Swollen joints, ever changing skin colour from bright red to blue and a back that hurts so much I cry

Hi, I get swollen joints all over ,as yet no cause has been found so it is put down to fibromyalgia . I have a problem with two of the discs in my lower back which showed up on MRI . I also have depression, and complete confusion so much so I can't go out alone

I have got sort of used to living like this, tablets, more tablets and more tablets and yes having the odd day when I can move around and only hurt a lot instead of unbearable pain.

My latest symptom which I would like some advice as to bother my GP with.

My hands swell up but it is not on the knuckle but the bit in-between the knuckles, these areas swell so much that it looks like hills

Does anyone know what an earth is going on, or is it just another fibromyalgia gem

17 Replies

  • Hi Carolinee71

    I am so sorry that you are suffering in this way and I sincerely hope that you can find some resolution to your issues. If I were you I wouldn't hesitate in returning to my GP as this is what they get paid for! I can relate to some of your issues here as I get swellings due to fluid retention and I have a disc problem at the moment and am awaiting my second operation over it.

    I once saw a TV documentary about swellings on the hands and it gave five different / possible explanations for it. So, really the GP is the nest person to see. Have you got the sort of GP that you can talk to and who responds in a civil manner?

    Good luck with this.

    Ken x

  • Hi Ken, thank you for your welcome. I understand how you feel, due to the OA throughout my spine L3, L4 and L5 are touching the discs due to the extra bony growth, which the GP said is why my back hurts so much. I hope you feel better soon & the operation is a success for you. XX

  • Hi, thank u, I guess I just wanted to hear that I am not being silly. I am lucky that I have the most amazing GP who I can not praise enough ( no I am not a secret stalker of him others on this site have him as a GP and agree how good he is)

    I just don't like to keep going to see him only to be told the same thing, as I don't have a high inflammatory marker ( I think mine is only 6 , but when all this started coming up to two years ago it was around 2) it has got to be down to fibromyalgia . As for my back I am awaiting trigger point injections, I have looked up about it and it seems about 50/50 as to wether it works or not but the pain and spasms are so bad it's worth a try

    I think I have an appointment with my GP in just over a week so I will talk to him about it then. I am just so fed up of being in pain and not being able to do what I used to be able to do

    I hope you do not have to wait too long for your op. If you don't mind me asking, do you take any pain medicines for either your back pain or the fibromyalgia or have you got a better way of controlling pain


    Gentle ((( hugs )))

  • Hi Caroline, good luck with the trigger point injections, I had a course of cortisone block injections in my spine a few years ago either side of some bulging discs to ease my pain. I was unfortunate in that they didn't work for me, so when I fell pregnant I was told I would not be able to have an epidural as I had been immune to it's effects. After the six injections in my spine the bright person asked if I felt able to walk back to the ward, I said yes no problem and went to get up. The guy grabbed me and said NO don't move you should be totally numb from your waist down. I was so not numb anywhere. Things have probably improved since then, I have a high pain tolerance & need really strong pain killers to touch my pain. Good luck though, I shall pray you are fortunate and the injections work, for those it does work for they say it was the best thing they ever did and can't wait to have it done again. Hugs are sent your way XX

  • I mentioned higher up about Psoriatic arthritis and the fingers swelling. This type of arthritis doesn't show on inflammatory markers. Google it and see if it matches up.

  • Hi Carolinee71

    Thank you for your reply. I take co-codamol and Nortryptaline for my back and Fibro. I also have metacloperamide which is a anti-nausea medication as the pain makes me quite nauseous. They don't always work unfortunately.

    Hope you are getting meds for your pain? Take care

    Ken x

  • Morning I don't know if it is a fibro gem as you put it so admirably but my fingers swell and around myails rises up and then bleeds down each side of my nails pretty sore I have tried all sorts to calm it but there still there tis morning shouting the odds!

    Never mind all that how are you today? Dawn is just breaking here I live in the North and mostly it is grey and cold. However today we have a good begining it is very pretty out to sea blue with pink streaks a skein of geese have just flown by heading for their nesting site. Beautiful. So today is not too bad :D

    Positive thoughts I send to every one lets raise our hopes together for a good year this year - we can make it so with our passionate vibes winning over our pain. Lets go for it guys It is a good day for living!


