Swollen finger joints: Sure many of you are... - Arthritis Action

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Swollen finger joints

Cuggley profile image

Sure many of you are familiar with the "swollen finger-joint" syndrome in the photo; these can be very painful. I've tried the usual anti-inflammatory creams, and naturopathic topical remedies like capsaicin and Pukka oil, but all to no avail. I don't really want to take oral anti-inflammatories, particularly as this will mean having to take PPIs to protect my stomach, and previous experience of them suggests they will be largely ineffective.

Does anyone have any alternative solutions?

17 Replies

Oh that looks uncomfortable for you as it's so swollen. Have you been diagnosed with a specific inflammatory disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis? If not I think you should see your GP and get proper advice and help.

On the advice of my GP I take ibuprofen (covered with Lansoprazole). I was already on Butec (look it up) to deal with other issues. It certainly helps me. Two years ago fingers were “normal” and it took only three months to “grow “ like yours, but my joints are more swollen. Then they stopped growing. I haven’t asked for a formal diagnosis

Oh dear, I know how you feel because my hands and fingers are the same. I cant make pastry, now because its hurts too much, Trying to open some containers is hopeless and although I have an electric can opener and other special tools it is still a problem. I cant take anti inflammatories but use a rub in gel which doesn't do much. I haven't heard of Pukka oil. Is it prescribed by your doctor or do you buy it online? I'm hoping other members may have some suggestions too.

Cuggley profile image
Cuggley in reply to RoadRunner44

Pukka Active 35 Oil 100ml from Holland and Barratt; also bought some Arnica cream, which didn't work either, but probably both worth a try - what have any of us got to lose!

RoadRunner44 profile image
RoadRunner44 in reply to Cuggley


Try Dynamint spray; squeeze a little on a fingertip and rub in. Gives relief for a while and smells nice if you like peppermint. Available from Amazon, ebay and in some pharmacies; about £8 for the spray version and lasts for ages.

Cuggley profile image
Cuggley in reply to MikeG1944

Thanks a lot. I will try.

Have same problem can be very painful at times 🌷

Cuggley profile image
Cuggley in reply to Pbyllis

It is true. Very painful sometimes. Thanks for responding 🌺

I know I have written this several times before, but I’ll do it again. Over twenty five years ago I had swollen painful finger joints. I was also very concerned about my breast cancer risk, as I was coming up to the same age as my mother had been when she died from it. I read from a source I trusted, that American research had found that polyunsaturated fats could cause breast cancer. I changed to using only butter and olive oil. Whether or not it prevented breast cancer I cannot tell, but in time time my finger joints returned to normal. I later read about the Omega 3 to Omega 6 balance. It is highly inflammatory to eat much more of the latter than the former and it is easily done. Specially as we are advices to use polyunsaturated oils and spreads by various experts and you really have to cook from scratch to avoid them.Doctors offered little help, one even told me that lots of women of my age have painful finger joints without there being anything wrong with them. I later learned that it is a classic first sign of osteoarthritis.

My fingers look a lot like yours, and I definitely sympathize with you. I can't take anti-inflammatory meds, so have tried most of what's out there. A cream called Penetrex works best for me, and rubbing a bit of CBD oil on them helps some as well. I have Psoriatic arthritis and erosive osteoarthritis.

You may want to see a rheumatologist to see if there is something else that can stop the inflammation. I hope you get some relief soon. It's such a pain in the butt to do things with my hands anymore.

Thank you very much for the advice. I sympathise with you too. I have tried tumeric powder mix with black paper which helps a bit. I have spoken to GP but not much help. I will contact rheumatologist as you suggested.

I lived with hands like yours for 10 years, very painful and it lowers moral being in pain all the time. It was diagnosed as Osteo Arthritis and treated with painkillers (codein/paracetamol) which worked to start, but progressively didn’t. I finally had enough and told the GP the same. He sent me to hospital for tests and it was diagnosed as Rheumatiod Arthritis. I now take methotrexate and folic acid and most of the pain has gone.Get your Doctor to test for RA

Thank you very much for the advice. Previously, GP had not been interested about it so I didn't pursue it. As you have suggested, I will ask my GP to refer me to RA.

Your photo showed a a swollen ring finger with the lower joint most swollen. My left hand looks very similar and for the past three months the ring finger has been extremely painful. AlthoughI have osteoarthritis in my hands and fingers, the pain in this finger felt different. My GP diagnosed gout andI had blood tests to confirm and X-rays of the joint. The outcome was thatI had borderline gout but no disintegration of the joint. I am able to use an anti inflammatory gel on the finger but no other anti-inflammatory due to other meds. The pain has eased over the weeks but using the hand ( I am left handed) leaves it very painful and inflamed at the end of the day . You should check out about whether or not you have gout. For your sake I hope you don't but it is important to know. Best of luck

Cuggley profile image
Cuggley in reply to Tailor2

Thank you very much for your advice. Can't wear wedding ring which is upsetting. Hope yours gets better soon.

I have osteoarthritis in my hands and like you don’t want to take oral meds. I use, anti inflammatory ibuprofen cream 10% (5%is not very effective ). I also find magnesium spray helps too. I add rosehip powder (you can get capsules but dose is too small) . I also add olive oil to a smoothie or drink once a day, Rose hip and oil you need to take every day for a few weeks, I have found it reduces the swelling and pain. Good luck.

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