what does RA feel like?

i have multiple reasons for aches: degenerative cervical disease, osteoarthitis and RA. i know what the neck issue feels like and the osteo which is sharp pains when the joint is involved. but recently my right shoulder back neck area and left hip have this dull achy feeling all the time. hope to get mri next week. could this be RA aches?
thanks
pamh

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Yep, it could be. Sometimes my RA feels achy like this but most of the time it feels like a rug burn. If it moves to the opposite side, then probably your RA is acting up is my guess.

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thanks kiteekat for the info. so its more of a burning sensation. Lovely. I've tested positive for the marker for RA and it runs in my family but have not had systoms yet except for the acheness in my joints.

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To me, RA feels like somebody has driven a rusty nail through my joints. When I try to use that joint, they give it another whack with the hammer.

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PamH,
Before I was diagnosed with RA, I remember certain joints aching all the time. Then things changed. The pain became more like hot bee sting burning like pain. It also became symmetrical. I had extreme fatigue. I couldn't even walk a few feet without being out of breath. I didn't get the classic RA hands symptoms until almost a year after the first achiness in my joints started. RA also runs in my family. Other family members tested RF positive but do not have RA. You may never get RA.

Misty,
Wow, I'm sorry you're in such bad shape. I hope you are taking something to control the pain.

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Whoops, Sorry Wisty. I got you name wrong. RA brain fog.

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can they anything with a MRI? have one on monday for my l hip.
on my glute when i put pressure, feels like bee stings and i ache in the
hip jiont all the time.

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The only MRI I ever had was a few years ago in my neck which turned out to be osteo. My diagnosis was made on the basis of obvious symmetrical hand, wrist and feet swelling, symmetrical hip pain and weakness, and various other symptoms (dry eyes and mouth, mouth and nose sores, livedo reticularis and palmar erythma, extreme fatigue). My x-rays were normal. I also tested positive for RF. The MRI may show swelling. Have you had any blood work done? Has your GP sent you to a Rheumatologist yet?

You know, one weird thing that I have is the white part of both of my eyes is a light blue color. It's because of the dry eyes.

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No problem, kitiekat. Wisty is short for wisteria, one of my favorite flowers.

I don't always hurt to the rusty-nail level, and I've grown accustomed to the constant lesser aches and pains. I only really notice when it gets awfully bad. I guess fatigue is one of my biggest problems. Other people don't seem to understand that it's part of the disease. They think if I'd just get more exercise, I'd feel better. Why can't they understand that if I felt better, I'd get more exercise?

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I have the exact same problem! The only people who seem to "get" RA are people that have it. It's hard to get exercise when your joints are screaming. Methotrexate seems to take the edge off. It took a long time for that to start working for me. What are you taking for your RA?

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I am so glad to hear people talk about what it feels like to have RA. It is clear that if a person has not experienced it, they don't really "get it," especially the fatigue and systemic aspects of the condition. I have psoriatic arthritis, which in my case includes joint inflammation like RA, spondylitis -which is RA type activity in the spine, and enthesitis- which is inflammation of the tendons and ligaments where they attach to the joints. I tend to experience it with a range of symptoms (fatigue!), and everything from the rusty nail scenario to general aches and pains. I take Enbrel, Methotrexate, Vicodin, and NSAIDS to help manage it. I get by in this way and that. I provided this description as I really appreciate the previous posts in which people describe what their RA feels like. When you don't know anyone else, it is a bit isolating trying to figure out what the heck this body is doing- sort of like I am from Jupiter and others are from elsewhere ( maybe Earth......not always sure... :). ) I am having a big flare period these days. I have had PsA for nine years, and from experience, I have every expectation that things will get at least somewhat better in the future. A bit roller coasty, I guess. Anyhow- thanks for taking the time to share your experience. It is helpful to me, and I am guessing to others as well.

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yes tested positive and yes have RA doc. he has me on plaquenil. my eyes are dry too.

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Can have RA when NOT testing positive for RA factor too. The most telling clinical diagnosis, I'm told, is the symmetrical nature of the joint pain – same things happening on both sides.
What does it feel like? Pain pain pain.
I don't get the fatigue any more as I did at the start - thank the lord. The fatigue was the pits.

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I'm glad PamH started this post. My twin brother has Ankylosing Spondylitis (inflammatory arthritis of the spine). Originally my GP thought I may have had PsA (psoriatic arthritis) because I had developed psoriasis on my right elbow the summer before all the joint pain started. I did test positive for HLA-B27. I didn't test positive for RF until I got the hand, wrist and feet pain. My CRP and SED rate in the beginning were normal. They didn't become elevated until the swelling was really bad. My WBC was also elevated and I had low iron.

I always wondered if some of us that were also diagnosed with Fibro actually have enthesitis.

Anyone with inflammatory arthritis, please join the conversation! Share your experience. These boards helped me when I was trying to figure out what was wrong. It's also good to know that you're not alone in this.

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I was originally diagnosed with fibro...i have enthesitis. After 5 months my GP sent me back to rheumatology for re-assessment! Now diagnosed with PsA and AiH. I have had psoriasis for around 14 years. I feel like my joints burn...sometimes i swear they feel like some small rodent is gnawing on my feet! I started off achey...then painful..symmetrical but not diagnosed with RA...my father had RA but was RA negative...this was diagnosed due to fatigue, symmetrical knee, feet and hand swelling. I have palmar erythma and palmar tendon swelling..both hands and tendon swelling both feet. I also have raynauds. My daughter has Lupus. I had six hand ops including joints fusions and replacements for what was originally thought to be OA. The problems were caused by tendon and ligament stiffness. My dominant thumb also became unstable and i had to have a metal plate fitted to stop it moving. My experience is like many of you...people don't get the fatigue if they don't have it! My daughter with Lupus also has fatigue. My own experience in dealing with these two conditions have left me realising that although i'm a nurse, i could sympathise with patients before and knew life was harder for them,
but did not really truly get it...till i got it!

