Hubbys Joint Pain

Hi, Sorry this is not a conventional request as I am asking on behalf of my husband who has some suddenly occurring joint problems. I hope someone on here can help point us in the right direction.

Over the weekend he developed pain and an instable feeling in his right Knee (accompanied by swelling above the knee), pain in big toe, pain in ankles, and stiffness, pain and slight swelling of both wrists. From my father I know that these are all symptoms of gout, but unlike gout there is no heat, or red shiny skin over the swollen areas. He can think of nothing he has done to specifically aggravate these joints (especially not all of them at once)

It took me all day Monday to persuade him to go to the doctors yesterday (he never goes to the doc unless dying and doesnt usually complain about aches and pains so I know something is wrong) and all the Doc would say was, Hmm, doesn't seem to be anything wrong, go home and rest and take paracetamol. All this has done is confirm to hubby that its a waste of time going to the docs.
He cant really rest as he is a self employed handyman and cant afford not to work, and paracetamol makes no difference.

I have looked online and cannot find anything with these symptoms which comes on suddenly except gout (which is unlikely due to the absence of heat and redness)
Does anyone know if there is anything else similar? It seems an odd mix of joints to be suddenly affected all at once.


  • If it doesn't improve in a few days get him to go back to the doctor.

    Off the top of my head, Lyme Disease can cause joint pain, but he'd probably have other symptoms too (rash) if it was that.

  • socks up tosocks up to ✭✭✭

    thanks Tom, that was the other thing i found, but no rash or distictive tick bite.

    gonna be a tough job getting him to go back to the doctor image

  • BookyBooky ✭✭✭

    It could be a reactive arthritis - has your husban had any sort of infection/illness within the last couple of months?

  • socks up tosocks up to ✭✭✭

    Hi, no he hasnt apart from bit a of a cold, nothing major.

    what sort of illness could it be a reaction to?

  • BookyBooky ✭✭✭

    A cold can be sufficient to cause it. The link explains better than I could image 

    I'm surprised at the doctor recommending paracetamol - an anti-inflammatory would clearly be the better option. Ibuprofen or similar, unless there are reasons not to take it. 

    You can also get sudden onset rheumatoid arthritis - a blood test would be needed to confirm it. 

    Are the joints swollen? And is there stiffness or limited range of motion?


  • socks up tosocks up to ✭✭✭

    Hi, had trouble with the link but once i got there it doesnt sound quite right

    I know, i cant undrstand why the doc said paracetamol either

    the knee is swollen and painful to walk on (he also says it feels unstable), but its above the kneecap not right on the joint. the big toe and ankles are just painful and the wrists are painful to move especially twisting and slightly puffy (watch is too tight).

  • Sticky88Sticky88 ✭✭✭

    Hi Max's Mum, sounds like an inflammatory arthritis, which includes most of what the others have mentioned above - gout, rheumatoid, reactive arthritis, being the more common types. Reactive arthritis could be 'reactive' to any kind of infection - diarrhoe, sore throat, vomitting, colds etc. Sometimes the 'infection' cannot be identified, and can present simply as fatigue. Swelling in the knee can be above the kneecap and not necessary 'right in the joint'. Has he got skin psoriasis of family history of it? Agree with others anti-inflammatories would be a better option, provided he hasn't got any allergies or intolerant of them. If the joints don't settle down after a few days/weeks, the GP should be able to refer onwards to a rheumatologist who can investigate and treat further. The knee may need aspirating.

    Good luck!

  • socks up tosocks up to ✭✭✭

    Hi Thanks for all your suggestions, its really worrying as it seems to be slightly worse, other knee is starting to hurt now. He did have a period of being really run down a couple of months ago and we put it down to lack of vitamins etc. I will pass on all the info you guys have given me so far.

    My only problem is getting him to go back to the docs now - as like most blokes he hates going, it was hard enough getting him to go in the first place, and since he felt he wasnt taken seriously by the GP, he says he won't go back! image

    Still, thats another problem I'll have to tackle that one myself image

    Thanks everybody

  • about 15 years ago i had a similar problem to this. Woke up one morning with a stiff neck and thought nothing other than id slelt awkwardly. This lasted about a week, then my shoulders starting getting achy, again lasted about a week by this time neck was getting better. This slowly, over the space of about 3 months moved around every joint in my body and lasted about a week at a time. It got that bad at times it was impossible to move the gear stick in the car as it caused such immobility and pain. I had blood tests and allsorts of painkillers and the docs could not find a thing. Then it just vanished and ive never suffered with it since. Completely baffling to everyone. The only thing i can pinpoint that i had done differently in the couple of weeks previous to it was when i visited my dad out in Turkey, where hed recently started work and his appartments had a resident 'wild' dog as such that nobody seemed to own that loved to be fussed by everyone. I got very attached to but can only think that it may have passed on some sort of infection onto me.


  • socks up tosocks up to ✭✭✭

    Sounds awful richard, and very similar although in my husbands case it seems to be just adding joints, instead of moving around them. Yours could have been lyme disease as it gets passed on by ticks?

    I am hoping it will be another one of those things that just goes away on its own as it will be difficult to get him to take any more 'medical' advise (from a GP)



  • socks up tosocks up to ✭✭✭

    finally we have it sorted! he asked eventually to see another doctor (which is actually the doctor he is registered to in the practice), and although she did not have any free appointments, she spoke to him on the phone, and referred him to a visiting joint specialist, who he saw on Monday. After an hour's appt, and listening to the chain of events, the specialist finally said it was (as someone said above) allergic secondary arthritis brought on by insect bites (of which hubby had five v small ones on his knee). He said that it was characteristic of an insect getting trapped in clothing. said it would take 2 to 6 weeks to work its way out the system but not to worry it wasnt anything permanent, and to take ibuprofen as required.

    thank goodness thats sorted!

Sign In or Register to comment.