Migratory arthritis?

Hi. Sorry I keep posting so much, theres just so much I don't know about at the moment. I think I might have migratory arthritis. Terrible fatigue and feeling unwell, pain in arms, elbows, wrists , hands, neck , upper back for about a week, then got better. Then immediately followed by pain and inflammation in knees, back of thighs, calves, arches of feet for 9 days, got better. Then immediately back in left knee and leg only for 9 days. Now this morning left knee starting to feel better and more stable, but now severe pain started in right hip. This doesn't sound like ra does it? Been reading about migratory arthritis, sounds like this, I think usually caused by some underlying infection or illness. Has anyone got this? Does it get better? How easy is it to find the root cause? Can't seem to find much info about it. X

12 Replies

  • Pain and swelling can move around with psoriatic arthritis and I think with RA too. Whether the speed at which yours is shifting around means it's more likely to be Migratory Arthritis, I just don't know. I don't blame you for consulting Dr Google, we all do it, but nobody can diagnosis what's ailing you online.

    Rheumys can take quite a while to make a diagnosis, even with the actual patient in front of them and all their training and experience. Are you keeping a record of what's happening? It could prove very useful. You describe your symptoms quite succinctly which is probably the perfect way to present them to the specialist.

    I'm probably going to google 'migratory arthritis' now (look what you've gone & done!!). There are some forms of inflammatory arthritis that do get better after a while aren't there? It'd be good if you do turn out to have one of those, but chronic forms are often worst right at the beginning when you're waiting, worrying, untreated etc. When is your rheumy appointment?

  • Hi. My appt is on tues, so not too much longer now, although every day is a drag when you feel rough and can hardly walk. I am keeping a daily record of all symptoms to take with me. Trouble is trying to manage my expectations of the appt as I'm sure there will not be a conclusion as such on the day. X

  • My RA wanders all over the place. Less so now as it's well controlled, but at the beginning it would surprise me every few days with a new location. What you describes sounds exactly like I was at the start I'm afraid - sorry!

    The way my rheumy described things to me was that mixed connective tissue diseases (the broadest description of this foul family of diseases) come in all shapes and sizes. And there's a good deal of blurring between them, so if you have symptom X it isn't automatic that you have disease Y. And there are 100's of varieties of these. As far as I'm concerned it no longer matters what mine is called, the Important thing is that the treatment is working!

    She said it often takes 2 years from the first symptoms showing themselves to get to a more conclusive diagnosis. There are some forms, like reactive arthritis, that aren't persistent and can fade out after a couple of years. But a lot are, sadly. And there's no definitive test to find out in advance. A well experienced rheumy will be able to balance up all your symptoms and test results and have a pretty good feel of what might be happening, but Mr Google can't.

    It's great that you're trying to manage your expectations for your appointment, as it may well not give you all the answers, or even be able to start you on any form of treatment. In a world where we've learnt to expect fairly instant solutions, it came as a great shock to me that these weren't diseases where you could take a pill for 7 days and everything would be better. One of the few positives of getting RA is that I have become a much more patient person. So do try not to get too focused on a specific answer right now, but as postie says just record everything.

  • Thanks, just feel so miserable atm , wish there was a quick fix. Paracetamol and ibuprofen are dulling it, but still want to cry most days. Its upsetting for my family as well. I think I keep trying to cling to anything that may not be a life long illness. X

  • It is miserable to start with, I can't pretend otherwise. But even if you do have RA or one of the other chronic ones it can be ok. This morning we went for a long (uphill) walk with the dog, and I've just come in to make a cup of tea after 3 hours digging over the vegetable garden. Slowly & gently, with frequent pauses to gaze at the birds etc, but still did it. But if you'd seen me a few years ago you'd have been measuring me up for my wheelchair.

