Can anyone help me figure out this arthritis pain?

This is a long one, but please bear with me. I’ve got nowhere else to go!

So I’m 20 years old, and for the past few years I’ve had progressive joint and muscle pain. I was perfectly fine until I was 16 when I injured my back, and since then everything’s gone downhill. The injury healed normally, but since then it seems to flare up with inflammation every couple weeks or so and lasts a few days to a week. My hands were the next to go, I thought it was carpal tunnel at first, but it’s in both hands (I’m right handed), and I have pain in my pinkie and the outer part of my hand as well, which rules that out. Also my fingers are beginning to curve inwards and bulb out, if that makes sense My knees started acting up next. They just feel weak, kinda wobbly and they crack every time I bend them. Sometimes at night it feels like I have restless leg syndrome, but even moving around doesn’t help. Ankles are next. I injured them pretty bad a couple years ago, and I’m not sure if I broke or tore something, but if I’m on my feet too much they swell and get pretty painful. Elbows and shoulders after that. My shoulders feel like there’s heavy weights on them, and my elbows feel like I constantly have tennis elbow. Recently my entire body feels stiff, I’m starting to notice that the weather has an effect on how I feel. Dairy products, even calcium supplements trigger the pain. A lot of times my muscles feel like they’ve been strained, even though I’m usually in too much pain to do anything strenuous. I’m tired even after a full night’s sleep, and in the morning it seems like I have to force myself to get up. I was never this way!!

Here’s the thing- I’ve been tested for rheumatoid arthritis several times, and each time has come back negative. I’ve had tons of blood work done, and everything is always normal. I live in a small town, and every doctor I’ve been to tell me that it’s in my head, that it’s growing pains, one doctor even accused me of being a drug dealer trying to get pills to sell! They just don’t seemed concerned!

Has anyone ever had similar symptoms and gotten an accurate diagnosis? And would it be worth the long and agonizing six hour drive to see a fibromyalgia specialist or a rheumatologist? I just need an answer, 20 is too young to be feeling old! I know Yahoo Answers is the last place to ask for help concerning my health, and that no one on here can tell me exactly what it is, but I’ve got nothing else to lose. I’m at my wits end!!

Thank you for your help, and God bless!

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  1. sumlulu, 17 February, 2011

    I was diagnosed with RA 17 months ago. I had symptoms for years and then finally my RF came back high. I know someone who has seronegative RA, her labs came back normal, but her MRI’s showed erosions on her hands, so your bloodwork does not have to be positive to have RA. I would go to a rhuematologist and get diagnosed. Maybe it is Fibromyalgia. I have both, and a rheumatologist can diagnose either one. I worked for a rheumatologist. Also, I am a MRI tech., so I see this all the time. Just give this time and you will find a diagnoses and start to live your life!!! Good luck.

  2. Stacey G, 17 February, 2011

    go to http://www.treatingandbeating.com Dr. Roger Murphee take my word and go to that web site and see if it is you!!! you sound EXACTLY like me years ago.. I was diagnosed with FMS and I also have Hypothyroidism . Then eventually the headaches started, can’t sleep, fatigue, joint pain, especially worse in the am, sensitive to light, noise and chemicals that gets worse all the time. I take Omega 3,6,9 fish oil, high amount of vitamin c, magnesium, folic acid, B vitamins, Aleve really helps! naproxen , not tylenol,advil, etc, only aleve helps me. what you eat has a big effect also!! i drink almost nothing but water, no caffeine, lots of protein and fiber, try to cut out sugar as much as possible. get your thyroid AND sugar level tested. Im hypoglycemic which is low sugar. take my word and go check out that website. He is the best!!! I bought his book on FMS and chronic fatigue AND its the best thing i could of ever did. EVen if you don’t have FMS. each chapter gives details on vitamins, minerals, and how they work, what they do, etc also on medicines, diet, etc its the best 15 bucks i ever spent! I downloaded it online so I could have it right away and then ended up printing out the entire thing. good luck and if you ever have more questions or need some advice on fms, please feel free to email me,. anyone I canhelp through what I have battled for so many years, I will gladly!!! take care and good luck!!

  3. Justmeinthisworld, 17 February, 2011

    treatingand beating s quackery–2 meds have no REAL science behind them—the 3rd–5htp is n ot special to his program–yu can get it anywhere–not from him—-

    it is a theory that it does help fms–no good science yet–but in theory–it works on neurotransmitters which are the problem in fms….

    there is no inflammation in fms

    i just heard about the pinky thing on TV–don’t remember much…its different than carpal tunnel as carpal tunnel doesn’t affect the pinky but along teh same lines–but there is a minor surgery that corrects it

    often injuries to the spine are not seen on mris, etc..it may not have healed as good as you think

    yes its worth a drive to see a good doc–not necessarily a fms doc..

    have you looked into a physical medicine specialist?

    don’t mention fms..most docs are incompetant and just use it as a general label for pain..

    don’t ask for narcotics..but rather say something like you are reluctant to just use narcotics a lot without knowing the cause and trying to treat the cause..

    ask about tramadol, but say you here is it a narcotic even though its not ‘controlled’…act like you are reluctant to use it more than occassionally..after establishig a relationship with a doc–than approach the subject.

    remember there is no swelling in fms

    be sur eto have your vitamin d levels checked–i wonder if you have too much

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