Scleroderma & Raynaud's UK (SRUK)
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Sore arms, crackling fingers

Hi all, I have raynauds but nothing else showing at the moment but for the last few weeks I've had very sore upper arms and my left shoulder is sore and crackling a bit. My fingers crackle too, could this all be arthritis or what? I can hardly move my arm some mornings when I wake up and my fingers feel stuck then open with this awful crackling noise. Putting voltarol on at the moment and painkillers but it's not really easing it much. Any advice would be helpful and ideas as to what it might be

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Yes, I am the same, upper arms feel like the tendon/ligaments have shrunk and some fingers get stuck in a closed position then snap open - it is called trigger finger. You can have steroid injection into the hand for the fingers but the only thing that seems to help with the upper arms is physio and exercise.

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Thanks milkmaid, I was thinking getting of some physio to help with it, I do tai chi which helps a little, a bit sore afterwards but helps keep things supple

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I do Yin yoga, uncomfortable at the time but helps me function the rest of the week

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Hi there, I think that if you are noticing that things have significantly changed with any aspect of your health then you need to go and talk to your GP. To tell if you have a form of arthritis, or if you have symptoms that might fit with a connective tissue disease, like scleroderma then they would need to do appropriate blood tests and investigations.

Voltarel gel is not really that effective as it can only tackle superficial inflammation and it doesn't really sound like that is what is happening, and if it is, then tablets are a more effective way to get the drug.

Please don't be worrying, get it checked out so you know where you stand.

All my best

Lucy xx

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Thanks for you advice Lucy Jean, I know it's easy to worry when things start happening, I had blood tests in January which I think showed only a slight positive, got discharged from rheumy and told to see GP if there were any developments with my raynauds. Do you think there would be any significant changes to blood tests since January? I may try physio and see GP if symptoms get any worse. Hope you are ok?

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Hi there, if you have had significant changes in your pain levels, or joint 'noises' or circulation, or any symptoms then it is worth having a conversation with your GP. If you see the person you usually do, or at least if they have access to your previous results then they will be able to make a judgement about what would help.

Blood results will change in relation to physical changes, there is no time scale. It can happen overnight, or over the course of many months. If you have underlying Osteoarthritis then this will not affect your bloods much, but if you have an inflammatory arthritis (like Rheumatoid arthritis) or a connective tissue disease then they are a fairly accurate representation of how things are, so it is a good thing that your results have previously indicated that not much is going on.

I think regular gentle exercise, that is the right type and the right amount for you is really beneficial. The old adage of no pain no gain is rubbish. Start at the lowest level you can manage even on a difficult day and keep it up on a regular basis, rather than really pushing yourself when you are having a good day. I do Qigong, which is like Tai chi and it has really helped me.

Lxxx

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Yes Lucyjean gentle exercise does help and knowing your limits. I was pleased with my previous blood tests so hopefully it may all be down to arthritis now but I'll see how things go and maybe make the appointment for the GP soon. Thanks for all your advice, have a good day and weekend xx

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Hello, yes my arms were hurting terribly like that. I couldn't reach over my head. My rheumatologist said I had bursitis and gave me a cortisone injection in my shoulder and it's so much better. Good luck to you.

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Thanks treesie for your reply, food for thought, never considered it could be something like that, i'll get it checked out x

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Hi. I suffered with the same problems in my neck and upper arms. Turned out to be myositis. Inflammation of the muscles. The only thing that helped in the short term was cyclophosphamide infusions. I had 8 in total. Unfortunately it's only lasted for roughly 3 months and is now back a again. Now I just use votorol and strong painkillers. Good luck.

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Thanks for your reply Joanne, that's something else to keep in mind, voltarol works for a short while but need the painkillers regularly, what next I wonder? Keep well x

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Hi marie5454 I have the same problem with my fingers and left shoulder I have reynauds and scleroderma but my doctor thinks the pain in my shoulder and arms is fibromyalgia and he put me on symbalta. I still have popping in my fingers and shoulder but it’s not painful but every now and then. My fingers are sore and tight I have the swelling of my feet and legs I am on pain meds as well along with other complications from this disease. I hope of these replies will help you get relief.

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Thanks tollie yes everything's helpful, I had been thinking of fibromyalgia as it came up when I looked up my symptoms online. One thing after another! Hope you stay well, at least we have some sun to look forward to.

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