Constant shoulder pain

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lilac7
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 8/16/2016 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
So my mother's on steroids and methotrexate and biologic. the problem is that they don't seem to be working anymore. she's having constant shoulder pain which gets worse in the night. her rheumatologist is out of country and will return next month. she had frozen shoulder before this and it caused her terrible ordeal. so is there a home remedy anyone tried for this kind of pain? any other recommendations? it really sucks. she has to put up with it whole night.

couchtater
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Date Joined Jul 2009
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   Posted 8/16/2016 8:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Can she tolerate you doing a gentle pressure massage on the knotted muscle?

Find where the muscle is tightest and push gently on the knot and do a slow circle on the knot. At first it is very painful to touch, but if she can tolerate it the spasm will relax.

A warm heating pad afterwards can help too.
Joy
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Don_D
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Date Joined May 2013
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   Posted 8/17/2016 8:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Heat like tater said is what I always use for my shoulders and collar bones when they are flared up and it helps. Also, hot baths with mineral salts are a help as well but getting in and out of the tub can be a real challenge. This really helps me because I can lay in the tub and the water helps to take some of the weight off the shoulder and I can relax a little.

Isn't there an on call Doctor in the absence of hers that is covering their patients?

For massage, Carol does what she calls light touch. What this is is a massage using a very light and gentle motion over the inflamed area. I don't know what it does but it really really feels good. Almost like you are tickling using very light pressure. I can't handle any amount of pressure when I am flared up. The muscles surrounding the joint (in my shoulders) are usually rock hard and spasming but I don't know if others have that reaction as well.

One thing is certain, shoulder/collar bone pain from RA is one of the worst places I have ever had it. The pain levels are very high and I am not able to sleep at all because of it even sleeping in my EZ chair it wakes me up in agony all through the night.

I Hope that she finds relief soon. -Don

lilac7
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 8/18/2016 12:21 PM (GMT -7)   
She is very irritable during flare ups and wouldn't trust that anything can help her...so she wouldn't agree to any massage. I guess it's the shoulder which is causing her so much pain in both arms and she can't even lift it. it has suddenly attacked her whole body together from yesterday and she has been crying. Unable to sleep, both of us.

Don_D
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   Posted 8/18/2016 12:33 PM (GMT -7)   
So sorry to hear this voice. Yeah, the pain from it is almost unbearable and exactly as you described with the weight of the arm making it worse. Have her try laying in the tub if she is able and load it up with some epsom salts. This always helps me and sometimes I will take more than one at night when the pain is too much.

Does she have some break through pain medications? Sleeping aids? Sometimes I have to do this to be able to get any sleep like this.

Hang in there, sending gentle hugs hers and your way. It is very loving of you to care for her as you do. I hope she realizes how fortunate she is to have you. -Don

lilac7
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Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 8/18/2016 12:49 PM (GMT -7)   
i'll try to convince her into that. she's not on sleeping aids but i think i'll talk to her rheum about it. the pain medication doesn't work much. she's still taking steroids and they've stopped helping as well.

BadDay
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Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 1045
   Posted 8/19/2016 10:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Voice Hope your Mother is feeling a little better
the others have offered some very good advice all I can offer is to rest the arm on a pillow and use a heat pad or hot wheat sack ,
i'd suggest going to the local hospital or her local Doctor perhaps they can offer steroid injection or even an increased course of prednisone to get her over the bump.
it can be hard when someone is grouchy when in pain I tend to curl up alone (lucky I'm not grouchy because I'm in a constant Flare of Pain ) But Hubby is the Grouchy sort if he has a cold or in pain and it is Very hard to be nice so I just leave medication or cups of tea for him sort of like leaving food for a grizzly bear
smilewinkgrin
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on; Methotrexate , Arava , Endone, Targin 20mg (oxycontin) , Prednisone, Metforman(Diabex) , Tambocor. Oxygen & Cpap, Prolia Injection ,Lyrica

lilac7
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 8/20/2016 5:36 AM (GMT -7)   
BadDay, thanks. I can see what you go through since my mother has really prolonged flare up and some constant pain as well. Now her left hand is really stiff and it made her scream... she can't often her fist. this was the hand that was effected first. the other hand is not that bad. we're going for an injection since we got the appointment with the rheum on Tuesday. I'm going to discuss these things with him. What kind of surgical options can we think about?

