Hands

Posted , 8 users are following.

Does anyone have problems with their hands hurting and tingling? Mine are really bad at night...I find myself hanging my arms off the bed to try to stop the tingling. Overuse of my hands also causes the same symptoms. Such as holding a phone or writing for more than 15 minutes or so. What can I do to get this under control?

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  • Posted

    can totally understand I have exactly the same problem Janet and also dreadful pains in my shoulders. I alternate with 2 3 or even 4 pillows and when it gets too much I get up and go downstairs so as not to disturb my husband, have a cup of tea and watch tv for a while - old recordings of Morse or Frost are good to pass the time for me and then as soon as 6hrs have passed I take more painkillers and go back to bed.  I had an mri scan and was told it is wear and tear complicated by RA and as cortisone jabs or steroids do not have any effect I just have to put up with it. During the dasy I try to change position of phones etc. use gadjets to open jars or bottles and try to just use a fork to eat with as holding a knife even in the pen position is too painful with sometimes an electric shock feeling. Hope things improve for you soon.
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  • Posted

    Hi Janet

    I've had ra for 6 yrs and is gradually getting worse particularly my hands and feet. The pain in my hands is unbeatable at times and the tingling and eventual numbness is strange, is like hitting your funny bone. I'm taking sulfazalazine and recently started leflunomide and am hoping this will kick in soon. My pinkie and two thumbs are very painful at the moment too. I soak my hands in cold water for a couple of minutes a few times a day. Also taking a mixture of painkillers and anti inflammatories but nothing makes a lot of difference for me, I take each day add it comes hoping that the next will be marginally better!! rest rest and more rest!!

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  • Posted

    yes its my wrists are worse but i do get it shoulders neck and feet 
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  • Posted

    Janet my tingling was caused by a Beta Blocker for blood pressure. Its apparently a common side effect with many meds.
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  • Posted

    Are you sure this is directly connected to RA? It sounds a lot like the symptoms of my peripheral neuropathy, another auto-immune condition, that I have on the soles of my feet.... a strange combination of numbness, burning and tingling.

    Like Gemma, I soak my feet before bed, especially when the temperature goes up. And like you, I hang my feet out of the bed at night, where they are most comfortable, even on cool nights.

    If it sounds like PN, my rheumatologist recently prescribed the antidepressant called...um... something like amitryptaline. Apparently it works on night cramps and burning foot syndrome (both mine!) as well as depression (not mine).

    I haven't used it for long enough to be able to confirm it yet, though.

    I have RA too, plus a few others, but what you're experiencing on your hands sounds a lot like PN.

    Hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      I have been taking metoprolol (a beta blocker) for years as well as amitriptylene. Not sure if its the. RA causing it or not. My RA doctor kinda gave up because RA meds were either hurting my liver or I was having reactions. He started pain management that's doing no good. I see a new doctor in October. I'm also on cymbalta and trazodone, and calcium and vitamin D as well as my every day blood pressure and cholesterol medicine. I'm just tired of hurting and feeling drained all the time.
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    • Posted

      Hello.  I don't know if what I get on the soles of my feet is the same as what you describe - mine feels as though my feet are "alive" and I can't sleep although finding a cool spot helps.  I know it sounds odd and I feel a bit embarrassed to make this public  but out of desperation I followed advice to try vinegar.  Whenever my feet bother me in this way I apply vinegar to them and take it up to the knee then let it dry.  Doesn't smell wonderful but it works for me and my sleep is not interrupted by this particular problem.  Good luck and please don't shoot the messenger!
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    • Posted

      Kim, I am very curious about your choice of vinegar...! Someone just the other day was suggesting it for a bee sting.

      The question is not whether it sounds odd (it doesn't. It comes under the perfectly legitimate category of alternative cures, of which there are hundreds a lot stranger than that)...

      To me, the only question is: does it work??

      I am going to try it myself!

