experiencing fatigue - but not pain?

Dear all

thanks for all who contribute on this forum.

I have read that "The relationship between fatigue and RA disease activity has a very low correlation."https://www.rheumatologyadvisor.com/home/rheumatoid-arthritis-advisor/fatigue-assessment-in-rheumatoid-arthritis/ )

Does anyone know of any cases of people who experienced arthritis fatigue, when not experiencing arthritis pain (e.g. if taking cod liver oil)?

(I seem to be in this position;

  • diagnosed with arthritis in 2009 but have used daily cod liver oil and, apart from the occasional flare up, experienced no pain most of the time since then.
  • since 7/20 have been experiencing fatigue with characteristics that closely fit arthritis fatigue.)

Many thanks indeed for any thoughts.


  • chrisb
    chrisb Moderator Posts: 637

    Hi @JCJC777

    Welcome to the versus arthritis forum.

    You were diagnosed with arthritis some time ago with just the occasional flare up but more recently you’ve been experiencing fatigue. You’d like to know if anyone in the forum is aware of any occurrence where arthritis fatigue has been present without the associated arthritis pain.

    These links to our website, whilst perhaps not directly answering your query, may be of interest to you:

    I hope that you receive some useful feedback from forum members.

    Best Wishes

    ChrisB (Moderator)

    Need more help - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • BettyMac
    BettyMac Member Posts: 188

    I know that if there’s ongoing inflammation it can make people feel a bit tired

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,733

    There are so many potential causes of fatigue it's really hard to say whether it's due to any one condition. Most medical conditions (and side effects from drugs) seem to list fatigue as a side effect, including all arthritic conditions. However, the links Chris has provided may be helpful to you, as managing fatigue is fairly similar whatever the cause.

    Of course, addressing the actual cause is the better option, but that can be much harder to pinpoint. This may be a good opportunity for you to review your lifestyle - we can all make improvements in how we eat, what exercise we take, minimising stress, improving sleep patterns, reviewing medications with your GP, getting your RA under control and just general self care. Poor mental health can also result in severe fatigue, be it stress, depression or a host of other conditions, so improving this can also help.

    I was diagnosed with (relatively mild) ME on two occasions, about 20 years apart, and thankfully both passed after 18 months and 3 years respectively. Pacing myself, managing how I expended my limited energy and being kind to myself got me through. We were unable to find the cause either time, but I do wonder whether the later one may have been caused by my undiagnosed arthritis, which was so bad when it finally reared its very ugly head that I already needed a new hip, and I found the constant pain and difficulty of getting around brought a new level of exhaustion, along with the pain meds, so I needed to use my pacing strategies again. Managing any physical medical condition well can only have a good effect on energy.

    I hope this helps and that the tips in the link work for you

  • JCJC777
    JCJC777 Member Posts: 6

    many thanks

    Lilymary many thanks for taking the time. Your comment makes a lot of sense to me. My overall physical and mental health are good.

    Thanks again all.

  • I have osteoarthritis and had both hips replaced (9 and 5 years ago). 

    My left knee is starting to show signs of arthritis and my lower back isn't great! Fortunately, I don't have a lot of pain and am very active. Occasionally, when walking, I get bad cramp like pains in my leg that radiate from my knee so I use a walking stick, but most of the time there's no pain. I don't take any medication or supplements and my general health is excellent. I'm not overweight.

    However, every few weeks or so I get very bad fatigue, which lasts two to four days and makes me totally exhausted. I have brain fog, mild depressison, can't concentrate, and feel like I have flu. My head feels like a ton of bricks is sitting on it. But no pain. 

    The best way I find to deal with it is to get some exercise in the morning (such as a half hour walk), then just rest and do as little as possible. Fortunately I'm retired, with an understanding husband. Fighting the fatigue doesn't work, it makes it worse, rest is the only answer for me.

  • JCJC777
    JCJC777 Member Posts: 6
    edited 13. Sep 2023, 07:59

    hi @Lyricalsixties I just wanted to thank you for your post.

    i very much agree with your comment that 'fighting the fatigue doesn't work'.