Rheumatoid Arthritis Is A Real Pain In The…Hip

Even though I didn’t mention as much here on my blog, most people who follow me on either Facebook or Twitter are probably already familiar with the fact that I was flaring this past weekend. On the scale of flares it certainly wasn’t one of the worst that I’ve had, but then again that doesn’t necessarily say too much…as each and every flare is indeed its own event.

Earlier today, on my way to my Monday morning physical therapy session (trust me, it’s the best way ever to start the week!) I noticed a new pain; a pain that I was quite unfamiliar with. You see, while over the past few years I’ve had pain in almost every joint in my body (including me jaws), there was one set of joints that had not been affected by pain and inflammation: my hips.

They were sort of like the Switzerland of my autoimmine-ravaged body: 100% neutral, and completely happy to be so!

And just this past weekend, as I was showing my RA Bingo (Flare!) to a friend, I quietly chuckled to myself and wondered if I would ever be able to mark the squares labeled “right hip” or “left hip”.

This morning, I got my “wish”. My hips were flaring…for the first time ever. And just how I’ve learned to distinguish shoulder pain from elbow pain from wrist pain from finger pain from knee pain from ankle pain from shoulder pain, and so on and so on, I’m now learning exactly what it means to have hip pain. (On a serious note, there’s actually something to be said for trying to differentiate these different pains…for me, it seems much more manageable than trying to deal with one overwhelming swath of pain.)

And let me just say, if your hips are one of the joints where RA attacks the most, I now have nothing but the utmost admiration for you. You are, indeed, my superhero.

Now I know, pain in any of the joints can be quite excruciating…but even with all of the problems along the entire length of my left leg, I’ve never quite been in the situation–as I was earlier–where I couldn’t even lie comfortably on my back. Just the pressure being exerted on my hip bone by the weight of my leg seemed too much to bear, and was quite difficult to alleviate.

Luckily, I was (once again) in physical therapy when this new pain presented itself. Rheumatoid arthritis can be many things, but today I learned that it can certainly be, among others, a real pain in the…hip! (Although at times I’d like to use another three-letter word to describe it…)

On the bright side, at least my chances of winning at RA Bingo have now increased. Blackout, anyone?

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

21 Comments
21 comments
  1. Annamarie says:

    I’m experiencing pain in my left wrist and fingers today…it’s hot and swollen :( I think I will also ask for an RX to go to physical therapy..thank you again for putting emotion and pain into words for so many of us out here! Hang in there RA Guy :)

  2. Trisha says:

    I had the pleasure of experiencing a flare in my right hip before I was “officially” diagnosed while on a long weekend getaway in Jamaica. NOT FUN!!! Basically disabled me for a day. Worst place ever. Although I agree with what you’ve said, every flare is in and of itself quite an experience. My jaw flare had me in tears as well. Thank goodness there exists nutritional drinks for that! I love your sense of humor. Before diagnosed and during a month of random flare ups throughout different smaller joints my husband & I would bet where this pain was gonna end up next. lol RA makes me crazy, it helps to laugh though! Thank you :)

  3. Elisabeth says:

    My hips are the worst part of me but it’s not only RA, also bursitis. Also, my SI joints on the back of my hips combined with muscle spasms. Those hurt even when my meds make everything else feel great. Swimming a lot aggravated my hips, could be why yours are flaring?

  4. RA Guy says:

    Elisabeth, I haven’t actually gone swimming in the past two weeks due to me cold and bout of laryngitis, but when I do return I’ll definitely make a note to observe closely if it bothers my hips…thanks for the tip!

  5. Kay says:

    Oh I feel your pain sir! Hip pain is just dreadful. My worst hip flare included my whole pelvis and coccyx bone too, I couldn’t sit or lie down or stand or walk!

  6. Caroline says:

    Oh dear Mr creaky!

    I feel for you. Get plastic, it is indeed fantastic. Seriously I got my knees and hips done and I am now as bendy as my other “well” 30 something year old friends. We are all getting too old for sitting on the floor so I am no longer strange etc. The op takes ooooo 2 hrs with a good surgeon, they whip out the old and ship in the new! Can’t beat it. Am actually off to The Big Smoke (London) this Friday as I feel my plastic knees ,that I have had since 16 years old, are now on their way out but this is largely because of having been pregnant and now lugging a huge 8 month old around!

    I would recommend The Pain Pod or any other tens machine for such pain. It really helps on big joints like the hip or the knee and it is drug free. It works by confusing the pain signal to your brain by sending a little fuzzy feeling through your joint. It is all very pleasant and as I say works for me. The Pain pod is a bit expensive, I got it just cos it looks cool but you can get very good, if not medically better, TENS machines online. Give it a whirl :o )

  7. Kelly Carter says:

    I just got diagnosed with RA after seeing my doctor about a pain in my…(drum roll)…hip. I found your site and look forward to reading your posts. Hope I learn something useful–RA sux.