  • Morning all, sorry to hear your dilemma Caroline'. Hope you manage to get some answers soon, ......

    Hi ken hope you are feeling a bit brighter today,

    And yes gins I'm with you lets raise our hope and spirits to a good year, think positive and feel happy to be alive.....cheers all...hugs to all and. Huge handful of warm gloriouse sunshine......Dee xxx. :) :) :)

  • Hi Cookie72

    I am not bad at all today, the pain has been very manageable. Hope that you are as well as can be?

    Take care

    Ken x

  • I think you need to see your GP. It sounds like the Reynauds Syndrome my husband was diagnosed with:

    "The condition occurs because your blood vessels go into a temporary spasm which blocks the flow of blood. This causes the affected area to change colour to white, then blue and then red as the blood flow returns.

    Raynaud’s is usually triggered by cold temperatures or by anxiety or stress.".

    Hubby also has rheumatoid arthritis & swollen joints/knuckles. Mine are swollen, though nowhere near as bad with Osteoarthritis. I can sympathise with the back pain, I've got OA throughout my spine. If I took all the tablets I was supposed to I'd be permanently stoned and unable to function but to be able function I have to put up with the pain! My neck is really bad at the end moment and the tears are never far away.

  • Hello Lima, I know how you feel, I have OA throughout my body, my back has been the most painful, followed by my knees and right wrist and hand. I have also been very tearful, like you I hate taking tablets, but if I don't take them the pain is so bad I don't want to move. Hugs and prayers sent your way. XX

  • Hello Carolinee

    I too suffer from swollen joints , depression and have had to have back surgery on L4/L5 to fuse them together and now the other disc's above and below are degenerating .

    I totally understand where are at especially with the doctors , I have actually given up going to be honest I do not think my body will except more tablets I am on so many .

    They say i now have osteoarthritis in many joints , plus bursitis in both hips , I also have bowel prolapse due to my muscles not being strong enough to hold it up due to not using my muscles so much.

    They say Fibro does not show swollen joints or reddened skin so therefore it must be something else you have , I really feel for you .... I have decided to go for a total body scan and blood work I have had to pay for it but it was not has much as I thought to be honest so I will not go to docs again until it is done and i have my results .

    Having to take these steps of paying for scans and tests is the only option I feel I have now, I feel so silly keep going to the doctors with different symptoms some you can clearly see but nothing gets done about it or they put it down to fibro.

    I hope you can get help soon Caroline i really do

    Take care hun x

  • Hello Caroline71,

    This is a complete guess of course as I am not a Health Professional but some of this symtpoms sound like Complex Regional Pain Syndrome as I have members in our Andover group with Fibro & CRPS.

    Of course, I could be completely wrong but if you would like to read about it and you recognise any of the symptoms it might be worth mentioning this to your GP or consultant if you are still seeing one.

    Here is the information for your interest;


    Please do keep seeking medical advice for this as I would say that this is not a symptom of Fibro.

    Best Wishes

    Emma :)

    FibroAction Administrator

  • Just a thought, thinking about the fingers - do you have psoriasis? I'm thinking Psoriatic arthritis, if it fits the bill on a google search (it gives you "sausage" fingers), or some sort of gout maybe?

    Surely with such a presentation, your GP won't be able to ignore it, as I should imagine it looks awful.

    Don't settle with "Its just fibromyalgia".

  • It doesn't show up on the inflammatory markers

  • Hi, thank u for all your replies, I am going to take notes from all of you and take it to the doctors next week. I think I just settled for being told it's fibromyalgia and maybe I do have other things going on. I am lucky I do have a great GP who will write any number of letters on my behalf and chase up appointments

    So I am lucky, and with the advice I get on here, I maybe am continuing on my journey to find out all that is wrong with me, I guess getting told I have fibromyalgia no wasn't the end but just a pit stop

    Thanks again

    Caroline ☺️

  • I would say its important to keep going to gp with each new symptom even if it is put down to fibro, keep building up a picture with them and also google all your symptoms yourself = you may find something that fits and then gp can't deny and should refer you for tests or consultant

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