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Neurological Flare?

I am sero positive RA, undifferentiated connective tissue dz, trigeminal neuralgia, small fiber neuropathy are my main diagnosis.

Two weeks ago, after a weekend of gardening, I went to bed feeling stiff - OK normal- then I had the worst pain to date: severe knee, back, ankle, wrist, elbows and neck pain. Ankle wrists and elbows felt like ulnar Nerve, Carpal and tarsal tunnel syndrome, my hands were white, my face and lips were on fire, my left eye felt like it had an ice pick. I couldn't even get up due to pain. Eventually fell asleep, must of gotten some sleep because I awoke somewhat better. I could walk talk etc but dizzy and felt like I had no vocabulary. Over the week, each day I got better. By the weekend, I was basically back almost back to my normal except for dizzy and tingling. Monday my pcp upped gabapentin to 600 and add a beta locker. I'm better as in dizziness is down.

I have a neuro appt coming up. But wow. My rheum said it was neurological- thus I saw no sense in going to the ER.

Has anyone had this? Was this a flare? As in is my RA evolving?

  1. , ouch! I am so sorry you have been hurting so much! I hope some community members chime in and share their experiences with flares and exacerbations. Did your rheumatologist diagnose you over the phone (when he/she stated your issues were neurological)? Do you feel that his/her assessment is accurate? You have every right to seek a second opinion or push for a more definitive diagnosis. And it sounds like you know your body and you have a pretty high threshold for pain -- if you think something is really off, odds are, you could be right. I do hope your flare (or exacerbation) dissipates very soon and that your neurologist has some clear answers for you! Best, Erin, Team Member.

    1. Thank you - having someone understand is comforting- as you know, you can't share too much before folks think you're making it up... yes better and yes - my Rheum and I chatted via portal messages. She believed it wasn't RA she urged me to get with my Neuro- who is on maternity leave.

      I am curious if others have ever experienced something similar. My PCP stated he believed it was migraines. I do have an appt with a new neuro - I do hope this isn't my "new" normal...

      Thank you

      1. I have not. I have had neurological issues in the past and I urge you to go to the ER, if you are in pain or have cognitive issues. While not your neurologist, if one can see you in the midst of the issue it might help your neurologist when you see them.

      2. Hi . Sorry you are having these issues and that the diagnostics are so complicated with the comorbidities. I can't personally speak to these symptoms, but a lot of our contributors and community members have experienced various levels of the activity hangover. You can see some of the articles on that topic in these search results from our archive: As you may be aware, RA can certainly have some neurological issues. In addition, I know some have experienced that flaring in one condition can cascade into other comorbidities doing likewise. I do want to mention that, if you are interested in learning more about migraine, we have a sister-site for that at Hoping you get some answers soon and, possibly, your doctors can give some guidance on coordination and a flare action plan for the future. Please feel free, if you like, to keep us posted on how you are doing. Best, Richard ( Team)

    2. Thank you - I didn't realize about the other forums - my husband was just diagnosed with Parkinsons so it will help us there as well as with migraines.

      1. I've been to the Neuro- he doesn't know what happened. He did say I had fibromyalgia. He felt it could have been an RA flare along with an exacerbation of small fiber neuropathy - which has now grown to intense and painful muscle spasms/cramps - lightheadedness has persisted as a mild sick headache. At this point all I can do is laugh and be thankful it's not cancer- or the like. I'm now on Lyrica as well. Neuro says we must control underlying cause = RA. My rheum and I will discuss what new med to try. I suppose unless it happens again, I shouldn't really expect an answer.

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