Severe PsA attack in shoulder anyone?

I've never read about anyone complaining that they have PsA pain in a shoulder. Has anyone ever experienced a severe arthritis attack in a shoulder to the point where you screamed out loud in pain if you tried to move it? Just curious. Before my diagnosis I had 3 seperate, severe attacks in the same shoulder that lasted 2-3 days each time and it was just awful. The only way I could do anything with the whole arm was to use my other arm to pull it upwards and then I would scream out in pain the whole time. It was nearly impossible washing or brushing my hair. The 3rd and last time it happened was the day of my diagnosis, and that day I was immediately put on prednisone and mtx. Luckily I've never had it happen again (knock on wood) again but am very curious if anyone else has ever experienced anything like this??? I just like comparing notes to help me know that the things I have, and am experiencing, are similar to other PsA sufferers. I know I pray that it never happens again :)

Report post

28 replies. Join the discussion

i tend to get tendon issues more than joint issues. i have had shoulder problems. last spring i had tendinitis in all of the tendons in my left shoulder and most in my right shoulder. not fun. switched from enbrel to orencia and all is good for now.

Report post

Thats sounds like tendon pain to me. (but I'm not doctor) i get tendon pain in my feet, ankle, shoulders, and hips. Its kind of a more intense burning pain than the joint achiness I get from the arthritis. Tendonitis, bursitis, and enthisitis (inflamattion where the tendon attaches to the bone) are very common with psoriatic arthritis. I hope that helps.

This link covers it some.
http://www.talkpsoriasis.com/webdocs/features/Psoriatic_Arthritis.php

Report post

Super common for PsA to effect the shoulders. I get shoulder pain often although not quite to the extent you describe. I find gentle movement loosens up my shoulder pretty good. I make kinda like a windmill motion with my arms for a few minutes and that loosens it up to where it's functional. But if it hurts so bad it wants to make ya scream like you describe, then thats perhaps not an option for you.

NSAIDS seem to work really well on my shoulder pain also. And if all else fails, shoulders are a popular place to receive cortisone shots. The are highly effective for many people. I've had them a few times when I was younger due to sports injuries. They worked almost instantly and provided months of relief.

Good luck! I hope ya get to feeling better.

Report post

Been there, done that. It's the PsA causing acute tendonitis, and it hurts like the dickens; you roll over on it at night and you are instantly wide awake. The same thing happens to me from time to time in my left achilles/plantar fascia...or a knee...or the elbows...or my feet...

This is, without doubt, the most discouraging thing about the disease for me: it is totally unpredicatable from one day to the next, and this crap MOVES.

Report post

Hi Kathy,

My shoulders are the worst. They both end up so bad sometimes I look like a turtle, shoulders pulled in and hunched in pain. I use heat and pain medication when it get a bad attack. I also have a muscular therapist that works on my whole body to help keep me flexible and relieve the knots of tension from holding my shoulders up too high when they are in pain. There really is not a whole lot to be done, and having anyone touch you during a tendon flare is impossible. My left hip does this as well, it's frustrating to be fine one day then the next be suddenly immobilized. I'm glad we have each other to talk to about it.

Peace and pain relief soon,
Rainyb

Report post

Oh my gosh!! Let me tell you girl!! :-)

Seriously, yes I have. I cried in the shower one day because I could not use both hands. Never realized how important 2 hands was until that moment. Thank heavens it did not last long but still!

Report post

Kathy, my right shoulder was "frozen" (doctor's term) and that's what started my chiropractic appointments, then finding out I had cervical issues (lordosis) and ultimately what started this whole "event"... after a year of chiro appts and then finally going to a rheumatologist, to get the PsA diagnosis. I don't know what initially caused the shoulder to be in so much pain, but I still don't have complete use of it... the pain is gone but I can't lift it straight up in the air or behind my back like I used to. (We keep having more and more things in common!)

Report post

Just wondering, about psa. Does your pain exist everyday 24/7. I have more pain in the evening, not as bad during the day and mornings but never completly goes away. what joints of yours are effected. Is there anything over the counter that works to kill some of the pain? Thanks

Report post

Strino ~ I think the only thing that saved me (with my shoulder) was that I got started on the methotrexate (and at the time prednisone). I had 3 severe attack between mid March thru mid April that lasted about 2-3 days each. But it was mid April that I saw my first Rh. and that same day he started me on my meds. Since then it has never happened again and I contribute that to my daily mtx.

