is it possible to only have rheumatoid arthritis in your shoulders?

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi all,

I have suffered from what I would call chronic shoulder pain for around 2 years now. Everyday seems to be unique as to pain level. I am always in pain in both shoulders on some level but I get what id call flare ups quite often where the pain is debilitating and hard to go about daily life. Ive taken prednisone, celebrex, tramadol, done physiotherapy but it never goes away. Pain killers only somewhat ease the pain. I do occasionally get some pain in the hip.

A rheumatologist has prescribed plaquenil for me to take to see if that helps but he has never specifically said I have RA. From what i understand is its joint pain, but Is it possible to have RA when its only really my shoulders?



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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Morning sharney,

    Sorry to hear of your pain. I too am currently suffering with shoulder pain but I have been diagnosed with RA. I have it in many joints and started in my wrists and hands and then spread around my joints. it's hard to say if you have the same illness. I would certainly get it checked out. I currently can't lift my arms up frost thing in a morning and they are extremely uncomfortable and stiff and they click a lot. (As do all my joints). I hope you get some answers. My GP referred me to a rheumatologist after 3 visits so my diagnosis came quickly. I haven't started any course of medication yet as my next appointment is nt until 23rd June so I have had Steriods and naproxen so far. Neither have made a big difference to my RA as I still suffer with sleep problems, pain and stiffness.

    Keep us informed


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  • Posted

    Hi Sharney

    my ra began with shoulder pain in 1 shoulder, thought to be tendonitis which I had for 4 months before I got pain elsewhere in right knee and base of right thumb. All of this was very painful. So GP did blood tests which led to diagnosis of RA. But you seem to have had problems with your shoukders for quite a while so difficult to know. But just to let you know the first symptom can be in the shoulder.

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  • Posted

    My RA started with shoulder pain on one side. After that everything was bilateral.

    I tested sero-negative for RA, which apparently 20% of sufferers are, so clinically speaking it doesn't make a lot of difference, as the treatment will be the same.

    Could you have 'frozen shoulder' on both sides? I gather it's not an autoimmune condition, but not sure.

    Good luck!

    As far as I know it is perfectly possible to have RA ony in the shoulders, and for this long, though RA does tend to move around.

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  • Posted

    Have they looked at the possibility of frozen shoulder?

    Frozen shoulder is very painful, believed to usually affect the non-dominant arm and is sometimes triggered by menopause

    All the best.

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  • Posted

    Hi sharney,Not sure if this helps,had lots of pain across neck & shoulders,had physio,about a year,found its cervical spondolitis, also over last few years had shoulder, hip and joint pains,tried  physio, steroids,hydroxychloroquine,ibrufen,codydromol,

    to no effect apart putting on weight with the steroids, now trying meloxicam,  they reckon fybromyalgia.Thankfully not RA, try to keep smiling

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