Newly diagnosed and soo confused!

Hi there. I've been diagnosed with spondyloarthritis after 3 years of pelvic and back pain. August saw my knee and elbow swell so treatment ramped up. I was put on Etoricoxib by private rheumatologist (I booked an appointment as I was told it was a 20 wk wait for NHS) then 2 weeks LATER I got my NHS appointment. The consultant put me on metatrexate and 3 weeks of steroids and I stopped taking etoricoxib. All the swelling went and I felt really good. The steroids finished and the swelling started to come back in my knee so restarted the etoricoxib 5 days ago but it's not going down. I'm soon to start the biology injection Ana.. Something.. Bub. Today I asked about trying a different anti inflammatory but the ad ice was that I may be given low dose steroids again. I'm confused.... Is my knee swelling inflammation? Why have steroids again if there's a different anti inflammatory I could try... Any advice? I'm feeling really overwhelmed by it all. Thanks, Vic


  • Tom
    Tom Member Posts: 522

    Welcome to the forum, @Vicky1979 . I see that you have been given a diagnosis of spondyloarthritis. A private consultation led to you being prescribed Etoricoxib, but shortly after a surprise NHS appointment led to alternative treatment with Methotrexate and steroids. Now you expect to shortly start injections with a biologic (Adalimumab?).

    The first thing I would mention is the that most medications take time to build to their full effect. Patience is an important part of your treatment.

    Here is some general information on your condition:

    A new diagnosis often leads to worry and depression. Here are some tips:

    Remember, you are not alone. Keep in touch with the community where you will find help and support and do let us know how you get on.



  • Hi Vicky1979,

    Thank you for posting on our helpline forum, I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing lots of swelling and that the medication isn’t helping.

    Ankylosing spondylitis is a condition that mainly affects the back by causing inflammation, causing the inflammation in the body to produces extra calcium around the bones. While it mainly affects the neck and back, it can also cause pain and stiffness elsewhere in the body, including in the hips, shoulders, and feet.

    Treatment for this condition includes, painkillers, such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, and as you are aware drugs such as Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) methotrexate and sulfasalazine, so as Tom has mentioned they may not work straight away and can take up to 12 weeks for the treatment to become affective, but hopefully in your case it will not be as long.

    Other things that you could try Vicky is self-help treatments such as heat and ice, heat is an effective and safe treatment for most aches and pains. You could use a wheat bag, heat pads, hot water bottle or a heat lamp, its bests that you don’t leave it on for more than 20 minutes. Many people find that ice is helpful when used to manage short-term pain. Ice packs can be made from ice cubes placed in a plastic bag, or wet tea towel. You could also use a bag of frozen peas. Ice can be also applied for no longer than 20 minutes.

    You can also talk to your doctor about a referral to physiotherapy who will help to provide you with some structured stretching and strengthening exercises just for you, another exercise that is good for this condition is swimming because it uses lots of muscles and joints without jarring them. And the water supports the weight of your body. Swimming provides a great overall workout that improves your strength, stamina, and flexibility.

    Thank you, Tom, for providing the links for Vicky which I am sure will help her in the future.

    If at any point it would help you to talk things through informally and in confidence to one of our Helpline advisors about how you are feeling you are more than welcome to call our Free Helpline on 0800 5200 520 weekdays 9am – 6pm.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Advisor