can anxiety cause joint pain?

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allgirls
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/20/2008 12:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I suffer from anxiety and recently started having joint pain.
I'm wondering if anyone knows if anxiety or severe stress can cause joint pain w/out it meaning RA.
I have seen a RA doctor.  All tests have come back normal.
I've been told that all test can come back clear, however a person can still have RA.
Also, I've heard that high anxiety can cause joint pain - but it won't turn into RA - just another symptom of anxiety??
Would love comments!
Thanks!
Jenn

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/20/2008 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   

Yes, anxiety according to all the info I have read does cause pain and almost every sx you can think of.  If you feel you need a second opinion I would try another physcian.  You can have joint pain with DJD also.  I have nasty pain in my joint on my right thumb.

Good Luck and glad to have you with us.

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


allgirls
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/20/2008 1:01 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for your reply, could you please explain - what is DJD?

Jennifer


stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/20/2008 1:29 PM (GMT -7)   

Degenerative Joint Disease. My joint at the base of my thumb needs surgery as the cartilidge is gone and I have bone on bone.  DJD is osteoarthritis.

Here is a link for you: http://www.healthscout.com/ency/416/577/main.html#DefinitionofDegenerativeJointDisease

It explains it quite wel,

Hope it helps.

Kitt

 


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Scattered13
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 10/20/2008 2:07 PM (GMT -7)   
It is possible for tests to come back clear and a person to have RA but you would usually present with any one of the following : visible swelling, warm/hot joints, nodules, red joints, lack of mobility, a fever. Some clinicians go by blood work, some by bloods and phsyical exam, some by physical exam alone.

As Kitt says, anxiety can cause lots of symptoms and the pain produced by it definately won't turn into RA. RA can't be caused by anxiety alone.
Dx: Panic Disorder, Psychotic Depression, Rheumatoid Arthritis
 
Rx: Humira, Methotrexate, Plaquenil, Prednisolone, Codeine, Diclofenic Sodium, Folic Acid, Propranolol, Citalopram


Buddha443556
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 10/20/2008 2:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I just started Zoloft, I'm really sensitive to medication, I've got some joint pain among other things, it's only been three days. Usually my joints don't feel this bad unless I'm having a Crohn's flare up.
You must do the things you think you cannot do. -- Eleanor Roosevelt


allgirls
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/20/2008 3:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for replying!
I don't have any visible swelling, fever, red or warm joints. Only pain in every joint possilbe in my hands! I swear - I didn't know just how many there were!
I'm 34 yrs old, I'm not over weight / under weight however, I do suffer from anxiety. For the most part, my anxiety has been under control. I will say though that when my anxiety is high - I don't eat! I go all day some days only eating one meal in the p.m. I'm just not hungry when I'm really anxious.
Helping fix up a rent house - painting a lot - is when I noticed my hands and ankles hurting. I knew it was from all of the weird positions I was in (small closets, painting small trim work w/a little brush, ect.) that caused those 1st pains.
However, about 2 weeks later, I woke up w/every joint in both hands, both wrists, knees, hips, ankles and feet were killing me! I noticed my thigh muscle was very sore! Lord knows it wasn't from exercising! All of this lasted all day for about 3/4 days. Slowly the pain had gone, except in my hands - mostly my left - I'm right handed.
I notice after doing labor work like mowing, ect. the next day my pain is worse.
I've just been really confused by the normal bld wk.
I think that once a dr. hears you suffer from anxiety, they then tell you that's the root to all of your problems.
My dr. wants me to start taking my Ativan (I take an antidepressant daily and have now for 2 yrs) when my anxiety starts up. She believes that once I calm my worries, my "physical symptoms will go away."
I don't know what to think - negative test results, joint pain in multiple areas, low anxiety...
Hard to wrap my mind around it. I just keep hearing that if it is RA, I should be aggressive about it - "catch it in it's early stage!" How can I w/no diagnoses?
The only problems I have are IBS, GERD, Anxiety and now - moderate joint pain.
Meds I take daily - Antidepressant, Vitamins, Ativan (when needed)
Thanks! Jenn

Georgie Girl
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 10/20/2008 3:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Allgirls
 
Cymbalta is an antidepressant that helps with pain.  I took it for some time because I sometimes have the kind of depression that makes one's whole body hurt.  But my last pdoc kept me on it because I have rheumatoid arthritis and he said it would be good for both my depression and help with the pain of the RA

Sorry you're in so much pain.

Georgie Girl
Georgie Girl


Ginny
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 10/20/2008 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jenn,
 
You are describing what could be Fibromyalgia! I also have it.  When you have this "joint pain", it could actually be pain in the muscles, tendons and ligaments that surround each joint.  You won't be able to tell the difference between true joint pain, and Fibromyalgia.  They feel the same. You won't have redness or swelling either. Pain in leg, arm, shoulder back muscles is also very common.  Fibromyalgia is NOT inflammatory. So any anti inflammatory meds will actually make your symptoms worse. Interesting huh!!
 
