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Date of last update: 8/21/2017.

Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: Unexplained migrating joint pain

 mnichols - Wed May 18, 2005 10:09 pm

My child is an eight year old male. 14 weeks ago he presented with severe hives all over his body accompanied a week later with migrating joint swelling. This continued for several weeks. The hives were controlled fairly well with Atirax and the swelling stopped. However, in its place was left migrating joint pain that may be in the joints in his arms one day, and in his leg joints the next. Wherever the pain is he will not use that limb. He will hold his arms against him as if in a sling. If he falls he will not even attempt to catch himself. He has to lean over to reach the fork to eat. It is really scary and sad for me to watch. :cry: He has had numerous, numerous test. They have done MRI's, a bone scan, an EMG, and many other blood test. He has been tested for Lyme, arthritis, Churg Strauss, Polymiositis, and on and on. Nothing is showing up. He continues to go about life the best he can, but is becoming frustrated and more impatient as time goes on. I keep getting the "Let's wait and see" line from his neurologist and rhumatologist we are seeing. However, I look at it this way, he's an active 8 yr old little boy who has been given no pain relief and no answers. They have him on Trileptal and Choline, Magnesium, Trisalicylate which are not giving him any relief. I know there has got to be an answer. I need help.
 mhsjd - Mon Sep 12, 2005 1:19 pm

I have recently started experiencing similar pains . Iam a 55 yr old male . I have blood work and seen a rheumetoid arthritis specialist and have found no answer. The pain has been in my hands and shoulder and just recently in my left foot. i get swelling when the swelling goes away the pain disipates even if Im using the joint. Have you gotten any response to your question or have the doctors told you anything more
 Luvmy2girls - Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:25 am

This is exactly what is happening to my 4 year old. She is still covered with hives and just started with joint pain.
Have you received any help from the Doctors? Do you know what this is?

Please email me with any answers. I am feeling desperate.

 oscie - Mon Dec 12, 2005 2:15 pm

I am a sixty-one year old man. For the last year and a half I have had an intermittent and migratiing pain that affects my forearms, elbows, biceps, wrists and fingers as wells as my legs just above the knees, and the bottoms of my feet. It is most painful when it reaches my shoulders. I used a homeopathiic remedy (silica in my case)which greatly helped for a while but the condition gradually returned and the homeopathics stopped their effect. I know of a lady who has a similar problem. She is a vegetarian as I am (or was) and her doctor suggested it might be a Vitamin B-12 deficiency. She received injections of Vitamin B-12. At the moment I am trying various kinds of energy work. Any similiar stories?[/u]
 simmons - Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:35 am

Hello guys,

I am a 28 year old female and these symptoms are very frustrating. I finally found someone who is experiencing the same symptoms. A few weeks ago, I broke out with hives - all of a sudden. I have never had hives EVER before. They continue, but as not as worse as they were, but still quite frustrating. I don't know what's causing them. About a week after the hives began, the migrating joint pain hit me hard. It felt as if my right shoulder was broken and I was having some tingling pain in my left wrist and fingers. Then when the pain started to leave my right shoulder it completely jumped to my left shoulder. So now the pain is just rotating around my body. It was severly in my hands a few days ago. It can be debilatating at times. I have had most of the same tests done ( alot of bloodwork) that all comes up negative. No lupus, no arthritis, etc. So the doctors don't know what's wrong with me. They are giving me pain killers which don't seem to be working. PLEASE if anyone knows of a painkiller that actually works on our type of symptoms. DO TELL. And if anyone knows what this is, Please Do TELL so I can advise my Doctor.... Sound wierd, right? :?
 oscie - Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:41 pm

I believe that the migrating pain is neuropathic--something awry with the nerve impulses which then cause contraction of the muscles. I have been using a neuro-mechanical acupunture device to administer electrical pulses to the acupunture nodes and to "trigger" points in the affected areas as well as to the area which I think is the source of the problem in my case--namely to acupuncturet points at the base of the skull to either side of the upper vertebrae--these points affect the nerves of the upper limbs. Corresponding points at the base of the spine affect the lower limbs. I have also had deep massage at these points.So far this approach has given temporary relief and I hope that further work in this vein will alleviate the problem.. Oscie
 cas95osu - Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:58 am

