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Widespread bruised feeling

I have experienced a widespread bruised feeling over my body for the past five years. It is currently a chronic feeling.  I have had acute "attacks" where for three days or so, it is more of a severe pain where it even hurts to have clothes on my body. This pain has been in my neck, trunk area, arms, back, neck, face and even scalp at times.  It basically hurts to touch any area when in an acute stage.  Currently, the pain is not as severe, but is widespread.  When I put lotion on my arms or legs, that actually is very uncomfortable for me.  The best way I can explain the pain is if you were to press on a bruised area on your body.  I have also experienced once, pain in my left hand as if it were broken accompanied with swelling to the elbow with no injury that lasted for a day or so.  Lately, I have also been having sensitivity to heat in my hands and feet.  There doesn't appear to be any color changes but when I wash my hands or take a shower in mildly warm water, my hands/feet feel as though they are frostbitten.  This comes and goes.  I have had blood work done about 2 years ago. Negative ANA, RH factor, sed rate normal.  However, a few months ago my sed rate was elevated in the 40's when doing routine blood work, without any apparent infections or illnesses.  I have no idea what is causing this pain which does not seem to be normal and am seeking possible answers.  Even with negative tests for Lyme, Rheumatoid arthritis, and Lupus are they definitive at early stages?  Can these disorders be ruled out definitively if tests were negative 2 years ago?  Where do I go from here?  I have also been told by family doctor that symptoms also do not seem to fit Fibromyalgia as well.  Thanks for any help you can give me.
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One consideration would be polymyalgia rheumatica - which can present with solely an elevated sedimentation rate.  This is typically a subacute or chronic onset of aching and morning stiffness in the shoulders, hip girdles, neck and torso in patients over the age of 50.  If this is suspected, steroids are normally given.  

If the tests continue to be non-revealing, you may want to consider a referral to a neurologist to evaluate for any nerve disorders - which can give some of the symptoms you are describing.  

I would consider repeating the ANA and rheumatoid factor tests.  A rheumatology referral for another opinion should be considered.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
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