Fibromyalgia and anxiety are very closely linked.  For people with Fibro, the hypothalmus, pituitary gland and adrenal glands are "messed up".  They don't give communicate with each other properly.  The result is anxiety, depression, fatigue and pain.  Anyone with anxiety is more prone to developing Fibromyalgia.
 
If all of your blood and urine tests come back normal.  You should get a referal to a rheumatologist. (do you see one for your IBS?)  Fibromyalgia won't show up in blood tests.  The only way to get a diagnosis is through a physical exam. 
 
It is true with Fibro - if you can medicate or eliminate the anxiety, most of the pain will go away. It's a very tricky disorder to have.  I'm starting on Zoloft this Wednesday.  I'm praying that once my anxiety, depression, etc, will be treated and my Fibro pain will lessen or go away. 
 
Good luck and I hope you get answers very soon,
 
Ginny 
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

34 years old. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke),Sjogren's, Raynaud's, Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck) . Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, didrocal, Cozaar, Zoloft, calcium, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus


allgirls
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/20/2008 6:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Ginny -
Thank you so much for your post.
You're right, that is very interesting!
How would I know if each of my glands are "messed up?"
To answer your ?'s - I have seen a RA. Just recently though. Shortly after I started getting symptoms. She ordered all of my bld wk as well as x-rays. All my bld wk came back negative also no inflammation. Just a little low on Iron and B12. My counts were still in the normal range, just a little too low. Haven't gotten x-ray report yet.
As far as my IBS, I've had trouble w/my gut for about 2 yrs. (this is where I developed anxiety/panic!) I've been seen by 3 different dr's. The first 2 - not willing to "diagnose me" because they couldn't find anything. The 3rd dr. did both scopes and found nothing - he mentioned to my husband IBS, but he too hasn't "diagnosed me" with it either. However, reading up on it, I'm sure that's what I have - due to my symptoms.
All of my joint problems just started about 2 mos. ago.
I've been on an antidepressant for almost 2yrs now. I'm on the lowest possible dosage. I've really been able to manage my anxiety through therapy.
It kinda started to rear it's big head again though once I started having joint pain.
That's to be expected though.
I'm just curious - how old were you when you started having symptoms of fibro and how did they start out?
I've read only a little about fibro - I can't say that I have all the "pressure points".
Are some days fine, while others bad?
See, I'm not sure if that's how arthritis is either.....Is it constant with lighter days, or does it come and go?
Again, thanks for responding and I hope to hear from you again:)
Jennifer

P-Fit
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 419
   Posted 10/20/2008 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   

I have joint pain during times of high anxiety and stress. It also wreaks havoc on my stomach (makes my colitis worse). I typically have tingling in my arms and pain in my back. I've found physical therapy and a massage 2 times a month to be helpful. I'm weaning off some of my meds now and have noticed more joint pain/stiffness and stomach upset.

I think my Dr diagnosed me with the fibro b/c she ruled everything else out. I went to a Neuroligist and had nerve conduction studies and MRIs done...all normal. I tried to take Lyrica for the fibro but decided against it b/c I felt it was too much with me already taking Lexapro, Clonazepam and colitis meds daily.

Hang in there. I know the pain can make the anxiety creep up again, but just try to relax and keep it in check. Good Luck!!


Dee-38yrs old 
Diagnosed with UC in 2004-PTSD/Panic Disorder/Depression in 2007 & Fibromyalgia 2008
750mg colozal 3 pills 3x a day, .5mg clonazepam, 7.5mg Lexapro
1,000mg canasa suppositories (PM),
 Fioricet-Migraines
Prilosec-Not sure(Heartburn/GERD), Fish Oils
GNC Womens Active Formula Multi-vitamin
Colonoscopies-4 


allgirls
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/20/2008 6:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks P-Fit -
I'm really curious, what are your stomach symptoms?
It seems like everyone I've talked to that has joint pain either have UC or Crohns.
I was thinking that I have IBS....Humm
Jennifer

Ginny
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 10/20/2008 7:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Jenn,
 
I didn't know about the gland issues until just recently.  A lot of research into Fibromyalgia's causes has been done, and it appears that for some reason, the HPA Axis - two glands in the brain (hypothalmus, pituitary) and the adrenals (which sit on each kidney), go through a trauma big enough to cause them to malfunction. Post traumatic stress, anxiety, car accident, health crisis, abuse (in all forms), etc, seem to be the types of traumas that lead to Fibromyalgia. So you won't really know if you have the gland malfunction until you get the fibro diagnosis, or you start having a lot of issues with metabolic disorders, trouble with your blood sugar, body temperature, and many other issues.  The biggest red flag for this (HPA Axis) is the anxiety factor. if you have uncontrollable anxiety and a constant feeling of an adrenalin rush, low blood sugar, something isn't balanced.
 
