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Help with RA pain

Hi,this is my first posting.My husband was dx with RA July 2012. He keeps having bad flares.He has steroid injections,but they don.t last long. He had injection on 18th Feb,had two flares since then,he was told injection should last 3months. He also has Esophageal cancer.also primary cancer in right kidney,which is very slow growing.Medics will not operate on kidney for at least three months,as operation for esophageal cancer is huge.He has had chemo/radiation for this condition,which made him really ill.It is heartbreaking to see him suffer with all this pain from RA after all he has been through.RA consultant can't give him any other treatment until his kidney cancer is sorted out. I would be very grateful for any suggestions,that may help him with this pain. Thanyou Zilpha

10 Replies

Hi Zilpha - no suggestions but just wanted to extend my heartfelt sympathy to you and your poor husband and welcome you to this site. RA diagnosis is hard enough for most of us to come to terms with - let alone on top of cancer. I hope perhaps others will come on with suggestions that will help but I just wanted to say hello for now. Tilda xx


Hi Zilpha. Welcome. I can't begin to understand what you're both going through. I just wanted to send you my love & prayers. Janet xxx


Probably just things like heat pads or wax baths (for feet or hands), and making sure he keeps up very gentle exercise to just keep moving a bit so he doesn't seize up completely. Also nice warm baths, though he might welcome some help from you with getting dry or dressed after if he is feeling really bad. He might want to ask his doctors if it would be OK to use one of the NSAID gels, like voltarol. It doesn't get into the bloodstream anywhere near as much as the tablets, so they might let him use it, but definitely don't try until he has been given the OK for it. Capsaicin cream is another one to ask about.


HI there, I also want to sent you both a hug because it can't be easy on either of you, Sorry i can't help, but as earthwitch has said maybe look in to some form of gel for some relief and of course the nice warm , Take Care I hope he gets his op soon XXX


Life can be so unfair at times. Has the hospital or doctor not offered any other form of pain relief? would he be allowed steroid tablets? I don't find the injections work for 3 months, i am lucky if i get 6 weeks. I have a little massager that i use and i find it helps a bit or sometimes getting a gentle massage can help. As earthwitch says perhaps wax baths for his hands and feet. I hope things improve soon for you. x


Cant offer any advice except whats already been said i found starflower capsules helped me (holland & barratt).

Sending hugs & best wishes.




i feel for you both - have you considered a TENS machine? i find quite a bit of relief from mine - but it depends on the type of pain at a particular time - it can break the cycle sometimes tho . x


Hope things better for you both soon. Just to say thinking of you and sending you hugs too. xx


Hi Zilpha

Unfortunately none of us on here are medically trained, but as everyone has said, we obviously all wish you well.

The drugs that are given in RA (DMARDs or disease modifing anti-rheumatic drugs) slow down the progression of the disease, so if he can't have these anything else is likely to be symptom control, which will have a limited effect, but is well worth trying.

Other people on here have already suggested a lot of good ways to manage the pain. We also have an article on pain management which may be helpful:

Hope he finds something to help manage the pain until he can get started on some treatment.

Kind regards


(NRAS Helpline)


So sorry to hear he is so porrly wishing him and you well I think mcvhael Douglas had oesphageal cancer? mtx is good drug for ra commonly used and can give brilliant results at higher doses it was and still is a chemotherapy drug xx


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