I used to successfully control my arthritis pain using Enbrel. But the pain has returned and is becoming debilitating. What can I do?

Published: April 4, 2013

I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for 23 years. I am 43 now. At 31 years i went on a new medication called Enbrel. Changed my life. i went from incapacitated to getting a degree to become a health teacher and give back to the community. Five years ago I developed a severe muscle spasm in my shoulder/neck. RA doctors thought the Enbrel quit working, put me on Humira 20 mg biweekly, prednisone 8mg, motrin 800 and Leflunomide 10 mg a day. Muscle spasm never healed and now my right jaw is hurting and muscle spasm has moved to left shoulder blade. The pain is debilitating and my RA doctors said my RA is under control with a 12 sedentary rate. Please help me as I am beginning to lose hope. I have come so far to be a productive member of society and to teach in the community high school. I fear I will be in this kind of debilitating pain and lose my job. Any guidance is welcomed. thank you.


Muscle spasms are often better treated by chiropractors or a good massage therapist who does Myofascial Release than physicians, and is usually not that hard to treat. Or Find a pain specialist as well who does trigger point injections and/or spray and stretch to release the muscles. Meanwhile, ask your physician to order the topical "nerve pain gel" from ITC Pharmacy ( 888 663 4224 ). A pea sized amount applied to the tender areas 3 x week can often ease the pain after 2-4 weeks. The problem is not usually that hard to treat, but simply requires someone familiar with muscle/myofascial/trigger point pain. Hope this is helpful. L&B Dr T

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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