Living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Pinched nerve anyone?


AngieB I get lousy rotten sinus problems too. There’s no reason why yours are triggered by the same things as mine but anyway, just in case … for me it’s always environmental: over-heated rooms / smoky atmospheres / alcohol / excessive dust e.g. from decorating etc. etc. Might any of that apply? In addition to the congestion it is extremely debilitating with a side order of nausea and exhaustion.

If bad, then I would imagine that antibiotics will shift it.


Poor you @AngieB. Sinus issues are just the pits. I hope you can get it sorted out soon. Do you ever do nasal washouts - a friend of mine who suffers perpetually said it was that which actually helped the most, once it was clear there was no infection? That and sitting, towel over head over a steaming bowl of water infused with something like eucalyptus oil. Over the years I’ve had asthma (much worse when I was younger) I too found the eucalyptus oil a winner for helping stuffed and constricted airways. Just some non medicine ways that could help. Big hugs.


HEllo every one! Thank y’all for your advice and concern. Sinus infection is better. Thank God! I didn’t ever email or call my doc either. Actually just remembered to. Lol I’m still not taking the sulfasazine(?) Though. My poor toes are huge and my ankles close to my heels. And started having pain, burning sensation in both this week.
OK. Had the nerve conduction test done today. Neurologist said I have C7 nerve root damage. Ordered an MRI which is scheduled for tomorrow. Yay!! Yes very quick! Insurance approved it FAST! Thank God!
Still having pain, numbness, tingling, weaknesses, etc in my arm, shoulder and shoulder blade, back and neck. And headaches now and then. 800mg motrin helps make it bearable. Using “alternative” medication to help me sleep. :wink::wink: it’s the only thing I’ve found that does help with pain and inflammation and sleeping more than a few hours at a time. I’m trying really hard to eat only foods that are anti-inflammatory too. But Lawd they can be expensive and hard to find around here sometimes! Lol
I hope everyone is doing well and being painfree more than not. Hugs!!


The sulfa stuff takes a good few months to know if it works and the dose should be at least 4 tablets a day or even 6 tablets a day to be sure so have you been told to slowly increase it yet? Best of luck with the MRI. x


Hey Angie - has anyone put you on course of predinose? That might be the final nudge you need to get the inflammation from the pinched nerve under control, or at least down enough so you can get some real sleep.

I know they gave it to my mom when she had a pinched nerve in her back and it did wonders.



@Poo_therapy thank you for your reply. I’ve stopped the sulfasazine(misp?) It was causing headaches really bad, waking up with em and nauseated too. I have ibs and it constipated me so bad I was hurting in my abdomen and pelvic area. It was just too much to keep taking it and I was tapering up from one a day to the four I was prescribed. I was still taking just one a day.
MRI went well. But it made me start hurting and my left arm went numb. Ugh but other than that it was ok. Thank you.

@ModSupport- Azurelle thank you for your reply.
yeah my rhuemy gave me a round of prednisone when I was given the methotrexate. It did help but I think it’s worn off. Btw I did email my rhuemy yesterday. I’m fixing to check to see if he or anyone has replied yet. I know no one called me yet.
I thought about asking rhuemy for another round of prednisone. I know it’s not good for me to keep taking it but something has to be done. I couldn’t even wear my slip on sneakers today. It hurt my ankles too much. I’m having some kind of muscle spasms in my back tonight. My husband thinks it’s from riding in the car pretty much all day. Idk but it hurts. My husband massaged it for a few minutes and it helped some tho.
Thank y’all.


Hey y’all. My doc received the email and I got an earlier appointment than the Feb appointment, tomorrow, Friday, the 25th. Idk what his next step will be but hoping he’s got the results of the MRI. And praying he gives me another round of prednisone that’s strong enough to knock this inflammation for a loop. Lol
Any advice or suggestions will be appreciated.


