BrightPhoenix

Many joints constantly clicking/popping, please help

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Hi everyone.  Hope you had a good New Year's.

I've been dealing with chronic muscle tightness and fatigue in my arms and legs, and wrists.  I do a lot of sitting down at home and work.  I've been seeing a physical therapist for most of this, but I've noticed since around the last week of 2020 that things went from being rather tight/sore/fatigued to "clicking".  My PT even heard some of the clicking from my left knee.

I feel clicking in my shoulder blades, upper biceps, where my upper arms meet my shoulders, a little bit in my wrists, knees, in the area where my thighs meet my buttocks, a little bit in my hips, and my neck.  For everywhere but my knees, the clicking has no pain, but it's bothering me.  The knees have already been diagnosed with this condition called chondromalacia patella (runner's knee - common in younger folks, and you don't have to just be a runner to have it, treatable but annoying) but everywhere else... Dr. Google has told me all sorts of things, and I keep telling myself to just read the most common things instead of making it worse.  Some of this clicking is audible to people around me.

All this is accompanied by chronic lumbar lower back pain as well.

I'm 37, quite a bit overweight, male.  My irrational mind is already thinking of all these rheumatological/immune-related diseases & orthopedic conditions instead of logically thinking "you're young, most of this is self inflicted, you're sitting too much and this is the result of years of too much sedentary activity and no muscle conditioning/stretching".

Has anyone had this excessive clicking?

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I'm sorry to hear you've been feeling so cruddy. Anxiety can cause a lot of muscle tension and inflammation. PT is really good to help re-train the muscles. Keep working with PT and hopefully you feel less pain! For me, I have other health issues and PT has been amazing. 

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3 hours ago, Total Eclipse said:

I'm sorry to hear you've been feeling so cruddy. Anxiety can cause a lot of muscle tension and inflammation. PT is really good to help re-train the muscles. Keep working with PT and hopefully you feel less pain! For me, I have other health issues and PT has been amazing. 

Thank you, yeah, I guess for me I'm just scared because it just happened rather suddenly.  One day I'm ok and next day I woke up with everything clicking.  I guess my anxiety levels have also been at high levels because my dad is getting knee replacement surgery on Monday and I have no mental plan on how my sister and I will coordinate taking care of him because we both have to work.  

I just made things worse for myself because I have psoriasis, like pretty bad scalp psoriasis and psoriasis on the face and ears, so I looked up psoriasis and saw some on my knee and now my mind is doing that catastrophic thinking again with psoriatic arthritis.  Of course Google reaffirmed all my symptoms as well.

I just drove myself crazy - I can't stop Googling, my brain is already going down these paths I know I should not be going down.  My brain is now focusing on the little pains I have, every click I hear just reaffirms my catastrophic thinking.  I can't concentrate at work and I lost my appetite.

It's frustrating because I know what the symptoms of excessive health anxiety are - I am experiencing it right now.  I don't want to eat, I can't concentrate, I have a headache, my breathing is shallow, I feel dizzy.

It's like i forgot all of my CBT training worrying about this. 😞

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12 minutes ago, BrightPhoenix said:

Thank you, yeah, I guess for me I'm just scared because it just happened rather suddenly.  One day I'm ok and next day I woke up with everything clicking.  I guess my anxiety levels have also been at high levels because my dad is getting knee replacement surgery on Monday and I have no mental plan on how my sister and I will coordinate taking care of him because we both have to work.  

I just made things worse for myself because I have psoriasis, like pretty bad scalp psoriasis and psoriasis on the face and ears, so I looked up psoriasis and saw some on my knee and now my mind is doing that catastrophic thinking again with psoriatic arthritis.  Of course Google reaffirmed all my symptoms as well.

I just drove myself crazy - I can't stop Googling, my brain is already going down these paths I know I should not be going down.  My brain is now focusing on the little pains I have, every click I hear just reaffirms my catastrophic thinking.  I can't concentrate at work and I lost my appetite.

It's frustrating because I know what the symptoms of excessive health anxiety are - I am experiencing it right now.  I don't want to eat, I can't concentrate, I have a headache, my breathing is shallow, I feel dizzy.

It's like i forgot all of my CBT training worrying about this. 😞

That's the spiral of negative thinking trying to derail you.  You are catching it, so that is good. 

There is some stuff I buy for my elbows that occasionally develop psoriasis called "Psoriacin".  The stuff smells awful because it has coal tar in it, but works to relieve the irritation so much!  It comes in a small 1oz tube but a little goes a long way!  It may not cause arthritis; it's just the skin.

The biggest thing to do is (1) stop Googling for information.  It is good to get educated, but when it goes to hypochondriasis and causes anxiety.  Cut it off. 

(2) BREATHE DEEP.  Today may be a bad day, but tomorrow may not be.  Be kind to yourself; you are going through a rough time, especially with the surgery situation.  I noticed that being by heat (space heater) can help relax you. 

(3) Determine what you CAN control, and let go of what you can't.  Focus on this part instead of worrying about everything.  If can control it, you can do something about it.  Otherwise, let it go. 

I am not just preaching here, I had your issues and worse.  Rocking in a fetal position having only been able to eat half a value meal (for the DAY!) and a cup of Coke because I was afraid I couldn't keep anything down.   You WILL get your appetite back!

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I guess what's scary is how the health issues give you a reminder.  I'm trying to not think about it but I get reminded every time I get up from my chair.

