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Inflammation and joint pain that moves

Hi my name is Sally,
I am 60 and live on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. I woke up one day in October with burning, aching and swollen ball of my right foot. It was so painful I had to take painkillers and bath my feet in cold water. I put it down to working all day in my garage lifting heavy stuff and hard leather shoes with no support. The inflammation persisted and moved to a painful swelling in my knee. It was red hot and felt like a bruise where I had walked into something. The severe pain had left my foot though it still felt inflamed. My right hip which had been an ongoing problem from sitting studying gave way on me where I could not stand or put weight on my leg. I went to the osteopath who manipulated my lower back and the next morning my knees were so swollen I could not bend either of them or walk down the stairs. I went to the Dr and had a blood test. My rheumatoid factors were up. I told the Dr I had a similar condition 15 years ago which started with a urinary tract infection where the inflammation moved from one joint to the other. I saw a rheumatologist who was not sympathetic but put me on Salazopyrin. I think 3 years later it settled down. Now I have it back! I do not think it ever really went away as I often woke up with aching joints especially between my shoulder blades and right hip. I do not feel as though I have ever had a proper diagnosis. I am seeing the same old rheumatologist EVENTUALLY it is a 4 month wait. In the meantime the GP has increased my Salazopyrin to 6 tablets a day (500mg). On Monday the pain moved to my left shoulder where it was so painful it was frozen I could not sleep or move it. I felt the inflammation leave my shoulder after 48 hours where i have no pain in my shoulder anymore but I knew it was moving to my neck where I have had a stiff neck for 3 days. I felt as though my head was a bowling bowl and I had no muscles or inflamed connective tissue that could not support my head. The stiffness is still in my neck but the pain in my foot is back. It is so frustrating I am usually such an active person. I wish I could find some answers. I wonder if it is like a chronic virus that is dormant in my body and flares up like the flu. Perhaps Epstein Barr or PID. Hope someone can help me make sense of this debilitating illness and pain. I just want to get better and have the energy and motivation I used to have. Many Thanks for any help Sally

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  • barb.
    2 years ago

    I am so tired of the pain! I have r.a. in all my joints. Everyday. Some days I will hurt worse in different locations, but generally all over
    I take leflunomide and ixycontin. I would like to try the newer biologics but cannot afford them. I was diagnosed 32 yrs. Ago. It is even in my lungs and eyes. Sometimes I feel like giving up, but I keep trying. Someday, somehow this has Got to get better.

  • Richard Faust moderator
    2 years ago

    Thanks for writing barb, but sorry you are having these difficulties. I don’t know if you are aware that many of the biologics manufacturers have copayment assistance programs. Your doctor may be able to assist you. This article from one of our contributors looks at various assistance programs for RA patients:

    You mention trouble with your eyes. You might want to look at this article on eye problems and RA:

    And this article looks at lung diseases and RA:

    Please keep us posted on how you are doing. This community is here to provide continued information and support. Richard ( Team)

  • Richard Faust moderator
    3 years ago

    Sorry you are having these difficulties Sally. Getting a definitive diagnosis can certainly be frustrating. This article looks at the RA diagnostic process:

    This article looks at some of the myths that commonly surround RA and useful facts:

    Meeting the rheumatologist can be daunting and this article from one of our contributors gives some pointers on preparing:

    Hoping your appointment is productive. Please keep us posted on how you are doing. Best, Richard ( Team)

  • SallyCristina author
    2 years ago

    Hi, Thank you for all your help. I now have Ross River Fever showing positive. Perhaps this is the main culprit. I would appreciate any help with this as my symptoms are just getting worse and I am having a lot of reflux with medication. Cheers Sally

  • DesertStormTrooper
    3 years ago


    Everyone seems pretty willing to just believe that RA, and the other ‘Autoimmune’ diseases are just some mysterious disease that has no known cause or origin.

    I greatly dispute this and believe that these diseases can be caused by bacterial or viral infections. I believe that the reason the pain moves is because the new painful spot is simply an area where infection is rampant and the immune system is trying to respond to the ‘invader’.

    So, personally, I don’t think you are that far off the mark. Now, I will say that that does not simplify things completely because these types of bacteria like ‘Mycoplasma’ and the bacteria that cause Lyme disease can be knocked down to almost nothing, but are very difficult to completely eradicate from your system.

    I’m going to write a paper, with references, about this working theory as soon as I have some time. But for now, take a look at my blog.

  • Richard Faust moderator
    3 years ago

    Thanks for writing DesertStormTrooper. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for RA and on top of that everyone responds in their own way to individual treatments. On the positive side, recent years have seen some amazing advances. My wife has had RA most of her life. In this article she examines the evolution of RA treatments during her lifetime:

    Hopefully, treatments will continue to advance apace. Best, Richard ( Team)

  • SallyCristina author
    3 years ago

    I look soooo!! forward to reading your paper and your Blog. This is the best news or support I have had since falling sick. Last night I had the worst night ever. The virus runs rampant at night. I only get 2 hours sleep before waking up in agony. Last night both of the soles of my feet were on FIRE!! I had to get up and put cold flannels on them and raise them on 2 pillows. At the same time my neck and neck joints were very inflamed and stiff with burning pain and also my wrist and fingers. I wonder if amongst other things it could be a flu shot that went very wrong as the pain is similar to a reaction I had after a flu shot many years ago or indeed from a terrible tick bite I had on my thyriod location on my neck which a year later I developed toxic Graves Disease and was on auto-immune drugs to settle the overactive thyroid after which my first bout of polymyalgia and eventually this RA type migratory auto-immune joint inflammation began back in 2000. Perhaps Post-Virus autoimmune reactive arthritis?? I cannot thank you enough for your thoughts and comments on my dilemma. I am determined to get to the source of it and hopefully be cured forever.
    I just picked up my ears as Dr Karl on ABC 24 is talking about inflammation and a Cytokine storm where simple reactions to hayfever can have a auto-immune response that can overpower the body and at worst can kill you. Interesting and frightening.

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