Why do I have such severe pain in my upper arms between my shoulders and my elbows?Why do I have such severe pain in my upper arms between my shoulders and my elbows?

About 1 1/2 years ago I was diagnosed with R.A..

I have been on Methotrexate, Enbrel, Celebrex and prednisone. I am now currently taking Cimzia. My problem is that I am not sure if it is working due to the fact that I suffer from excruciating pain in my upper arms between my shoulders and my elbows. It seems to subside during the day, but in the evening and during sleep hours, it is borderline unbearable! I am not able to lift my arms up, or even lay on them.

I have weakness and soreness that is awful. (Feels like when you get a TB shot and you can't move your arm.)
I do not know if I can take Celebrex and prednisone to relieve the pain (nothing else seems to help) while taking the Cimzia.
What is causing this pain, and how can I control it or rid myself of it? Would cortisone injections help?
Thank you and I look forward to some possible answers.

Christy

Answers from our Doctors

Dr. Ted Mikuls says:

There are some features of your current symptoms that differ from what we typically expect from active rheumatoid arthritis (RA); these include pain that is worse at night (in RA, perhaps as you have experienced in the past, symptoms are typically worse in the morning), and the 'widespread' nature of your pain (whereas, pain and stiffness in RA are more typically isolated to the joints).

Potential causes of more widespread pain in the arms could include several different entities (things like fibromyalgia, neck arthritis, among others). In the end, the source of your current symptoms will require careful consultation from your rheumatologist and other providers. I would suggest that you discuss these symptoms further with your providers.

Monday, September 27, 2010 - 10:56

Comments

Guest
10/13/2010 - 13:35

I have extreme itching and pain in my muscles across the shoulders down the upper arms. The only thing that eases it, somewhat, is using an ice pack. I have both Fibromyalgia and RA. I have mentioned this to every Rheumatologist I have had in the past 7 years, only to get a shrug and no answers. One even suggested I needed to see a psychiatrist (don't see her anymore). It varies in intensity from low itching to extremely high. I am chemically sensitive so don't use fragrances or products with fragrances. Please help. I wonder if the arthritis in my neck is affecting the nerves that run through this area.

Augustine Bono
10/22/2010 - 11:57

When you hear these words run away from that MD as fast as possible. Are there any large teachibg hospitals in your area? A good place to look for a new MD.

Guest
08/13/2012 - 04:11

I have exactly the same problem as you Christy and am in agony in the morning and during the night with severe pain in my upper arms. It slowly subsides after I take my usual dihydrocodine and 2paracetamols(every 4 hours)I have been diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis and have already spoken to my doc about this flare up with upper arms and he said to take 2 dihydrocodine at night but it has made no difference. Any advice anyone??

Guest
11/06/2012 - 22:25

what medications are you taking? some have nerve pain effects

Guest
12/10/2012 - 16:31

I just started on methotrexate 5 weeks ago. I'm up to 7 tablets (17.5mg) once a week. Today I started having severe pain in my arms from the elbows to the shoulders. It's nearly unbearable. Yes, it's like you can't hardly move your arm. And it's the whole arm, like it's radiating throughout, not just muscle or bone or nerves. It's like someone took a baseball bat and beat the heck out of my arms.

I've been diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis and fibromyalgia (myofascial syndrome?)

And you know the usual kinds of pain you have and this is NOT like anything I've experienced before.

April

Guest
12/15/2012 - 22:24

I HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH GOUT... AND THE PAIN IN MY KNEE AND FEET BONES AND HIPS IS MUCH BETTER WITH MY MEDS (ALPURINOL AND CRYCOL (OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT)....

NO FOR COUPLE DAYS HAVE HAD SEVERE PAIN IN MY ONE UPPER ARM... COULD THIS BE CAUSED BY MY GOUT? or??

Guest
12/23/2012 - 23:12

You're all full of crap.

Guest
02/09/2013 - 09:00

I too had the upper arm pain and was eventually diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis. I began my treatment with anti inflammatory drugs and Methotrexate and progressed to Humira. Today, I am in remission and have been for several years. The best advice I can give anyone is to start making changes in your lifestyle. Begin with exercise, then make changes in your diet. Are you eating or drinking things that you know are toxic and have no nutritional value? I exercise M-F for 1hour each day. I no longer drink diet soda, I am very careful in how much processed foods I eat and if I start feeling bad I go all fruits and veggies and proteins until I feel better. I take a multi vitamin daily and always get 7 to 8 hours sleep. I am a true believer in listening to body. When you have inflammation that causes pain, you have to figure out what is causing it, drugs should only be temporary to get you through figuring it out. It takes time but is well worth it!

Guest
02/09/2013 - 09:04

I too had the upper arm pain and was eventually diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis. I began my treatment with anti inflammatory drugs and Methotrexate and progressed to Humira. Today, I am in remission and have been for several years. The best advice I can give anyone is to start making changes in your lifestyle. Begin with exercise, then make changes in your diet. Are you eating or drinking things that you know are toxic and have no nutritional value? I exercise M-F for 1hour each day. I no longer drink diet soda, I am very careful in how much processed foods I eat and if I start feeling bad I go all fruits and veggies and proteins until I feel better. I take a multi vitamin daily and always get 7 to 8 hours sleep. I am a true believer in listening to your body. When you have inflammation that causes pain, you have to figure out what is causing it, drugs should only be temporary to get you through figuring it out. It takes time but is well worth it!

Guest
05/07/2013 - 13:19

The pain wakes me up at night. It feels like being stabbed in the shoulders and beaten with a bat all at the same time. I stopped taking my cholesterol medicine and the pain decreased tremendously.

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