Pain caused by something other than my MS

Do you have a question related to an arthritis condition that doesn't fit in any of the other boards? Perhaps you're living with spondylitis, spondylosis, rheumatica, polymyalgia, fibromyalgia or something else we've not covered? Your questions and discussions can be posted here.

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by suekyra on Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:59 pm

Pain caused by something other than my MS

I have secondary progressive MS, also Hypothyroidism. Osteoporosis, and pain in finger joints, neck, shoulders, spine, lower back, ankles and feet. The MS has caused me pain for over 20 years for which I do take painkillers, [which do not kill the pain, but do lower it to a more manageable level] The finger joints however have had lumps/misshapen joints also for years, which I also thought was arthritis of some kind, mainly due to the fact that my grandmother was crippled by arthritis, and my mother also suffered from arthritis. however I was referred to a pain management course at my local hospital, I had blood tests to determine whether it was arthritis or not, and was told it was not, but was not told what it was/could be, or given any relavent advice or treatment, other than to change sitting positions often, and to learn to distract myself from the pain, & to learn to 'pace myself' [which really all related to the MS, - the distraction technique I had already used for years, but 'pacing myself 'I did find very hard to do. However I still do not know what the misshapen/lumpy fingers are caused by, although I do know to try not to either knock them or put stress on them, as the pain is immediate and intense.

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by Arthritis Care on Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:18 pm

Re: Pain caused by something other than my MS

Life can be tough when you have a complex medical history – it may present problems in diagnosing new problems or tracing symptoms to causes.
It doesn’t help matter that some types of arthritis – inflammatory or autoimmune types - can be hard to diagnose even without any other conditions present. You mention a blood test that was said to rule out arthritis. There is no single blood test that proves the presence of inflammatory arthritis, though there are some that suggest it could be present. There are also some types of inflammatory arthritis that do not test positive for antibodies in blood tests. You can read more about these in the Arthritis Care factsheet Spondyloarthritis: ... oarthritis.
It sounds as if, at the moment, your situation could benefit from further monitoring by your GP. Perhaps it would help to discuss what the GP believes to be the source of your joint problems at this stage? If the GP is not sure of the cause, they may refer you for scans or for blood tests, or they may wish to involve one or more of the specialists who treat you for your other conditions. It is worth remembering that osteoarthritis (OA) is statistically more likely than the relatively rare inflammatory types of arthritis - and the way to diagnose (OA) is see an x-ray or scan, rather than a blood result.
It is never easy living with uncertainty and unanswered questions. I hope your GP and your other doctors will soon able to offer you some more concrete answers, or at least information on next steps. If you did have any type of arthritis, the condition could be managed in ways that were not available in your mother’s or grandmother’s time.
And in the meantime, if it would help to talk things over, I hope you will call the Arthritis Care Helplines on 0808 800 4050.
Best wishes,
Rachael, Helplines Worker

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