tests for arthritis?

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tests for arthritis?

Postby binocular » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:13 am

I'm going back to the GP today and want to ask about arthritis. My joints get very stiff and the pain often wakes me up in the night. The worse the FM symptoms, the worse the joint stiffness. I assumed this was just part of FM, but can they test to see if its arthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis has been ruled out but it could presumably be osteoarthritis right? Is it xrays I need to ask for?
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Re: tests for arthritis?

Postby Theresa34 » Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:23 pm

It could be any arthritis hun x I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis last year then fm this year. One month I had a red hot swollen knee. It lasted about a week then went. I didn't check it out with a dr. Thought it was nothing :oops: Then the following month, I woke up to red hot sausage toes. This carried on throughout each toe every morning. I saw my GP. He tested me for rheumatoid arthritis and sent me to a rheumy asap. I tested neg for RA but was told I had psoriatic arthritis. It comes with the skin condition psoriasis. I didnt clearly have the skin condition but the rheumy noticed a small patch in my scalp! The symptoms are pretty much the same i think, between my fibro and this. Sore and stiff in the morning, fatigue...I struggle to tell which is which.

Hope you get sorted x
I am a fibro fighter not a fibro sufferer. I will keep fighting from the minute I get up til the minute I go to bed.
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Re: tests for arthritis?

Postby binocular » Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:20 pm

Well the gp looked at my hands and said if it hurts in the night but is better in the day it's not arthritis - it's muscular rather than joint related. (It feels like joints to me). RA was ruled out for me last year but they've never explored other types of arthritis. I wonder about psoriatic arthritis ad I have had scaly stuff on my scalp since I was a teenager. But anyway, the gp said they won't do anything to find out if its wear and tear because it'll make no difference to treatment. Am I stupid for just wanting to know? I also told him the masseuse said I have plantar fascitis bit he said there was no way of finding that out either. He said I just needed to keep walking and exercising. I said that if its plantar fascitis walking could make it worse and that I simply can't walk - that's the whole effing problem. Then I burst into tears like an idiot. I feel so stupid always going to the doctor and him never being of any help at all. Can arthritis really be ruled out that easily? I did manage to get him to redo my referral to the pain clinic. He wouldn't refer me to the CFS/ME clinic -"just one thing at a time", and besides I'm (slightly) anemic which will be why I'm tired. He just doesn't have clue and I'm so frustrated and feel horrible now.
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Re: tests for arthritis?

Postby Theresa34 » Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:46 pm

Can you see another dr? I see whoever is available. I was very fortunate that I saw a very good gp who referred me quickly. My rheumy nurse said that they are telling all the gps to refer people with joint problems, sending out letters etc. If you have scaly scalp then definately find a way to get a referral to a rheumatologist! After I was referred they did xrays on my feet, hands and later on hips or lower spine, cant remember. Nothing showed up but I do suffer from foot and hand pain a lot. Please get this checked. If it is arthritis, you will need treatment depending on severity. They put me on pills last year when I was diagnosed but I got very ill with them and havent been on any arthritis pills since. But that may change when I see rheumy in Sept, I don't know.
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Re: tests for arthritis?

Postby binocular » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:13 pm

I saw the rheumatologist last year who looked at my fingers and blood test results and said it was FM and ME. So I don't think they'd send me back there. But the joint stiffness to me seems to fit with arthritis - and maybe I just need to believe the gp? I just thought there'd be more tests. But I'm probably flagged up as a hypochondriac at the surgery now. I don't know if my scaly bits are psoriasis - I think a gp said it was, like 18+ years ago, but now I always pick it off so it would just look like scabs - I don't know because I can't see it. I might just have to wait until I can gave seeing another gp. I worked up to seeing him today because I need guidance on how to live with this, and how to readjust my expectations if necessary. And he basically said they wouldn't test for anything because it was irrelevant. I hate this.

Theresa does your stiffness ease off in the morning? I get stiff doing anything for tpo long - whether that's sitting standing walking sleeping. It eases if I move - so for instance if I stretch my hand the stiffness and pain gradually lessens. He said with arthritis movement would make it worse. He also said it's only the top joints of your fingers - my stiffness and pain is in the middle ones.

What treatment were you on for arthritis? He said it would just be paracetamol and ibuprofen (which don't help anyway).
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Re: tests for arthritis?

Postby whoami » Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:09 am

I have Osteoarthritis. I have it all over my body, knees, feet, hips, back, hands etc.The Dr told me that a sure sign is the deformity of the joints in the index, pointy, finger. The joints in mine are hard and swollen, as if it were a bunion on my fingers. I can't straighten out my index fingers. The Dr can tell by xray if it is OA.
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Re: tests for arthritis?