I'm a 37 year old female who has had migrating joint pain for abuot 3 years. I've had the autoimmune tests, which all came back negative. Blood work is all normal. A few weeks ago, I broke out in hives for no apparent reason. My skin was itchy and irritated. I had to take a steriod drug to get my skin back to normal, although it's not quite normal. I am now having my joint pain flare up, especially my shoulders, and my hands have been tingling/numb (although I can use them just fine). I went to my doctor, who assured me all my tests are normal, and I think she thinks I'm nuts. My allergiest informed me that autoimmune diseases can take years to diagnose, and that it might take a long time for the antibodies or whatever to show up in blood tests. Anyway, I feel for all of you who are as frustrated and frightened as I may be because not knowing what is causing this is upsetting. I am going to try to meditate and imagine my immune system being "happy" and healthy. I will let you know how I do with that. If any of you who have posted has had any explaination for what has caused your symptoms, please let the rest of us know!! I hope you are all healthy.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Tue Nov 27, 2007 3:09 pm

User avatar Hello to all,
Obviously there are lots of people suffering here. I would recommend either a neurologist or rheumatologist - immunology might also be important.

Good luck to you all.
 mudfish488 - Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:28 pm

Have any of you with reports of unexplained hives and migrating joint pain taken any antibiotics recently before your symptoms started? Maybe a week or two up to a few months before?
 tkoch - Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:26 pm

My 8 year old son is experiencing these exact symptoms and I am wondering if anyone has had luck in finding any answers?
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:52 am

User avatar Hello,
Hives are the result of an allergy to a substance in or on the body. Poison ivy for example causes hives. An allergic reaction to a medicine may cause hives. Some healthcare products (soaps,shampoos, toothpaste) contains ingredients which may cause hives (e.g. certain fragrances or dyes or chemicals).
So the questions become, if hives preceeds the arthritis - why is there arthritis and will it get better and what do we do about it?
We can say that something on or in the body which caused the hives now is causing the immune system to act or overreact specifically in the joints. Identifying the certain suspected substance may be difficult.

I would treat this arthritis like a reactive arthritis. In this case, we may add to our suspects a microorganism.

So, in treatment, I would combine a course of oral steroids (2-3 weeks) with a course of antibiotics (e.g.doxycycline 100mg bid for up to 3 months).
It may also be helpful to analyze the synovial fluid from a large affected joint (shoulder or knee).

Your rheumatogist can guide you through the specific treatment plan.

Take care and let us know how it goes.
 concerned father - Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:39 pm

My son just turned 2 years old and has the EXACT same thing happening to him as the lady who made the initial post about her 8 y/o child. My son woke up with some randomly placed hives a few days ago. The hives seem to come and go and appear in different areas. He still has them popping up in different spots, particularly in his armpit area, back of neck, legs, and wrists. It is not eczematous, though. He never really seemed bothered by the hives, but we gave him some Benadryl in case he was itchy and to try and get rid of the hives.

Then a day or two after the hives, he would limp when walking around. We noticed he was favoring his right leg, so we inspected and saw that he had swelling, redness, and some warmth of his right ankle. He didn't like us touching it either as it was apparently painful. Then later that evening he seemed to have gotten somewhat better and was walking around, but the ankle was still swollen. Next day, he had the same issue. Didn't want to walk on the ankle. But then we noticed he wasn't moving his right arm and would refuse to pick up anything with his right hand. We noticed his right wrist and dorsum of his hand was swollen, red, and slightly warm as well. The ankle seemed to be getting better, but now he seemed to have migrating arthralgias. We looked at all his joints and noticed both his knees also appeared swollen and warm (but not erythematous like his wrist and ankle).

It is extremely difficult to see him like this. We are thinking it's probably a viral-induced reaction, but we got blood work for Lyme in case. That is pending. His WBC was normal. His CRP was slightly elevated, but that's non-specific and should be expected with his inflammation in the joints. We are awaiting the sed rate, which like the CRP, will be non-specific. At least the WBC count is normal and makes us not think it's leukemia or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. We were told it's probably not rheumatic fever either.

Did anybody above get any answers as to what their children had when they got these symptoms (particularly that person made this original post back in 2005)?? We want to know what it is and if it's going to last or cause any future complications. Please let me know. Thanks.

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