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  • How to differentiate arthritis pain from neuropathy pain?

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    Old 04-24-2004, 01:18 PM   #1
    zoron
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    How to differentiate arthritis pain from neuropathy pain?

    Right now I am having pains in my right leg (ankle, tendon, calf and inner thigh area). Sometimes the pain can be like electric shocks, slight irritating aches and sometimes it can be like a muscle cramp in the calves area (esp. after walking a lot). When I am resting and at home, it usually does not bother me much. It is an internal type of pain. I don't know if it is arthritis or nerve related? I also have some pains in my arms/hands (esp. the left one) that sort of resembles the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but I don't know for sure.

    Can a blood test tell if the pains are arthritis or neuropathy related?

     
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    Old 04-25-2004, 07:16 AM   #2
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    Re: How to differentiate arthritis pain from neuropathy pain?

    Hi Zoron, Blood tests don't detect pain. They may be able to detect RA but RA or OA both effect bone and joints, not soft tissue. The only way to determine if it's stemming from a pinched nerve is to see a surgeon that will do an MRI but the same nerve compression isn't going to cause both leg pain and hand pain. Lumbar nerves effect the legs and cervicle effect the hands. You likely have some degenerative disc disease if your older than 30, everyone does. You can self DX till the cows come home and still never get an answer, leave that part to he docs.

    They usually DX carpel tunnel problems with an emg, They test the nerves ability to conduct electricity. If a nerve is being pinched or restricted it will show in an EMG. The aches and pains all over will confuse just about any doc or they can through out a DX that would cover them all like Fibro, but then you have no cure or excepted treatment of fibro other than the symptoms.

    You really need to destinguish between discomfort and pain using the 1-10 scale. I wouldn't go to the doc for a leg cramp unless it lasted weeks and wouldn't go away.

    Pain in the 2,3 or 4 range can likely be managed with OTC meds and it's up to the patient if they want to report every ache and pain. Only you know how much it hurts and whether it's worth seeking treatment.
    Good luck, Dave

     
    Old 04-25-2004, 10:40 PM   #3
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    Re: How to differentiate arthritis pain from neuropathy pain?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoron
    Right now I am having pains in my right leg (ankle, tendon, calf and inner thigh area). Sometimes the pain can be like electric shocks, slight irritating aches and sometimes it can be like a muscle cramp in the calves area (esp. after walking a lot). When I am resting and at home, it usually does not bother me much. It is an internal type of pain. I don't know if it is arthritis or nerve related? I also have some pains in my arms/hands (esp. the left one) that sort of resembles the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but I don't know for sure.

    Can a blood test tell if the pains are arthritis or neuropathy related?
    I have systemic lupus and a a great deal of joint related issues. When I was intially diagnosed in 1997 all I can say is it was definitely "bone pain" I was experiencing. Particularly in my knees, feet, and hands. Even though I have been on medication to treat the arthritis related issues; I still tend have a lot of joint stiffness and pain in the morning and at night. A very basic blood test for "sed rate" or sedimentation rate is a pretty non-specific test (it doesn't provide a diagnosis), but it will tell you if there is inflammation occurring. My sed rate was so high and that is what led my Doctors to run additional tests and specific tests that led to the diagnosis of Systemic Lupus. I hope you get some relief to the pain you are experiencing soon. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.
    -MJ

     
    Old 04-26-2004, 02:07 PM   #4
    zoron
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    Re: How to differentiate arthritis pain from neuropathy pain?

    I am getting a bit better day by day. But, the pain is still there. I can walk and I have my reflexes. I strongly feel it is nerves related because the type of pain I have in my hand and palms certainly are. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night for no reason. But, these days, the pain in my hand is decreasing day by day. A friend told it could be due to either stress or an infection.

    Should I give it another couple week's try before consulting a doctor?

     
    Old 04-26-2004, 10:57 PM   #5
    Mart7
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    Re: How to differentiate arthritis pain from neuropathy pain?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoron
    I am getting a bit better day by day. But, the pain is still there. I can walk and I have my reflexes. I strongly feel it is nerves related because the type of pain I have in my hand and palms certainly are. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night for no reason. But, these days, the pain in my hand is decreasing day by day. A friend told it could be due to either stress or an infection.

