Hands

Hi everyone, haven't been on here for a while. This condition still frustrates, irritates and confuses the hell out of me. Its been 3 years, I've done well with methotrexate and humira so far but been in a lot of pain lately. Have had wrist pain for 2 years, pain extending to fingers and forearm now. Fingers and hand swell from writing and typing all day. At my wits end, don't know what to do. Any advise?



sybil said:

Might voice recognition software be an answer? I too have wrist pain when I do repetitive and / or heavy tasks like a lot of typing or using garden shears and it extends up the arm at worst. I have osteoarthritis at the base of the thumb due to long term inflammation from PsA so there's no way round the pain from time to time. If I had to type all day long I'd definitely aim to get a voice recognition package. Assuming it's your work that involves typing, would your boss be receptive to such a thing?

Unfortuneately I work in a corporate environment dealing with clients all day, therefore that would not be an option.

Do you already have a split keyboard to make it more ergonomic? Other than voice recognition, proper posture and support will help. You could also ice during breaks.

JoJo, welcome back. Gosh, it has been a long time, hasn’t it? And thanks for the picture with Table Mountain in the background. Oh, how I would love to go to Cape Town. If only it weren’t so far away! But I digress … your wrists and hands. Have you consulted with a physiotherapist on this one? What is your rheumatologist saying about this? Hands and feet are so crucial to normal functioning. I’m wondering whether it might be possible to get steroid injections in your wrists. I really don’t know, but I remember getting good relief back in the days when my knees were bad.
I hope you can get this sorted out. Let us know how it goes!



Seenie said:

JoJo, welcome back. Gosh, it has been a long time, hasn't it? And thanks for the picture with Table Mountain in the background. Oh, how I would love to go to Cape Town. If only it weren't so far away! But I digress ... your wrists and hands. Have you consulted with a physiotherapist on this one? What is your rheumatologist saying about this? Hands and feet are so crucial to normal functioning. I'm wondering whether it might be possible to get steroid injections in your wrists. I really don't know, but I remember getting good relief back in the days when my knees were bad.
I hope you can get this sorted out. Let us know how it goes!
Thanks Seenie, I've had one injection, didnt help much. Rheumy just says its the arthritis, I'm going to try get scans or xrays so I can see for myself whats happening and then take it from there. Also going to see an occupational therapist for assessments. My biggest problem is that I work in such a pressurised environment there is not much time to take breaks. Anyway one day at a time

Your description of the pain in your fingers, wrists and forearm sounds exactly like me. I've been on Enbrel now for about 18 weeks but still have days where these areas will bother me. They seem to be the worst areas for me most of the time.

I think if you're having that much pain you should talk to your doc about it. Also, there is a cream I had used to help me get through my worst days but it's only a band aid solution, it's call Doctor's Pain Formula, it has natural ingredients and works really well I find. I found it at the drug store. It mostly helps with the inflammation in my tendons which is what I believe the pain in your forearm is caused by.

I hope that helps.

Ouch. Wrist pain is awful. Here are some things that have helped me:

Deep massage with warm lotion/oil at bedtime

Voltaran Gel

Soaking hands/wrists in COLD water and end of workday

Compression wrist/hand sleeve (I used Tommie Copper)

cortisone shot (ultrasound guided)

Soaking in Epsom salts & warm water

JoJo, I think Voltaren is called Veltex in SA. The gel is a prescription product in the US, but it is over the counter in Canada. I have found it very helpful for my feet, and anywhere the joint is close to the skin surface. Not my hips, that’s for sure! LOL

Faye’s list sounds a lot like mine. I was thinking of the voltaren, too (though I can’t use much as it is basically ibuprofen and I have asthma from it even in cream form). I will add a couple of things to her list that help me. I use a warm paraffin dip for my hands just before bed. It increases the circulation so that they don’t get as stiff over night, and don’t have as far to come back in the day. Dr. Scholl’s brand sells a nice little appliance to heat the wax and dip your hands.it is not too expensive at all, and it has very complete instructions on how to dip your hands and then remove the wax from them.

The other thought I have is that the biologics are actually supposed to work best on hands (as opposed to back, hips, etc.) knowing this, it sounds like you might want to talk to your doctor about using another biologic. I got less than a year and a half out of Enbrel before it stopped working well. Humira lasted much longer for me, but everyone is so different that you might need to move on to another. I highly recommend steroid injections (no more than 3/year in any one joint), but since it is many joints in the hands and wrist, your doctor might be game on trying to get a different biologic approved for you. I’ve been on six of them over the 15 years that they have been available. Sadly, you do have to keep moving on to others sometimes.

I hope you find a good solution or at least a good work-around. We all seem to empathize greatly, so I guess we all know how miserable the hand and wrist pain is with all those joints and all the movements they make during the day. Keep pushing your doctor. You can find something that will help.

I am going for Cortisone shots next week because two joints are so bad that they won't bend anymore. But, I use Aspercreme every night and morning to get through the day. Epsom lotion really makes a difference too - it is like a soak in Epsom salts. I especially like the Epsom Lotion for my feet every night.

Hi , I also have hand and wrist pain also . Also work with my hands and use a wrist brace on the days its really painful .You can purchase a wrist brace at a pharmacy like CVS . There are a few different choices. I hope this helps you . I understand , I really do . I miss knitting so much and my wrist pain prevents me from doing it sometimes. I also try massaging my wrist at night it can be very soothing. Good luck with all the suggestions from everyone .I hope you have some relief from the pain .

I found some memory foam wrist splints and I wear it at night while sleeping. My right wrist is worse and I find that the warmth and keeping it stationary helps by the morning. The ergo/split keyboard really helps because it changes the angle of your wrists with less strain. Once you get used to it you should really like it.

Goodluck

There's another thing we both have, Sybil! I have that same problem at the base og my thumbs, except, weirdly, my left thumb is worse than my right even though I'm right-handed. Very painful at times!

sybil said:

Might voice recognition software be an answer? I too have wrist pain when I do repetitive and / or heavy tasks like a lot of typing or using garden shears and it extends up the arm at worst. I have osteoarthritis at the base of the thumb due to long term inflammation from PsA so there's no way round the pain from time to time. If I had to type all day long I'd definitely aim to get a voice recognition package. Assuming it's your work that involves typing, would your boss be receptive to such a thing?

Do you think the meds are fizzling out? I had that type of pain before starting Enbrel 4 months ago. I does cause damage because there is some lingering pain even though the swelling went down. Maybe you need to figure out how to give your hands a break like suggested. Hand pain is hard to control--neither heat nor cold helped me much, but cold packs really help decrease my foot pain. Possibly massage would help-at least temporarily. :-(

Hand therapy might be helpful, as they have other tools, including ultrasound, at their disposal.

I have been getting some relief from my wrist pain with acupuncture.

Petta, that’s interesting. We have a member who is an acupuncturist (he also has PsA). He doesn’t come here that often, but I will ask him to comment on this.
Seeing this discussion is moving into braces and keyboards and acupuncture and such, I think I’ll move the discussion over into The Complementary Therapies discussion forum.