  8. Danny Harris says:

    I hear you and understand the pain. I was diagnossed in ’94. My hips, knees, ankles and feet are the worst and most persistant pain I have. Left hip mainly, however it does like to sneek accross my lower back and visit right hip. I also have a pinched nerve that adds the cherry on top for Mr. left leg. Feet are fast becoming talons. Toes starting look like I can perch on a tree limb…LoL
    Grin & bear it and hope in an hour it decides to go away for a while. Life is never boring.

  9. Megan says:

    My hip pain is awful. Both hips give me trouble, but my left hip seems to be swollen in such a way that it hits a nerve. Then the burning sensation travels from my hip, down my leg, down the side of my knee, and so on. Nothing really helps it, and I work in a restaurant, so that aggravates it. The pain is there sitting, standing, and laying on my side. Laying on my back is the only thing that doesn’t hurt.

  10. Emma Cabot says:

    Hi everyone. Just picked this up. I have been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis – also a chronic, auto-immune arthritis-type disease. I believe diagnosis is possible for AS and Rheumatoid. For me, a blood test showed I had a rare gene – HLA-B27, and over 90% of people with AS have this gene! Pointer no. 1. The blood test also showed my inflammatory markers were up. Pointer no. 2. MRI’s, xrays, etc, showed inflamation in the joints particularly the hips and sacro joints. Bingo. Diagnosis. People – if your doctors are being pathetic about it, you need to push hard! I was lucky that mine picked up the gene first. It was a good indicator although not everyone with the gene has AS. As far as I understand, AS and rheumatoid are closely related. PLEASE push your doctors or ask for a referral to a rheumatologist. This is a “disability” and should be treated and respected as such. Happy to take any questions. :)

  11. Teresa Weech says:

    Thank you so much for writing! I am a nurse with RA and Im only 41 as of tomorrow which is my birthday. I do feel RA instantly connects us in a way we only understand. God knows my beloved husband and soulmate is there for me…Im not one to try and wallow in my pain instead I go and go on good days and treasure each second of the day because its a rariety lately. I have no idea really why Im writing except for the fact that I know the person on the other end will read the words and truely understand…This Sucks…does that sum it up? Maybe just maybe I hope that possibly I could be in a accident …die and finally feel no pain. Dont get me wrong my life is wonderful terrific great no complaints honest…but Rheumatoid Arthritis takes every ounce of my spirtual being PERIOD…I dont think it helps Im a nurse and have to come close to steping outside myself to look in and see what I need. One bit of news they increased the methotrexate because x-rays were not good news …oh methotrexate and its side effects are horrible…hair falling out nausea …the list goes on. Im 41…I feel 90…God bless you thanks for your message it was just what I needed

  12. Bob Preston says:

    Wow Teresa, I thought I was alone in how I felt with R/a.. In the past yr I have been on humira, embril,cimcia, methtrexate,and predizone.. three bio meds all of which failed,now they have lowered the predizone down to get me ready for a experimental study because all others have failed. In doing this they have opened another can of worms I dont like. My left hip and knee are hurting so bad I just want to curl up n die just to get the pain to stop. I cant go anywhere or do anything kind of feeling useless. and your right the side effects of methotrexate is unreal/ I take 10 pills once a week and hate it because I know im gonna feel worse for a couple of days.. I am 53 and feel like Im 100, I have at least 2 more weeks to go before I start the study, Im not looking forward to it after all the failed attempts to get my pain under control, but will go thru it none the less.

  13. Penny Salamun says:

    Hi to all of you! After reading all of your posts, I know I’m truly not along. My thoughts and prayers are with you all through this RA adventure we are in.
    I was diagnosed with RA when I was 42(now 47). It started with stiff, swollen and painful hands and wrists. And throughout the years RA has been attacking my eyes to the point it has damaged the optic nerves in both my eyes and I have Optic Neuritis. My Neuro-Opth has given me IV Solumedrol 1000mg each day for 3 days at a time over the past 6 months to try and help control all this and now really wants to get me off the steroids. I’ve had all the tests done to see if I had MS (Multiple Sclerosis) all neg :) .
    But still dealing with this problem. I also have problems with my knees and my RT hip has been bothering me for awhile, but over the past 5 weeks it has gotten pretty bad. It hurts to sit for to long walk for to long or even get comfortable in bed. It hurts in my groin, deep in my butt near the joint, lower back and on the top area of my hip (the big bone). The worst pain is getting up from a sitting position and trying to walk right after I get up…Holy Sh..!!! I will be seeing my Rheumy on Nov.7th to discuss this with her and see where we go from there.

