My doctor hinted at me having rheumatoid arthritis, I need advice?

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hello all,

For the past 2-3 weeks I've had joint pain for both of my thumbs, I believe this is mainly due to too much time on my mobile phone, tablet etc. I've had one doctor look at both my thumbs, do strength / reaction tests and she believed it was purely tendon related and showed no other sign of anything and would improve with rest.

In the last week or so my shoulders, thumbs, knees etc have started to crackle, I've had pain in none of these joints apart from my right shoulder which I have broken the collarbone of 3 times now. Another doctor has said it could be RA. I've read some of the symptoms, such as swelling, stiffness when waking up and I don't feel as though I'm having any of these.

I was wondering if anyone could help potentially ease my mind a bit.

Thanks for any advice.

1 like, 15 replies

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello

    i ve never heard of joint crackling without pain as a first symptom of RA. As you rightly say pain, swelling and early morning stiffness are the standard signs.

    If you rest your thumbs are they improving?

    But i have to say that my early symptoms of RA were extreme pain in one shoulder ( originally said to be tendonitis) and then 2 months later pain at base of thumb. Blood tests confirmed something not right and I was referred to rheumy.

    so at his stage be optimistic it s not RA  and don't scare yourself too much but if you do get more joints becoming painful then go back to the dr. ASAP 

     

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    • Posted

      I've got splints for my thumbs, when I wear them and rest my thumbs I have little to no pain at all. As I said in my first post the only joint I have pain in that isn't my thumbs is my right shoulder, I have muscle ache every now and then in my upper arms but I don't think that's related at all.

      I am getting my bloods taken on Wednesday and I'll get results back on Friday at the latest, so if the worst does happen then I'll find out then.

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    • Posted

      Hi there

      My pain started in my shoulder too and I thought it was an injury all I can say is I have never ever felt pain so intense it was alwful, it eventually moved to the other side then moved to my hands, all sorts was going through my head wondering what was wrong with me, eventually I got diagnosed with RA almost a month ago, I always thought RA was a few aches and pains but oh boy it is much more than that, since starting my medication I have been fine and just hope it carries on, so reassuring reading these posts to know we are not on our own

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    • Posted

      Well it really doesn't sound like it right now so will be surprised if something does show up in bloods. But good they are checking.

      keep in touchbiggrin

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    • Posted

      Hi shirlee!  I recognise you from a discussion on sunburn and methotrexate.  I am trying to hear some stories about feeling "100%" once medication is working.  Is that what has happened to you?  Are you fine now and what are you on please?  I totally know everyone's different but I really need some hope.  For instance I was a surfer and runner before RA started in Feb for me, have only just got to specialist because there is a major shortage in NZ.  Do you imagine I could maybe run again if the meds work, from your own experience?  Thanks for your posts.

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    • Posted

      Hi sonya

      I do hope your he dictation gets sorted, you are young for all this to happen to you. I had a steroid injection in my backside I guess to treat the whole body on my diagnosis day the reason being that it would tie me over pain wise until the methotrexate got into my system and start to take effect, not happy taking it to be honest as its really hard core stuff but will give it some time before I make a dicision. I have been put on 4 tablets a week for the first 2 weeks and last week it was raised to 6 I take my next lot tomorrow, so far no pain but it could be remission I am not sure, I go back to consultant next Thursday the 7th for more blood tests etc to see how my body is coping with it. I am trying to help myself as always have been into my fitness so going to the gym as often as possible.... I really thought my life was coming to an end at one point, before diagnosis, all sorts going through my head those were awlful days.... I truley hope you get sorted out with your pain soon

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    • Posted

      Thankyou.  I too am on steroids (pills though) and these definitely got me back to work and able to walk, but not pain-free.  And I'm same as you with the methotrexate.  But how wonderful if you get a remission!!  So you actually can do everything you could before now?  And don't get worse the next day or anything?  Thank you!  I just can't seem to get the info, anywhere.  I had heard of a remission but don't know if that means doing everything like before. 

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    • Posted

      Yes once your medication gets properly sorted by trial and error then you should be able to do the things you have always done, and remission does happen where for some odd reason all symptoms seem to subside for a time. I guess it all depends on how bad your RA is too, I got told that I was presenting some RA antibodies, that's all the j formation I got, maybe when I go back next week they will give me more info I hope so, I am also not sure of that once you have these antibodies then do they increase over time? I have so many questions too and forget to ask when I go to the hospital, I intend to write them down this time

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  • Posted

    I have had osteo-arthritis in the base of my thumb(s) for many  years.  Wearing thumb supporting gloves helps when it acts up- for example the half finger gloves bicyclists use- those can be helpful.  Or you can wear more substantial thumb supports.   There are a lot of little bones in there that can act up.  Nothing much can be done about it. (I do not  have RA but PMR and find this site interesting.)
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  • Posted

    Hi sounds more like your tendons in your thumbs and pain in shoulder as you had broken bone at some point, your doc shouldnt of said that to you really unless he was sure it maybe RA, RA is very painfull sore joints that become very swollen limits movements, usually starts in hands/feet bloods tests can also see if you have RA facotor but not all show up positive even if do have RA, i wouldnt worry to much about it if u still have problems a month later then go back to your doc ask him to do bloods tests but am sure you will be fine xxxxxxx
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  • Posted

    Sorry about the lack of response, I got my results the friday mentioned a month or so a go and was told it was all clear, I finally had the results explained to me today in detail in terms of what was done etc as my joints have started to ache / hurt. Apparently I've had a test to show the RA factor and also an ESR test which both came back perfectly fine. There was a third test but I'm unsure of what it was actually called.

    The doctor that saw and explained these results to me was not the same as the first, we've concluded that it's potentially all down to poor posture at work, which would explain everything. I'm seeing someone at my workplace next week to correct this and assess my workstation.

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  • Posted

    My rheum told me the joints towards the end of your fingers are not typically affected with RA but OA. Also never heard of cracking without pain with RA. Sounds like you might be lucky enough to escape this diagnosis. Not sure about others as we are all so different with this disease, but I liken my RA pain to a bad toothache. Throbbing dull pain with the added bonus of feeling hot, tender to the touch and swollen. Feel tired being belief but can't sleep due to neck, ankle, wrist, etc.. pain. On 2 mess which I pray will kick in soon. Hope you find an answer for your symptoms and pray it isn't RA.

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    • Posted

      I'm sorry about the pain you're feeling. I've had another Drs visit since the last post I made, I've still got full motion, grip and feeling in all my fingers / thumbs.

      The pain only seems to remain in both my thumbs which are splinted right now. I get pain in two of my finger tips but I've noticed that only seems to occur when I've bent my fingers at all doing something(Bending backwards, stretching etc.) I believe this might be a trapped nerve or something in the palm of my hand as this seems to be where the pain travels from when bending.

      The doctor seems to be quite hopeful that since I've had this for several months now and don't seem to be getting worse that it's most likely a case of tendonitis in the thumb. If so this itself seems to be getting better after only 3 days of 24/7 splinting. (Only taking off to wash / ice.) 

      I think I'm quite lucky in regards to having the issue this long and nothing getting extremely worse.

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