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I have to make up my mind - will see how the day goes!

After my first steroid injection on Thursday, I think I may be feeling a bit less stiff this morning. I still have pain in the end joints of my fingers and knees but I know that I have OA in those joints so maybe this is as good as I can expect. I feel that my wrists and other finger joints (the RA ones) are less painful and swollen though I still feel tired despite a fairly decent night's sleep. I seem to have a "fizzy" feeling - a slight numb sensation in my hands. I am still learning about RA as it's early days for me so I will see how the day pans out and decide whether I need to ring the nurse tomorrow - they advised me to ring if I didn't feel better but it's hard to know what "better" may be in their opinion so I might well ring and ask them that! I have an appointment in 2 weeks anyway and hope to start another drug. I think I expected to feel as well as I was before RA hit me - the nurse said the injection should mean I can use my wrists without pain and I suppose that's true this morning though they are still tingling. There's no way I could describe myself as feeling "great" but maybe feeling "great" is not going to be an option any more. It really helps to ramble on to myself like this!

5 Replies

Hi Julie, I usually find that after a steroid injection, it takes 24/36 hours to start to feel relief in your joints and can take up to 4/5 days depending on how bad you were to start with. I have OA as well in a couple of my finger joints as well as my knees and with RA on top as well. Ain't life grand!

Feeling better is relative I think. I do find after a few days that I do feel better in myself, I can function better and lead a more normal life. I may still have some twinges of pain but they usually settle down and I can use my hands, wrists and shoulders again.

I was diagnosed 4 years ago and spent many weeks in a wheelchair before the drugs and heavy steroid injections began to work (something I don't wish to repeat). I do get bad flare ups and usually have to have a steroid injection to settle everything down again, particularly when the MTX and anti TNF are not coping with it very well.

On the whole, after a steroid injection, I can go weeks or even 2/3 months without any further problems apart from the occasional niggle. So give it time and remember to rest as much as you can. Don't overdo the finger and wrist movements for the time being whilst the steroid is working as that could stop you getting any improvement. Cold packs are very good to reduce inflammation and many of us put our hands and wrists into cold water and that also works. Heat can make the inflammation worse according to my physio but sometimes it can be a comfort to have some warmth on the sore bits!

Hope all goes well. Let us know how you get on. Best wishes. LavendarLady x


I replied to this steroid question on my question where you also mentioned it Julie. Just to say that LL is right you are meant to rest a lot for first 36 hours after a steroid jab I believe to let it do it's work. Hope you see an improvement soon. TTx


I found after having a steroid injection that it did take a couple of days to get the full benefit, but once it kicked in the relief was wonderful! However, the only drawback was that once the inflammation reduced I could then feel where the OA in my knees still reigned supreme!!! But the pain was so much reduced it didn't really bother me as the pain from the RA had almost disappeared.


LavendarLady, thanks for your comments - your situation seems similar to mine in that you too have OA on top of the RA. Your post has given me more hope that a few more days will see me in a better position. I find it difficult to rest my hands as, obviously, I need them for almost everything I do but I will try the cold water therapy as that sounds sensible! I am sorry to hear that you still have bad flares despite the meds - I can't have ever had a flare as such as I have never had relief yet and have awful pain every day so far but I imagine that a flare will feel exactly the same as this in future, hopefully after a period of remission.

Tilda, thank you. I will check out your replies and hope you feel a bit brighter today - you have a lot of worry and sadness on top of this RA business.

Chappy, yes I feel exactly the same about the OA pain! Those joints are the most troublesome today (I seem to have a little more movement than usual in my RA joints) but it's not as bad as the RA pain - for me at least, I know it is horrendous for others, and I am hoping to keep on top of that with my pain meds. It has highlighted the fact that there is something very wrong with my right thumb though! The pain from that seems to shoot right up to my elbow - it might be useful to be able to isolate these pains from RA and get the thumb looked at as a separate problem. Life with arthritis - pain, pain, pain! I'm going to rest these fingers now and take off my splint for a while to soak my hands in cold water.

Thanks again to you all. Julie x


So how did the day go? Hope you are starting to see the benefits so are off out doing something relaxing. Polly


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