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    Hello all.. Hope this post finds everyone having a good day..

    I had a question regarding joint damage.. My left arm I cannot straighten.. I do have considerable amount of pain in that elbow when I move it in certain directions (especially in the morning)..

    Just wondering if this means that there is a very good chance there is damage or if it’s possible it’s just very inflamed..

    Also, has anyone ever had anything similar? Do people even get x-rays for this type of stuff or do you generally tell yourself it won’t make a difference for you to know because you don’t plan on going the traditional meds anyways?



    Hi T-Bird, could just be active in you elbow at this point, hard to know. My right elbow isn’t straight and the Dr. said it was bent 25 degrees, but I never noticed it and it never bothered me. I would decline an x-ray. Just me. It’s totally up to you. I hope you’ve been feeling better lately. All the best, Lizz


    Hi T-bird,

    My RA became full blown about a year and half ago, but it likely began in my knees over a decade ago. I have visible joint damage in my feet and hands and damage I can feel in my knees. My first rheumy told me I likely have damage throughout all my joints. However, I have noticed that what seems to happen is I will have pain and swelling in a particular joint for weeks to months at a time and slowly it will go down and though there is some recurring swelling, it never seems to return to it’s peak so long as I stay on AP. I interpret this a very long herx and for the most part, even in the joints that I know I have damage, once the swelling has subsided, I still have full range of motion and function. Of course, ideally I will find better detox and anti-inflamatory/autoimmune reaction control so that damage will be minimized. Nevertheless, I find some comfort in knowing that most of my joints that have had long periods of inflammation eventually go down and do not return to their worst and I do not feel any ill effect in the joint. Right now my right elbow is swollen and does not straighten as well. I do not think this means there is major damage, but over time it likely would/will cause damage. I read in one study that it takes about two weeks of autoimmune attack on one’s own tissue to cause lingering damage – but one’s body can rebuild cartilage through many mechanisms. I believe movement in the joint (without hurting oneself of course) and light weights (for me I consider carrying a 17 mo.old around the house more than sufficient weight training) encourage the body’s production of growth hormone and rebuilding of tissue. I had x-rays done at the beginning of all of this showing damage in my feet, but I do not plan on doing more x-rays unless I have a joint that is not functioning well and I am seeking some sort of surgical/alternate means of treatment. Sometimes having something confirmed on an x-ray can spur me towards more aggressive treatment, so I should never say never – but I hope to minimize my radiation exposure overall through managing this disease. I hope this is encouraging.



    Hi, from my experience I think the amount of potential for joint damage is directly related to the blood numbers, ie How high the RF Factor is and the level of inflammation, ie, High ESR, CRP and of course the amount of time these markers stay high.

    I have a lot of joint deformity due to the factors above. I do think that a bent elbow is a sign of joint damage. Both my elbows are bent. I have tried a lot of exercise to straighten them but not much success, although I still remain positive of even small changes eventually leading to improvement. Unfortunately i do no think they will straighten out overnight even when the inflammation has gone.


    @ablegirl wrote:

    I think the amount of potential for joint damage is directly related to the blood numbers, ie How high the RF Factor is and the level of inflammation, ie, High ESR, CRP and of course the amount of time these markers stay high.

    Hi Tom. This has not my experience. My lab numbers have been really good the last several years — but last November, at my clinical exam, my rheumy was concerned about my right hand. The inflammation stayed active too long — this June I finally had a steroid shot in the hand because x-rays showed extensive erosions in the metacarpal-phalangeal joints (MCP joints, or knuckles. I think I went too long trying to avoid steroids, and may have allowed damage that didn’t need to happen.

    I had xrays of both hands and feet then, to assess what was going on. I don’t like the radiation — but I am glad I know where I stand now. It’s a hard call — steroids/cortisone are traditional meds, but it is really okay to use some now and then. What does your doctor want you to do?


    Bonnie Lou
    RA 02/07,AP 10/07
    Minocycline 200mg MWF; Plaquenil 100mg 3 days/week
    Fish Oil, Ubiquinol, Turmeric, Vit C (2 grams) , MultiVit, Magnesium, Astaxanthin, D3 (5000), probiotics and a daily dose of yoga!


    Thanks for the replies. 🙂

    I go to my LLMD (the only doc I use) on 10/3 so I’ll see what he says.


    I got my peptide shot yesterday which sends me into a sudden and almost complete remission for just a few days and then begins to wane much quicker than I would like till I am in bad shape at the end of three weeks. Anyhow, most of the inflammation in my right elbow has gone down and my elbow has been popping and hurting when I put my hand down and bear weight through my arm. I’m not feeling good about this, but I know in my ankles and knees this has subsided after a few days in the past. I agree with Bonnie, that we must do what we must do to minimize damage, even if this is using not our favorite means all the time. I am meeting with a new rheumy tomorrow and will be talking to him about some of this.

    Best wishes all,


    Hi, from my experience I think the amount of potential for joint damage is directly related to the blood numbers, ie How high the RF Factor is and the level of inflammation, ie, High ESR, CRP and of course the amount of time these markers stay high.

    My experience has not been this either in terms of RF or anti-CCP. My RF was 700 at one point and my anti-CCP is still 500. Yet I have experienced no (discernible) joint damage and I have been dealing with this for 25 years. I do believe that inflammation is the main factor in joint damage – in terms of how long a joint remains inflamed and much it is inflamed (traditional language would call this disease activity).

    Be well! Lynnie

    Palindromic RA 30 yrs (Chronic Lyme?)
    Mino 2003-2008 100mg MWF - can no longer tolerate any tetracyclines
    rotating abx protocol now. From Sep 2018 MWF - a.m. Augmentin Duo 440mg + 150mg Biaxsig (roxithromycin). p.m. Cefaclor (375mg) + Klacid 125mg + LDN 3mg + Annual Clindy IV's
    Diet: no gluten, dairy, sulphites, low salicylates
    Supps: 600mg N-AC BID, 1000mg Vit C, P5P 40mg, zinc picolinate 60mg, Lithium orotate 20mg, Magnesium Oil, Bio-identical hormones (DHEA + Prog + Estrog)


    My elbow swelled real bad and is still inflamed. I can’t straighten it as far as I used to, but on better days, I can get it near straight. i think the amount of swelling on a given day determines how far it can bend. Hopefully now on AP the swelling will go down and I will be able to straighten it fully!
    I do have a popping sound in my knees whenever I go up stairs, seems to be getting worse as time goes on–and it’s been chronically swollen 2 1/2 years. I don’t plan to get an x-ray, but I sure hope this knee won’t give out on my any time soon!

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