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Had MCP, PIP pain in left hand, joints sore. RF negative, history of cervial joint problem. Need opinion

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Hi I am a 43 yr old woman and I have had MCP and PIP pain over the past 3 weeks in my left hand (bilaterally but not nearly as prominent in my right hand) the pain feels like a XXXXXXX bruise and tender. However I have no visible odema or redness. The joints feel intensely sore for a day or two then go back to just feeling generally bruised - the pain 'migrates' over a period of days to a different joint in the hands. In the past I was tested for RF factor and was negative. I have had cervical joint problems for several years in that the discs are very flat and have had frequent 'trapped' nerves causing shoulder and arm pain in the past. I have frequently in the past had bouts of sacroiliac pain with sciatica. At the moment i am experiencing bizarre aches and pains all over but mainly down my arms and wrists and my neck is very tender I feel very tired also.but when I press my wrist or elbow I cannot locate that bruised feeling as with my fingers. I am due to have blood taken on Monday but feel like nothing will be found after reading other peoples anecdotal experiences due to the lack of any visible swelling/redness. My maternal grandmother had RA. I would beso grateful for your opinion as my GP looked at me strangely when I told how how the pain 'moves' after a day or so. I am approx 2 and a half stone over my ideal weight also. I have bilateral stiffness and transient pain in my knees that I had put down to OA due to age and overweight. I must also add that the pain experienced is not at all severe - it is the tiredness and constant awareness that is the over riding factor.
Posted Thu, 12 Jul 2012 in Lupus
Follow-up: Had MCP, PIP pain in left hand, joints sore. RF negative, history of cervial joint problem. Need opinion 11 minutes later
I wanted to say -it is the not knowing what is wrong with me so suddenly that is making me even more stressed - I think knowing a diagnosis however upsetting will allow me to get to grips with it more easily than being scared of what my body is doing at the moment. I put off seeing my gp for 3 weeks because I hoped it would just go away but it feels like its just getting a bit worse each day incrementally.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Jadhav 20 hours later

It is not good to see you pessimistic and disappointed. I am sure your problems can be solved by a good rheumatologist.

From your history, it does appear that you may be suffering from early rheumatoid arthritis. Bilateral symmetrical joint pains are hallmark of this disease. This is especially possible because of your strong family history and is possible in spite of negative RA test. Pain in neck is also a feature of rheumatoid arthritis and it is unlikey that you may be having spondylitic changes at such an early age. Though in typical rheumatoid, joint pains are constant, they can be migrating in a subtype called as Palindromic rheumatoid arthritis. Tiredness is also an accompanying symptom of this disease.

Your rheumatologist will ask for a test called Anti CCP which will decide the prognosis of the disease. Certain drugs like MTX and choloroquine will be a big help.

Hope this answer settles your nerves.

Dr Jadhav
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had MCP, PIP pain in left hand, joints sore. RF negative, history of cervial joint problem. Need opinion 18 hours later
Hi Dr XXXXXXX Thank you for your reply - I just wanted to ask is if its normal to have no visible swelling or heat etc in the joints at an early stage ? I also forgot to mention that I also have been having what feels like nerve pain down the side of my face but it is mild and ( not shooting or like electricity) just stays there mainly at night and part of the day and parts of my jaw ache mildly. The joints in my hands feel almost normal today and some are only very mildly painful but still getting aching arms and odd pains across wrists but not in actual wrist joints.Are all these things above ie no heat swelling etc normal with RA in early stages?
many thanks
Answered by Dr. Praveen Jadhav 2 hours later
In early stages, swelling and warmth need not be present. I am wondering if there is involvement of the t-m or jaw joint which is giving pain in your jaws. Otherwise, you definitely need to go for anti CCP test to decide about RA.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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