23 year old suffering chronic joint pain, please help!

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New Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/5/2011 12:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello all. I'm 23 years old and for the last three years I've been suffering chonic joint pain in my knees, anckles, toes, fingers, wrists, elobows, and left hip. The pain is usually a warm inflamed sensation, painful stiffness (with snap, crackle, and pop), or a feeling of weakness; usually a combination of all three. The pain is worst when I wake up in the morning and usually recedes slightly after a hot shower, but never goes away completely and returns several times throughout the day. I am in constant pain and can no longer run, jog, lift weights, push-ups, or any kind of physical activity that involves the joints.

In the last three years, I have seen at least five doctors (including 3 rhemetologists), done blood tests and x-rays, and no one has been able to give me a diagnoses. They have all for the most part ruled out Rhuremtoid arthritis because it does not show up on my blood tests, I dont have any visible swelling, and I dont have fever. I have been prescribed IBUProfen, Plaquenil, Meloxicam, and another steroid I can't remember. So far, nothing has had any effect. The only thing that does anything is Tramadol, which is a muscle relaxant pain killer and doesnt do anything for the joints but provides extremely temporary relief from the pain.

I am on here because I am extremely frustrated after dealing with this for so long, and for dealing with doctors who seem to just be stringing me along, prescribing me drugs to "test" in between doctor visits, and I feel like they just dont know and but wont admit it. I'm not looking for pity, but this pain has consumed every aspect of my life and I just don't know what to do. Doctors dont seem to be any help. If anyone has dealt with anything similar and/or has any ideas, it would be greatly appreciated.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 5/5/2011 6:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I can feel the frustration and pain you are experiencing in your writing. So sorry your are going thru this. I am confused though. Have any of these doctors done MRI's? MRIs do show inflammation. I believe there is some kind of sonogram thing that some docs have in their office that also shows inflammation, regardless of obvious swelling. If you have an autoimmune disease, taking a steroid such as prednisone should have a big postive effect on your pain. I take Tramadol for pain, and it does work well for muscle pain, I think, but the thing that works the best for me is prednisone. Of course, one cannot stay on a steroid forever. Steroid didn not help you??? Maybe you should see a neurologist. There is obviously something really wrong here, but it is making itself difficult to diagnose.

Fibromyalgia, Inflammatory Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Asthma, High BP, DDD, Bulging Discs in Cervical & Lumbar Spine, GERD, Prediabetic
Prednisone, Lexapro, Cardizem, Lisinopril, Advair, Lipitor, Vit D, Joint Supplements, Soma, Tramadol, Fish Oil Supplements
I take one day at a time, and try to save my energy for the joy in life.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 5/5/2011 7:24 PM (GMT -6)   
You say you have seen 5 doctors?

In my experience, a diagnosis takes time and visiting the same doctor will help, as you return they will know there is something wrong and do even further tests.

Hopping to different doctors will tell each 1 its a once off.

De La Rosa
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 236
   Posted 5/7/2011 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Just because you aren't RF positive does not mean you don't have rheumatoid arthritis. I can't blame you for going to many doctors. I've nearly quit seeing doctors altogether. It doesn't seem to help. They take your money and give you no relief. My rheumotologist told me, "you always seem to get relief from the tnf-agonist drugs". I have been telling him for years that they weren't helping. Evidently, he wasn't listening. Now I don't have insurance, so I am only going rarely.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 291
   Posted 5/12/2011 6:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with sacroiliitis about 10 years ago. I've gone through many tests...both back then and recent...xrays, blood work, MRIs, bone scan, neruro tests etc etc. All came out fine except for the bone scan. it is the only one that actually showed inflammation. I'm surprised as I'm in tremendous pain. So you may want to questino a bone scan..esp if there is one joint in particular that is worse than the others. I know how frustrating it is and you just want answers.

New Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/14/2011 4:04 PM (GMT -6)   
TPH2010, shoot me an email... I'm 23 and have been suffering your same symptoms. Multiple doctors including the mayo clinic, to find nothing. -Justin NVSEALs07@AOL.com

New Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/20/2011 4:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I suffer from RA and the only relief I receive is a shot of Depomedrol (steroid-prednisone) It works great for about 4 months - no pain at all. But by the 4th month my joints start to hurt. I have a tough time getting out of the tub so I try to shower only. I am on Cimzia injection once a month and have terrible itching but less pain in the joints though the only thing that takes the pain away is the injection. I wonder how long I can continue to get them. Right now it is about 3 times a year.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 5/20/2011 3:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Any steriod joint injections are dangerous if given more than three times a year in the same joint. You risk bone deterioration or tendon blowout.

New Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/20/2011 5:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I receive the injection in my rear end since my pain is is a few areas. I don't get more than 3 a year. They monitor it closely. But that is the only treatment that alleviates the pain.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 5/20/2011 6:42 PM (GMT -6)   
As long as you're being careful.
Can you do warm water soaking? I find hot showers helps my pains.

New Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/21/2011 5:53 AM (GMT -6)   

I'm 32 and have seronegative rheumatoid arthritis. And not one blood test showed any RA or even inflammation markers and I had a lot of blood tests. Eventually I had a bone scan. Wulla! A bone scan will show arthritis that a blood test or any other test won't. You have a dye injected into your arm and go through like an MRI machine.

I was being treated for Ross river fever for 3 months before I finally got to see my doctor (who had been away) she ordered the bone scan and result - high grade synovitis/seronegative RA, Arthritis' have all different names and the same one can have several names meaning the same thing. On a bone scan the bones or joints will come up black on the X-ray if they have arthritis. My entire skeleton was black! I was being treated for the wrong thing! And guess what I was on, tramadol and steroids. I'm still on steroids but a different dose and with other medications that actually help :)

I agree with sticking with one doctor, other wise every time u go to a new one there gonna do all the same tests u already had cause they will want to see the results not take ur word for it. Annoying, i know. And not knowing what is wrong will drive u nuts, it did to me. They were treating me for suspected ross river, because they couldnt find anything else. See a rehumotologist, go to the GP don't even ask them for advice just tell them u want a referral and that's all u need to do and then u can go to a specialist. Rheumatoid Arthritis can destroy your joints so u should just bypass the doctor maybe and go to the specialist. I have one doctor, one rehmatologist, one physio, one rehabilitation specialist. They all send letters and reports back to my general doctor. You need the same thing. And you can get that by telling them what u want. U want MRI's, bone scan and a referral to a rehumatologist.

I used to run, dive, very active and now I walk with a walker to the bathroom and any further then that is a wheelchair. And all my blood tests said I had no arthritis. But...they were wrong. Now, nothing is gonna stop me from fighting my arthritis (and as a result of it I also have fibromyalgia) and I know I cant get rid of it but 'we' can work towards a better quality of life. But u must find this so frustrating cause u don't know where to start. Cause i remember feeling the same way when they were treating me for ross river and the medications weren't helping. So if the doctors won't do it, then u tell them what u want done. Your their patient not their lab mouse. I told my doctor I wanted a referral to a rehumotologist and all other tests besides bloods done. And, ok I got crappy seronegative RA and fibro but at least then I was able to know what I had, what was wrong and then the doctors were able to give me the correct medications to treat it and now I'm starting rehabilitation.

Take the control back into your hands darlin. And u tell those doctors what u want done! It's your body. :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 5/21/2011 9:11 AM (GMT -6)   
an mri will show if you have RA, blood test are not definitive and
can change from day to day, plus they could be affected by the medicines
your on...but an mri is more definitive and you don't need the dye...
well wishes to you...what State or Country are you in and maybe
we could offer up a good doctor, in the Houston, TX area Dr. Waller/RA specialists is
very good..Hope your feeling better soon.
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

New Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 5/30/2011 9:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Another alternative treatment to relieve the physical pain aside from taking medications is through the energy healing. I’m thrilled at the treatment I’ve received with Paul (YM practitioner) when he did the corrections to me using the Yuen method. I have seen that he was successful to relieve my recurrent neck and back pain. Through this unique approach, he was able to identify the causes of my discomfort and gave me a complete new insight into the weaker areas of my body. After the session, I tried to stretch out my back and neck and amazingly I never experience pain and all the issues have gone. Having received healing, I am very happy to find improvement in such a short time. Now, it is a magic to feel so strong and pain free.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/9/2011 6:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Inspiring and informative. If you don't want to watch the whole thing, skip to 14:00. It's a story about a woman with RA. It might pertain to you.
Hope this gives you a little hope if nothing else.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/4/2017 7:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there,

I've just stumbled upon your post and am wondering if you have since had a diagnosis? I'm 24 and this past June I began having chronic joint inflammation and pain and also allergy/cold symptoms. The doctors say I'm fine, have done blood work, X-ray, tested for arthritis and other things and everything was negative. Its driving me crazy if you have any thoughts please share!

celebrate life
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 2109
   Posted 10/5/2017 10:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kristene and welcome to the HW forum!
The thread you have posted on is so old that I doubt you will get a response from the original poster. But hopefully the current posters can lend you some support and direction.
I've had RA for around 15 yrs now. Your story sounds an awful lot like what happens to many folks with inflammatory joint diseases. It often takes a very long and pain filled journey to get to a dx or at least a med that brings relief. Especially if you have negative blood tests and xrays. So my suggestion is to push your GP for a referral to a rheumatologist. Often there is a long wait for that visit too. But it may be them only way to get answers.
Do you know if you have had a sedrate done in your blood panel? That is a good indicator of how much inflammation there is in your joints.
Also, when you get a chance, start a new thread, one that's just for you and keep us posted on how you're progressing.
Best wishes to you!

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/6/2017 7:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Beth

Thank you so much for your response!

I started to have this feeling that it could be RA when I read this thread
I will definitely go back and ask to be sent to a rheumatologist and ask about the sedrate as well

Thank you so much for your help
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