I completely understand what you are going through. My arthritis has been flaring for a year and half now and we can't get it under control. All of the NSAIDS we tried hurt my stomach. I've been on prednisone for a year and a half now and they keep trying to taper me off, but we can't do it. The dose I'm at now doesn't allow me to do much physically but everytime I get worse, they just do another dose pack. Tramadol isn't doing much to help anymore. I've been on plaquenil for a few months now with no sign of any benefit so far. I've switched again from Cimzia to Humira, although I know that neither have helped enough with the arthritis. The only thing that was really helping was the methotrexate injections, which worked great, except they raised my liver enzymes and I had to stop them. Salsalate, sulfasalazine, all of the normal things they tried either hurt my stomach or raised my liver enzymes.
The rheumy wanted to put me on Enbrel, but the GI said no, since my Crohn's has been hard to treat in the past and he doesn't want that getting messed up. So, I have to remain on the biologics that treat both. And I asked my rheumy about the lidoderm patches, as my mom let me try one of hers, and the rheumy said those are not approved for arthritis use so she couldn't prescribe them. Voltaren gel helps sometimes, but not always enough. I was almost crying laying in bed last night, it hurt so bad. I used to work out at the gym 11 hours a week and now I can barely walk through the house. I'm to the point now that, as much as I love my rheumy, I'm considering making the 2.5 hr drive to Vanderbilt to see if they can treat me any better.
If you are able to find something that works for you, please let us know. Good luck!
Crohn's Disease with Arthritis, Non-Erosive Reflux Disease, Gastritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Endometriosis, Depression/Anxiety