If you have inflammatory arthritis can you be pain free/ have less pain?


I was just wondering has anyone throughout their time with r/a ever had minimal or no pain or do you have to accept that you will always be in pain forever. I was just wondering because they say dmards are not pain relieving but some seem to get a lessening of pain others not. What I am saying is I hope I won't be in this much pain forever.

26 Replies

  • Hi KittyKat

    I'm sorry you are having so much pain and hope that it will settle down eventually. But I can remember in the early days of my diagnosis, the pain was unbearable and only calmed down when they found a combination of treatments that worked for me. I was diagnosed at the age of 36, in 1987

    At the moment I'm only taking 10mg Leflunomide. Came off Methotrexate injections in January due to the fact I was having chemo. Whilst I was on the chemo drugs, I hardly had any pain and that has continued for now. I suppose it will come back again one day. Before this, when I was on Methotrexate, I was relatively pain free but did have minor flares now and then. I think the fact that some don't feel so much pain with Dmards is because they relieve the inflammation - which is usually the source of pain. Take care. xx

  • Thank you and I hope you contrinue to have minimal pain! XX

  • Hello KittyKat. I have inflammatory arthritis& i am allergic to dmards. Yet i have found some relief unless in a flare. I am on leflunomide& enbrel injections with co codamols for pain relief. I hope you find relief soon,keep talking to Docs. I find hydro therapy healing too. Lots of love Alison xx

  • Thanks Alison glad you have found some relief despite being allergic to dmards xx

  • Hi KittyKat. It is possible to have RA and be pain free. Or at least pain free a lot of the time. I find it hard to believe at times, as when I was first diagnosed I really couldn't imagine that I would improve as much as I have. I was living on pain killers and hardly able to move, and now I only need painkillers rarely. I do ache a bit at times, and my feet hurt as they have some permanent damage,but not enough to stop me doing most of what I want to do. The turning point was finding the mix of meds that controlled my RA, as once the inflammation was under control then the pain really got miles better. So no, the DMARDS aren't pain killers but they do make a difference. I think you've only just started on the drugs and are still on a low dose of MTX? So hopefully once you get to a full dose things will really get better. Polly

  • Hello Polly that is great that you mostly ok apart from some aches. I am on low dose at the moment- 7.5 mgs of methotrexate. So hopefully yeah when I get a bigger dose things will improve. Thank you! x

  • I agree with Polly - I have sero positive palindromic RA & I am now mostly pain free on 20mg Methotrexate. I get very tired but I can cope with this. I think it took about 3 months for the Mtx to work. I do hope you are one of the lucky ones who thrive on Mtx. Kathy

  • thanks Kathy x

  • Hi Kittykat

    I am mostly painfree. I am on 20mg of mtx weekly and 400mg of hydroxychloroquine daily. It took a few months to reach that point, and then I was stable at 15mg for about a year. Then I started having little flares so the dose was increased and I haven't had a flare for nearly 2 years. Hydroxy was added to deal with some residual swelling in my hands and to help with fatigue. My hips ache, especially in the morning or if I do too much. I take cocodamol which is pretty effective for me - I also take it preventatively, ie if I'm about to do something that I know might make me sore, liken a long walk or horseriding. I sometimes get nagging aches in other joints, but nothing like the agony of the early days. Painfree is possible, so hang in there.

    Love Dotty xx

  • Thanks Dotty XX

  • hello BOB here

    DMARDS suppress the immune system as part of RA does active damage to joints, these medications slow the immune system down. This also reduces the inflammation of joints, that in turn will reduce the damage of joints effected by RA

    These medications are/were used in the treatment of cancer hence the contraindications and the reduction in white blood cells.

    One of their main uses is chemotherapy and the clearing of cancer cells

    All the best


  • Thanks Bobx

  • Hiya, I,m very lucky as I rarely take pain relief for RA, I started enbrel 2 years ago and had very few flares lasting no more than a couple of days. I,m almost at the point of asking consultant if it,s just gone away! But, really a day late of my enbrel and it soon reminds me it,s there!

    Hope you get there soon :)

  • ooh be good if it had gone way! Thank you :) x

  • Thats probably not a good question to ask on a message board. The reason being that the kind of people who use message boards tend to be either those looking for a diagnosis, just diagnosed, or still having problems finding the right treatments. The ones whose treatments have worked wonderfully well don't need the same kind of support or answers to questions. Its kind of a tip of the iceberg thing. There are loads of folk out there just getting on with life. My mum was one of them, in the years when she could take hydroxychloroquine. I don't think anyone outside the family really knew she had had RA since teenage years.

  • yeah I did think that when I wrote that earthwitch

  • Hi i wad diagnosed at 26 with RA i am now 42. I did have times with no pain and thought horray its gone away jut to hit me again, i needed to change my job and realise that if i didnt vacume everyday it wasnt going to kill me. Once i altered my life a little it was easier gor me and my flare ups didnt come so offten. For the past 4 years though i have needed more medical help and am happy that mtx is working for me with hydrocloroquin (not sure of the spelling) but still have to be careful not to do to much or the pain creaps back.

  • Thanks Emma

  • Hi kiittykat, I'm going to echo most of the comments above, as I'm on 12.5mg mtx and embrel once a week. I have to say that after 3years of 'fine tuning' the drugs I have found they are working pretty well and as earth witch says, I'm getting on with life, with most people not knowing I even live with a chronic disease. However I still get achey and very tired with severe dry eyes in the evening (a side kick of RA) and family close to me know that I still have symptoms ..sometimes worse than others.. but have the ability to 'shrug it off' to the outside world. The drugs help enormously but I do think attitude and the ability to remain upbeat as much as possible helps with this disease. So try to remain positive and carry on..don't let it get you down and don't let it beat you ..I appreciate though that this is hard work sometimes! Best of luck .. Tess x

  • Thanks Tess x

  • I am relatively pain free. I am blessed that Sulfasalazine and steroid injections every three months work well for me. The pain starts creeping back during the third month while waiting for my next rheumy appt, but I am very grateful that the rest of the time, fatigue and a few spasms are the worst of it. Best of luck to you.

  • Thanks :) x

  • Hi

    I have pain free days - more when the weather was better and I actually managed to really reduce my pain relief & anti flam useage.

    I still suffer from sore, low level pain days. On those days, I rarely take pain relief more than twice a day and when I do, the pain goes away. I take pain relief alot later in the day, usually in the afternoon onwards (rarely in the mornings now). It depends upon on what I'm doing and the weather.

    My drug regime is mtx & enbrel. Since starting enbrel in April, I've not had a flare.

    Even though I'm suppose to be remission, for me it's meant that I have 80% of the energy that I had pre ra and I still have to pace myself.

    Joanne x

  • Thanks Joanne x

  • Hi Kittykat,

    I was diagnosed with RA 5 years ago and couldn't see a future without pain and tiredness. Now, I am usually pain free and often forget that I have RA. I try very hard to not to overdo things and avoid things like full on housework and that has as much effect on me as the meds.

    It does get much better.

  • Thankyou :)

You may also like...