In so much pain!

Hi everyone, I am new to his and calling from France where I Iive although I am English. I was diagnosed with PSA in 2005 and have been lucky as far as flare ups go then eighteen months ago I was told that the associated spondylitis had begun to ankolyse so had more pain, discs moving etc, having regular physio to help and not been too bad. my first symptoms were in the elbows, tennis and golfers and they have always been a problem, weakness and pain if I did too much but the last couple of days my left arm has hurt from the elbow to the shoulder and tonight I can't bear the pain anymore. I'm not a wimp at all but this is something else! can't move it without screaming, don't know where to put it, am seriously considering chopping it off if I can't get any sleep, is it the tendon damage, has it spread, just don't know but would welcome any iideas on how to cope. I can't take too much medication cos I have a Hiatus Hernia (thank you Methotrexate). My friends are sympathetic but they look at me, perfectly normal, and think I'm exaggerating, they just don't understand. I got told today by an an acquaintance who noticed my arm hanging limply ( the only way I can get relief) that she 'had a touch of arthritis too, but you just have to deal with it don't you!

Yours desperately

Hi Linolly and welcome. Are you being treated by a Rheumatologist? You may want to look into getting the hiatal hernia treated too. They tend to get worse with time. I see you were o mtx. That was probably a good place to start but here in the USA we move our PsA patients to a biologic pretty quickly. The biologics like Enbrel and Humiria are the only things that stop joint destruction and help with the pain but they can take a while to kick in so I would suggest a NSAID, Tylenol and heat and ice in the mean time. I also usually use a splint if I have a particular joint hurting me. I helps to rest it. I also soak in a tub with Epsom salts before bed. It really helps.

I hope you start to feel better soon and welcome.

Hi Linolly, I know what you mean by pain. I have never had such pain before I was diagnosed with PsA. Well I did have pain but didn't know why. As many of us. I had a lot of trouble with tendonitis and found that pressure points helped relieve some pain of tendonitis. I also found a little ultrasound unit that unfortunately doesn't seem to be available in the US. It's not a cure, just little helper to get rid of the inflammation and help the pain. It's called Ultralieve.

Anyway, with extreme pain, I found certain pressure points helped a lot. If you find the right spot you've got it made. If you have someone to help you with it that's even better.

I know, no one can ever understand how bad PsA is because they can't see what's hurting us. I hope you get some relief soon. You should talk to your doctor.

Hi and thanks for your comments. I managed to get 5 hours sleep after taking Voltarol in the early hours so don't feel so tired and emotional now lol. Pain is starting again so am gonna try the heat and cold and will definitely look into the ultrasound and pressure points. I don't have a rheumatologist in France but will ask my GP for a referral. As I said up till eighteen months ago I considered myself lucky as far as flare ups go so didn't feel the need but obviously I do now.It is really nice to be able to talk to people that DO understand. Like most of us I don't complain about pain, it's a part of my life and I wouldn't burden my friends with it so they probably don't realise just how bad it can be!

Thanks again for the support, it means a lot to me!

Hi, I understand the pain you are describing and it can be debilitating. I use a Pro Tens Machine when the pain gets really bad. It works gently and you can control the level of current to what you can handle. The relief I get when I use this machine is quite amazing. It dissipates the pain and assists with the stiffness associated with the arthritis. Other people on this site might know of similar machines. good luck with your search for relief.

Hello Linolly, welcome. When I had shoulder pain as severe as you're describing I was found to have a lot of tendonitis and bursitis in the shoulder. Google 'subacromial bursitis' and see if that sounds about right. Ice helps, as does keeping the arm static .... a shoulder sling with a waist strap is perfect. Ultimately I got the best relief from having a steroid injection into the bursa under ultrasound guidance.

Hope you feel better soon but I echo what michael says about seeing a rheumatologist. Treatment for this disease is not just about relieving any pain and swelling you have right now but to slow down future disease progression and joint damage.

If you've not seen it yet there is an excellent book recommended in the Book Reviews section.