Bit of advice needed regarding PR flare - pain and sw... - NRAS

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Bit of advice needed regarding PR flare - pain and swelling


My latest flare started last Monday in my left shoulder which quickly became so painful that the whole arm was incapacitated. This subsided on Tuesday day but moved into my left hand which on Wednesday became probably the sorest flare I have experience, this subsided too but returned to my left hand on Thursday (very sneaky this PR) , I woke up this morning (after no sleep for 3 nights I slept well last night) and the pain was nearly gone and what a difference the lack of pain means - euphoria! But my hand has swollen up now. Quite large in fact. Is this normal?

Thanks in advance 8-)

18 Replies


There is no normal with RA darling. My RA started in my right side and it will always hurt there first when i am flaring. So yes anything is normal with this insidious disease. xxxx

ziggy, have replied at length under your previous post about what I do for pain...

in reply to StormySeas

Yes I got that StormySeas but pain has abated yet swelling has increased wirh redness in the skin, is this usual, pain goes and hand swells up?

Well as Sylvi says, I'm not sure there is a normal...

With me, I think the pain and swelling do coincide. Sometimes there is a steak of redness, one time I had something that looked like a pin cushion of swelling on top of my hand, with a lot of bad pain. Othertimes there is only minimal swelling but still bad pain. It varies.

Try not to worry too much. It will be good if the rheumy sees you when you have a flare though.

The good thing about palindromic RA IMHO, is that although the pain is unbearable, it's relatively short-lived.

Remember to rest up and take it easy when you have a bad flare.

in reply to StormySeas

I love your line 'try not to worry to much'

I see my Rheumy in Jan for the third time

First visit was for diagnosis - and he said PMR

Second visit was to see how the tapering off pred was going

Third visit was cancelled by him and rescheduled to Jan which is good because I have had had time to re-assess my condition and think it is more like PR than PMR especially after this flare.

Merry Christmas

Sounds a lot like me. The rheumatologist suspects I have PR not RA. I'm not sure about her reasoning. She's not very communicative. I'm going to my GP after Christmas and am going to get a referral to another rheumatologist. As you say it's quite sneaky. Comes on in a split second and can leave just as quickly. Most of my problems are on my right side, mostly hand, but it jumps all over. My hands, again mostly my right, and foot swell frequently. They can feel quite swollen and not look it. I can have a swollen hand, quite large, without pain. That happens a lot. Don't know if this was helpful, but we seem to be quite similar.

It was helpful - thank you

Oh, and my hand does get red.

Update to all you lovely people who have answered me, pain in hand now at maybe 10% and I am starting to see the veins on the back of my hand so swelling is subsiding.

My OH for whom I am a carer (when I can) is happy cause it means I can cook Christmas Dinner 8-)

This past summer I had one of the worse PR flares in several years.Funny thing I also had developed Graves at the time and I had labs done for that .My sed rate was off the charts. I now wonder if that could have something to do with PR flares.

in reply to Beviej

I think so.

I also have palindromic rheumatism and found the flares pre diagnosis excruciating. It never seemed to last more than 24 hours at it's worst and moved around joints in a similar way that you described. I luckily only experience one joint flare every three months or so. The meds seem to be doing the trick as I've had discomfort but not the same pain or limited mobility.

I only had a little puffiness in my hand when my wrists were affected but never any major swelling. I would get that checked out in case something has been pinched. Hope things get better for you.

in reply to Sarah310

What meds are you on Sarah310 ?

This is the longest and sorest flare I have experienced to date.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

in reply to Theziggy

Hi, sorry I should have said. I was started on and still take hydroxychloroquine 200mg once a day for the PR. I don't think I had another really bad flare but some regular bloods showed I had RA proper so was then on a 13 week reducing steroid(prenisolone) course and started on 15mg methotrexate tablets weekly. I'm now on 17.5mg methotrexate tablets as there are a few small joints that are regularly "grumbling" to quote my rheumatologist.

I'm aware I am one of the lucky ones and was diagnosed really early into the life of this. I hadn't had much in the way of flares and it was spotted before I had time to feel any detriment. It makes it difficult for me to know if the meds are controlling things or it's so mild I wouldn't be feeling much anyway.

I do get a tight feeling in my arm/shoulder that makes me think that without meds it would be the agony I experienced pre diagnosis but there's no way to tell for sure.

Hope you've had a pain free Christmas.

Update - left hand feels "puffy" today still not completely deflated but 90% better re pain.

Happy Christmas to one and all

in reply to Theziggy

I live on ice. Try it if you haven’t.

in reply to nablur

Just got an ice and heat pack plus a sleeve in the door this morning - thanks

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