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Painful joints, is it RA?

(20 Posts)
rubyblue Sun 07-Dec-14 21:06:03

Had stiff hands on waking for years but for last two months pain has increased and lasts all day, worse in the cold and eased by warmth. It's now affecting my movement, opening jars, fridge door, typing. Not enough to stop me doing stuff but it's uncomfortable. Hands feel stiff most of the time and index fingers worse affected. Googled and said it's symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis, which sounds totally scary. I'm 42. I've booked an appointment with GP but don't want to waste her time. Is it just old age?!

crumblebumblebee Sun 07-Dec-14 23:24:33

Swelling and morning joint stiffness are 2 hallmark signs, do you have those? Btw, treatments these days for RA are much better than they used to be.

DramaAlpaca Sun 07-Dec-14 23:28:39

A blood test will confirm or rule out RA. Treatment these days is much better than it used to be as crumble says, and it's a controllable condition. Definitely have a chat with your GP even if it's just for reassurance, you won't be wasting her time.

zzzzz Sun 07-Dec-14 23:28:41

Me too. Best advice I was given was have a bath in the morning as hot as you can stand and flex joints in the water to warm them up. Life changing.

crumblebumblebee Sun 07-Dec-14 23:31:14

Actually, if your joints look red and feel hot, you need ice or cool water, obviously only if you can't stand it. You shouldn't be putting heat on inflamed joints.

rubyblue Mon 08-Dec-14 16:34:36

Thanks for the advice. I'm seeing my GP on Wednesday, need to find out one way or another. Feeling generally very tired at the moment but who isn't at this time of year?! The joints aren't swollen or red but heat definitely helps ease the aching pain.

zzzzz Mon 08-Dec-14 17:37:48

confused it was a rheumatologist who told me and it DOES work for me.

SunshinePickle Mon 08-Dec-14 18:22:17

Can also be other types of inflammatory arthritis, even if blood tests are negative for rheumatoid factor. Ask to be seen by a rheumatologist if you have pain & stiffness.

crumblebumblebee Mon 08-Dec-14 19:58:56

I didn't say it doesn't work but it is not advised in general if you have active synovitis. I was not commenting on your specific situation, just that it can cause problems and people should seek advice before applying heat on inflammation!

clarella Mon 08-Dec-14 21:24:33

I've had joint issues recently. Having investigations but while ruminating it's possible it's been low vit b12 and thyroid. RA was ruled out, vit d is ok but can also cause symptoms too.

ouryve Mon 08-Dec-14 21:37:02

It was my hands that stopped me from putting up with the constant joint pain and niggles I'd had for years and prompted me to make a nuisance of myself at the GP until I found one who didn't write it off as old age (I was 41) and referred me to a rheumatologist. Turns out that I'm hypermobile and have sustained a lot of joint damage, over the years. Also explains why the pain is worse at certain times of the month (as well as a lot of other things)

mineofuselessinformation Mon 08-Dec-14 21:47:27

I'm hypermobile and have arthritis. (Only diagnosed 18 months ago, had joint problems for years.)
I don't wear them out of the house, but I've found compression gloves very helpful when my hands are particularly sore.
Whatever the problem is, the inflammation in your joints needs to be reduced by medication. (and I believe that for me there is an inflammation / pain / joint damage cycle.)

zzzzz Tue 09-Dec-14 10:46:43

I suspect the issue is hypermobility here too. RA was ruled out, but we take suppleness to new levels in our family wink

CiderwithBuda Tue 09-Dec-14 10:53:53

Not sure if applicable or will help but read on here recently that someone recommends giving up pork and pork products and it can really help. Apparently it's very toxic. What ever that means.

I have joint pain and am slightly hyper mobile. Knees and hands painful at times. Especially in cold weather.

Can't see myself giving up pork at the moment (love my xmas ham!) but am planning it in the new year.

RunnerHasbeen Tue 09-Dec-14 13:20:26

Re: the hot bath - I was told that while your joints are hot and red they are actively inflamed and to move them as little as possible and use cold compresses. When they are just stiff and sore, put them in hot water and move them about to try and get the fluid moving - so you are both right (assuming my Dr/ support nurse is)!

I wouldn't be too scared, even if you get a diagnosis it doesn't mean you will suddenly jump to the worst end of the spectrum. The most ill you will probably be is pre-diagnosis, so good idea to get it checked now.

clarella Wed 10-Dec-14 09:24:34

Hypermobility here too. Osteoarthritis?

rubyblue Wed 10-Dec-14 18:36:11

Hi everyone, saw GP today, have to have blood tests. Her first thought is to rule out Rheumatoid. Hadn't heard of hyper mobility or Vit D deficiency but good to know about, thanks so much for sharing Info.

I now have anti inflammatory painkillers to take for next month until blood test results known.

DramaAlpaca Wed 10-Dec-14 21:05:47

Glad you've seen the GP rubyblue. Hope the anti-inflammatories help and you feel better soon. Good look with the blood tests, too.

Sidge Wed 10-Dec-14 21:22:02

I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Arthritis 2 years ago. Had had stiff joints especially in the morning for a long time but then it got to the point where I was struggling to hold my toothbrush.

GP had given me NSAIDs for ages but then a new GP referred me. Had bloods, X-Rays and then seen by the consultant rheumatologist who scanned me and said despite largely normal bloods and normal X-Rays I had massive amounts of inflammatory activity in my hands and wrists and probably other joints too.

So the blood tests aren't definitive but are part of the puzzle - I was told that as I'm relatively young (similar age to you) and healthy my body was compensating hence why my bloods are mostly normal (the highest my CRP has ever been is 12 and my rheumatoid factor is negative).

Hope you get some answers soon.

mineofuselessinformation Wed 10-Dec-14 21:40:22

I wondered if I could ask a question...
Does anyone ever have joints that are not sore in use but very tender if knocked?
It's most often various finger joints, but also my elbows in occasion.

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