Joint Pains

Question

I am 30 years old and as of yet, no doctor has been able to figure out exactly what’s wrong with my joints. The “best guess” is RA as of now, although my blood work has always been and still is negative for the RA factor. The only medication that has given me any kind of relief has been a steroid anti-inflammatory. I can deal with the pain in my knee and the occasional finger (it comes and goes for short periods of time), but my jaw (only the right side) is unbearable. I haven’t been able to yawn in 15 months and eating is always painful. We know it’s arthritis since the steroid made the pain go away completely. Is there anything I can do (like physical therapy) or take (prescription or supplement) that can help with this? I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life in agony.

Answer

HI Wendy,

If you haven’t see a rheumatologist yet, it would be a good idea to do so.  There are many types of arthritis and some cannot be diagnosed by a blood test.  There are many pain syndromes that can mimic arthritis, too, like fibromyalgia and TMJ syndrome (pain in the jaw).  Plus, there is another blood test that should be checked before RA is fully ruled out.  Good luck !!

Joan Bathon, M.D.

About Joan Bathon, M.D.

Dr. Bathon was a Co-Deputy Director of the Division of Rheumatology at Hopkins Bayview. She was also the founder and director of the Hopkins Arthritis Center.