Skip to content
RA effects on muscles?
avatar
singingbear posted:
I was diagnosed with RA and knee osteoarthritis in January of this year. I am now taking 7.5 mg of prednisone, 1 mg of folic acid, and calcium daily with 7 methotrexate weekly. I have been on the methotrexate for 8 weeks.

Frequently I feel significant pain not in my joints but more the muscles surrounding them. I originally was sent to the Rheumatologist after complaining of knee pain and having a positive RF test. While my knees still cause me some pain the majority of my pain is not in my knee joints but in the calves, thigh, and back muscles as well as mild aching in the shoulders and arms. I also have a lot of swelling in my calves by the end of the day. When I stand it feels as though my legs have no strength. Is this a common complaint amoung RA patients? I have read numerous articles and discussions but very little is said about the effect on the muscles.

I am so tired of being in pain every single day. I can't even remember the last day I was able to climb out of bed and not feel stiff and sore. I work full time overnight and each night it gets harder to force myself out of the house. I know I am not a pleasant person to be around right now because of my frustration level.
Reply
 
avatar
xperky responded:
Hi singingbear. Sorry you are so frustrated! Chronic pain IS frustrating.

I have read that Fibromyalgia can occur along with RA. FM is sometimes called "arthritis of the muscles." You may want to ask your doctor to check you for FM to treat it along with your RA. There is a theory that patients in chronic pain can develop FM.

I know what you mean about getting out of bed. I dread my nightly trip to the bathroom but know I risk wet sheets if I don't bare it! I've actually considered putting a walker next to the bed to make me more stable, but haven't mentally gone there yet. It feels like 52 years old is really 82!
 
avatar
sfonseca7 responded:
Wish I had answers to your questions.....I live my days and nights as yiou discribe yours. I take one day at a time and laugh when I can.
 
avatar
lanecl responded:
This is pretty much my life, too. Muscle ache is pretty typical from what I understand. One thing that seems to help me is topical treatments - Ben Gay for arthritis or the green alcohol/sports rub. Sometimes it's more helpful than pills. Best of luck.
 
avatar
socathy1 responded:
Like you I am new at having RA and I also have fibromyalgia. You might want a doctor familiar with FM to check you for that. One thing I have learned is you have to carefully watch your activity level and not get overtired or overstressed. You have to say no to some invitations and put resting and recuperating as a priority or you will always feel bad. I don't try to keep pace with everyone around me now, I go by how I feel and I noticed a definate improvement in my stress level. Best wishes.
 
avatar
Dookie143 responded:
I've had JRA for 28yrs so I've taken everything. The worst medication they ever put me on was methotrexate. Methotrexate is actually a form of chemotherapy it will change your mood make you depressed and irritable. Now I swear my muscle pain started when they put me on methotrexate but my dr says I have fibromyalgia now and that most people that have arthritis also have fibromyalgia. But I think if you have arthritis and are stiff it's gonna restrict your movement so your muscle aren't getting as much of a stretch as usual that will make them sore too right. The best medications I've have taken are called biologics. There medications like humira, embrel, cimzia and simponi. Stay away from I.V. Type stuff like remecaid if you can cause what I've found are the side effects from the chemo type meds cause other medical problems then you have to seek more medical treatment. The arthritis won't kill you but the medication they give you will. Now I'm not a dr this is all from experience but what im telling you is all completely true. The biologics are good because they prevent you from getting worse, give you more range of motion and you don't get a lot of side effects but everyone's different. The bad things are that biologics are expensive and you have to give yourself a shot but only once or twice a month and it's real easy. They've recently came out w pre filed syringes u just sit on your thigh and the medicine is injected w/one push of a button plus it's pain free u won't even feel it. Another great medication that's cheap and has little side effects is called gabapentin or neurotin. It helps w joint, muscle pain and even anxiety. Stay away from narcotic pain meds aw long as u can cause you'll be on them the rest of your life. The have horrible side effects, are extremely addictive and will turn you in to an addict. Nothing good ever comes from a quick fix although they take your pain away at first eventually they stop working. Hope this helps
 
avatar
lisDi responded:
I literally feel your pain. I have had RA for over 20 years. I also am really affected by muscle pain in my thighs, around my knees, elbows and upper arms. This pain really really gets to me and is not as easily controlled as my joint pain. I take Cimzia, plaquenil, prednisone and celebrex. My rheumatologists states that ra also affects your muscles and connective tissue. she prefers not to give me a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, because she states it is part of RA. I also take lyrica and cymbalta for the muscle pain. I know of some rheumatologists who give a separate diagnosis of fibromyalgia. I have found ice, topical rubs and massage to help my muscle and tissue pain the most. I live with it every day. Also I would reccomend cutting down on activities. You have to make sure you do not over do or you will really pay for it in the end.
 
avatar
xperky replied to lisDi's response:
Has anyone had a CPK test run? Mine was 800 which is much above normal ranges. Have not heard from my rheumy if there is significance to that.


Featuring Experts

Scott Zashin, MD is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School and maintains a private practice at Presb...More

Helpful Tips

Dry eyes and dry mouthExpert
Patients with RA may develop dryness of the eyes and mouth due to a condition called secondary Sjogrens Syndrome. The dryness is due to ... More
Was this Helpful?
34 of 41 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.