slightly concerned about diagnosis

hnr Member, NewlyRegistered Posts: 3
I've recently been diagnosed with Rheumatoid or Psoriatic Arthristis. However the symptoms are not typical. I was originally diagnosed with PMR in January and put on prednisolone (by my GP) which worked well until I got down to about 2mg. I was referred to the rheumatologist and saw her once I was off the prednisolone for a few weeks and she feels RA or PA is more likely. I think this is primarily due to my age - 51 - as pmr is rare for one so young?! and partly as the symptoms were also not fully typical of pmr. Thus I'm about to start methatrexate.

My symtoms are:
-pain in my shoulders, worse on the right, and particularly when I extend my arms backwards of upwards - in this case the pain kicks in a second or so following the movement.
- pain in my left wrist (though not much at present)
- stiffness in my neck, partcularly if I turn my head to either side
some stiffness in my lower back and the back of my legs
- sciatica after about 45 minutes in the car

I have no swelling or pain in my hands or feet or anywhere else. I had a mri scan on my right shoulder which showed some impingement. The orthopaedic surgeon said he thought it likely I'd have impingement in both shoulders.

I'm a bit concerned I'm being put on a strong drug and that, if I do go on this, my diagnosis should be correct as far as it can be for these conditions. I'm not really sure what I'm asking here, but does anyone feel I should push harder for further investigation or simple go on the methatrexate in case it is RA.


  • hnr
    hnr Member, NewlyRegistered Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    thanks by the way.
    Best wishes
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,187
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi H

    Thanks for your posting.

    As we are not medically qualified we would not be able to say exactly what is going on inside your body.

    You could certainly ask for further blood tests to be done before you start on methotrexate, though you mention that the steroid treatment seemed to work, until you went on a very low dose.

    The sciatica is usually related to a pinched nerve, so would probably not be related to the inflamatory condition you have.

    It may be a case of going back to your rheumatologist and saying that you would like to have further tests and a more accurate diagnosis before you start taking methotrexate or other medication.

    Methotrexate is often used in treatment for both RA and PA.

    For information on Rheumatoid Arthritis see our booklet at and our factsheets on psoriatic arthritis and Polymyalgia at

    I hope this helps.

    Please ring our helplines on 0808 800 4050 (open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm) if you would like to have a chat, or need more information.


    Helplines Team
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