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Chronic pain is one of the most common symptoms associated with Sjögren’s. I have the interesting position of working as a healthcare provider in the field of comprehensive pain medicine as well as being a Sjögren’s sufferer.

My role working as a Physician Assistant and Chiropractor is to help patients manage their pain. In our practice, we treat a variety of diverse conditions with a continuum ranging from carpal tunnel syndrome to abdominal pain and everything in between. While this can be a challenging area of medicine to practice, it is also quite rewarding to assist others in living a more enhanced quality of life.

Prior to being diagnosed with Sjögren’s, I rarely experienced pain. Recently, I was reminiscing back to a time not many years ago in which I only used ibuprofen once or twice over several years’ time. My own personal struggle with Sjögren’s causes me to endure discomfort in various areas of my body every day. I experience joint pain, especially in my knees and fingers. The nerve sensations in my muscles are also very discomforting. Additionally, only since the development of Sjögren’s, I suffer from debilitating pelvic pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications ibuprofen and Celebrex seem to help the greatest for my pain. Heat is also quite effective. When I make more anti-inflammatory diet choices, my pain is absolutely better. This includes avoiding excessive sugars, flour, dairy, red meat as well as processed and fried substances. When I regularly take vitamin D and eat fresh cherries the pain also improves. If I have poor stress management and sleeping habits, my pain worsens. Finding motivation for regular exercise can be difficult as I also fight significant fatigue, but I know that movement is necessary to keep my joints and muscles mobile. I also use a TENS unit from time to time as well as over the counter lidocaine products.

It is fulfilling to assist in improving the quality of life of others that suffer from chronic pain. This is especially meaningful being that I endure pain daily. I encourage anyone experiencing chronic pain to seek out a comprehensive pain management specialist for evaluation.

by Rebecca Hosey, DC, MSPAS, PA-C

Dr. Rebecca Hosey is a Board Certified Physician Assistant and Chiropractor. She has practiced interventional pain medicine for many years and was diagnosed with Sjögren’s in 2015.

This information was first printed in the Foundation's patient  newsletter for members. 


Comments

— Jun 27, 2020

Hello, I am five years into being diagnosed with SS. I am reading past posts regarding pain, and found the sentence "nerve sensations in my muscles also very discomforting". I am curious if anyone finds an "all over" body prickling /tingling sensation? I believe this to be related to SS, particularly when there is a flare up. Any comments would be most appreciated!

Hi. I am 53 and recently diagnosed through bloodwork.
I have chronic pain all over, both neural and muscular.
At night when I lay in bed, I have all over body tingling and an almost tremor like feeling
all over. The only medication I tried so far is Rheumate, which is RX.
I am not sure If it actually helps.

Thank you so much for writing this blog. I was diagnosed with SS a few months ago and you have touched on some things I have been having issues with. Pelvic pain is one of them. My doctor thought I had a hernia and sent me to a surgeon. The surgeon sent me to get a CT scan of my stomach and pelvis and it was negative. The surgeon sent me to a pain clinic but I wasn’t told or I didn’t quite understand why he was sending me to a Neck and Spine clinic for pelvic pain. The pain doctor sent me to get a internal ultrasound and then an MRI which showed calcified fibroid tumors. I decided myself to go to the gynecologist to see if it was something the test didn’t showed. Well the gynecologist repeated my pap and no cancer was found but normal postmentalpostal things that is found in most women. He was puzzled of why they ran so many test on me regarding the possible hernia. He told me that it could be pelvic pain from the SS. I was so happy to read that in your blog.

I was diagnosed 4 years ago and I have joint pain eye dryness etc. lately I’ve noticed back pain that is unbearable. I was on steroids and other meds. I notice they never tell yu what is going to happen when yu see the doctor.. I think this is worse than they say. Yu just want honesty in these circumstances. My primary tells me it is from the sjogrens. So I take ibuprofen and heat. Keep walking and try to eat right!

— Apr 29, 2021

I was diagnosed 6 years ago by my Rheumatologist. Under stress , I find the symptoms flare.
I then review my diet and exercise program. And use Ibuprofen for the pain. Being cold, exacerbates the symptoms.

Sensitivity to cold and heat, numbness in fingers and fatigue are my enemies as a person used to having had a very busy professional and personal life. Family has trouble understanding the flares.

Any suggestions?

Annette

— Oct 31, 2021

I was diagnosed months ago........I hurt all over......my eyes suck.....my mouth always has sores......I feel like I'm 90 yrs.old......I want my life back

Hi Ruth, I also received my official diagnosis, Sjogren's with Lupus Overlap. I have all over pain, in particular my thighs hurt and burn so badly it makes me cry. My eyes are dry, painful and feel like they have knives digging into them at times. The mouth sores were really bad, but have eased off, my rheumatologist advised this is due to my medication, hydroxychloroquine starting to work. I have extreme fatigue. I really hope that you find some medication that helps.

— Apr 1, 2022

I hurt all over. I started my Journey when my bones hurt I used to think I had bone cancer years no 1 could figure it out until quick biopsy showed I have SS I recently had a new pain management doc tell me SS is not painful at all & I should go to physical therapy even though it's my bones that hurt all of them I was on pain pills he stopped those now im back on methotrexate & steroids it's not helping with pain I don't know what to do I just want my life back

Be careful with the methotrexate it can harm liver and steroids kind of ruined my bowels.. I tried so many meds that did nothing. The Plaquenel is the only ones that helps.

— Jun 23, 2022

In 2001 I was hit by a car and fractured the knee. I have noticed the flares ups attack where yu have prior injuries as well…

— Jul 22, 2022

Thank you for posting, just diagnosed and it explains a the horrible pain I have had for so long sometimes unbearable ble. Ibuprofen helps tonight I am going out dancing and hope that helps as I generally feel better after I teach my line dance class. Haven’t been able to get into a rheumatologist and hope to soon. This is a hard challenging disease to have in life.

Yes, I have. Plus multiple other meds. I hope it works for you. Changing meds will be a constant in your life if you have Sjogrens. I have been diagnosed for over 12 years and I cannot begin to name all the drugs I have been on. But you need to get on Plaquenil right away because that will slow down the progression of SS. Pain is one thing, but you must slow the speed of the progression as fast as possible.

I tried it. I took a super low dose. Don’t remember it specifically but it made me throw up every day. I lost 15 pounds in one month. It basically gives you withdrawal symptoms from nothing and it was awful.

— Aug 22, 2022

hello, I have Sjogren's and Just recently diagnosed with Raynaud's. I live in Oregon City , Oregon part time, and Just out of Kalispell, Mt. during the summer months. I am looking for a support group to share stories and ideas to help with this condition . Its a Long, painful, and exhausting road that we lead . Having someone who feels the same way would defiantly be appreciated.
thank you,
diana

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