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Have stiff neck. Took medicine for strep throat and reactive arthritis. CBC normal. Proper diagnosis?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
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Last April I became ill with a sore throat. Tonsils swollen, low fever, a very sore stiff neck: felt very sick all over. Muscle aches, loss of appetite, I lost about 10-12lbs. Went to my strep throat and gave me some antibiotics. Test was negative. Felt this way for about two to three weeks. Started slowly to improve, but my neck continue to not be 100% I was not necessarily painful, but real crackly when ever I move it. Went back to him several times for the condition. He gave me multiple pain pills and muscle relaxers, not of these helped the condition. Said all blood work, including a CBC was normal.

In September he sent me to a Rheumatologist. He tested me for R.A., Lupis, Lyme, all negitive. He also said that I was negative for the HLA-B27 marker. He did say that I had the antibody for human parvovirus and that my symptoms I had back in April sounded similar to that, but could not be 100%. He said that it was most likely a form of reactive arthritis I had. He put me on a Prednisone drop down for a week and it had no effect. He next tried Cymbalta for one month, also provided not relief. I was then on Sulfasalizine for approximately 5-6 weeks. This started to help, but its side effects were too much and i had to stop.

I have an appointment with him in the coming days. Just wanted an opinion of possible question I should ask my Rheumatologist . Also if you would know any other possible explanations for the cause of my neck problems? Maybe see another type of Dr? Infectious Disease, or since the issue stated in my throat possibly an ENT? Again no severe pain, on a scale of 1-10 id give it a 2, just a lot of cracking and popping when I move my neck. It basically sounds like it needs oil, for lack of a better explanation

Thanks for you help, I realize it's a lot to digest.


I'm a 34 year old male, 6'4" 220lbs. I suffer from allergies, no other medical conditions. Fairly good health.
Posted Tue, 16 Apr 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 6 hours later

Thanks for your query.

Based on your symptom, I believe a Rheumatologist is one you have to consult first. The symptoms you have are ones typically seen in reactive arthritis.

Infections usually progress in terms of the discomfort in the throat presenting with severe pain and fever. I do not suspect the present condition to be due to infection as antibiotics failed to help.

I think the condition to be involving HLA related immune reaction as Sulfasalizine helped but not a complication of Parvovirus infection.

Hope, I answered your query.

Please let me know if there are any other concerns.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have stiff neck. Took medicine for strep throat and reactive arthritis. CBC normal. Proper diagnosis? 11 hours later
Dr. Raju:

Thanks for the reply. Since I seem to be seeing the right doctor for treatment, what do you feel is a good treatment option next for me? Do you know if there is a drug similar to Sulfasalizine without the side effects? Also it has been almost a year since my symptoms began, how long do they usually last? Can they just kind of clear up?

Thanks again for your time:
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 6 hours later

Thanks for writing back.

Treatments for such conditions are usually by immune modulators and with Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

Chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, Penicillamine etc can be substitutes for sulfasalazine with better acceptance.

The duration of the disease depends on the severity of the immune reaction. Most of times these conditions are treated well but in some can remain chronic.

Hope, I answered your query.

Wish you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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