shoulder and thumb pain

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Kibbles
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 2/21/2008 7:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everybody, it's been forever since i've had computer access, so it's good to be back. I have been having severe shoulder joint pain that wakes me up at nite, sore wrists, and very sore weak thumb joints(both hands) for a couple of months now. Went to my rheumy and she gave me cortisone shot in the shoulder and xrayed it. She says that there are degenerative issues in the shoulder joint but it is not arthritis and nothing can be done about it. She said the thumbs are not my ra either. Because I am not having swelling or pain anywhere in my hands other than my wrists and thumbs at this time, she says it's not my ra. My thumbs lock and click and ache in the big joint and I can't use them for any grasping or pushing with out pain and or locking kind of, and my wrists are very painful at nite and when flexing them.  Anyone tell me whats going on, or if anyone else has experienced this. It's actually gotten to the point where I can't push the button on my humira pen. Seeing my rheumy today so I would like some feed back before I go. Thank you for any feed back. Joy
Count your Blessings, Joy
 
 RA :  Meds: Prednisone, mtx, Enbrel, (now changed to Humira)


Ides
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Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7077
   Posted 2/21/2008 10:16 PM (GMT -7)   
The problems you are having in your thumbs sound very much like the problem I have in mine. I have osteoarthritis, the "wear and tear" type of arthritis, in many of my joints. Don't let anyone ever minimize the problems that OA can cause. There are actually different subgroups of OA so that explains why some have more problems than others.

My thumbs click and stick. This is called "trigger thumb." If you google it I am sure you will find that your problems closely follow the descriptions of trigger joints. I have had cortisone injections in mine. It worked well in the right thumb but the left is a different story. It only slightly improved so my rheumy did an ultrasound. He discovered that I have a large bone spur growing into the joint. That is why my joiont clicks and often stickes. Sometimes in the morning when I awaken I have to pull my left thimb outwards to get the joint to be able to "unstick." Depending on the cause of the problem and what other therapies have been tried, sometimes the only way to deal with the problem is a minor surgical procedure to release the tendon that causes the triggering. That won't work in my case because it is bone causing the problem.

In all likelihood you have already seen your rheumy. I hope she was able to give you some help with your problems.
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, diffuse connective tissue disease, Sjogren's Syndrome ?
 


Kibbles
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 2/24/2008 7:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much for repling to my question. I did go to the dr and she is still saying duhhh? She did however send me down for xrays, and has put in a request with my ins. for Remicade. I will check out the trigger finger you mentioned too. All I know is that it hurts. I have actually put in my notice at work, because i can't do my job with out alot of pain. I find my self not beng able to keep up my fair share of the workload. Thats whats so hard about all of this. I know I hurt, and I know how bad I hurt, but the Dr seems to treat me like "oh? Hmmm...don't know whats causing it" I feel that if I apply for disability, she will say that she didn't feel i was that bad. I don't know, maybe I'm just worrying. I guess I need to talk to her more, and see how the remicade works for me.

Count your Blessings, Joy
 
 RA :  Meds: Prednisone, mtx, Enbrel, (now changed to Humira)


Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23427
   Posted 2/24/2008 7:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm not too familiar with RA or any other forms of arthritis but your story sounds similiar to what I've been going thru with my hands. My fingers and thumbs click and lock too. I was diagnosed with trigger finger and de quervain tendinitis in my thumbs. It really is quite painful. I have to wear a thumb brace for my right thumb and avoid constant use of it until it heals and for my trigger finger, my doc will give me cortisone injections. Do you know if you have carpal tunnel?
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
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~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Allergies-Singulair
~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Fibromyalgia-'06~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections
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Kibbles
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 2/24/2008 7:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sherry, no I don't know if I have carpal tunnel, and the Dr didn't mention it. It doesn't seem to be any of my other fingers, only the big fat joint of my thumb. Does the brace help? I have to wear latex type gloves all day at work, so I couldn't wear a brace during the day, but it may help at nite. I gave my employer 2 months notice just a week ago, leaving at the end of April. I am 53 years old and I know its early to retire, but I just can't do it anymore. I will mention the braces to my dr in 2 weeks at my next appt. and see if she thinks it may help me. Thanks!!
Count your Blessings, Joy
 
 RA :  Meds: Prednisone, mtx, Enbrel, (now changed to Humira)


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10392
   Posted 2/24/2008 11:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Kibbles I had trigger fingers on two fingers and the thumb in each hand. My orthopedist has injected them twice with cortisone, and that relieves the pain and locking. The second time was over a year ago, and I'm still doing well.

