Pain without swelling/painful to type

The swelling is there; you just can’t aways see it (the invisible disease). I can’t type - too painful. I use touch screen in short sessions. I also crochet in short sessions when the pain is not too bad. I use
I love the act of crocheting. It is so soothing and peaceful. I actually believe that I get endorphins and feel less pain because it is something that gives me pleasure. And my rheumy has said it is good physical therapy. Who knew? My fatigue and nausea are back with a vengeance lately, so on many days I do nothing. Here’s hoping we get better! Hang in there.

I don't have swollen joints, only pain from inflammation in tendons and muscles. It isn't visible but can cause intense pain.

I have pain without visible swelling. My hands ache and feel hot at most of the distal IP joints (nearest the finger tips). I have a few fingers that all the joints are tender (ray pattern).The base of my thumbs ache and are hot too. I have yet to experience dactylitis in my fingers (but have in my toes). I too have great difficulty typing. I also have nerve entrapment of the median (carpal tunnel syndrome) and ulnar nerves that cause numbness/pain (currently being assessed). I get inflammation in my wrists that show no swelling, just heat, some tenderness and reduced range of motion.

My understanding is that inflammation of the joint capsule (synovitis) is more common in RA. But peri-articular (around the joint) inflammation/pain is more common in PsA (enthesitis, tendonitis, etc).

Typing is an issue for me. I use speech recognition software, specifically Dragon Speak. There are versions for PC/MAC, home, profession, dictation, etc. It takes some getting use to but saves a lot of keystrokes. I rely upon the voice recognition features of my phone as well.

In another discussion, I seem to recall some mention of topical NSAIDS for more directly managing the trouble spots but have yet to discuss that with my doctor nor try this approach.

Yes! I originally told my FP doc "It can't be's the tendons that hurt!" My Rheum did the testing but explained nothing.....hoping my new one will be more informative!

Frances said:

I don't have swollen joints, only pain from inflammation in tendons and muscles. It isn't visible but can cause intense pain.

I'm painfully familiar with aching, painful, sensitive fingers, thumbs and toes that don't always look red or swollen but feel like they're on fire or otherwise feel extremely sensitive. I tend to use my hands when I talk and early on in my disease I once made an emphatic point by tapping on the desktop with my hand in a loose fist-shape. Needless to say I've never done that again as I hit the very last joint in my pinky hard enough (although I didn't really hit the table hard) to bring tears to my eyes. People thought I was being very passionate about the point I was making!!

I have considerable stiffness at night in all my joints (small and large) and find it really hard to get my small joints moving in the morning. Drinking excess water REALLY helps but sometimes they are just stiff and painful. I have dropped the milk carton on the kitchen floor more times in the past 18 months than over the course of my lifetime! My grip strength is affected but so too is my nerve sensitivity. I think the swelling puts pressure on the nerves such that sometimes my hands don't pick up the signals from my brain and vice versa.

If it is any consolation I think what you describe is entirely normal! Oh, and I do have some arthritis gloves that I wear over night and also at work when my fingers are really bad. They have open finger tips so I can wear them while typing. They offer a little compression and they are a neoprene kind of fabric so they hold in the naturally-occurring moisture on your skin. This gives you self-induced moist heat therapy while you wear them.

I think it's odd that I've never had a swollen joint and don't have pain in any joints, just tendon and muscle inflammation. I'm not complaining though :-)

I had an appointment with my Rheumatologist yesterday. When she was doing her examination of my joints, she felt swelling in places that I felt pain but was unaware there was any swelling. Is it possible that maybe there is some swelling that you are not aware of? I have flares with increase swelling, I get the sausage digits but also have pain with out swelling (that I'm aware of). Another thing the past I have been diagnosed with bursitis in my hips and rotator cuff tendonitis. Currently I have had daily pain in my hips (sacroiliac joints) for the past 6 months or more and my shoulders joined in a few weeks ago. My shoulders were off and on pain, but now they are a pain daily. When my rheumy was examining my shoulders she asked why I felt it was rotator cuff? I told her I've been told I had rotator cuff tendonitis and the pain is very much the same. She said it's not the rotator cuff, in fact she believes it's the actual joint. So...I can no longer assume the pain is coming from or is what I have been diagnosed with in the fact it's very possible that all the diagnoses over the years were in fact wrong and may have been this disease all along. Either way...PSA can impact tendons and ligament's so would it really matter?

I very rarely have swelling or redness, even with very hot and painful joints.

This past year my hands have been swollen pretty much all the time. It's a new thing for me to deal with after 30+ yrs of inflammation and pain but no swelling.

My IMAK compression gloves were worn just for joint support for typing and fine motor tasks, now I use them to help push the swelling out of my hands.