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Mumsnet hasn't checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have medical concerns, please seek medical attention; if you think your problem could be acute, do so immediately. Even qualified doctors can't diagnose over the internet, so do bear that in mind when seeking or giving advice.
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?!
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.
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.
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!
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)
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.)
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.
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.
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).