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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Help with Strange Joint Pain Symptoms

08/21/2007

Question:

I am a 31 year old female and just had my 2nd son 6 months ago. I have been experiencing strange symptoms for the past 3 months. I am having debilitating pain in my left hip that radiates down to my left thigh and knee. Both hands and feet are stiff and achy, can hardly bend the tips of my fingers. Hands are red and itchy. Both elbows are hurting. I am so fatigued that I can hardly get up in the morning. Both arms and hands are going numb during the day and night. I had developed preeclampsia during pregnancy and have kept the high blood pressure. I was also diagnosed with TMJ about a month ago. I have tried 800 mg ibuprofen every 6 hours with tylenol and neproxen in between but it has not helped at all. I think I have overused the advil because my stomach feels as though it`s on fire. Any suggestions or advice? I have a dr. appt next week and am a little nervous. Never had this kind of pain before even with previous kidney stones.

Answer:

Congratulations on having your new son. Firstly, from a safety standpoint, the ibuprofen dosing should not exceed 800mg three times a day. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID). Excessive dosing may increase the risk of gastric, renal, or cardiac complications. Naproxen is also an NSAID and should not be taken in conjunction with the ibuprofen. Your choice should either be ibuprofen 800mg up to three times a day or naproxen 500mg up to twice a day, but not both. Prescription NSAID dosing should be done under the supervision of your health care provider. Tylenol is not an NSAID and may be taken between NSAID dosing. You should not exceed 1g up to four times a day of Tylenol (acetaminophen).

Secondly, the description of your symptoms certainly warrant a visit to your physician and/or rheumatologist. Arthropathies such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Reactive Arthritis, or others will likely be evaluated. Consider the following characteristics of your current joint pain problems:

These are just a few questions that may be asked of you.

For more information:

Go to the Arthritis and Rheumatism health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University