Is it possible to have RA without any inflammation showing? I have pain in most of my joints on both sides of my body but no inflammation. I have been on NSAIDS for 10 years including Celebrex for the last year. I was tested by a rheumatologist a couple of years ago and nothing showed up on blood work or a bone scan. Is it possible that the Celebrex is masking the inflammation from RA or should I be looking elsewhere for possible causes of all my joint pain?
You probably need re-tested for RA and possibly checked for various other types of arthritis. There can be false positives and even false negatives which is why it's important to be retested. it is also possible you do not have arthritis and it could be a totally different problem. The anti-imflamatories are doing nothing for you if you don't have arthritis.
Yes, it's possible to have RA and normal inflammatory markers. It's also possible to have RA without swelling. Can you be a little more specific and describe your symptoms and maybe let us know what tests the doctor ran?
I forgot to mention that I had been dx with OA ten years ago. That's what the Celebrex is for. In the last 3-4 years I have dx with OA in my shoulders and thumbs. Problem is, I have pain in all of my fingers, my elbows, ankles, and toes. The pain seems to bother different areas the worst at different times. I can go 3-4 weeks feeling pretty good except for fatigue and then I will start to hurt all over. The shoulders and arms seem to be worst. They will feel slightly tingly and start to ache constantly till the pain forces me to take a tramadol to get some relief. My hands will feel stiff and painful the entire day but there is no swelling. My lower body (hips and feet etc.) will hurt too but the upper parts are the worst. The first day is the worst but the pain can last two or three days before it mellows out.
I had a rheumy appt about three years ago. They did a bone scan and blood work (CRP and ANA and such) but nothing showed up. I was mostly wondering if I should go back to the doctor to be re-checked or if my problems were the normal progression of the OA I already have. If it makes a difference, I am 38 which I know is young for OA but I have a physical job.
The fatigue and stiffness sure sound like RA to me. Is the pain worse after you have used the joint for a while or when you first move it after its not been used? If the latter is the case, it sounds more like RA than OA.
I think I would go for a second opinion. Did you have an Anti-CCP test? I would ask for one. It's highly specific for RA and will sometimes show up when the RF is negative.
I would definately see your Rhuematologist and ask to be tested for RA. Should this come back negative there could be a different problem going on such as Fibromyalgia or other conditions. OA of course will cause pain and stiffness and does not always cause swelling. I've had OA since age 10 and have similar symptoms to you but do not have RA.
Thank you for your replies. You have given me something to consider. I don't want to go to the doctor sounding like a hypochondriac, but I don't know if what I'm dealing with is normal for the OA I've been dxed with, or if I should be looking for something else. And the info I've found on the net hasn't been specific enough ( especially about the shoulders) to answer my questions.