I was diagnosed with it in 2001.  But, looking back on all my symptoms and issues as a kid, I can trace back to when I was about 8 years old!  If you had "growing pains" as a child, that is one major contributor to Fibro.  I think I"ve had Fibro, and lupus most of my life. But it took until I was 26 to have enough symptoms of each (and to be sicker than a dog), to get the diagnosis.
 
I have all of the pressure points some days, and only a few other days.  it really depends on the day. Today, I had 14 of the 18.  Ouch.
 
Arthritis and Fibro pain will come and go.  Fibro is most recognized by pain that constantly travels around from joint to joint or muscle group to muscle group.  Arthritis will be more consistantly found in certain places.  It doesn't travel around. I have arthritis in my neck and lower back and it never goes away.  But the pain in my hands and wrists comes and goes when it pleases.  that's my fibro.
 
I would definitely bring up the possibility of Fibro with your rheumy. IBS is found frequently in Fibro too!  I just realized that.  IBS and Irritable bladder. They're both very common.  You should check out the threads on the Fibromyalgia forum! Low B12 is another one!!!  I was just checked for that too - but I'm okay. 
 
UC and Chrons are autoimmune.  Sounds like you had your ANA and other autoimmune function blood tests done, and they came back normal, you probably don't have UC or Chrons. Fibromyalgia is not autoimmune. Lots of information!  HOpe this isn't overwhelming!
 
Ginny
 
 
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

34 years old. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke),Sjogren's, Raynaud's, Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck) . Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, didrocal, Cozaar, Zoloft, calcium, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus


allgirls
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/21/2008 6:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Ginny -
I can't tell you how helpful you letter was to me!
My pains tend to stay in certain places - Joints - However, I notice when my joints hurt, the muscles around them are sore as well. Not all of 'em though.
You gave me alot to talk to this Rheumy about!
Thanks again so much!
Jenn

P-Fit
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 419
   Posted 10/21/2008 9:55 AM (GMT -7)   
allgirls said...
Thanks P-Fit -
I'm really curious, what are your stomach symptoms?
It seems like everyone I've talked to that has joint pain either have UC or Crohns.
I was thinking that I have IBS....Humm
Jennifer
MY symptoms can vary. Many times it goes between very loose stools or constipation. I can have bad cramping, blood and mucus in my stools (sorry so graphic). My GI doctor tells me that some of my joint pain can be an outward manifestation of a colitis flare or being under treated w.the meds (symptoms outside the bowels/intestines). I have had eye pain before too. I had to switch the hand I use my mouse with b/c my finger would swell up so bad I could barely move it. I have my iron tested regularly b/c I can get real anemic really fast.
Dee-38yrs old 
Diagnosed with UC in 2004-PTSD/Panic Disorder/Depression in 2007 & Fibromyalgia 2008
750mg colozal 3 pills 3x a day, .5mg clonazepam, 7.5mg Lexapro
1,000mg canasa suppositories (PM),
 Fioricet-Migraines
Prilosec-Not sure(Heartburn/GERD), Fish Oils
GNC Womens Active Formula Multi-vitamin
Colonoscopies-4 


allgirls
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/21/2008 11:12 AM (GMT -7)   

You know, you sound a lot like my husbands cousin.  She has Crohns and she talks about having problems w/her eyes.  She also gets ulcers in her mouth.  She's told me that she's low on Iron because she passes so much bld in her stool.

She's undergone 3 surgeries to date. I really feel for her, you and all of the others here that I read about.

I guess I'm pretty lucky just suffering from the typical IBS and an occasional ulcer when really stress - due to H.Pylori also.

I'm wondering if anyone else in her who suffers from IBS also has joint pain. I'm hoping that that's what it's from.  I've read so much on RA that I really scares me.  I have a real problem w/taking meds..My Rheumy even frieghtended me more tell me that she could give me something to take for the pain, however all of the meds prescibed for RA are very bad for the body!!  Yea, after hearing that I passed on any meds she offered and am sticking w/Tylenol!

I'm getting really frustrated w/my entire family.  All I keep hearing is - "I don't what's wrong w/you...You need to get a 2nd opinion on all of this stuff - IBS, possible RA or Fibro...You know, there's no one in the entire family who has any of this!  On both your mom's side and mine..."

