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Hot Back

I’ve been diagnosed with RA for about a year now but longer than that I’ve had a Hot Back. Not all the time but it feels like I have a heating pad attached to my back. Sitting in a chair, riding in a car. It just happens. And it’s really Hot. I’ve asked my husband to feel my back at those times and he doesn’t seem to notice anything.

I would really like to know if anyone else has ever experienced such a feeling.


  1. Hi . Has your doctor had any thoughts on this issue? It is not uncommon for members of the community to note feeling hot/feverish or getting sweats. That said, feeling heat in a specific area can imply active arthritis in that area. This page from Johns Hopkins notes that "Occasionally inflamed joints will feel warm to the touch:" I don't know how to square this with your husband not feeling a difference. Of course, only a doctor can provide the proper diagnostics and there is always the possibility that something else is the cause. Hopefully others will chime in with their experiences. Hoping you get some answers and relief. Best, Richard ( Team)

    1. I spoke to my husband about not feeling my Hot Back. He has neuropathy in his hands and always has cold hands. He says no matter what I always feel warm to him. I guess that means he’s a poor judge. I’ll speak to my doctors. I would still like further input from members of this site. BonnieW

      1. Hi . If your back feels hot to you, but the skin is not hot to the touch, the sensation is likely caused by nerve damage of some kind. If your rheumatologist can't help you, you might want to see a neurologist. Medications that temper that sensation often come with a lot of side effects, so you really have to weigh the benefits of treatment over the risks. Still, it would be good to know what is causing it in case the cause itself is treatable. I get that sensation in my foot often where the nerve was damaged in surgery. It is frustrating, for sure. I hope you get answers from your doctors and more responses here. Wishing you the best. - Lori (Team Member)

    2. Thank you. I never thought about nerve damage. I’ll keep asking my doctors. They probably forgot the last time I brought it up.

      1. After thirty plus years of RA myself I'm not surprised any more about the symptoms and side effects it causes. For sure, your spine can be affected by RA as they are actually joints and it can certainty get hot and swollen. My collarbones used to be hot and swollen when I was younger. That being said, if you don't feel hotness to the touch on your back it could be something else, or it could literally just be a strange side effect of the RA that means nothing. Your best bet is to get with your rheumatologist and see what they think. Let us know how it goes. Keep on keepin' on, DPM

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