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[QUOTE=murphy65]I don't know if anybody can help me with this but I was just checked for RA and Lyme disease and they were neg. My problems are with my hands,elbows middle of upper back and feet. My thumbs on both hand are extremely painful along with my feet. It feels like my thumbs have been jammed and the joints are extremely stiff and sore along with both hands. My feet hurt so bad in the morning I can hardly walk but improve later in the morning. Every thing that is bothering me is at its worst first thing in the morning. The hands don't improve much during the day but the feet are tolerable. My right hand is also a little swollen. They did a blood test and said that I did not have RA or lyme disease and now the doctor wants to do a nerve conduction test on my arms. I don't know what that has to do with my back and feet so I am reluctant to have it done. I did have bilateral carpal tunnel on both wrists about 8 yrs ago. I thought for sure It was arthritis but they say no. I am a 38 yr old male. Are there any other types of arthritis that can be so widespread like this? Thanks for any help that anybody can give me.[/QUOTE]

You say you had some tests done. Who ordered the tests, was it a medical doctor or a Rheumatologist? I was diagnosed some 12 years ago with Ankylosing Spondylitis (a type of arthritis). This is just one of the spondylarthropathies and I had many of the same symptoms that you describe. Although these symptoms can also overlap with many of the spondylarthropathies eg. AS, Psoriatic Arthritis, Reiters, etc.

At least a few years prior to being Dx'd with AS, when I would get out of bed in the morning my feet felt like I had broken the bones in the tops of my feet. This pain would go away after walking for a while. My hands and elbows ached a lot but, I didn't think to much of it because it was tolerable. When I went to my primary care physician it was for pain in my lower back. He started treating me with muscle relaxers, heat and ultrasound. None of this did any good and no connection was made to my foot pain.

I started to do my own research and came across the spondylarthropaties which seemed to fit me to a "T" so I asked my PCP to order a blood test for HLA-B27 to see if I was positive (a positive test does not necessarily confirm AS but your chances are much greater). He did not want to do this test due to the expense but I convinced him. My test was Positive and my PCP referred me to a Rheumie who confirmed the Dx of AS. AS in many people only effects the spine but in many of the "lucky ones" like me it can effect all of your peripheral joints.

Do your research and see a good Rheumie. A good source of information for the spondylarthropathies is the message board at www.spondylitis.org. Hope this helps and best of luck to you.

Al





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