Hi Angie, great to hear you got the earlier appointment. I’m not sure how they do things in the US (perhaps someone can chime in and help with that), but I gather the movement to biologics can be a lot quicker there, and given the severity of the issues (you really don’t want the inflammation to keep pressing on that nerve and potentially damage it), and that you didn’t tolerate either MTX or sulfazalasine, I would be asking for prednisone for the short term, but asking about a biologic for the long term. You really want to get off the prednisone merry-go-round if at all possible - there are just so many ways it makes life hard, as well as serious side effects, in the long term.

Make sure your Rheumy knows you get Tummy troubles (are they worse in a flare? Tell him if so), sometimes this helps guide the biologic.

So glad you’ve got the earlier appointment and hope it goes well.


So how did the appointment go? I so hope it was fruitful.


Hey @Jen75 @Poo_therapy. I’m sorry to say I didn’t make my appointment. Not sleeping well makes it extremely difficult to get up before lunch. I woke up at 1 something. I guess I turned my alarm off in my sleep. My appointment was at 1:40 and it’s an hour drive to the office. I called the office as soon as I was awake enough to think but I was on hold for over 5 minutes. So far decided to email the doctor. But have haven’t heard back yet.
I’ll be sure to remind them about my tummy issues. I do have more abdominal pain when I’m in a flare. But unless it’s extremely bad, the other more severe pain dominates.
We have another cold front coming in today and oh man! I’m feeling it!!
And on top of it, I ran out of my herbal medicine. My husband is working tonight but hoping he’ll be able to get me some more tomorrow.
Thank y’all for your concerns and advice. God bless and keep y’all.


Hey y’all. I had my followup appointment today with the Nuerologist after having the MRI done a couple of weeks ago. Not the best of news. My spine is pretty much screwed up. From C-3-4 to C-6-7 bulging and or herniated discs. He’s referring me to a orthopaedic surgeon that specializes in neck and spine surgery . Y’all, I’m terrified!! :confused::open_mouth::hushed::cry: I’ve had 2 shoulder surgeries on my left shoulder but this is my spine and neck! Doc paperwork he gave us says , degenerative disc disease. I know it’s not actually a disease but still. That’s what my mom had and she was constantly in pain and eventually was put on methadone which I blame for her death at age 52.
Any thing y’all can tell me will be appreciated and welcome.
I go back to rhuemy next Thurs, still a week away. And I think I’m still processing all that Nuerologist told us. Just scared of what this means.


That’s good that you know what’s happening now. If you haven’t already done a good round of physical therapy is something to consider. You can combine it with an nsaid or possibly with steroids to help the process along.

Having the condition does not guarantee surgery.


Getting answers to why you feel so awful is good even if it’s scary. It answers at least some questions and provides a treatment plan - that is far better than flailing around not understanding things, isn’t it? That for me is far more scary. I have a friend who has DDD, PsA and fibro all diagnosed aged only 30. She too finds it very overwhelming but at least she’s being treated for all three which is better than not being treated for any of them. And with such combination treatment, she does do better now, which is the object of it all. And you’re finally on your way to being treated for this, that is good news @AngieB, really it is. And your treatment will not be your mother’s either. You already know that. Big hugs though, lots of big hugs. :hugs:


@Stoney hey there. Thank you for your reply. I asked him about pt but he said he doesn’t think I can even do pt because of the weakness in my left arm. And the weakness is what concerns him most. Although he said a steroid shot/epidural may help but he’s got to leave that up to the surgeon because he doesn’t work on the spine or neck.
Yes I’m glad to know what what is causing this but it’s got me terrified, honestly. I’ve heard and read only bad reports from people that’s had surgery and at least 50% if not 75% say it didn’t help much if at all. A few have said the surgery made it worse.
@Poo_therapy thank you for your reply. Like :+1:said above, yes it’s good that I now know what is causing all this but still scared. Thank you for reminding me that my treatment will not be the same as my mom’s. Medicine and practices have advanced quite a bit since her time. And I don’t take hydrocodone unless it’s absolutely necessary and I definitely will not take anything stronger on a daily basis. I don’t like the way any narcotics make me feel. Thank you again.
Has your friend had surgery on her neck, back, spine? I’m praying that I’m able to see my rhuemy next week before the surgeon even calls to schedule an appointment. And the treatment for this PsA will help the other. Then maybe just maybe surgery can be put off for a while longer. Our kids, especially my boys, are scared for me and scared the same thing will happen to me as my mom, their Nana. But I did explain to them that she developed heart problems which does run in my family on my mom’s side BUT my heart is good. My bp is normal, except when I’m in a LOT of pain. also I don’t have diabetes which my mom was on the prediabetic side of the scale. It helps me to know all that and praying it helps my boys too.