Postby Theresa34 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:39 pm

binocular wrote:I saw the rheumatologist last year who looked at my fingers and blood test results and said it was FM and ME. So I don't think they'd send me back there. But the joint stiffness to me seems to fit with arthritis - and maybe I just need to believe the gp? I just thought there'd be more tests. But I'm probably flagged up as a hypochondriac at the surgery now. I don't know if my scaly bits are psoriasis - I think a gp said it was, like 18+ years ago, but now I always pick it off so it would just look like scabs - I don't know because I can't see it. I might just have to wait until I can gave seeing another gp. I worked up to seeing him today because I need guidance on how to live with this, and how to readjust my expectations if necessary. And he basically said they wouldn't test for anything because it was irrelevant. I hate this.

Theresa does your stiffness ease off in the morning? I get stiff doing anything for tpo long - whether that's sitting standing walking sleeping. It eases if I move - so for instance if I stretch my hand the stiffness and pain gradually lessens. He said with arthritis movement would make it worse. He also said it's only the top joints of your fingers - my stiffness and pain is in the middle ones.

What treatment were you on for arthritis? He said it would just be paracetamol and ibuprofen (which don't help anyway).


My stiffness lasts for about half an hr in the morning. My hands are very stiff first thing and pink on the knuckles. I was told my arthritis was in remission but I did forget to mention my hands! I need to write things down. My memory is rubbish. If you have arthritis then depending on the severity of it, you will be put on disease modifying drugs to treat it and make sure it doesn't get worse over time. I was put on sulfasalizine last year. I started on one tablet a day for a week, working my way up to three a week I think. As soon as I upped my dose to two a week I got sick. I broke out in a rash which may have been guttate psoriasis, it affected my bloods badly, my cheeks were on fire and I felt extremely ill, so I had to come off them. I havent been on anything for it since then. At the moment its watch and wait. When on them you need blood tests every few weeks then every few months as they can cause issues with your liver. The next drug they want me on is methotrexate which is also a cancer drug. I dont like the possible side effects of it so I'm happy to wait lol
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Re: tests for arthritis?

Postby Theresa34 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:41 pm

Ps The rheumatologist who looked at my scalp said that if a gp had seen it, they wouldn't know what it was but because its her, she knew that it was psoriasis. I now have lots of sores on my scalp that I need to show my rheumy because I don't know if its psoriasis or something else :(
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Re: tests for arthritis?

Postby binocular » Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:25 am

Okay, so I don't have swelling so it's not arthritis. I take it this is simply another fibro thing.
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Re: tests for arthritis?

Postby denys » Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:29 pm

Fibro often feels as though its in the joints but thats because the muscles are attached so the pain appears to be coming from the knees etc. but the lack of swelling is one way of recognising whether or not its arthritis
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Re: tests for arthritis?

Postby zappa20 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:10 am

Most people as they age develop osteoarthritis depending on what sort of lifestyle they've had. Usually exercise is recommended as the best way to treat it, albeit not going hell for leather at it. Same for plantar fascitis, normal walking exercise, possibly with some support insoles, and also using a ball to stretch out the tendons is often what's recommended. So you could treat this yourself despite the doctor saying it's not, as the suggested treatment shouldn't cause you any harm. Psoriatic arthritis is somewhat different as it can involve a level of bad inflammation flares for some but not all of those affected.

If you say stretching exercises help relieve the stiffness in your hands then that's exactly what I'd be doing first thing very morning. If it helps it doesn't really matter what the cause is , if everything more sinister has been ruled out. Loosen them up in a bowl of warm water then stretch them gently for several minutes. There's loads of hand stretching exercises online. When I had. Fibro I'd terrible muscle tension and knots in my shoulders, and various other places . It was religiously sticking to starting each day with stretching exercises given by the Fibro clinic and making sure I wasn't subconsciously tensing which I realised I was doing all the time without being aware of it, which got totally rid of them over a few months. So I definitely know it really helped me big time.

When I was young I thought medical science had a pill for every ailment, imagine my surprise when diagnosed as type 1 diabetic. The consultant laughed when I said do you I not just not just take a tablet for this and problem solved, before starting to explain this was a bit of a life hanger in more ways than one. Little did I know what was involved. Lol. Several decades later I now know GPs often don't have the answers or solutions and a lot of the time we can and have to help ourself as no one else can or will.

Hope things improve soon for you.
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Re: tests for arthritis?

Postby whoami » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:38 am

I have noticed that some have said there is swelling with arthritis, if no swelling it is fibro. I am full of osteoarthritis and get no swelling with it other than the nobby looking joints.
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Re: tests for arthritis?

Postby denys » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:14 am

Sorry whoami I said swelling when I meant deformity (knobbly) in the joints flipping fog :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: tests for arthritis?

Postby whoami » Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:40 am

denys wrote:Sorry whoami I said swelling when I meant deformity (knobbly) in the joints flipping fog :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:



LOL...you are not the only one with fog. I think I might have said swelling at some point. I have heard knobby knees forever, even as a kid. I always say I have mens legs, skinny with knobby knees, LOL.....sorry men!
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