joint pain but no tenderness - possible?

Is it possible to get joint pain without tenderness? i can feel a pain emanating from my finger joints/wrists (which lasts a few seconds, sometimes a few minutes and then goes away) but when i palpate it, squeeze it, press down on the joint I can't seem to locate the pain or feel any tenderness in the joint.

is this possible with RA? - for the pain to come and go and for the joint to not be tender? i thought once there is swelling that is causing pain, the joint should be painful/tender to touch?

would appreciate your thoughts! thanks

7 Replies

  • Sounds more like nerve pain to me.

    I have spondyloarthritis with widespread enthesitis, and that doesn't usually show up as hot swollen joints, but they will be very tender to touch at the entheses (the point where tendon joins onto bone), and what you are describing doesn't sound like that.

  • I think it would be a good idea to show the gp, sounds painful. But if someone touches my joints I generally go through the roof but that's only my experience.

  • Very interested to see the replies you get because I get pain just as you described. But my rheumy doesn't think I have RA whereas I am hopeful its not but still need some convincing.

  • I know how you feel babyluck - i really want to believe my rheumy but the persistent symptoms just dont give up! also this seems to be a notoriously hard disease to diagnose so not expecting any quick solutions


  • I have persistently swollen joints that hurt intermittently. Most are not usually tender to the touch which I believe is fairly common with PsA, which I have. Additionally my rheumy agrees that I have a high pain threshold and is completely unfazed by the lack of tenderness at routine appointments. But in order to qualify for biologics he needed to demonstrate that I have tender joints - it's just part of the unbending criteria - so an awful lot of manipulation was required before I'd go 'ouch'. It would have saved a lot of bother if I'd started yelling whether it hurt or not, but somehow I couldn't bring myself to do that.

  • Hi brendala, are you on any medication for anything? statins may cause jointpain, as can an adverse reaction to many foods or drinks. Just a thought!

  • Hi brendala, I too get similar joint pains particulaly in wrists and fingerswith no major swelling and I cant recreate them by squeezing the joint,but they are sharp pains that make me wince I also get a mottled rash along the inside of my lower arms, sore palms and sometimes very sore soles of my feet, a sore mouth etc etc, I have a diagnosis of SLE but am told these joint pains and this rash aren't caused by my Lupus so ive done some investigation and I am now waiting to see a consultant who specialises in Lupus and Vasculitis. Also now earache, headaches, light headedness and pain and stiffness in shoulders and hips. Keep challenging if you think you might have something else.

    Regards, sleepynellie.

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