Regarding the shoulder pain, have you been on Prednisone for prolonged periods? I was on Prednisone and then Entocort for several years. I developed pain in my right shoulder, which gradually increased until it became excrutiating, like acid being poured into my shoulder and coming out through my back. My ortho did an MRI, and discovered I had avascular necrosis of the head of the humerus - the long bone in the top of your arm. This is a condition where the blood flow to the bone is cut off and the bone begins to die. It is a well-known side effect of long-term steroid use.

Long story short, I ended up with surgery to remove the dead bone and place a partial prosthesis to replace it. I'm pain-free now, and my shoulder is functional, although I don't have quite full motion in it. My tennis overhand stroke would be affected. That would be if I could play tennis...
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Prednisone, Entocort, Azathioprine
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.
 
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Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23427
   Posted 2/24/2008 11:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, that is where my thumb hurts too. My right more so then my left. It took constant wear of my thumb brace for about 3 months before it got well enough where I didn't have to rely on it. I still have occasional problems but when the thumb starts to get tender, I just take it easy for a few days and it seems to help. I'm not saying this is what could be wrong with you for sure but it's a possibility. I had my brace custom fit but they also make over the counter ones too. However, I tried that first and it never gave me the support that my custom brace does.


 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Allergies-Singulair
~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Fibromyalgia-'06~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections
To help Healingwell - click here: DONATE
 
 
 
 

 
 


Kibbles
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 2/28/2008 5:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Well I had my appt. with my Rheumy,where she had xrays of my hands and thumbs done ,and put in a request with ins. for Remicade. I got a letter back from her yesterday that said the xrays of my hands looked perfectly normal,other than some thinning in my right wrist. I just don't understand. If they can't see something in an xray, do they believe that there is nothing wrong? Thats how it feels to me. I say they ache, hurt , cramp up,too weak to use, lock and snap, and she says "well I know it's not your RA, but nothing shows up in the xray" They say I have RA, it affects my hands the most, I have extreme shoulder pain, ankles ache, and now my thumbs, bouts of sciatica (sp) but it's not Ra. Can someone please shed some light on this for me? Reminds me of "Dr. it hurts real bad when I move my arm like this" dr says "well then ,don't move your arm like that" Please help.
Count your Blessings, Joy
 
 RA :  Meds: Prednisone, mtx, Enbrel, (now changed to Humira)


Ducky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 2/28/2008 2:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Joy.. did the doc do any blood work? Are your hands swollen? Are they hot? Can you get a 2nd opinion? Hang in there!
Moderator of Arthritis Forum
Confirmed Diagnosis of - Psoriatic Arthritis/Spondylitis/Graves Disease/GERD/Scoliosis/Hiatal Hernia/Graves Disease of the Eyes/Chronic UTIs/Migraines/Hypertension
Current Meds -  Enbrel/Prilosec/Synthroid/Nitrofurantoin/Midrin/HYZAAR
Past Meds - Inderal/PTU/Prednisone/Voltaren/Feldene/Mobic/Cortisone and Steroid Shots


Kibbles
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 2/28/2008 4:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ducky, no my hands aren't really bothering me, just my thumbs, both hands. I've had flares so I know what your talking about, but this is weird. The thumbs just ache and I can't realy use them for grasping.Couldn't push in a thumb tack, can't flick the lighter to start the fire. Sometimes they will just kind of lock up in the big joint and cramp up too. I still get weird pains other places too, like very super sharp pains in my ankle. Just sitting there and bam! Pain. Maybe the remicade will fix all of it, but i'd still like to know what it is.
Count your Blessings, Joy
 
 RA :  Meds: Prednisone, mtx, Enbrel, (now changed to Humira)


Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23427
   Posted 2/29/2008 10:23 AM (GMT -7)   
No offense but it doesn't sound like your doc is very compassionate. I too think that maybe you should get a second opinion. We sometimes don't realize how much we use our hands until they are in pain and when you're in pain, it makes life tough.

