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Could this be ra

Hi all

I had an ex.ray on my hands 2yrs ago as I was in a lot of pain knuckle swollen ect the. Result was wear and tear, as time has gone on my hands at times are swollen and stiff joints seem to lock and are very hot and the knuckles on various fingers have little lumps on them and now my wrists are becoming weak I am always dropping things and am very tired all the time

Thank you jan

7 Replies

We're not doctors, so can't really give anything other than my personal opinion, and probably best to go see your GP and ask to have blood tests. But if all the joint problems have stayed in your hands/wrists then it's more likely to be osteo arthritis - often called wear and tear arthritis - and you often get bumps on the knuckles with that. That can be very nasty too - my sister has inflammatory hand arthritis that is causing her a lot of problems. But tiredness is often associated with Inflammatory conditions,so probably best to get it checked out. Polly


Thank you polly I will see gp and ask for blood test


I would ask to be referred to a rheumatologist if you feel this is more than osteoarthritis. GPs aren't usually equipped to diagnose the different types of arthritis. When you say knuckles - if you mean the joints known as Metacarpals (MCPs) at the base of each finger then that is usually associated more with RA. But if you mean the PIP joints in the middle of your fingers these could be either OA or RA. DIP finger joints nearest nails are always OA I believe. I have both in my hands and the OA can be really very sore and the nodes go red and swollen too but its different to RA. RA feels much more like a fracture for me and its more breath taking and intense and radiates heat - like someone's injected the joint with something corrosive - whereas OA is more straightforward for me - it just really hurts but isn't excruciating and doesn't make me feel sick or feverish. Hope this helps a bit but as Pilly says we aren't doctors and not equipped to advise. Most of my pain has been in my hands and wrists but in the early days it was knees, ankles, elbows and shoulders too. Even the odd toe! Tilda


Oops iPhone error - sorry Pilly I'm silly!! X


Thank you tilda


Hi there,

it took years for me to be referred to Rheumatology because 'all' I had was one swollen knee that hurt more and more when I was walking but was otherwise not especially painful. And I did tire easily, never felt on top of things, and put all that down to the menopause. Eventually I just completely collapsed and even then I was given the run around, not that I could run anywhere.

I still think that my symptoms do not seem quite right for RA but I do have severe inflammatory arthritis and the delay cost me in terms of permanent damage to knees and hip. My hands are affected now but not in the way that Tilda describes. What I'm trying to say is that inflammatory arthritis comes in many forms and there are, apparently, many different forms of RA too. So if you have painful, weak and / or swollen joints plus tiredness you should push like hell for referral to Rheumatology and so often you do need to be very determined.

Of course there are loads of reasons for being tired so there's a good chance you do not have inflammatory arthritis, I hope you don't!

Luce xx


I think the classic RA poster has the 3 S's, stiffness, swelling and squeezing.

If you are stiff getting up and it takes you more than 45 mins to get going in the morning, you have hot, swollen joints, and if someone squeezes your fingers or toes together it really hurts they are the classic signs of RA xxx


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