Dear psoriasis no more ~ OH MY GOSH YES, YES, YES!!!! My pain DOES exist 24/7. And it moves around. And I think it's VERY possible that evenings are my worst as well. I will be sitting watching tv and relaxing and as I sit there I'll start to get an attack in a particular place. It'll last for a little while & then go away. Then it'll start somewhere else and last for a little while and then go away. This can go on and on all evening and all the time. My mornings can be difficult when I first wake up and start taking my first steps of the day. But luckily that (usually) passes soon. At least the worst of it anyway. Also depends on what I did the day before. If I had a real active day the day before then I am pretty well screwed for the day. But as far as your question, yes mine never completely goes away. I am in pain EVERY day in one place or another or OFTEN times in a few different spots. I seem to have some areas that almost are ALWAYS hurting. For example I have a spot on my left foot at on the top of the foot right below the middle toe that pretty much never stops hurting. It gets OLD!!!! As far as what areas, here I go, and these areas are mostly on and off areas, they just jump around from day to day: both my hands ~ the tops of my hand are constantly swollen with these areas that are like pockets of fluid or something ~ you can see it at all times and sometimes it's worse if I have overdone it (like cleaning) then they get even bigger and sometimes they get even bigger for no reason at all, the knuckles on the tops of my hands can get red and swollen, the fingers themselves take turns hurting or being slightly swollen, then there are my wrists which give me a lot of grief and again if I over do it they tend to get worse. Once in a while one of them will hurt so bad I'll have to wear a wrist brace or ace bandage. Then there are my feet which are a constant source of pain and in many, many different areas from the heals, sides, toes, bottoms, tops, etc..... I usually have several spots on my feet that hurt at the same time. And man oh man, if I over do it on my feet I am down and out sometimes for a while. I walked around the mall one day for about an hour, then drove in my car for about 10 to a different store. When I went to get out of my car I could barely walk. My hands and feet are the two areas that are pretty well constant and my worst areas. Then I have had a lot of problems with knees. At times I have barely been able to walk on account of knee pain. I occasionally get short lived pains in my collar bone. I just recently (last week) started hurting on my neck (both sides) and in my back. This really bumms me out cause pretty much once a new area starts it never goes away. I mean, it doesn't hurt at all times, but that site will continue to be a flare site. As you read above I have had some MISERABLE pain in one of my shoulders that thankfully has never come back. My 3rd and final time that happened just happened to be the same day I saw the rheumatologist for the first time and that day he immediately got me started on 20mg of prednisone and 12.5mg of methotrexate. I was on predisone for 5 months before I weaned completely off. I was in bad shape when I went in. My PsA came on fast and strong for me. There was no slow progression.
Ok ~ I can't advise you on anything over the counter to help with the pain but this is all I can tell you. Last month I had my appointment with my rheumy and I asked him if I was just always going to be in pain? I was trying to find out just HOW much pain I was supposed to be ok with because the amount I'm still having is TOO much. I told him that I had read that PsA sufferers DO live in pain daily. He surprised me (pleasantly) by telling me that his goal was to get me pain free.....every day. He said that we would keep working with my meds (increases, new things, etc...) until we got me pain free and that I should be able to go back to feeling like my normal self. That blew me away. I thought for sure that I was 'supposed' to just accept that I was going to live with some degree of pain every day and I just wanted to know to what degree that was. I asked him if I'd ever be able to walk (aerobically) again. I was on the verge of selling my treadmill. And again, he told me that his goal was to get me feeling like my old self again. So that day we did increase my methotrexate (again). He is just working with me on slow increases of my meds and hopefully someday we'll get it dialed in and I will NOT be suffering 24/7 like I am now. I am living with too much pain and inflamation and it can be debilitating some days. Other days just miserable. Occasionally I have milder days. So I guess the name of the game is just to keep working on the meds until we get it right. My Rh. just bumped my mtx up to 8 pills per week (20mg). I think if that doesn't work out for me he is talking about doing injectable mtx.
So I totally understand your frustration about being in pain 24/7. Every day is a frustrating day. Pain jumping from here to there. Trying to relax in the evening and being attacked all evening by pain that keeps jumping around. And I hope it helped you to hear about all my areas of pain. I too often have wondered 'where' other people have their pains. I would be interested in hearing from you & anyone else where you have your areas of pain. I very much want to compare notes with people. This PsA is such a lonely disease because I think most of us don't know anyone else (within our group of friends & acquaintences) that have it. That is all the more reason that I was so glad to just recently be turned on to this site. I needed to compare notes with others with this disease and get helpful words of wisdom.
Ok ~ sorry for the long post ~ I'll quit now. But I really, really hope that I've been helpful to you and I really, really hope that MORE people respond to your question as well.
My best to you,
Kathy

