11 answers

Joint Pain with PMS

I asked a similar question about this last December. At that time I was still nursing my baby girl and was having joint pain that would come and go quite randomly. She has been weaned for about seven months now. In the last few months I have noticed a pattern of the joint pain starting about ten days before my period and lasting until the first day of my actual period.

For example: This month the pain started on the eighth. It began in my left ankle (bad enough that I was limping) and in my right knee (shooting pain on the inside of the knee). It continued in both of those places, but I also experienced "migrating pain" through my wrists, shoulders and hips. My left ankle was the most severe pain, this time, and my right ankle started hurting as well a few days later. Yesterday (the 18th) the pain was at it's peak and my left ankle actually swelled and felt slightly bruised, my knees were also painful all day as well as my right ankle. I had been taking Tylenol PM for the last four days in order to sleep at night. I woke up this morning, started my period and the pain is GONE....I still have some stiffness, but it's like after affects of the pain.

I saw my OB/GYN last month about this and some other matters. One of which was some severe anxiety and possible postpartum depression. She put me on Zoloft and said she thought that maybe the pain brought on during PMS was a physical manifestation of the anxiety that was heightened during PMS. I've been on the Zoloft for over a month and this month's pain was worse than ever before. I called the doctor again today. She has upped my dosage of Zoloft and asked that I stay on that for another month and see if it helps.

I can definitely tell that the Zoloft is helping with my every day anxiety the rest of the month, but not during my "time".

My question is....has anyone else ever experienced something like this? Or heard of it? My doctor has never dealt with PMS symptoms this severe and I have never had PMS this bad until after I had my daughter. I had a tubal ligation done when I had my c-section, but the doctors all assured me that it would not interfere with my cycles or hormones. Has anyone heard of anything that could cause this?

I know that I'll probably just have to wait it out and see what happens next month, but this is SO frustrating! I have two small children and this pain is not just an annoyance anymore....it's really affecting my day to day life for TEN DAYS every month! I feel like I can hardly bring myself to get out of bed, let alone give my children all the things they need. Waiting a month for answers is a daunting proposition....I guess I'm just looking for some possible explanations and the promise of light at the end of the tunnel.

Thanks in advance for any answers!


What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Soooo.....this month the pain came back the day after my period. It was cold here on Monday and Tuesday and those days were the worst. So far it's still hanging around....some days are better than others. I saw my doctor yesterday and he is testing again for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, etc....basically, he said that if we rule out all of those possibilities than we are probably left with Fibromyalgia. He's prescribed a mild sleep aid to see if we can get my fatigue taken care of. Thank you all so much for your advice and suggestions. Hopefully I will know for sure what I am dealing with soon and start taking some steps to remedy it....for now I am just going to try to get as much rest as possible and see what happens!!

Featured Answers

I get pain in my left ankle before my period. It's excrutiating. Once my period starts, it's gone. Don't know what's going on but you are not alone...

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I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but I STRONGLY suggest you have a doctor check you for fibromyalgia and/or rheumatoid arthritis.
I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia that started when my little boy was about a year old. One of the symptoms is painful periods.
The "migrating" pain you speak of is a very classic FM symptom, as is the anxiety/depression and stiffness.

I may be way off base on this, but it can't hurt to be checked out.

2 moms found this helpful

I'am now 30 have always had regular periods I nursed all my children however my baby I just stoped nursing her 2 months ago @ 15 months.I have felt this pain I explain to my friend that I always start cramping 2 weeks prior I feel my ovulation then backs aches set in a few days followed by hip pain knee pain then ankles I thought it could be due to wearing flip flops but it would only occur around the time of the month weird I know but everyone is different I have put on extra 15-20 lbs that I need to lose this Fall.I do use Benadryl to help fall asleep as well as Tylenol PM (generic)My cramping is becoming more painful when I was younger I had them really bad and heavy bleeding after kids they supsided for yrs but now I can't handle them I can but it's a UUGH this again.I was checked for Lupus & RA negative.All my blood work has come back fine.

