hi, I'm new here. I was diagnosed about a year ago now. Here are my questions.. I have HEAPS but will just start with a couple:
1. pain medication. I don't take any..yet. Different limbs, fingers etc just randomly ache and then it goes away. It might have stopped by the time medication starts working. does anyone else find this?
2. The rheumatologist told me to go and have baseline x-rays done. that was a year ago. I guess I better get onto it. i can start to see one of my fingers bending, and knuckles looking lumpy. Any comments about "baseline x-rays"?
A big thank you to those who create, modify, run and contribute to this site. I really appreciate it. Thank you!!
Welcome to the group Louise. So to answer your specific questions. . . . I rarely take pain medication. As a matter of fact, I just took it recently, a few evenings, to help with mid back and rib pain that was never ending. Otherwise, I am on NSAIDs and DMARDs, and use ice, heat, and other home remedies as needed. My rheumy just recently pointed out that when the pain is moving, that's more of a good thing, to the extent that joints get badly damaged when inflammation moves in and sticks around. I'm working on not being alarmist when a joint suddenly starts screaming. Often that type of pain is more passing for me as well. The achy stuff tends to stick around for me. But remember, everyone is going to have a different experience with this.
Your other question was about baseline x-rays. I never had any done, but some doctors do like to have this done. So I just recently had bilateral hip and knee x-rays done, because pain has settled in and stuck around, feeling more like osteo-arthritis pain. There are some arthritic changes (I'm almost 42 yrs old). I'll point out that I asked for the x-rays. My knee has been somewhat swollen for years, and has recently begun hurting me more, even when just walking, and when resting. Psoriatic arthritis can set the stage for osteoarthritis, by starting some changes.
You mentioned that your fingers are starting to show changes. Some of the "lumpy" changes can be inflammation. Not good, so you want to get on top of the inflammation. You didn't mention if you have started any disease modifying meds yet. If your hands are a big problem, you may want to see a hand specialist, who can guide you in exercises or splinting that may be appropriate, as well as cortisone shots if necessary. PsA can cause some pretty bad damage to the finger joints, so you definitely want to stay on top of disease control.
Feel free to ask away. You can also use the forum to search for specific things.
I have had multiple x-rays of my ankles - my first major (recent) symptom, which led to my diagnosis. My rheumy was considering baseline x-rays until we realized that just about every joint in my body is arthritic. LOL
I take pain medication sparingly. I kind of "save up" for bad days, since the pain med I'm on can lose effectiveness the more you take it.
I hope you find what you need here! :)
Hi, Louise! Sorry you’ve had to join us, but I’m glad you did. I think baseline x-rays are a really good idea. But with this disease the pain can often come from ligament and tendon inflammation, so don’t think that if the x-rays show nothing serious, that the pain is imaginary. Inflammation does come and go. When it stays, that’s when the damage starts happening as your rheumy said.
Go for the x-rays: they may provide valuable information, either now or later.
My pain came and went in the beginning. My elbow would hurt so bad I couldn't move it at all one day and the next it was gone, but my knee was bad. It was like that for months before things were more constant. I'd get the baseline imaging done. It can help to monitor progression of the disease as well as treatment.
Wow, thank you all for your replies. that's useful info.