Report post

Your subject line referring to shoulder pain is what caught my eye. I'm not new to Inspire, but I am new to the PA section. Although I have not been officially diagnosed, but I feel about 95% certain that it is in my future. I have my first appt with a Rheumatologist tomorrow. If it weren't for the fact that I have done tons of research on this, in addition to having two sisters who are RN's, I could easily be undergoing shoulder surgery right now. I have been troubled with shoulder and knee pain for a couple years, but it was never anything debilitating, some days worse than others. Last fall, my left shoulder really began to bother me and I knew I had to do something. I went to my family doctor, he did xrays of the shoulder and said I had two bone spurs. He referred me to an Orthopedic doctor., who confirmed the diagnosis and said I needed surgery. Because of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and out of town plans for Christmas, I decided I could live with it until January. I was not looking forward to the surgery or the recovery time. Fast forward to mid January 2011. I woke up one morning and had pain in my right shoulder, and as the days progressed, I was almost completely incapacitated. I was really confused and couldn't figure out how one shoulder took three years to get to this point, and almost overnight, the other one was just as bad. Thats when I started to do my own research, and it kind of scares me to think I might have undergone unnecessary surgery with the blessing of two doctors. I'm not saying I don't have a bone spur in there, but its not causing all this drama!! I discussed my findings with my sisters and it was actually on of them who stumbled upon PA. My father suffered from p terribly, but never pa, at least as far as i know. Within the past year I have begun to get patches on my legs and back, and figured it was another malady I had inherited. It is just now that all the pieces fit together, and I so hope this doctor tomorrow can do something for me.
When I saw your subject line, I screeched to a halt. I could have written that letter. I had no idea pain like this even existed and there are times when it hurts so bad, I shake. I cannot lift either arm any higher than waist high..can't get a glass out of the cupboard, I can't lift the milk jug, I can't even lift my little dachshund , and he weighs in at 8 pounds. I think sleeping through the night is a thing of the past, I try to only wear shirts that button down the front, and go without a bra whenever I can. One arm was bad enough, but now that it is both shoulders, it is just debilitating. I had a tee shirt on over the weekend and I got stuck in trying to change clothes! I ended up having to cut it off. An overhead light bulb burned out the other day and I had to get my son in law to come put a new one in. I eat Advil like they are tic tacs. Tomorrow morning won't come quick enough to suit me, and knowing that your doctor was able to start you on meds the same day is giving me some hope that maybe there is a light (one without a bulb!) at the end of the tunnel. Everything else is on hold for now.
Thanks so much for sharing. There is strength in numbers, and sometimes just knowing you aren't alone makes it a little easier to bear. Feel better soon.

Report post

I am so glad you ran across my post. I am also very glad to hear you are being seen tomorrow. I think all rheumatologists have their own method for which they opperate and what medications they give to people. As much as I HATED the side effects of the prednisone I think it was a true blessing. It got my pain under control while giving the methotrexate the time it needed to start to go to work. That darn mtx. takes 8-12 weeks to start doing anything and it can be a long, long wait.

I know what you mean about things like the bra thing. There were days when I couldn't do or undo one up. It was all I could do to get in the shower and manage to wash my hair and then be able to brush it when I got out. It was very debilitating. The pains of PsA, for me at least, have been pretty darn symmetrical.

I am really glad you held off on the surgery. With any luck you won't have to have it. I'm glad you did your investigating and have two sisters that are RN's. Also, with the P in your family history that is a good indicator that PsA is what you have going on. PsA is such an unknown disease. Many people are familiar with RA, but I rarely find anybody who's ever even heard of PsA. Let alone try and find someone that actually has it.....hah. That is what makes this site special for me. I can connect with people who have this darned disease and I feel like we are a family and identify with each other and support each other. It's been really, really good for me to be able to compare notes with others on here. I had such a hard time believing my diagnosis. I think this site helped me to become a believer. It just is harder for me to believe because I am one of the few who doesn't have P let alone any family members having it.

Please keep us posted on what happens with you. I really hope you get the answers you are looking for and get some relief as soon as possible.

My very best wishes for you!!!!!!!!
Kathy

Report post

I was interested in the subject of the shoulder. I started having pain my right shoulder last May, so I went to my Rhumey who sent me for a Xray then onto a MRI, the Xray did not show anything but the MRI showed inflamed tendon and inflamed bursa. He put me six day pack of predisone which took some of the pain away. I was left with dull pain which got worse at night if I laid on that side. Ended up being sent to a Ortho surgeon who looked at the MRI who found the tendon was beginning to tear. I then went for physotheraphy which did not help it just seemed to make it worse. I ended up taking another six day course of predisone. Long story short I am getting over surgery, they found a bone spur and repaired the torn tendon, never again it is the most painful surgery ever. I have inflamed bursa in both hips and ankles which get very painful. Inflamed tendons in my wrists. One thing I have not had is inflamed fingers or toes.