Great support group huh?  Sometimes I start thinking - why is it just me - no one else in the family has ANY health problems.
Jenn

Buddha443556
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 10/21/2008 5:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Careful with the Tylenol, it can really screw up your liver quiet easily. You should also avoid caffeine while taking Tylenol which can lead to permanent liver damage ... at least in animal studies. I was wondering why my liver never got better after overdosing on tylenol, must've been all these Mt. Dews and Jolts I was drinking to stay awake.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,298158,00.html
You must do the things you think you cannot do. -- Eleanor Roosevelt


P-Fit
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 419
   Posted 10/21/2008 7:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Buddha443556 said...
Careful with the Tylenol, it can really screw up your liver quiet easily. You should also avoid caffeine while taking Tylenol which can lead to permanent liver damage ... at least in animal studies. I was wondering why my liver never got better after overdosing on tylenol, must've been all these Mt. Dews and Jolts I was drinking to stay awake.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,298158,00.html

Tylenol never works for my pain like Motrin or Aleve (which I cant take due to Colitis). I just have to deal w/the pain or take the motrin and risk a UC flare.
Dee-38yrs old 
Diagnosed with UC in 2004-PTSD/Panic Disorder/Depression in 2007 & Fibromyalgia 2008
750mg colozal 3 pills 3x a day, .5mg clonazepam, 7.5mg Lexapro
1,000mg canasa suppositories (PM),
 Fioricet-Migraines
Prilosec-Not sure(Heartburn/GERD), Fish Oils
GNC Womens Active Formula Multi-vitamin
Colonoscopies-4 


allgirls
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/22/2008 6:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all the feedback!
I actually tried Aleve 2 nights ago - no relief.
I have to be careful what I take - sensitive stomach/gut.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/22/2008 6:31 AM (GMT -7)   

allgirls,

You got some great information from the members,  They are the best !

I have IBS and GERD but my joint pain is osteoarthritis not RA. I hope you are planning a trip back to the Doctors to see if you can get a dx so you know what your dealing with.

Take care and keep on posting.

Kitt

 


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 10/22/2008 6:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I have also been DX with Fibro so
I do have to say for me the pain in joints and muscles are there for sure

NO ONE can DX you with Fibro except a good Rheumy..........

Please let us know how you make out with this ..........

LYN
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
                                    Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
Moderator @ Alzheimer's,Co Mod @ Anxiety/ Panic,Co Mod @ Crohns 
 
                                    FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE
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Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 10/22/2008 6:51 AM (GMT -7)   
.......Great input all
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
                                    Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
Moderator @ Alzheimer's,Co Mod @ Anxiety/ Panic,Co Mod @ Crohns 
 
                                    FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE
               Look For The GOOD,Even At Your Lowest
 
     Listen To Your Heart,Look Inside Yourself,Understand You
 
 
 
                    


allgirls
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/22/2008 10:03 AM (GMT -7)   
stkitt -
Just curious, with your type of arthritis, is it in most of your joints.
When I google osteo, it mostly says it's from wear and tear.
My symptoms came on suddenly.
Jennifer

shark
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/2/2008 7:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear Jenn,

I have had major joint pain for about a year. I have seen a dozen of rheumatologists, and all tests come back that everything is normal. They sent me to a neurologist to see if it was nerves or MS, but I came back fine in that department too. He did request that I see a cardiologist due to my low blood pressure, and I failed the tilt table test, meaning I passed out when switching from a lying down position to a standing position. Do you get dizzy when you stand up? I believe my joint pain is caused by my blood pooling around my joints, since my joints came back with nothing wrong with them. If you have low blood pressure, you should check that out. And yes, stress and anxiety were the cause of my low blood pressure, according to my cardiologist.

Mako Shark

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 11/2/2008 11:21 AM (GMT -7)   

Jen,

My first exerience with osteo was in my great toe. All of a sudden I had pain walking as the joint hurt when it was bent.  1st Dr said just must have bumped it..rest it.....LOL.

I went back and the second Dr took the magificant xray........well lookey there, I had osteo at the joint as well as a bone spur so off to surgery and foot turned out well.  Took about a year before I could wear anything except tennis shoes.

My thumb started same way, it was fine and then the pain. Went to same DR. I should have known, nothing wrong, you have some tendonitis, rest, wear a wrist splint.

Then I went to hand surgeon......xrays again and  obviously bone rubbing on bone. I need the joint surgery and I will do it but with sister so ill I just can't take up to 6 months off right now.

I have seen all the xrays and in my mind I feel my PCP blew me off as anxiety too.

Be your own best advocate. To answer your question..............fine one day and then the pain just started. 

I feel sad about my hand writing because with a crippled thumb I write like a physician................can't read it.  smilewinkgrin

Hugs

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

Post Edited (stkitt) : 11/2/2008 11:24:32 AM (GMT-7)

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