Pain in muscles in upper arms

I was first diagnosed with Lupus 28 years ago. Apart from skin rashes and hair loss it has remained mild. Two years ago I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and started on Methotrexate together with the Hydroxychoraquine I was already taking.

I have felt unwell for the last couple of months with pain in my hands, wrists, elbow, knees and big toes. I was given a systemic steroid injection which didn’t ease the pain or swelling. My last blood results were normal and the rheumatology nurse has suggested that the pain is mechanical and I need to ‘learn to live with it ‘ My GP examined my joints and says that’s it’s inflammatory in nature and has written to my Consultant.

I have two questions . I am awaiting an MRI scan, do they scan the whole body or just one part ?

I’m experiencing intense pain in the muscles of my upper arms at night when I lay down. Is this a common symptom ? The pain wakes me frequently in the night and I’m unable to hold a glass to have a drink.

I’d be grateful for any advice whilst I await the scan and a response from my Consultant.


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,704

    MRI scan? What they scan will depend on what your doc asked for.

    I can't really relate to muscle pain though if you have problems with your arm joints, it might be that the muscles protest at night at the possible overuse during the day. perhaps pain is making you use your arm - and muscles - differently. I confess I routinely take a couple of my prescribed lowest-dose co-codamol going to bed to forestall all the things that tend to arrive if I don't.

    if you can't hold a glass try using a straw.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Shell_H
    Shell_H Member Posts: 548


    When I had an MRI, they only scanned my tummy area - although the machine is huge, and your whole body goes into it, only part of your body is focussed on. I had to drink some foul-tasting concoction beforehand as it was my digestive area they were scanning and needed to see how it worked that way. but you should be able to avoid that. It's very loud, so be prepared.

    Blood test results being negative means it's almost certainly not rheumatoid arthritis, but it could be osteoarthrits or others (which I suppose could be considered mechanical). There are medications - mostly painkillers - to help with osteoarthritis and related conditions, and there are surgeries for your joints which can help - there's replacements and I believe there is now a new operation you can have which repairs your cartilidge (my understanding of it, not necersarily accurate) so depending on your age and deteriation levels you could have those to help if necersary too. Although OA is normally diagnosed through manual manipulation and examination by a doctor (hands on type thing) with X-rays to help see the state of your joints and if and how much loss of cartilidge or damage to the bones have been done. MRI is a new one on me for arthritis.

    Just read up on the diagnosis section of OA and actually it does say that in some cases an MRI is used, so there you go! Have a look here if this helps. I know you haven't been diagnosed with OA, but it's my best guess as to what the specialist meant by "mechanical"....