    I’m currently on Methotrexate 25mg injectable once a week, Rituxan infusion every 4 months (6hr infusion one day a week for two weeks) and I get IVIg infusions every month for 3 days in a row (6-7hrs each day). The IVIg is what my Neuro-Opth is using to try and replace it with the high doses of steroids that I was getting.
    I have tried Enbrel, Humira, Sulfasalazine and Arava. Enbrel did do wonders for me for about a year, then wasn’t working much anymore so I tried all the ones I mentioned with no results. I also take percocet as needed for the pain.

    I’s nice that I found this site to come here and talk to people like yourselves, knowing we can relate dealing with this horrible disease and help each other!

  14. Penny Salamun says:

    I’m editing my previous post…I was thinking faster then I was typing…LOL…Regarding MS (Multiple Sclerosis). The tests were neg back about a year ago. But they came up positive in Feb. of 2012 on a brain MRI. So I do have MS and failed to mention that I also have Scleritis in my LT eye, often. And further I’m having an MRI on my LT hip to check for AVN (Avacular Necrosis) and a possible tear in the joint itself. I will be seeing an Orthopedic on the 21st of Nov.

  15. Linda Trimmer says:

    I found out I have RA this past spring. I first got pain and awful swelling in my hands and the top of my feet. I went on Hydroxychloroquine and now I take methotrexate too. Now I am starting to feel pain in my left hip and both knees. My hands are better but now I am feeling pain and my leg giving out on me when I get up from sitting. Have any of you out there had this problem?

  16. Penny says:

    I have RA and I’ve been in denial for years. I finally went to my sisters RA doctor and it was confirmed……still, I’m having a difficult time grasping that I have RA. I had a very bad herniated disc, well, three of them in my low back so I’ve been putting most my pains off to that. After my fingers locked and my husband had to assist with straightening them back out, that’s when reality started hitting me hard. The other problem is people tend to think that you are just a wimp if you say your in pain. I’ve endured pain for so long and even with a RA doctor giving me medication, which I’ve stopped taking after three months, I’m having a difficult time accepting this. The pain finally hit me in my hips, my right hip being the one hurting most. It feels like each step I take my hip is literally going to pop forward out of my hip socket. What do you do for this pain? The plaqunil really helped but I was told that you had to stay out of the sun and I started getting brown spots all over my body. Is there anything else you can do for the pain? I’ve done exercises my entire life, use to teach for thirteen years at our Community College so the therapy they gave me was useless as I already did those myself. The Estimulatin and the hydroculator did feel good but they are not really beneficial for anything but a short relief from your pain. Basically, I would like to do things that need to be done here at my house. My husband was shot in Vietnam and is in a wheechair so I’m the one who has to maintain everything inside and out of the house here. I need to be able to do this stuff because there’s nobody else but the pain afterwards is hard to deal with. I am embarrassed if I’m out in public and have to stand up after sitting. I grit my teeth and try to walk as normally as I possibly can. I know I sound crazy. Reading what I’ve typed sounds like a loon but I think I need some help with the do’s and dont’s when you have RA and answers to how to alleviate the pain. I’ve eaten the meds the dr has given me and they seem to do nothing but upset my stomach. Any help for someone like me?

  17. Amy Strader says:

    My hips and knees are where my RA settles…I don’t have issues with my hands or feet. It’s the worst pain imaginable!

  18. Natasha says:

    I’m so glad I found this page it’s nice to not feel alone trying to explain to someone who doesn’t have to experience the pain is so hard they just don’t understand the severity of it I’m 24 and started to get it when I was 16 and over the last year the pain in my hips has got so severe that sometimes I can’t even move and I am already using a walking stick whilst I’m out as if it flares up sometimes it causes me to have a fall the pain is so unbearable sometimes and I sympathise with anyone else who has to deal with the pain of ra.

  19. sue says:

    Finding this site has helped me with the fact that my RA pain is real and not in my head. I’m going for a hip injection and feeling some stress over this. I’m already in enough pain and fear the injection will only make it worse. The knee injection did nothing for my pain. I do Arencia injections at home and take Arava but being a teacher my system is attacked by all the kido’s germs and then I have to stop taking the medication until I’m done with the antibiotics. This RA really sucks!! I’m not sure if the meds are even helping. My RA doctor is not the best so I have just gotten a number for a new one. I sure hope he can help me but not feeling that anything can.

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