View Full Version : Joint pain question

denise b
11-20-2011, 07:29 PM
I was tested for ana because of mild joint pain and fatigue, and have a high count (1:1280) - too high, I've been told, for it to be nothing. My rheumatologist says I don't have any diagnosable disease but she might want to try me on Plaquenil to see if it helps with the fatigue. I'm waiting for more test results. She seems to think, however, that my joint pain is osteoarthritis in hands and bursitis in shoulders and not related to the autoimmune response. I didn't have time to ask her why she thinks this.

Can anyone tell me how the joint pain caused by autoimmune disease differs from that of osteoarthritis and bursitis? I do believe I have osteoarthritis in my hands (I'm 62), but the soreness in both shoulders puzzles me because I didn't do anything that might have injured them, and both wrists also hurt a bit. There isn't any redness or swelling that I can see, just a feeling of soreness, and it's stayed in the same joints from the beginning - six months now. Any idea why she would be so sure it's not immune system related? I trust her, but it's confusing because the joint pain was why my primary ordered the ana test in the first place.

Does this ring any bells or was your joint pain very different in the beginning? I'd love to hear.

11-20-2011, 07:39 PM
Hi Denise,
Welcome to WHL. You are lucky to have a rheumy who wants to treat the symptoms and try Plaquenil right away. It has helped with my joint pain.
I know what you mean about the pain in the shoulders, elbows and wrists. I get very discouraged when they say it's "only" osteoarthritis, or bursitis, or tendonitis, and then proceed to ignore it. The pain is bothering me, or I wouldn't have brought it up.
It seems that NSAIDS are the usual go-to for those pains, and often the docs will give cortisone shots for bursitis, if you're not like me and unable to take steroids.
Good luck to you.
BTW, I live on the Monterey Bay, not too far from you.

11-20-2011, 10:15 PM
i found this a long time ago.
unfortunatelly, i no longer know where it came from.

In general, lupus patients who are undergoing a flare have findings; such as evidence of true arthritis (usually with joint swelling), skin rashes, sores in their mouth, fever, hair fall or evidence of specific organ disease such as pleurisy or microscopic amounts of blood and protein in the urine. Furthermore, in active lupus, blood tests such as the sedimentation rate often become elevated, the white count (particularly the lymphocyte subset) becomes depressed and there is often an increase in the level of anti-DNA antibodies. None of these findings are a feature of fibromyalgia

my understanding is that your joint pain can be caused by moisture (lupus) or dryness (fibro).

denise b
11-21-2011, 08:48 PM
Hi Maria,

Oh, I didn't take it to mean "only" osteoarthritis - because if that is what it is, it will only get worse, while I'm told it is possible that the autoimmune response might not, and might even go away.

I'm just confused, but I guess that's the only thing I could be at this point. I'll see the orthopedist and rheumy in three weeks, so I should probably stop obsessing til then. Hard, though, when I woke up with a new aching finger this morning.

denise b
11-21-2011, 08:55 PM
Hi Steve,

Thanks for posting that. It's definitely not fibro, and it's definitely not lupus as of now. It's not anything with a name.
I'll get the doctor to explain better what she thinks is going on with my joints when I see her again in a few weeks, and post it for anyone who might be in my situation. Unlike the previous rheumatologist, she is very communicative and spent a long time with me.

11-21-2011, 11:14 PM
wishing you an informative visit.
i will be all ears waiting to hear what happens.