    Should I give it another couple week's try before consulting a doctor?
    You could give it a couple of weeks; especially if you are feeling like you are improving. However, it might be a good idea to at least consult your GP; especially if this is a new problem for you. You are in my thoughts for continued improvement. Keep us posted on how you are doing.
    -MJ

     
    Old 04-27-2004, 07:07 AM   #6
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    Re: How to differentiate arthritis pain from neuropathy pain?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoron
    Right now I am having pains in my right leg (ankle, tendon, calf and inner thigh area). Sometimes the pain can be like electric shocks, slight irritating aches and sometimes it can be like a muscle cramp in the calves area (esp. after walking a lot). When I am resting and at home, it usually does not bother me much. It is an internal type of pain. I don't know if it is arthritis or nerve related? I also have some pains in my arms/hands (esp. the left one) that sort of resembles the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but I don't know for sure.

    Can a blood test tell if the pains are arthritis or neuropathy related?
    My husband had neuropathy and just last Friday had outpatient surgery called something with like 5 long names LOL, but it is carpal tunnel for the leg.
    He had one done will be on crutches for three weeks then in about 6 weeks will have the other done. It was a podiatrist that did it, and is a new procedure. He was very optimistic about it and said he will definately have feeling back in his feet and legs and the pain will be gone that you are describing. FYI

     
    Old 04-27-2004, 12:22 PM   #7
    zoron
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    Re: How to differentiate arthritis pain from neuropathy pain?

    Mart,

    It is a slight, irritating kind of pain that i can live with (at least now). I feel that pain is slowly subsiding, but it seems like it is still there (sort of like a residual effect). It seems like my hands and arms rarely have pain as it did a month ago, but it will still come once in awhile like for 5-10 minutes a day. I am wondering if stress could have caused this? These pains are very transient and migratory too. They come and go. Could the stress and anxiety have blocked my circulation temporarily to have caused some symptoms of nerve pains?

    Maryanne,

    I think it is called Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome if it is the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome version for the legs. But, I thought that Tarsal only affects the feet and the ankle area. Mines is more in the ankle and muscle calf area. Occasionally, I get small irritations in the inner lower thigh area too. These pains are very transient and migratory too. They come and go.

     
    Old 04-27-2004, 01:09 PM   #8
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    Re: How to differentiate arthritis pain from neuropathy pain?

    Yes that is it, but the surgeon called it by the long name. Just ask him and he said no pain in the calf just the bottom of his feet.
    Good luck

     
    Old 04-27-2004, 02:41 PM   #9
    zoron
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    Re: How to differentiate arthritis pain from neuropathy pain?

    That's why I am wondering if my pains in the leg is neuropathy related or not because my feet is not affected very much. I hear most people with nerve problems say it is their feet that is most affected. Mines is more in the ankle and lower calf area. But, I am sure it must be nerve related because my hand and arms are.

     
    Old 04-27-2004, 06:14 PM   #10
    Mary Anne9998
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    Re: How to differentiate arthritis pain from neuropathy pain?

    Now since I have had the facet injections, I have had horrid cramps in my calf and feet and they are all day and night. If I take a muscle relaxer, it helps alot so you might try that. The doctor told me too to drink a gallon of water a day. That is a job in itself, but have made it to maybe 3/4 gallon on day but usually a half gallon is as far as I can get.

     
    Old 04-27-2004, 07:01 PM   #11
    zoron
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    Re: How to differentiate arthritis pain from neuropathy pain?

    Maryanne,

    Yes, I drink water. I also take the Vitamin B pills. Vitamins B-1, B-6, and esp. B-12 is said to help your nerves heal. Sometimes, I feel like it helps. I also drink the V-8 vegetable juice and a glass of milk before bedtime. They help me feel good, clean and able to sleep better at night. Since I am overweight, I feel this might also be related to a fluid retention matter.

    I also apply some analgesic creams (capsaicin and Tiger Balm) and they help too.

    Hopefully I can fight this off soon.

     
    Old 04-27-2004, 07:37 PM   #12
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    Re: How to differentiate arthritis pain from neuropathy pain?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoron
    Maryanne,

    Yes, I drink water. I also take the Vitamin B pills. Vitamins B-1, B-6, and esp. B-12 is said to help your nerves heal. Sometimes, I feel like it helps. I also drink the V-8 vegetable juice and a glass of milk before bedtime. They help me feel good, clean and able to sleep better at night. Since I am overweight, I feel this might also be related to a fluid retention matter.

    I also apply some analgesic creams (capsaicin and Tiger Balm) and they help too.

    Hopefully I can fight this off soon.
    My physical medicine doctor gave me samples of a cream that is called, Sore No More, and since he also had back surgery, uses it himself. It is an all natural I think. Shoot I have all kinds of vitamins, but forget to take me 90% of the time. I had a nurse tell me years ago that this is all about life change, and she is so right. I just have to get that through my thick skull

     
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