  • Hi--- I was diagnosed last sept with RD --- started mthx in Oct. Like you I was terrified of having a " life long disease" and all it entailed. Absolutely scared stiff of starting on the " toxic treatment" as I call it. I can honestly say it has changed my life for the better. I don't think I realised how I'll I was before taking the meds. Even tho I am not without side effects, and will never be cured- I am a million times better than I was before diagnosis. Please don't feel the need to apologise for posting on here--- there will always be someone on hand to help --. ☺

  • I second Jacki08, there's no need to be sorry for posting! What you're experiencing sounds very much like my RA, it seems to randomly pick a set of joints and gnaw on them for a while. I've noticed that the weather (especially humidity or lower temperatures) makes things worse. I've started keeping a log and noting rainy days. It seems to help me take some of the emotion out of it - like stating the colour of my hair (which is purple, yes). I take hope from people like helix here, and when I'm still low on hope, I take comfort. xx


  • Thankyou everyone, I didn't realise ra moved about your body like that, I thought it was always the same joints. Oh well, it will be whatever it is I suppose, can't do anything about it now... I so miss my gardening, hopefully I will be like helixhelix and get back to it before too long. All of my hobbies and interests are active ones and I just feel sad. As some of you may know from other posts, we are in the middle of renovating our 16th century thatched house so the timing of me being ill and immobile is really rubbish as I do most of the work. Our builders are coming mid week to work on an inglenook fireplace that we've exposed. So at least it will be finished , even if its not me doing it . then decoration and carpet and I'll at least have a comfortable sitting room to lie about in instead of a building site! Hope I can cope with having them all working in the house atm. They do know I'm ill and I can just leave them to get on with it, they ll probably prefer it as I'm normally hovering around being padantic about details. Perhaps they'll bring me a cup of tea for a change! X

  • My RA started very much as yours - described by my doctors as polyarthritis. After about 6 months of springing up here there and everywhere it settled quite visibly and painfully in my hands and wrists and this was when I got my diagnosis four years ago - the rheumy said there was nothing else it could be.

    But he also warned me that things could change - and mine has changed a lot. Unfortunately I haven't tolerated the drugs well so have been off them now for 9 months and my great hope was that the whole thing had been some extended post viral arthritis or that it had gone into a rare spontaneous remission. So now I'm back to square one with nobs on - but am about to start a fourth DMARD on Tuesday and am really hoping I tolerate this one and it works miracles.

    I am with you on the pain and misery front but psychologically I have come a long way from where you are now and am much less frightened by the idea of having a long term condition - just desperately wanting something to get it under control now.

    Good luck with your appointment. If you have any photos of swollen joints it would be a good idea to take them along with you in case nothing shows on the day. You are at the most frightening stage I think and im sure things will improve once you have a diagnosis and treatment.

  • Thankyou twitchytoes. Just had a bad couple of days. Sure it will be better tomorrow. Thanks for your support. X

  • Agree with postle that psoriatic arthritis can have migratory pains, as can any of the other spondyloarthritis forms. Spondy is the other main type of inflammatory arthritis besides RA.

  • Hi, i,ve been diagnosed with RA after always being active never being ill and on my feet most of the time this came out of tbe blue and was a big shock.

    It started with excruciating pain in my hand which kept me awake at night when resting. I didn't know where to put my hand for relief to the point i was in tears and went to the doctor. I was prescibed Naproxen and referal to hospital where I had numerous tests,chest x-rays ,ct scan, urine tests etc a full mot!!

    I was started on Methotrexate but had to stop after a few weeks cause of liver test fluctuations but am now back on it, along with another drug and am getting weaned off the Naproxen as i feel its masking the pain and I can't tell if the other drugs are working their magic. I've since had pain in my feet too buf at this moment in time i have no pain in hands or feet but really bad pain in my lower back I'm not sure if this is RA or osteoporosis-but even so thd drugs I'm taking are prescibdd for osteoporosis and they are nit touching it.

    I get very fatigued and frustrated as i want to be the person i was a year ago, i do get down but try to push myself and think positively, this page certainly helps , you realise you are not alone anx there's always someone you can talk to if need be. Good luck on your journey and i hope you get some answers very soon.x

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