I had a few months of achy joints last year when I started the process of diagnosis. It was before I had many neurological symptoms, so I was thoroughly tested for: rheumatoid arthritis, regular arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, thyroid issues, full metabolic workup, and more that I know I'm forgetting. I saw my regular primary care doctor, an endocrinologist, and an rheumatologist. All tests were perfectly normal, and most tests were run more than once.
Since then I have had the random achy joint, usually involving my right ankle or foot, it lasts a while and gets better again.
For the last few days I've been very achy. My elbows (more left than right), left knee, left ankle & top of the foot, right foot. My right knee still hurts (the back of the knee...maybe spastic? I'm still confused on that!) and my lower back has been acting up. I have degenerative disc disease in my lower back, but that is usually more of a sciatic nerve pain- which I have not had for over a year- and this is more of an all over achy lower back.
I know achy joints are not a normal MS thing, but my blood work has consistently shown a slightly elevated inflammation level over the last 17 months. It is not high enough to be overly concerned, but it has never been in normal limits.
I thought I would see if any of you have achy joints, and what you do to help. I'm thinking this is something to see my regular doctor about, not my neuro?
I do get achy joints in my fingers, I think it is from spending too much time on here lol no not really but I think I have arthritis in my fingers, but haven't had it checked out, i have been waiting to see if it travels.
You are so young that I wouldn't think you would have much arthritis. So they never came to any conclusion? Having more diseases like arthritis with the MS is confusing.
I am still teasing out what is spasticity, neuropathic pain, spasms and what is osteo arthritis. I take Celebrex for the arthritis in my knees and it works wonderfully. It does nothing for the rest of my pain.
I would place another call to the doctor just to let him know. I know they did tests last year but I think levels of RF can increase before diagnosis. Maybe try an anti inflammatory and see if it responds.
I'm starting to hear more doctors recommend a gluten free diet for joint aching. It doesn't help everyone, but you can see if it helps you. Look the diet up on the internet! If you have any questions, leave me a message.
What you are describing could be something other than MS it could also be related as a secondary Sx of the MS.
I have some achy joints which I do attribute to my MS Sx as a secondary Sx.
My back will ache like crazy at times which I suspect is due to my poor balance putting extra pressure on my back. After all poor posture can cause back aches.
I also get a lot of joint pain in my left shoulder. This I believe is due to spastic muscles in my shoulder which tightens up the joint at times so that I can't even lift my arm. Once I take some meds to relax the muscle the pain will go away for months at a time. It is kind of like a endless circle where the muscle spasms causing pain which causes the muscle to spasm.
I also get pain in my ankles and knees. As far as the knees are concerned the primary cause of the pain is the cartilage is very brittle and flaking away in small pieces. This was DX via an MRI of the knees. But I also twist my knees and ankles quite often due again to my balance / walking problems. When I do twist them it isn't to the extent of a sprain, just enough to get the joints to complain.
If you are not able to find any answers to the joint pain from other doctors this might be the reason.
Hi. Just like you, I had joint pain before having any neurological symptoms - at least not recognized as neurological in nature. Maybe some very slight muscle weakness, but it was more like profound fatigue. Had the same work up as you too and tests were repeated multiple times.
At that time I was having substantial brain fog which I felt was neurological and questioned my doctors about MS or MG. Physical exams were normal so those were dismissed.
I did walk away with a dx of drug-induced arthralgias/myalgias (aches & pains) from Levaquin. Later came a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Later came a diagnosis of RRMS when double vision and numbness developed.
To this day I have the same pain in the joints. My muscles hurt sometimes. I do not have spasticity. No arthritis, osteoarthritis, etc.
My "fibromyalgia" symptoms cause me more problems than my MS on a day to day basis. Both cause fatigue so I have a double whammy there. I'm not sure that I believe I have fibromyalgia. A very good neurologist told me he has observed in his practice that persons with fibromyalgia and MS tend to have a less severe MS. Guess the immune system has some in-fighting going on or something that can possibly balance things out a bit.
All in all my MS is fairly "benign" except for fatigue and pain. The type of pain that is not typical for MS - more typical for fibro. Sometimes my ankles can feel like they are sprained. Same with wrists and elbows. Comes and goes and not related to activity. Every once in a while I will have significant pain in my "bones" in one spot or two that will come out of nowhere, is painful enough to stop me in my tracks, and enough to make me quietly yelp. Goes away as quickly as it comes.
Like you, my initial tests showed a general inflammation. Not specific enough one way or the other. I believe my immune system was in the beginning state of being whacked that eventually led to MS. This is only my opinion, probably based on false notions. :-)
Your GP can perhaps help you find a source or sort out what is what. It's worth mentioning it to your neurologist.
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