I am experiencing the same thing!!! I have had crippling pain that starts in my hips and runs down my legs (my right mostly). I was almost in tears the other night from the pain. I take ibuprofen and it helps, but it comes back. I noticed when I started my period the pain went away, that's why Im thinking it's related to hormones!!! It just makes sense! I am 45, in great shape, not overweight, alittle stressed but not on any meds! I read on here that others said something about peri-menapause and I believe that!!! Hormones can make a person crazy!! I think they effect way more than we realize! This sight has helped me tons! I don't feel like I have bone cancer or some other disease now! I will also look into getting some acupuncture, sounds like that will work best for this season of my life! Thanks!

K.! OMG your story fits mine to the t, I have been dealing with
Horrible pain in my joint 7-10 days before my period for 14 months
Since the c section birth of my son, the pain is so intense i pass out from the pain... I have been to over 7 dr and specialist and only came up with fibro,
A nutritionist told me it was my hormone called progesterone and prostaglandin that gets all crazy but no cure

obviously keep you doctor involved, but I had terrible aches and pains and nausea that have totally gone away since I gave up trans fats. It isn't as hard as you'd think. Good luck!

Hi K.,

I had similar joint pain in my wrists, elbows and joints for several months a couple years ago. At the same time, I was also physically exhausted and couldn't stay awake past 8:30 even when I was sleeping soundly for 10-11 hours the night before. My doctor thought it could be a thyroid issue and ran some blood tests, which came out normal. At that point I decided to go the Eastern route and went to my acupunturist who can always cure me when no Western doctor can.

The acupuncturist said that the joint pain and exhaustion was related to shifting hormones due to early perimenopause. She said that when women's hormones start shifting, all sorts of physical symptoms can come up, but if women can get their hormones balanced, they often disappear. She treated me with acupuncture and gave me some Chinese herbs to help balance out the hormones, and the joint pain went away and within a couple weeks (and one more treatment) my energy came back too. I am still on the herbs and whenever I feel something physical going on (low energy, break-outs on my face, bloating, etc.) I go in to see her and she fixes me! I don't know how it works, but it works for me, if you are up for an alternative to prescription meds and running around in circles...

Good luck!

I wish I had any more suggestions to add, but I just wanted to say hang in there. I don't get the severe joint pain, but for a week before I feel like I am a demon and I am very weak in the joints. They are very achy but Advil works for that. The symptoms do go away as soon as I start. It's not like that every time anymore, but I believe it was really bad for awhile after I had my daughter. I think the less sleep and the PPD did play a role for my low tolerance of pain. Definitely get checked out by a regular doctor, it can't hurt. Good luck.

I swear doctors think anti-depressants will cure EVERYTHING these days. I went in last year for joint pain and some other issues that I suspected were related to my thyroid (I've been hypo since my 2nd child was born), and she prescribed Wellbutrin), and said it was just stress. Admittedly, I take fluoxetine (Prozac generic) for PMS, but only 7-10 days a month, just before my period, to help with anger, frustration and general crabiness from PMS that was severely affecting my work & home relationships. (it was per MY request to go on it, not my doctors). It does NOT help with PMS cramps or my chronic joint pain. What has helped dramatically with the latter is Glucosamine/MSM. After trying it on and mostly off (the drinks, horse size pills and capsules that stick to the back of my throat) for a few years, I finally found a pill I can swallow (well, it's actually 3 of them), and 6 wks later viola! Pain is not completely gone, but it is Sooooooooo much better. It's been like a miracle drug.

Not sure it's right for you, but if after testing for FM and RA (as someone else rightly suggested), and whatever else anyone can think of, and they all come back negative, and/or your Zoloft doesn't do the trick, give the Gluc/MSM a try. Oh, you may want to make sure they've tested your thyroid. Your symptoms aren't exactly classic, but it is very common in women post partum.

Good luck!

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