• Chris Chris
    January 11, 2011
    Muscle pain and stiffness from RA
    Chris Chris
    January 11, 2011

    Hi,I was diagnosed with RA in 2009.  I primarily have all over muscle pain and stiffness,  more so than joint pain, especially after sitting for long periods.  Is this part of RA because everything that I read mentions joint paid and not muscle pain?  I would like to hear from anyone else that is experiencing the same thing

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FROM OUR EXPERTS

  • V
    V
    Health Guide
    January 11, 2011
    V
    V
    Health Guide
    January 11, 2011

    Hi, Chris,

     

    I have muscle pain, but my muscle pain is caused by Fibromyalgia and unstable joints damaged by OA and EOA.  It is possible that you have more than one type of arthritis.  Do you see a rheumatologist?  What does your doctor say about your muscle pain?

     

    V

    • Chris
      January 12, 2011
      Chris
      January 12, 2011

      Thank you for your response.  I do see a rheumatologist, in fact, I am on my second one.  The first one said I have RA and fibro, the second one did not think I had RA because I did not have swollen joints, and thought I just had fibro.  The only thing she could offer for the fibro was Cymbalta which I refuse to take.  Now she has changed her opinion and says I have RA due to continued elevated sed rates and CRP.  I am confused and aggravated at this point becaue I continue to feel worse.  I just started taking Arava after being on Methotextrate for 8 months with no relief.  It does help to talk to others about this.  What do you take for your muscle pain?  Chris

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    • ronie
      January 12, 2011
      ronie
      January 12, 2011

      I would think without joint involvement, that you are more correctly diagnosed with Fibro.  I personally have RA, OA and Fibro.  So you can have all the above.  However without joint involvement I wouldn't think RA first off.  An elevated sed rate can mean anything as it is just an indication of inflammation and infection.  The CRP also measures inflammation.   So both these blood tests say the same thing.  You have chronic inflammation in your body not necessarily or specifically RA.

      Do you have a positive RA Factor? 

      It is completely possible the fibro is the main issue and RA is an underlying diagnosis.  I say don't wake a sleeping lion.

       

      However, mtx or Arava aren't going to work if you do not actually have RA or the like. Although you have been to 2 rheumies, that is just a drop in the bucket in the trial and error period of true diagnoses and control of your symptoms.

       

      Fibro is generally treated with anti-convulsants (neurontic or Lyrica), anti-inflammatories, muscles relaxers, and anti-depressants. In some cases you may get lucky to get a pain med of some sort.  Don't ask me how it does it, but Cymbalta works on the part of the brain that controls the misfiring brain waves that causes our spasms and muscle soreness as well as works to control the depression and aggrivation involved in dealing with chronic pain.

       

      Hang in there and be a self advocate for your diagnoses. It may help to keep a journal of specifics and take it to your next appt. This may help the docs pinpoint the true issue.  You can put things in it like body temp, BP, which joints and/or muscles are acting up, your sleep habits, depression etc.. Do a search for the 18 tender points of Fibro and compare.  I actually made several copies of the human body and made marks with a red pin every night as to which joints and muscle I had trouble with.  (yes I am anal) This little journal helped the docs find that I actually had multiple issues going on. 

       

      Keep your chin up and let us know what your doc says.

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    • Chris
      January 12, 2011
      Chris
      January 12, 2011

      Thank you for the information.  I do have a positive RF factor, however, it is not a real high number, and I understand you can test positive but still not have RA.  I wouldn't say I have absolutely no joint involvment.  My knees and shoulders, and tops of my feet hurt, and my hands always feel swollen and sore, although nothing appears to be swollen on appearance.  I am going to go for a 3rd opinion.  The only anti-inflammatory that I have been prescribed is Mobic, and that was prescribed by my family doctor.  I don't understand why the rheumatologist can only offer me either DMARDS or anti-depressants.  I have never been offered any pain medications by either of my rheumatologists, I don't know why but I will ask my rheumy when I see her next time.  Advil does nothing for the sore muscles or stiffness that I feel.  Do you take Cymbalta?  Have you had good results with it?  I hear horror stories about withdrawal from it, etc., so I have been relucatant to try it.  I appreciate the info, please keep in touch.  Christine

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    • ronie
      January 13, 2011
      ronie
      January 13, 2011

      Hey again,

      Well it seems you are in my boat.  After 20 some odd years of chronic pain, I have never had a GP or rheumie prescribe me any type of pain killer other than tramadol, Mobic or Naproxen.  Don't ask me why and it is extremely frustrating to me.  And the pain medication management docs have waiting lists a mile long and I am still waiting.  I have appts with 4 of them right now waiting to see which one will get me in first.  I am almost 6 months out of a total hip replacement and all my docs (ortho, gp, rheumie and neurologist) seems to believe I have nerve damage.  I am in constant agony and alas, I have nothing other than tramadol and neurontin.  Every last one of them tells me to go to a pain doc.  UUGGGHHH.

       

      I did take Cymbalta and it helped alot with the leg jerking that I have at night (restless leg syndrome that fibro causes).  I also helped a lot with the freaking depression I can't seem to shake right now. (chronic pain changes serotonin levels and can cause chronic depression).  HOWEVER..... It is a tier 2 med with according to my insurance and costs $50 (something like 300 without). What kind of horror stories are you referring to?  I don't recall having any kind of side effects tapering off it.

      In the past I have tried lexapro, prozac, celexa, and effexor (worked but I am alergic to it).  Right now, I am trying pamelor (nortriptyline).  It helps me sleep but I have only been on it for a week so I am not quite sure if it is working for anything else. 

      For fibro, anti depressants work to control the misfiring nerves that cause unexplained pain.

       

      Oh yeah, when you are on your search for a pain doc, keep in mind that there is a slight difference between pain management and pain medication management.  The difference is indeed medication. 

       

      Ronie

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    • V
      V
      January 13, 2011
      V
      V
      Health Guide
      January 13, 2011

      Hi, Ronie,

       

      I just want to drop in and say that I'd like to drop kick your docs for not prescribing something for your leg nerve pain which everyone knows can be excruciating.

       

      Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!!

       

      Hope you get in to see a pain mediciation doc soon, and I hope that he/she will HELP you for goodness sakes.

       

      V

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    • ronie
      January 14, 2011
      ronie
      January 14, 2011

      If I could drop kick them (or anything for that matter) I would.  But I will let ya know when my next appointment is so you can join me. 

       

      It just seems that I am an unfortunate soul.  When the neurologist asked what meds I have for pain and my answer was, prednisone, neurontin and tramadol (which I refer to as f#%k-it-all because it doesn nothing for my type of pain), the man actually had the nerve (haha) to say, "well, who else is going to rx you anything more than that.)  HHHEEELLLLOOOO.

       

      But alas, I am stuck out until next payday.  My patiences is wearing very thin and Karen sees that.  And here is the true kicker.  the quack I told you about a few months ago who will rx anything for the right $ (he doesn't accept insurance), well he passed away a couple months ago.  Ironic isn't it.

       

      Ronie

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