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Joint Pain Relief?

Recently, I've had the worst joint pain I can remember since being diagnosed with Crohn's. It is everywhere, ankles, toes, knees, fingers, wrists, my back, etc. I think it is partially worse because I am showing signs of flare and I also started a new job recently. I am a student and started a new job this summer coiling school planners and it's pretty labor intensive in the sense that I'm moving my arms in the same motion all day, every day. I need some relief, even if it is temporary so that I can at least be somewhat revived for the next day at work. I'm already using CBD oil tincture every day, and I think it helps a little, but not much. Tylenol doesn't ever really do much for me for any symptom. That's my only option for headaches, and it almost never helps.

FYI, I am also seeing my GI next week so I will be bringing this up to him, I just wanted to find out some things that you guys do to help your pain.

Hannah - 20 - college student - diagnosed Sep. 2013 - currently on: Remicade, 50mg 6MP - taken/tried: Humira, Azathioprine, Prednisone and others


Staff member
Is your Crohn's well controlled? I'm asking because certain types of arthritis associated with IBD flare when the Crohn's flares.

There are several different types of arthritis associated with IBD. CCFA has some good info about them: http://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/assets/pdfs/emr/arthritiscomplications.pdf

Have you seen a rheumatologist? I would ask your GI for a referral to rheumatology. It sounds like you have both peripheral and axial spondyloarthritis. When the spine is involved, spondyloarthritis often flares independently of the Crohn's and so has to be treated as a separate disease. But since Crohn's and SpA share some of the same meds, you could do that by upping your dose of Remicade or adding something like Methotrexate in the place of 6MP (which doesn't help the joints).

In terms of pain relief, we use ice and heat a lot (both my daughters have spondyloarthritis). Ice is good for painful joints, heat is good for tight or spasming muscles. You can try a TENS unit - you can get one online.

Massage might help you - it helps my girls a lot. Often when there is inflammation in joints, the muscles have to work extra hard to support the joint, causing muscle spasms. Massage can help with that and so can stretching.

Swimming or gentle exercise in the water - even just being in the water if you can't exercise - can help with pain.

If your GI will not allow NSAIDs, I'd ask for Voltaren gel. It is an NSAID gel, but since it's topical, less is absorbed.

I'll tag my little penguin - she may have other ideas for you. And I would try to get in with rheumatology ASAP.
I would say my Crohn's well controlled as I have never had serious complications or hospitalizations and is usually maintained by my medications, however I don't really feel I've ever acheived true remission. I will definitely ask for a referral to rheumatology, because it is becoming harder to keep up with my peers, which is embarrassing and humiliating for those who do not understand what I am going through. I had no idea there are different kinds of arthritis and it would be good to know what kind I am dealing with. I forgot to mention below that I don't feel I have the typical swelling that most other people describe, but I am also unsure because the swelling could also just be so normal to me that I think it's my normal.

Thank you so much for your ideas, I really appreciate them and I think a lot of them will work. I am trying to work the cost of massages into my budget and am also looking for a chiropractor in my area that could maybe help me as well. I try to go on walks with my friends and they help sometimes. I have never heard of Voltaren gel, but I will ask my GI about it next week.

Thank you so very much!

my little penguin

Staff member
Stay away from a chiropractor
If you truly have spondyloarthritis then they can do more harm than good
Ds has the juvenile version of spondyloarthritis
Basically the tendons and enthesotis become inflamed so you don’t have a lot of swellling
But do have a lot of pain
It’s very frustrating

Definitely see a rheumatologist
Swimming in a warm water pool can help
ICe or hot packs
Good luck