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I'm taking methotrexate and Plaquenil, along with folic acid, calcium and vitamin D supplements. For pain, I have ultram from my previous rheumy nearly two years ago. I'm almost out and am hoping the new one will prescribe more. He seems somewhat unsympathetic. Wouldn't it be nice to have a doctor who suffers from the same thing?

When I was diagnosed, I knew nothing about the disease and didn't know anybody who had it. I was lost on a sea of ignorance and pain. Knowledge and understanding make so much difference. Does anybody here keep up with RA Warrior on Facebook? She has it, has studied it, speaks out for the rest of us. She's great!

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Amyc11,

What does the enthesitis feel like? I get throbbing pain above and below both elbow and knee joints. It's actually very painful and it's worse when I try to sleep. This is why I was diagnosed also with fibro. Is it the same treatment as RA? Gosh how long were you misdiagnosed for? Was all the damage you had due to the enthesitis or PsA?

Hi Wisty,

I know what you mean about Rheumy's being so unsympathetic. Mine is very good but he exactly like that. My GP usually prescribes pain killers for me if I need them.

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Kiteekat hi..the enthesitis is pain from ligaments and tendons where they attach...with PsA and other inflammatory arthritis they can become thickened and inflammed. The pain can be anything from sharp to burning especially after a period of rest or a lot of activitiy. I get sharp pain when getting out of bed in the morning...then when i've been on my feet for a while the pain is burning and throbbing. I get burning fingertips but rheumy has told me this is fibro....also told muscle aches are fibro. I was mis-diagnosed for nearly 3 years! And in that time the structure of my feet have been permananently altered with joint destruction. I've been off work for a few months but am trying to go back in new year...difficult as a nurse as i'm on my feet all shift. rheumatologist missed reporting abnormal liver function 18 months ago and orthopoedics missed reporting same 2 years ago! I was given Methotrexate but taken off it when by Hepatologist because of liver probs....so on Azathioprine and Prednisolone now. Also liver function has been abnormal all this time and Hepatologist says this can also cause symptoms similar to fibro...muscle aches, fatigue, fevers,shivers. Which rheumatologist says he didn't know what could be causing those symptoms!! Only diagnosed in June this year! Thank goodness for good GPs....i was lucky with mine...he gave me painkillers and always thought something had been missed. I also had an anaphylaxis 12 months ago and carry adrenaline now.....yet another indication of over-active immune activity! Very frustrating times!

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Thanks for responding. Sorry about the misdiagnoses and liver problems. It sounds like your having a tough time. It took my brother 15 years to get his diagnosis (AS). He only was diagnosed when his x-rays showed fusion in his sacral area. My bro also had to be taken off Methotrexate because of abnormal liver function. I don't seem to have that problem yet. Believe me, I'll be getting all my blood work sent to me after reading your post!!

I cannot understand why with all the advances made in Rheumatology, people can't get a right diagnosis!! I went to three different Rheumies in a six month time before finally getting the right diagnosis. I was diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica (I'm 45), Fibromyalgia (which current Rheumy just rediagnosed) and the third dumb Rheumy said I needed to do more core exercises. Third Rheumy didn't tell me I tested high positive for RF and had a high SED. I had significant finger and hand swelling at the time I saw him. I think what got the ball rolling was changing GPs. She's the one who sent me to the good Rheumy.

I have GERD and Asthma. I read somewhere that both these conditions could be caused by an over-active immune system. I think the GERD has to do with the Sjogren's but no one has told me that. When I'm having a RA flare, the Sjogrens get's worse, then the GERD gets worse and the GERD makes my asthma worse. Then the stress makes my RA worse. It's like a vicious cycle.

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Yea, asthma immune related not thought about GERD...like you, i have both asthma and GERD. Rheumy tested for Sjogren's but said i didn't have it...despite eye probs and mouth dryness that improves with steroids! When my GERD bad i lose my voice...so on 3 different meds for this....the longest my voice was hoarse for was 6 weeks at a stretch...have seen Gastro and ENT for it. ENT said it burning vocal chords. My daughter with Lupus also has GERD...i know what you mean about misdiagnosis...it really seems v unreasonable for your brother to have 15 years of symptoms before diagnosis...must have been v frustrating...we're still not sure what i have as my dad had RA but neg.....rheumy says we'll call it PsA for now as it's something to hang a hat on! But may not be right! He says i def have an autoimmune inflammatory arthritis...so at least i'm now getting treatment! I was 51 when first diagnosed with fibro last year by the same rheumy i see now!

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The thing about AS is that there are no specific way to test for it. Therefore there's a great delay in diagnosis. Sadly this is the case for most people diagnosed with AS. For women, it's even worse. There are still Rheumatologists that think woman don't get the disease. I actually had one tell me that.

I tested negative for Sjogren's the first time, positive the second time. Are you neg. for RF? Yeah, I guess it doesn't really matter what you have as long as you get the right treatment. I never lost my voice with GERD. It attacks my chest and in between my shoulder blades. If I didn't know it was GERD I would think I'm having a heart attack.

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