I'm sorry to repeat myself, but it does sound alot like de quervain tendinitis. Did you ask the doc about that? When mine was at it's worse, it hurt just to move it. I couldn't even turn the key for my car or I would get a horrible pain from my thumb that shot up my arm. I couldn't hold a fork or spoon. My thumb was literally useless. Are you in a job that you use your hands a lot?

Does it ever feel like you are being "zapped" such as a nerve misfiring?
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Allergies-Singulair
~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Fibromyalgia-'06~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections
To help Healingwell - click here: DONATE
 
 
 
 

 
 


Kibbles
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 2/29/2008 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sherry, thanks very much for the input. I looked up de quervain tendonitis that you mentioned, and the symptoms don't all add up, but some of it. I haven't seen my dr to ask more questions. She saw me,took xrays and sent me the letter. I see her again in 1 month. I agree with the second opinion too. Is it a bad idea to see someone at the same ra clinic group, or should I try to find someone outside of the group? I came to ask the question here at forums so that when i do go in to see her, i will have questions to ask her. I felt that if I go back in blind to what posibilitys there could be, I would just be at a loss. I know it may sound stupid, but I worry that the Dr might think I'm just making it up, beings she can't see anything wrong. I can't see it either, but i sure can feel it! I just plan on going in at my appt. with the ammo needed to make her listen to me, and then set up a second opinion.

Count your Blessings, Joy
 
 RA :  Meds: Prednisone, mtx, Enbrel, (now changed to Humira)


Ducky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 2/29/2008 1:19 PM (GMT -7)   
If you are able to, I would see a doc outside of the group.. the docs in groups like that, usually confer with each other.. so you may be getting a biased diagnosis, if you see a doc in that same practice.. know what I mean?
Moderator of Arthritis Forum
Confirmed Diagnosis of - Psoriatic Arthritis/Spondylitis/Graves Disease/GERD/Scoliosis/Hiatal Hernia/Graves Disease of the Eyes/Chronic UTIs/Migraines/Hypertension
Current Meds -  Enbrel/Prilosec/Synthroid/Nitrofurantoin/Midrin/HYZAAR
Past Meds - Inderal/PTU/Prednisone/Voltaren/Feldene/Mobic/Cortisone and Steroid Shots


Trying2BFree
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 3/4/2008 9:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Jumping in late here, but my thumb joint sounds very similar to yours.  The pain I get is deep inside the joint and most of the time I cannot use it with confidence.  Picking up a glass or squeezing a shampoo bottle are examples of things that trigger the pain.  My Rheumy told me it WAS RA.  He has put 2 steriod injections in the joint over the last year.  That has helped but it does wear off.

Jeannie 
SLE diagnosis 10/05 now changed to RA 3/06, Endometriosis 5/05, PCOS 1990
Meds: Metformin ER 1500mg (PCOS); Loestrin BCPs (Endo); Methotrexate 15mg (RA); Metanx 5mg (RA); Orencia 750mgs (RA); Lunesta 2mg (as needed); Prevacid


Kibbles
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 3/4/2008 5:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Jeannie,sounds like a match to me. Those are things i can't do too. Even holding a pen.or today trying to thumb thru some papers! Ouch! As i said though, my dr says it's not ra, but won't give me any other heads up for it. Very discouraging let me tell ya.
Count your Blessings, Joy
 
 RA :  Meds: Prednisone, mtx, Enbrel, (now changed to Humira)

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