lilac7
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 8/20/2016 10:24 AM (GMT -7)   
So even after the injection nothing got better. I don't know why her pain is so bad and so prolonged this time. It's been so many days and no medication is helping her. DOn't know what to do.

Lanie G
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Date Joined Nov 2006
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   Posted 8/20/2016 11:20 AM (GMT -7)   
voice, I'm sorry about your mother's shoulder pain. Is it possible that this is bursitis and not related to her rheumatoid arthritis? If it is bursitis, this is what is usually done: anti-inflammatories, gentle movements, ice packs and heat treatments, ultra-sound therapy. A therapist can help immensely. Ultra-sound therapy is not the diagnostic test; it's a wand that delivers ultra-sound waves through the skin. I have had all of this done when I had bursitis in my hips. I wish her well.
Lanie

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lilac7
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 8/21/2016 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
LanieG, you might be right. She has it now in both shoulders and hips and the injection they gave didn't help at all.

Captaindd
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2015
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 8/22/2016 12:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Voice I have some of the same problems as your mother. I have to sleep on my back with a pillow under each arm and one under my neck. I do exerises each night before I go to bed on both shoulders. I have this strap device that fits over my door that uses flexiable cords that I pull up and down on to exerise my shoulder and arm muscles. It seems to work and I can usually make it thru the night. I had the injections done in my left shoulder and that worked for about 3 days then it wore off. The down side to the injections is it cause my blood glucose to go over 100 plus points.
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Tondeb59
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2016
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/22/2016 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi voice

I had pain in my shoulders last summer and yes it was the most excruciating pain i have ever had. Nothing worked - the only small relief I got was from a heating pad. Then my rheumatologist scheduled rituxan infusions at the hospital. You are there for awhile (about 5 hrs) the first time. You go back again in 2 weeks and then not again for a couple of months if I remember correctly. They were a life saver. I only did the 2 infusions because they are very expensive so if you consider them, I hope your insurance covers it. Knock on wood, my shoulders are fine its just every other part of my body thats in pain now. lol i hope your mother finds relief.

lilac7
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 8/29/2016 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Captaindd, hope you feel better soon. My mom also has to use the pillows to be able to take some sleep.

Tindeb59 glad that rituxan helped you with your shoulder pain. I checked it out and it says it has lots of side effects. Did you face any?

We've been to the rheum last week and he changed some meds except for methotrexate and we'll have to see him tomorrow again. By far, nothing has helped. He said it's because she's used the same medicines for a long time. Do you have to keep changing the meds?

she's been crying a lot every time the pain worsens. so, these are really really hard days on us. my mental health is failing me so i don't know how to take care of her.

Don_D
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 548
   Posted 8/29/2016 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
This is so frustrating for both of you. The medication changes hopefully will help and she can begin to experience some relief soon hopefully.

I have had to change medications several times over the years because due to the nature of RA and its involvement with the immune system many times your body will adapt to the way that a RX is fighting the disease and the RX will become ineffective.

For me this meant that a medication like Enbrel began to have less and less effectiveness until eventually I was having extreme flares again and was placed on another RX. All of these drugs use different mechanisms to fight the disease so many times it is a matter of finding the one that will work.

You are doing everything you can so try to take care of yourself and get some rest! If that means earplugs for a few hours each night then do it. You will be no good to her if you too are fatigued to the point of a mental break down.

Tondeb59
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2016
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/30/2016 7:32 AM (GMT -7)   
voice - no i did not have any side effects from the rituxin. it was a godsend. i hope your mother finds relief soon.
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