Rheumatologist querying AS?

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi all.

A little about me.....I'm a 31 year old male, apart from the pain I'll go into is healthy with the only other known medical condition being eczema on my palms of hands.

The reason I am on this forum is because I have a history of lower back pain going back over 10 years. At the time, being 18-20, I didn't pay any attention to back pain and thought either it's down to bad manual handling or even was it my kidneys hurting due to over drinking at that age?

Over the years that back pain hasn't improved and I've progressively gotten pain in my ankles, knees, elbows and now shoulder blades. My ankles, knees, elbows and strangely little fingers click with very little effort.

In 2007 my elbows were very painful to the extent I couldn't, and still can't, have them bent for more than a few minutes. This makes driving, reading a book or holding an object very painful. I was told by my doctor I had Tennis elbow, prescribed Naproxen anti inflammatory tablets and given physiotherapy. This pain although no longer bothering me in respect of the Tennis elbow is painful when bent and clicks when the arm is returned to an outright position from a bent position.

My knees click when I'm standing still and rotate my body in either direction at the hips.

In October 2013 I had this back pain again but much worse. This time the pain included pins and needles in my left leg. I was given Tramadol as a pain killer on top of the Naproxen. I haud cause to take myself to my local hospital as I was having problems urinating (4 days) and because the tingling sensation in my left leg was affecting my buttocks. After ultrasound on my bladder, an MRI scan and other tests I was discharged.

The MRI scan showed a slipped disc at L4/5 on the left side affecting the descending nerve. I was referred for Physiotherapy again. After numerous sessions with no improve not my physiotherapist referred me to my local hospital Rheumatoid Arthritus clinic. The primary reason for this is because my Mum has had RA since shortly after my birth. She has chronic RA in most joints and is taking several different tablets inc Methortrexate.

I saw the Consultant today who says my joints show little or no swelling. My joints click but apparently this is fairly normal if there is no major swelling. My lower back however does feel a bit swollen. The doctor sent me for X-rays of my lower back, pelvis, hips, wrists and feet. I've also been sent for blood tests and she is querying ankylosing spondylitis.

Can someone please help me and explain what could possibly be causing so much pain for me? Particularly in my elbows and lower back as I simply can't sleep at the moment unless I'm drugged up as the only position I can sleep in is very straight with my arms by my side. Any slight bend in my elbows for more than a few mins causes so much pain I can not settle.

Thankyou so much. Sam

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20 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Lucy

    I've just picked up my prescription. I've got Desunin 800 tablets and I take 5 a day for 8 weeks then more blood tests.

    I've also got Buprenorphine 5mg patches to try for the pain.


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  • Posted

    To be honest it doesn't mean a great deal to me. I've equated 800 x 5 to be 4000 but I thought th GP today said 40,000 a day. Maybe I miss heard.
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  • Posted

    HI all

    After not hearing from my consultant for a while about my results and not having an appointment until July I chased them repeatedly.

    Good News - They say all my MRI scans and X-Ray were normal so they've ruled out AS. Also after 8 weeks on Vit D supplement and blood test I've heard nothing so I'm assuming my levels are back up to somewhere near normal.

    Bad news - I'm still waking up with lower back pain and stiffness. It's the same if I'm sitting or resting. Most days I'm getting pain in my hips that goes down the bone in my leg to just about my knee. Sometimes I have a similar pain in the mornings that goes up my left side of back to my shoulder blades and on my front left under my ribs. I only sleep on my back with arms by my sides due to this discomfort in the mornings. I tell my Wife if she finds me on my front roll me over as the mornings are horrible.

    im always tired, although each day differs. One day last week I slept for 11 hrs and could have slept more. Usually due to my job I get 6-8 hrs a night.

    i have elbow pain but this was diagnosed as tennis and golfers elbow in both elbows 7 years ago. I manage this with exercises and not doing things which cause pain such as bending my elbows for a period of time, reading, driving positions etc. my knees usually pop but apparently this is normal.

    My GP has upped my Buprenorphine trans dermal patches to 15mg a day plus Arcoxia 90mg and Omeprazole 29mg daily.

    I've read about Fibromyalgia but I just don't know. Any ideas ?


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  • Posted

    yes, sam, i have fibromyalgia;  unfortunatley fibro is used as a catch all diagnosis for any unexplained pain... i have the exact same pain and more- the wrenching elbow pain, hip pain, lower back pain, neck pain, bottom and top of foot pain; i don't feel i have been tested enough though, and i haven't gotten much anwers  from my rhuema (there are so many variables i don't blame him);;;some of the pain may be related to diet because i have irritable bowel syndrome, some of the pain may be from shot nerves (overactive nerves-"fibromyalgia" , and i believe fibro can also be caused by dealing with super stress for too long, bad traumatic episodes in your life; mental and physical which i had-  my nervous system seemed to go awry in me; i feel my "computer system" the glandular system,is messed up ... and some of the pain may be from sleep apnea, which i also have, so i have to sleep alot to get just a bit of regenerative sleep; i cannot and will not wear a cpap mask- i already have trouble falling asleep and have bad anxiety from feeling suffocated; therefore the mask will not work for me; this really bad fatigue and pain began when i turned 50 yrs and  after i had an emergency blood transfusion and uterus removal and then my mother dying unexpectedly and then being targeted at my 15 year job that i had performed very well at all those years until i got a new manager who had it out for me; oh well. life goes on and now i am on disability; dealing with chronic pain is very exhausting in itself and my take a while to figure what helps and what doesn't help; hopefully you have a good emotional support system God bless you and hopefully you will find some answers
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