I made a log today of everything I went through since February (since I've had a host of other small health issues starting then).  It's all kinds of "signs" that I think I shouldn't have been ignoring, but at the same time there's so many logical reasons as to why I have these problems:

I'm rather overweight, which puts strain on my body.

I sit at my computer for 8 hours a day for work and spend 2-3 hours after work doing stuff.

When I end the day to sleep, I'm on my phone and I hold it sideways and move my body to one side (think of a side sleeper) - that is very bad for your arms and shoulder blades.

I haven't changed these behaviors even after seeing the PT, but i thought I was getting better in November/early December.

I feel like I'm having some sort of addiction I can't shake that by admitting these issues.  I know what the problem is, but I can't help myself and I'm sure it's frustrating the people I'm telling because I know what the solution should be but I'm not listening.

I booked an appointment with my psychologist tomorrow but my mind is just wandering already.

53 minutes ago, Ironman said:

I am not just preaching here, I had your issues and worse.  Rocking in a fetal position having only been able to eat half a value meal (for the DAY!) and a cup of Coke because I was afraid I couldn't keep anything down.   You WILL get your appetite back!

Did you have my joint clicking issues?  I guess my worries is how these simple joint issues isn't just simple overuse/neglect, but rather what I was worrying about in the first post.  My mind is already going into the catastrophic thinking stage when I know we don't know.  I should be focusing on what I can control, not what I can't.

I will be seeing a rheumetologist on Tuesday so I can get this straightened out, but until then, you know how us HA sufferers are.  Life essentially comes to a stand still until you see the doctor, then it comes to a standstill until after the tests are done, then well, you get the point.

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1 hour ago, BrightPhoenix said:

I guess what's scary is how the health issues give you a reminder.  I'm trying to not think about it but I get reminded every time I get up from my chair.

I made a log today of everything I went through since February (since I've had a host of other small health issues starting then).  It's all kinds of "signs" that I think I shouldn't have been ignoring, but at the same time there's so many logical reasons as to why I have these problems:

I'm rather overweight, which puts strain on my body.

I sit at my computer for 8 hours a day for work and spend 2-3 hours after work doing stuff.

When I end the day to sleep, I'm on my phone and I hold it sideways and move my body to one side (think of a side sleeper) - that is very bad for your arms and shoulder blades.

I haven't changed these behaviors even after seeing the PT, but i thought I was getting better in November/early December.

I feel like I'm having some sort of addiction I can't shake that by admitting these issues.  I know what the problem is, but I can't help myself and I'm sure it's frustrating the people I'm telling because I know what the solution should be but I'm not listening.

I booked an appointment with my psychologist tomorrow but my mind is just wandering already.

Did you have my joint clicking issues?  I guess my worries is how these simple joint issues isn't just simple overuse/neglect, but rather what I was worrying about in the first post.  My mind is already going into the catastrophic thinking stage when I know we don't know.  I should be focusing on what I can control, not what I can't.

I will be seeing a rheumetologist on Tuesday so I can get this straightened out, but until then, you know how us HA sufferers are.  Life essentially comes to a stand still until you see the doctor, then it comes to a standstill until after the tests are done, then well, you get the point.

I didn't have joint clicking issues before, but I do now and it a bit of weight gain.  I was an active runner until the Corona hit and have been fighting to get back into that shape since.  I know that I gained five pounds in the first half of 2020, but I have been running and exercising a bit more since then.  My knees and ankles pop more.  I haven't thought much of it so far as long as I can get back into shape.

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On 1/8/2021 at 4:42 PM, Ironman said:

I didn't have joint clicking issues before, but I do now and it a bit of weight gain.  I was an active runner until the Corona hit and have been fighting to get back into that shape since.  I know that I gained five pounds in the first half of 2020, but I have been running and exercising a bit more since then.  My knees and ankles pop more.  I haven't thought much of it so far as long as I can get back into shape.

You've still taken way better care of your body than I have.  I think I gained like.. 10-15 lbs since the beginning of the pandemic due to all this stress.

Logically a lot of the problems I've been having is due to things that I can easily point a finger at.  But you know how it goes, the HA brain doesn't think rationally.

My dad had his knee replacement surgery today and my anxiety about how I'm going to help him when my joints are hurting/clicking is just adding to the stress.  I saw my psychologist on Saturday, and she actually recommended that I take the lowest, smallest dose of some sort of anti-anxiety medication (I have some leftover clonezapam) as soon as you see the "early signs" of a panic/HA flare episode and that she will work on me with improving other aspects of my life so I don't have to be dependent on using things like CBT when my anxiety hits its peak.

It's an interesting philosophy because I pressed pretty hard into her opinion on CBT and she said that she is of the professional opinion that CBT can be an effective treatment but she believes in minimizing the chances of needing CBT in the *first* place.

This psychologist has helped manage a lot of my worries in life the past year so I am going to take some trust in her opinion.  I am still worried about my rheumatologist visit tomorrow but I'm not a mess like I was on Friday

I forced myself to lay off Google, I also forced myself to lay off consuming news - I think all this political mayhem has been a force multiplier for my anxiety as well.

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I wasn’t sure if this would be helpful, but I wanted to leave it just in case. My knees click and it has happened my whole life, even in childhood. When I was in sports in high school, and even now when running, I always wear knee braces that I purchased on my own. I’ve never mentioned it to my doctor or given it a second thought (I have HA, but consistently my fears have been heart attacks, pulmonary hypertension or embolism, blood clots, or an undetectable form of cancer). Anyway, leaving this here because the consistent clicking has never materialized into any kind of diagnosis. I hope this gives you comfort.

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