Report post

yep- include me in the list of shoulder problems- this is one of the most difficult to deal with because getting dressed is so difficult, washing my hair, reaching for things- one never realizes what they've got until it's gone.

Report post

Wow
Thank God you guys are here - I have been advised - very strongly - to go for knee replacement cause my dr said it is no cartiladge in my knees that is cauing the pain. It first started in my feet - really swollen ankles and swollen feet, couldn't even wear shoes for almost one year. Then my ankles got better and now my knees are horrific and the dr wants to replace them

I tried to ask them about psa and they waved my question away - went to a rheum and he told me he didn't even see any rheum in my knees.
The pain in the shoulders has me crying at least once a day. Although now the pain has moved to the upper arm right before the shoulder. And pain drs and this rheum seemed to either want to do surgery or let me know it is not as bad as I make it out to be cause I do not have any arthritis - point of information I had a double compound fracture in my right leg 5 foot surgeries a broken back and trick knee but he saw no arthritis or rheum in my bones - oh and my dad had crippling arthritis.

Maybe I do not need knee replacement it is just the psa and not what he says it is - my knees are so swollen you couldn't see any cartiladge if you wanted to. BUt the pain is so bad I now have to use a scooter but this dr made it out like I was trying to get away with something.
Can't lie am really depressed - being in pain 24/7 is very debillitating - I used to walk forever and now I barely even make it out of the house once a week.
Now the dr has me on Tramadol and I use it with motrin 800 so I can at least get up do a little cleaning or something. My poor apartment is such a mess and so am I.
Tomorrow am gonna start looking for a dr who is knowledgeable in psa - thanks for being here

Report post

The pain I ended up with in my right shoulder was so bad I could not do everyday things with out being in so much pain, night time was terrible had not slept for months. I feel I had no choice but to have surgery. It was from the PsA that caused the problems I have been told. The bursa and tendon was swollen for long period of time. Don't take the pain lightly.

Report post

This all gets really old, doesn't it? So tired of all the pain. The traveling pain. The 'new' pains. The old pains. The side effects of the meds. The worrying. The wondering. The waiting. The not knowing. Then the knowledge that this disease is FOREVER with no cure. Sigh. It's really tiring. I'm glad we ALL have EACH other.

Report post

yeah i have it all the time i just had my pain meds up for it

Report post

Has anyone had numbness in their fingers from the tendonitis in the shoulder? For the last several weeks I have been having a big flare up with tendon pain from my shoulders to my wrist. First my right elbow was so bad my Rh gave me a cortizone shot. The pain seems to have spread from the elbow up to the shoulder and down to the wrist. Then the left arm started in. I have had numbness in my left pinky and ring finger for a week and a half, and I assume it is the result of inflammed tendons pressing on the nerves. Of course the pain travels around, but the achiness in the arms is fairly constant. Sound familiar to anyone?

I have to add that I am so grateful to have found this forum! It is a huge relief to have people to talk to who truly understand and you don't have to feel like you're just "complaining" all the time. :-D

Report post

Yes, actually I have. In August 2009, I received a flu shot and was given a live vaccine while on Humira. The pain was so bad in my shoulder I couldn't take it. I was in bed for 8 weeks with it and it also attacked my hips and feet. I decided then it was time to start living life a little differently. I took control of my life and started a diet and rid my body of sugar. Sugar feeds inflammation in our bodies. My life has done a 180 degree turn since then. I also had a gastric bypass in June 2010. I had several problems prior - psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, sleep apnea, sciatica, acid reflux, osteoarthritis and edema. I was also taking about 6 grand in medications a month. When I quit eating sugar my psoriasis started to fade away...and after my surgery all my other ailments went away too. I take synthroid for my thyroid and that's it now. No signs of psoriasis or psoriatic arthitis!!! All of our bodies operate differently....but this was all a blessing to me. I've has psoriasis since I was 4 years old.

Good luck!

Laura

Report post

Yes I have had shoulder pain. I've had it the last few days and it has been intense and then fades, then intense. Also in my thumb joint where it connect to the hand. I've had Psoriatic Arthritis for 15 years. Calling Rheumatologist today to report it.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support the National Psoriasis Foundation

Help the National Psoriasis Foundation reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the National Psoriasis Foundation

Discussion topics

Additional resources

Community leaders