Stiff joints

Hi everyone,

Just a quick question!

I’m newly diagnosed with seronegative inflammatory arthritis. I have stiffness in multiple joints upon waking in the morning (usually waking up feeling like I’ve been hit by a car during the night!) but this does tend to ease off eventually. However, I’m currently experiencing permanent stiffness in a couple of my fingers and toes which is driving me crazy. I can just about cope with it in my toes, but I’m now having difficulty when making phone calls and also when typing on the computer. Is this normal for stiffness not to ease off at all?! Might be a silly question sorry, but I was only diagnosed a few weeks ago and am still trying to wrap my head around the diagnosis and the symptoms which come with it.

I unfortunately can’t avoid either of these tasks as they’re work related.

I’m currently waiting on a call back from my rheumy nurse to discuss starting me on Methotrexate or an anti-inflammatory as I’ve recently had to stop taking Naproxen after ending up with stomach problems due to it. Praying I will get some relief once I begin taking medication again 🤞🏼


  • Shell_H
    Shell_H Member Posts: 548

    Hi Hayley,

    From my knowledge the stiffness is normal, and the medication can and does help. Once you've got the correct medication for you then it should really make a difference. In the meantime, what have you tried to help? Heat is often a huge aid to stiffness, and as you said it's your fingers and toes it could be that those places are colder than the rest of you, so you're not getting the heat needed to relieve the stiffness. Could you try hand warmers or similar? Or wheat germ bags which go in the microwave? If you can get them less stiff so you can move them, stretching exercises could help keep them less stiff.

    That's not overly helpful, I know. I have found a story from a lady who was diagnosed just before the lockdown, and she's a little further along than you. It might give you more info, or just hope to see that someone is being helped, so you could be too:

    I'm sure there are other people here who may have more suggestions for you!


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,341
    edited 20. Jan 2021, 14:51

    I think you need your meds asap your MTX which will dampen down the symptoms, but in the meantime anti-inflams really help a lot as do normal pain relief. My first flare was pretty much constant for a month or so stiffness coming on after as little as 10 minutes not moving.

    Anti inflams like naproxen give me bad belly ache too I now take Arcoxia (aCox 2 inhibitor) which is gentler and 30mg of lansoprazole

    Don't know if your Gp would prescribe something while waiting for rheumatology sort out your MTX.

    take care

  • dij1966
    dij1966 Member Posts: 27

    Hi Hayley, I was diagnosed with exactly the same thing just before Christmas. I have stiffness in my fingers and feet/toes permanently day and night. If I throw the duvet off during the night I cant pull it back on! Like you I am typing all day so struggle with that too, walking after sitting down is also causing me a problem. I have pain in knee and hip but this does come and go which i can deal with. I havent started treatment yet, I am attending an early arthritis clinic on Tuesday which is hopefully when I will start some meds. Sorry I can't help with what helps for now, but if the clinic make any suggestions I will let you know. Xx

  • Hayley_xx
    Hayley_xx Member Posts: 3

    Thank you everyone for the replies. I’ve heard back from my rheumatologist nurse and they want to begin me on sulfasalazine now.

    Bit anxious about starting DMARDs but hoping this will do the trick in bringing my symptoms under control x

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 579

    I agree the stiffness is horrible, I find that doing things like I used to do easily like stepping off a step is awkward, my body doesn’t flow anymore. Warmth does seem to help as does starting exercise gently but it’s always there. I find that it makes me more aware of falling, be careful!

    it’s a grin, honest!