What was done for your shoulder pain?

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I am concerned about the long-term health of my shoulder, as I have had near constant pain (low level, except when sleeping), and restricted movement.  Of course, I have brought up my concerns with the rheumatologist.  While X-rays were performed on hands and feet (damage already), no tests of any kind on my shouldeer. 

For those with affected shoulders, what was done for you?  What kinds of analyses/tests?  Any special meds or therapies?  This is my dominant arm, and I am wondering if I should be more insistent.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    I have shoulder pain, which is similar to the first pain when my RA started up 10 years ago.

    When I told her about it, my GP ordered shoulder x-rays but so far I haven't heard anything about the results.

    Ask for them specifically to be x-rayed.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    My RA began in my shoulder. A physio helped somewhat with exercises and  ultrasound treatment. Then when RA was diagnosed my shoulders have only improved as the meds have improved all areas.But I have to say that the shoulder pain is still the most constant, even though much milder. Hot showers help, a shaped pillow that fits into the neck helps( recommended by physio) 

    do you feel your RA is generally well controlled? Do you need something more to reduce inflammation and hold back disease progression. The goal is remission so if you still have a lot of pain in your shoulder they should look at your meds.

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    • Posted

      I have been on meds only since April.  The general practitioner, who tested for RA, was certain the rheumatologist would start with biologicals straightaway, but so far, he has made no mention of them.  The pain has decreased overall, but I still have loads of swelling and stiffness, and the shoulder pain.  Remission seems a far-away dream, and I fear joint damage.  I do not know how much improvement to expect, or how soon, and I am impatient!

       

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    • Posted

      cryIf the gp thought that you must have been in a lot of pain when you were referred.

      i am a year ahead of you , diagnosed march 2014 and am now on biologics which have made a huge difference.( not in remission yet but on the way)

      What I have discovered on the way is that there are official guidelines ( presuming you are in uk) They aim to diagnose as early as possible, treat aggressively with the expectation to bring to as near remission as possible.

      Certainly in the first year or two there is always something more they can do for you so do contact your rheumy nurse and say how much your shoulder is still a  problem. I presume you have been on methotrexate for 3 months now, but there are other DMARDS they can also give you. In fact we are only eligible to be considered for biologics after trying 2 DMARDS if still in moderate to high disease as shown by DAS score ie number of swollen/ tender joints and our own score of pain/ disease progression. 

      Do be honest with them about how much it hurts as they only know to try something further if we say. I was told by my physio right at the beginning it might take a year to sort out which meds would help and those first months were just awful but hang on in there.confused

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    • Posted

      I am astonished to hear your GP thought you'd get on the biologics right away. I always understood, in the UK at least, your case had to be very serious and have tried the conventional drugs for quite a long time and found to be unresponsive before they put you on the biologics.

      Does anyone know the rules about this?

      Please do let us know where you are and whether you get onto the biologics.

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  • Posted

    I am having shoulder pain now and am scheduled to see the doc this Friday. I have always had burning and aching in one or both of my shoulders for nearly a year and thought it was part of the RA until my GP (I quit my specialist) told me that is not normally a part of RA. This last flare the pain got really intense and I thought I had nerve damage. An EMG was done and it was negative for nerve damage so they are thinking it is tendonitis which I read is common in RA sufferers. They had given me gabapentine with no results and also pain pills, norco. Neither are effective and I have stopped the gabapentine. I am hoping he will give me a shot in the joint and maybe change my medicine. I don't know what he will do.
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    • Posted

      Hi River, sorry to hear your shoulders are still bad. I m surprised your GP says it is not RA related as websites like NRAS mention shoulders as one of the affected areas. It s anywhere with synovial joints as far as I understand . Do I remember correctly that you ve had bad effects from RA meds ? Could you be referred to a different rheumatologist I m wondering? But you are right that a steroid shot in the arm would give relief for some time. Hope you get something to help you.
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  • Posted

    Hello.  Probably doesn't mean a hill of beans but I get pain, particularly in right, dominant shoulder and upper arm.  It comes for a while then goes but it's very painful to try to raise the arm.  When I mentioned it to the Rheumatology Nurse Specialist she asked if the bone in the middle of the shoulder was sore to touch (ie  at arm to shoulder socket) and confirmed it was rheumatoid and presumably common as she knew exactly where to zero in.  I got no special treatment for this, although I didn't ask, but maybe it would be possible to have a steroid injection at the site if it might be helpful?  Good luck and apologies if this is of no use to you.
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