Wife has sudden pain in shoulders and hands.

Hey all... Hoping someone might have some guidance on this.

Wife, 57, in good health otherwise about a month ago started feeling pain in her shoulders radiating down to her hands pretty suddenly. Her hands are painful and "tingling." To a much lesser extent, she sometimes feels stiff in the hips but it's nothing like the arms/hands. No issues in the ankles or feet. She's negative for RA and Lupus (her mom had it until she died at 51 yrs) and had been tested several times through her life. For a while, we were thinking that it might be post covid - she had covid shortly before this started. Burt that was months ago.

It's gotten so that she can't sleep. Worse in the mornings and gets a little better during the day. She was able to schedule an appointment 6 weeks out with the Rheumatologist and we're a month away. Stopped into the urgent care hoping to score a course of prednisone and they said "we don't want to mask the cause with prednisone before your appointment" so keep taking advil/Naproxen - which does nothing.

Amazing to me that they would be fine with allowing her to be in pain for a month.

We've tried Lifetones (uric acid reducer), vitamin B complex, Turmeric/Curcucimin, advil and naproxen all with little relief.

Anyone here have a similar experience? We're now terrified that the docs won't EVER know what's wrong. Is it possible that she would have systemic arthritic pain suddenly or should we be focusing on disease/disorder. Doctors don't seem to know HALF of what these forums do. Appreciate you.


  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,565

    Good morning @Redddog welcome to the online community.

    I see from you post that you are very worried about your wife who is having severe (and sudden onset of) pain and as yet has no diagnosis. It's very good that she has only a month now to go before she sees a rheumatologist.

    I will give you some information about how she can manage her symptoms in a moment, but first you need to think about how you can both prepare for the appointment so that you get the best out of it. Many of our members take notes with them in order that they can quickly and succinctly put across exactly what has been happening and it's affect on them. These appointments are not long and I think you are already fearing not getting a diagnosis. Don't forget to write questions down too you don't want to miss the opportunity.

    Rheumatologists are the experts in this field not GPs who need to know about many many health conditions.

    Many of our members will relate to your experience so far particularly being in pain while waiting to see someone.

    While you are waiting to hear others' experience I am going to attach the following which might be of interest:

    My best wishes @Redddog to you both. I hope you will let us know how your wife gets on.


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,219

    If it helps at all @Redddog i did something similar to your wife.

    I woke up one morning stuck in position unable to straighten out and in agony. Almost everything was swollen. My GP did refer me to Rheumatology straight away, but I lacked RF in my bloods too.

    There are other tests they can do such as ultrasound which can pick up inflammation in your joints for instance.

    I went to the consultant armed with everything I could tell them about what was happening.

    What was happening

    When and for how long

    How it was affecting me/my life

    pain level out of 10

    Random extra symptoms - for me it was a slight temperature and the most incredible exhaustion you could imagine as well as a few other random things like loss of appetite.

    I was started on DMARDs decent pain relief

    Straight away and given a steroid jab into my rear.

    Of course your wife's condition my not be the same at all, but being polite and clear with the Dr will help you be taken seriously.

    Best of luck and do let us know how you get on

    Toni x

  • Redddog
    Redddog Member Posts: 4

    Thanks guys.

    I'll keep you in the loop. She's experiencing some notable numbness today which, maybe incorrectly, leads me away from more of a systemic issue.

    We meet the RHeumatologist today at 3. I'll update y'all then.

    Thanks again!!

  • Redddog
    Redddog Member Posts: 4

    Hey Guys.

    So she was given Prednisone (30mgs for a week then ween) and it literally knocked out 95% of her pain overnight.

    Pretty amazing.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,219

    Great so they are going to help her? Did they give you any indication as to what is wrong?

    I am so pleased the steroids are working. Obviously they are not a long-term solution (they are such a double edged sword), but hopefully some longer term meds are being considered by the consultant?

    Fingers crossed for her


  • Redddog
    Redddog Member Posts: 4

    Hey Toni!

    So the thought was that it was a response to a viral infection (possibly Covid) that started an arthritic response that normally would clear on it's own but didn't. The prednisone was a short term prescription they hoped would clear the inflammation and then she would ween off. If the pain comes back after that, they will have her on a larger dose that would have a very long weening off period (over the course of a year).

    But as of a week ago, she's been feeling great so we're hoping this initial prescription will do the trick.

    Thanks so much. This place is great.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,219

    Ah I see what you mean @Redddog .

    Well I hope it's enough are they suspecting some sort of reactive arthritis I wonder?

    I really hope this short course does the job for her.

    This place is great people are just lovely I agree👍

    Fingers crossed for you both