I’m just ready to get rid of this pain, muscle weakness, spasms, tightness all in my back and neck, shoulder, ECT.
Thank y y’all for your concerns and advice, comments and support. It means so much to me! God bless!


I had lower back surgery when I was 25 years old. It was at L4 L5. I had a herniated disc and it was bad enough that I actually started to lose bladder function. I wound up needing a second surgery almost a year later. That was actually because mostly because the surgeon did not allow me to start physical therapy right away and Scar Tissue became a major problem. That was 22 years ago. I have not had back problems or sciatica or anything like that for many many years. It was a very rough year-and-a-half probably but if I had had proper post-surgical care it would have been much much smoother.

The surgery can be super successful especially in the neck if you are having radiating pain or numbness. It takes the pressure off the nerves and you can hopefully get back much of your function. No surgery is easy and the recovery will not be easy either. But it certainly is well worth speaking to the surgeon both about whether surgery is needed what you should realistically expect, and what would the post-surgical. Look like. You may also want to choose a University Medical Center or other specialized Surgical Center for this. I don’t know where you live but there certainly are good options in most places. Some travel may be needed but it shouldn’t be too bad.


No Angie she’s not had surgery yet for her DDD but she’s monitored and she has had PT. Follow @Stoney’s advice. x


Just a comment on my experience, though I’m not sure it will be applicable to yours, but just in case it helps.

I will openly admit I have very little knowledge of spinal degeneration.

The sum total of my experience is;

At around age15, my dad told me that is what he had that had made his back sore from pretty much the time of my birth.

I had back problems on and off that seemed to be resistant (or even exacerbated) by treatment then would suddenly resolve

My onset of PsA at 36 started with back pain and stiffness that couldn’t be helped with physio and kept getting worse

Within 6 weeks of onset of PsA (at this stage I still didn’t know what “it” was, so the following experience terrified me), I lost power in my legs and my feet and lower legs went numb. The Physio thought these were symptoms typical of stenosis.

Xrays identified degeneration but not stenosis. Almost all people over 50 years of age show degeneration

Oral steroids completely resolved the symptoms (though obviously not the degeneration seen on X-ray)

I subsequently realised my dad had untreated PsA (despite agreeing with my conclusions, and remaking that his doctor has said as much 15 years earlier, he had refused treatment due to mental illness, and certainly paid the price for that later in life, including dying quite young, at 65).

I have had ups and downs in treatment, but have never returned to the level I was, at my worst before treatment.

Whilst I’m sure your situation is different, I think it is really wise of you to try to get treatment from the Rhuem first, to determine how much of the issues are being caused by inflammation overlying the degeneration, because imaging rarely reflects pain or disability.

And, whilst that was all a bit of a clinical, dry overview, I wanted to let you know there is hope. I chose a different path to my dad, and I am at a very different olace in life than he was at my age.


@AngieB Your docs response to the PT thing concerns me A LOT i hope you misunderstood, because it was just plain ignorant. No one is too weak to do PT, The exact reason you do PT is to gain strength. I had a fracture to my spine a number of years ago that left me paralyzed fro T-12 down. I was admitted at 10:00pm, stabilized sent to ICU on a vent. The first person I saw the next morning was not my doc, but rather the PT, followed by the OT an hour later. SIX times a day I had one or the other. And THAT was in the old days. Therapy/rehab is much more intense now. Suregry is rarely the answer and it does make one worse more often than not. The best way to describe it (though totally not accurate), is surgery makes whats going on permanent becaise it screws everything into place. If its off just wee bit you are screwed.