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Flare up in elbows

I've been having a flare up in both elbows with the pain going down my forearm. Sometimes I cannot even lift a cup of tea as the pain shoots down my arm. Went to see my doctor this morning but because he could not see any swelling he just advised taking paracetamol or tramadol. Does anyone else get elbow pain without any swelling or tenderness but feels painful deep inside the joint?

7 Replies

YES! i've just been recently diagnosed but i do tend to find that my elbow is really painful but it's not swollen - i just put deep heat spray on it and it tends to ease the pain a little bit

1 like

yes we speak....must admit i have pain all over at the moment but i aoten get it in my you say no swelling but lots of shooting pains down my arms...another thing i have just learnt to accept and live with and adjust my life accordingly :)


Yes that's it exactly. Going to try Tramadol for a week then ring Rheumy nurse if no better. It worries me though that just putting up with it will lead to damage to the joints in the long run. Having a blood test next week so the results should show if my RA is becoming more active again.


Yes! I've had this going on for the past 6 weeks and had steroid injections 2 weeks ago.

Like you there's not a lot to see on the outside but my rheumy did an ultrasound scan and there was a "massive amount of inflammation". You need to be seen by your rheumy team - phone the nurse helpline and ask for advice or for your next appt to be brought forward. I found that tramadol only slightly dulled the pain:-( Voltarol gel [you can buy it at the chemists] helps as it works on the inflammation. My right elbow in particular became so bad that that arm was pretty much unusable as trying to pick up anything caused a shooting, stabbing pain, a yelp from me and caused me to drop whatever it was I was trying to lift. They have also made it very difficult to wash and get dressed as they are so stiff and painful in the mornings. Steroids are now making a difference but I'm still being very careful as the slightest weight such as a paperback book just sets it off again:-(

Don't just leave it, if it persists you need something to relieve the inflammation.

Cece x


I had this in june last year got diagnosed with Tennis elbow in both arms, I tried to cope with the pain was put on Naproxen for it, was told to go very sparingly with Voltarol or similar product because of the Naproxen. I finally got diagnosis of RA in Jan this year.I was told Ra affects the tendons etc hence the Tennis Elbow. I bought T/E splints to wear & found they really helped. but like you I couldn't lift anything not even a cup of tea, I got embarrassed once while out & had to ask for a straw to drink my tea! haha. I still get problems in my left side even now. I was originaly told T/E can take 12-18 months to heal. As been said before, maybe you need to ring your Rheumy or see your GP. I hope you go on ok, thinking of you, as I know how painful & how week your arms can become. xx Rie


Thanks for your reply. I am going to try the Tramadol for a week to see if they help. If not I will contact my Rheumy nurse for advice.The T/E splints sound like a good idea. Never heard of them before. Where can you buy them?


Yes I know the feeling . I have a terrible flare up at the moment hands like sausages. And cannot lift a kettle or do any lifting as arms and wrists feel so week feel like there going to snap. The pain is horrendous and the horrible flue fatigue feeling. I'm at my wits end, how do we get tough this.


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