and just a one off cause,  I think you ll have to go private to see a rheumy straight off, but sounds like you're not getting listened to by GP. I have actually found the NHS amazing once you are diagnosed and in the system. Be very realistic about telling them symptoms or they don't know just how much it hurts or how much fatigue. Hope you get some answers soon. I hope it s not RA but if it is ,  recent developments in medication mean the disease can be brought under control for most.
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    • Posted

      Yes i have seen my GP since this started a few months ago, but he knows i am an anxiety sufferer so he 90% of the time will blow me off as anxiety and give me anxiety meds.
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    • Posted

      Have you a physical symptom like swelling in your finger joints or knees? In RA pain and swelling go together. Otherwise it might be something else  in which case you might need referring to a physio.How long are your fingers stiff for in the morning?

      He can t ignore physical symptoms so try him again or is there a different gp in the practice you could see?Lots of people have had to persist to get a referral. He at least should organise blood tests.

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    • Posted

      I don't notice any swelling. I used to have a feeling of swelling in my fingers & toes but they weren't visibly swollen. My fingers are stiff from the moment i wake up untill about an hour or 2 afterwards but the pain is always there in the joints, it's does get less painful as the day goes on but it's still always there.
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    • Posted

      Sometimes you just have to be your own advocate!  I had gone to family doctor about horrible pain in my knees and arm and asked him if there was a test that could tell me why I was having all this pain!  He looked at my fingers and said I didn't have any nodules like RA and gave me arthritis medicine!  A year later After going to orthopedics and physical therapy I found a nurse practioner  who ran blood tests!  By that time she looked at my hands and told me then she suspected it!  Also, I had another nurse, who had RA look at my palms and noticed they were blotchy red and told me that was a sign!
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