Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Desperate for some guidance: knee/shoulder joint stiffness

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 2 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • September 5, 2007
  • 00:13 PM

Hello all and thank you very much in advance for taking the time to look at this.

I'm writing this message on behalf of my mother, who for the past 12 months or so has suffered severe stiffness in her knees and shoulder joints. If we had to speculate on a possible cause for the problem (when the symptoms slowly started to manifest), it may have been prolonged computer use, mainly because of bad posture while sitting for multiple hours a day in front of the keyboard--to add some information, it should be said that the computer desk was very tall and it forced her to keep her arms up in an awkward position, hunched forward with no back support.

The symptoms involve stiffness in the knees, particularly when trying to move them after even a brief pause in motion, and swelling of the knee joints (no other joints seem to be swollen) and there appears to be no problems with hand/wrist/back/foot articulation. The range of motion of her arms has also been reduced: she can't raise her arms fully above her head, and because of the stiffness being dragged out for months, her posture has been affected.

Having seen two doctors about this and having carried out some blood tests has ruled out arthritis, which is a relief--since research through the site suggests that may have been the cause. However, one of the doctors misdiagnosed the problem as a virus (PARVO B19) and opted to treat her with anti-inflammatories, which did nothing to fix the problem except provoke side-effects due to the long term with which the drugs were prescribed.

The situation is in a quagmire right now, and we're seeking more opinions on exactly what it could be. I am hoping that someone here might be able to shed light on some of the possibilities in order to make the search a little more focused. Thank you again.

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2 Replies:

  • Still seeking some possible information, so if anyone has any ideas I'd be very grateful for your thoughts. Thanks again. Also, just wondering, would this post be better suited perhaps for the Musculoskeletal (Muscles, joints and bones) section of the forum?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 6, 2007
    • 11:46 PM
    • 0
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  • Has she ever had any xrays? I have some osteoarthritis and I'm generally stiff if I sit too long. How old is your mom? Her shoulders might be "frozen" and you could probably find some exercises to do on the internet that won't hurt her. Maybe some mild Yoga? I have a video by Dixie Carter that is excellent for older women. I started getting stiff in my 40's. Use it or lose it. There is no blood test for osteo, and there is no cure as the joints parts are wearing down. You can see arthritic changes on xrays. Most of the treatments are palliative. Make changes to life-style such as foam or temperpedic mattresses or toppers, hot-tubs, ballroom dancing after the shoulders loosen up, stretch exercises, Jazzercise etc. Some people claim that supplements like Osteo-Biflex (which didn't work for me) and acupuncture might work. A friend of mine gave up red meat and her arthritis went away.
    rad-skw 1,605 Replies
    • September 7, 2007
    • 10:10 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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