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Autoimmune disease

If you have inflammatory arthritis…

11 replies

BladeOfMiquella · 20/12/2023 11:52

Do certain activities like cooking/cleaning make your pain worse?

I’ve had pain in my fingers/thumb/wrist a few years now. It’s not always been constant, it flares and then feels better. The past year it has been getting worse, particularly the stiffness. I have mild swelling at times but the joints don’t appear to be particularly swollen/red/hot.

I was referred to Rheumatology as my bloods showed mildly raised inflammatory markers and I have psoriasis, got my first appointment in a few weeks. I also get pain and stiffness in my feet and lower back, and elbows but it’s the fingers that are the worst.

Anyway over the past few years I’ve always been told my pain is due to overuse injury and hypermobility. I find it difficult to do tasks such cutting and peeling veg, opening jars/bottles, and cleaning. I’ve noticed when I do stuff like this it can make my symptoms worse, and I’ll wake up barely able to move my fingers.

I was wondering whether the fact using my hands exacerbates it would lean more towards it being overuse/hypermobility than an inflammatory arthritis?

OP posts:
CazY777 · 20/12/2023 12:03

I think only the rheumatologist can tell you for certain, but I saw one recently as I thought I might have psoriatic arthritis. She said as I don't have swelling or redness it was unlikely to be PsA, and I was diagnosed with hypermobility. I find my hands hurt when I peel and chop veg, and when cleaning. The only things that work for me is not doing too much, and using the ibuprofen gel and paracetamol. I was taking naproxen but I had trouble with my stomach so stopped that. Hope you get some answers from the rheumatologist.

Whatnowfgs · 20/12/2023 12:05

I don't really know but i have inflammatory arthritis too.

It's painful but kind of comes and goes. Can peel veg ok but cutting is more difficult. Things like opening a door with a knob is more difficult than peeling veg.

I haven't really got any answers other than it's tough going.

Things that help are heat, rest and eating healthy fruit and veg. Sometimes you just have to have a rest day and hope that the next day will be better.

I applied for PIP and got turned down

BladeOfMiquella · 20/12/2023 12:43

@CazY777 Did you have any other signs/symptoms like raised inflammatory markers or did they just decide it can’t be PsA due to lack of swelling/redness? Did the rheumatologist did any tests or anything?

I guess I’ve only a few more weeks to wait. Just frustrating because I find the pain and stiffness really limits what I can do. In my mind PsA seems a better option as more treatable than hypermobility. Although I could be entirely wrong about that

OP posts:
BladeOfMiquella · 20/12/2023 12:45

@Whatnowfgs thats a shame you got turned down for PIP, I think about applying some days but then I assume I’ll be turned down so don’t bother. But like it can be really hard to drive, I find turning the steering wheel painful and hard to grip

OP posts:
Whatnowfgs · 20/12/2023 12:48

Yes but PIP is based on personal care. They won't be interested if you can drive or not although I understand how difficult that is.

I can't wash or dry my own hair anymore that's the kind of thing they do consider. I am thinking of reapplying

BladeOfMiquella · 20/12/2023 12:53

@Whatnowfgs You should reapply

OP posts:
cezannesapple · 20/12/2023 12:59

Whatnowfgs · 20/12/2023 12:48

Yes but PIP is based on personal care. They won't be interested if you can drive or not although I understand how difficult that is.

I can't wash or dry my own hair anymore that's the kind of thing they do consider. I am thinking of reapplying

It is also based on mobility but the criteria is what you can or can’t do rather than your diagnosis.

I have inflammatory arthritis. Yes, activity can exacerbate the pain but it is not always straightforward to diagnose so you are better off waiting for your appointment with rheumatology. The drugs are very good these days so don’t overly worry.

CazY777 · 20/12/2023 12:59

@BladeOfMiquella the rheumatologist didn't do any blood tests, the gp did that and I didn't have raised inflammatory markers at that point. I waited 11 months to see the rheumatologist and then it was all quite rushed. I did have an x-ray of my back and a cortisone injection in my hip, which has made that much better. I get pain and stiffness in most of my joints, and everything has started clicking, including my spine. The rheumatologist did also say that I have early onset osteoarthritis, particularly in my hands and knees. I have found losing weight has helped a bit and also eating better. I know what you mean, I was thinking that having PsA would probably mean it could be treated better, but the drugs for that lower your immunity so I'm not sure if that would be better. I have been referred for physio and to podiatry to get some insoles for my fallen arches.

Therewere5inthebed · 25/12/2023 22:00

I could have written your post a month ago, I’ve had the same problems as you for many years. I saw a Rheumatologist in my local hospital and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Fast forward 8 years later and was referred to the pain clinic at St Thomas’ for a separate issue but at the appmt the consultant went through my other symptoms. He was concerned when I mentioned my symptoms resolved immediately when I took oral steroids for this other issue.

He referred me to the Rheumatologist at Guys and I saw them 2 weeks ago.

i explained my symptoms to the consultant, she examined me and within the appmt she said that even without test results she thought I had PsA and started me on Sulfasalazine with blood tests every two weeks to monitor me.
only occasionally get swelling and only on the knuckles just below my fingernails on my ring fingers, I also have fingernail lifting on these fingers. My Achilles is swollen and painful though which apparently is another symptom.

My bloods, x-rays and scans support this diagnosis. I don’t feel any different yet but I know it’s pretty early days but I’m hopeful that I will begin to feel better soon.

I have felt so fobbed off for so many years and the relief that someone listened to me was immense.

I think PsA is pretty difficult to diagnose so being prepared for your appmt with a list of symptoms and questions is vital.

AnneValentine · 02/01/2024 15:44

The opposite. It’s lack of use that causes the issues.

Whatnowfgs · 24/01/2024 20:36

Yes for me I get stiff after not moving for awhile.

Feeling pretty down today. I have been off work for 4 months. I am no better than I was when I went off. I can't afford not to go back but I couldn't work with this. Rheumatologist review hopefully in the next few weeks.

I am so sore today.

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