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    • Posted

      Light, I'm one of those annoying people who questions everything and pokes around looking for information (usually unsuccessfully).  My son, due to the problems I have in general, noticed vinegar as a potential help with RA and I did take it in water for a little while although not long enough to see how or if it was helpful.  Anyway, I was in a desperate situation as I couldn't sleep (have other problems which affect sleep too) and once my feet "started" I just couldn't sleep.  As you know, there's no ignoring it, no matter how tired, and I had to get up.  Eventually, I thought I'd try vinegar as I had nothing to lose and it hasn't, as far as I'm aware, had any adverse effects - my soles haven't turned to leather or anything!  I make a cup of tea, apply some vinegar to a piece of folded paper-towel and then apply *( I don't rub hard) all over my feet (between toes too).  I cover every area maybe 3 or 4 times (don't know if that matters) then do my legs up to and including my knees once or twice then leave to dry.  It works for me no matter how outlandish it sounds and I'm not the type to believe therefore it is.  Quite the opposite.  It could even just be the very, very light massage effect when applying but I don't think so.  I can't promise of course, I can only tell you about me.  I'm still embarrassed!  I so hope it works for you so that you get some relief and some decent sleep.  Good luck. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Janet,

    I had exactly these symptoms when I was first diagnosed with RA and was told it was Carpal Tunnel syndrome caused by inflammation in the carpal tunnel in the wrist which was compressing the nerve causing the tingling. It's typically worse at night and I was given wrist splints to wear at night which were helpful although they were quite uncomfortable too. It may be worth you asking for a nerve test to check for that. If you can reduce the inflammation it will go and they can also do a simple operation (de-compression) to make more space for the nerve.

    Good luck

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  • Posted

    Hi Janet.  I have had problems, particularly with my right hand for around a year and have had this investigated by the Orthopaedic Dept locally.  (Longstanding RA trouble with hands, etc, but this is constantly very painful.) They sent me to Edinburgh for tests on my nerves which say all functioning.  Orth Surgeon says definitely not carpal tunnel (symptoms very similar to those of my brother's carpal tunnel) and not due to my RA.  He thinks due to my chronic neck condition and that a bulging disc is causing a pinched nerve.  I have difficulty in describing the symptoms as although the hand feels numb, it's also very painful, usually swollen, and takes a while before I realise I'm touching something.  A few days after this started a vein in the middle of my forearm popped up with a bruise around it.  Vein went back down but still looks slightly bruised and is tender.  The vein on the underarm is very blue but then, as it makes its way to the forearm, stops at a little red mark.  Pain on bone at side of arm, sometimes up the arm and across back.  Wrists always sore.  Surgeon thinks vein may be coincidence.  He's referring to Neurosurgeon and, although I'm reluctant to have surgery on my spine, he feels I could lose a lot more than at present.  Hand has also lost power, gives way in some positions and writing is hit and miss.  RA meds haven't worked for me so I now have steroids and, when required, morphine for pain.  It looks as though you'll have to pursue this at least with your GP (the first one I saw said it might take 1 month or 3 to get better so I lost at least a month before seeing another).  I still think that RA may  have an input although I don't know about other meds I take, eg  high blood pressure tablets.  I use loudspeaker on 'phone but other than voice-activated computing, can't think of anything else.  Good luck.
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  • Posted

    Sorry Janet.  I've just noticed your comment about hanging your arms of the bed.  My brother did this before he had an operation for carpal tunnel syndrome.  I don't find this helps but I do, when in bed, find keeping my arms straight or at least the forearms with the elbows bent sometimes helps and, when sitting and particularly paintful, I try bending the elbow and keeping my hand and forearm upright, ie  pointing upwards.  Incidentally, have you tried to find out if the hurting and tingling are due to RA or carpal tunnel or whatever?  Also, if you don't already have what my RA dept calls "working splints" it's worth getting some.  My hospital's Occupational Therapists (when referred by Rheumatology) fit patients with these splints and although they can be uncomfortable as they have a metal strip in the palm and arm, they can also be useful in giving support.  They also do "resting splints" which are Plaster of Paris which they recommend for when you're not moving, eg  in bed.  Got to admit I haven't used the plaster ones much and none of them look pretty.  The working splints shouldn't get wet but Occu Therapist says some people put plastic bags on their hands if they need to make contact with water.  They also gave me a piece of soft plastic which I find great for opening bottles and jars.  Possibly the splints would help you with the things you're having problems with but at the end of the day you may still have the pain.  If you have a Rheumatology Helpline and if you're interested, you might want to give them a call to explore the splints, etc, and whether there are any other aids or information available to you.  Likewise Occupational Therapy.  Those with problems with their feet can also have insoles made by the hospital Podiatrist and advice on shoes which some people find helpful.

    RA is very difficult as whenever anything is sore or troublesome I put it down to RA but then, as with my right hand, I'm told it definitely isn't RA that's causing that problem while I still have a niggling doubt ...

    Good luck Janet.

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