Hands aren't what they used to be : Hey guys.... My... - NRAS


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Hands aren't what they used to be

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Hey guys....

My hands have been feeling the burn lately, I'm getting really bad trigger finger on my left middle

Finger and no bending at all on my right ! It occurred to me that these things are creeping up on me more

And more! Does anyone have any exercises or physio ideas I can do to loosen this up! I won't be beaten ! I just feel like people are noticing it especially at my work ( I work at a preschool- finger rhymes are an issue!- no joke!!)

Support needed please! πŸ˜€

18 Replies

Ask your consultant or OT about wax baths. Less expensive is a bowl of warm water with epsom salts and do some movements under water, as that makes it easier to move. If you are nervous about movements, just soak but don't let the water get cold because it that won't help! Good luck.

You could ask your GP to refer you to the Hand Therapy Clinic, hopefully you have one in your area. I attended a couple of sessions in December and found it helpful. It is run by OT's so they can advise or exercise, aids , therapy, wax treatments.

Try electro acupuncture. It is not available on the NHS.

Wax paraffin you can purchase it at home and do it daily or as necessary. Methotrexate helps me with the hands. Good luck

I was given a leaflet - SARAH - hand and arm exercises - produced by the Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick.

The exercises, done regularly, really help with the strength and mobility of my hands and fingers.

However, I cannot find the leaflet on the internet. Perhaps more searching will find it or someone else can provide more information. A physiotherapist ?

Is there one of the exercises on the NRAS site that would help you? Or ask the physio? or the OT ? for advice?

I think you need the advice of your consultant. Trigger fingers are a real pain, catching the finger when it is locked is sickeningly excruciating. I wouldn't recommend forcing it to move if it is locked, exercise may make it worse, maybe some of the suggested soothers such as wax baths may provide some relief. I found wearing working wrist supports given to me by the physio helpful and they provide some protection against catching the trigger finger. Tweaking my drug regime was the thing that got mine sorted out; in some cases surgery is the answer. 15 yrs on my hands are deteriorating again with my middle and ring fingers not flexing. I am back to wearing wrist supports.

Not sure what to suggest for the finger rhymes for the tots. Is there a classroom assistant who can demonstrate or how about one of those big sponge hands you see being held up at football matches. Your employer has some responsibility for providing you with some assistance due to your disability. (In the Uk)

I didn't try to exercise mine partly because my GP at the time (now retired) said it wasn't trigger finger & reinstated my oral corticosteroid I'd been attempting to taper. I was still having trouble with it, locking more than triggering by this time, when I saw my Rheumy a few months later & she confirmed it was indeed trigger finger & in an advanced state. She gave me a hydrocortisone injection but wasn't convinced it would help as she thought it needed releasing surgically. A couple of days later it released & I'm happy to say it hasn't returned to the state it was before, only triggering occasionally & usually only in the morning when I've unfurled my fist. I tried splinting & it didn't help.

I'd definitely see your Rheumy, if you leave it it could permanently lock in either locked position or straight.

Ask your GP for a appointment for trigger finger. Just went last week for my thumb. Has an x ray then she knew where to put the needle in. Mind it is still jumping, but not the pain with it.


I got diagnosed with RA in September last year. I have been ok until these past 2 weeks every morning when I wake up I can hardly bend my fingers at all. If I do try and bend them it hurts like mad I am struggling with everyday tasks Like doing my hair brushing my teeth etc the pain is getting worse. I don't think my medication is working I am taking sulfasazeline along with naproxen and pain killers. Someone please tell me it's not going to get any worse or is this just a bad flare up what I've been experiencing.

Mall in reply to Kazwilks

Hi Kazwilks, it sounds like your RA is quite active at the moment. I would go back to your Rheumatologist, push for an early appt, and explain the difficulties you are experiencing with pain and aspects of every day living. You don't say how long you have been taking sulphasalazine or what dosage, it does take a while before it is effective and there are other drugs which can be given in combination with it.

You don't say if you have been referred to a physio therapist, they can give lots of advice and maybe some wrist supports for your hands. Also you need an occupational therapist referral, these folk can advice on aids that can help with the every day tasks you describe.

Don't give up hope, you are still in the early days of treatment. There are lots of different drug therapies and combinations, it takes time to find the right combination for you.

Check out the NRAS web site for information leaflets. Also if you are UK based NRAS have a telephone helpline and you might find it helpful to speak to some one about RA.

Hope your hands improve soon.

Thx for your comment mall. I have had to go to my GP today the pain in my hands and feet was excruciating I got no sleep last night the only way I can describe the pain it was like a burning when I got up this morning it looked like I had a blown up surgical gloves on my hands they were so swollen. My GP has prescribed steroids so hopefully I will get some respite. Yes I have seen the physio and I have a wrist and hand support. Omg mall if this is just the start of it I don't think I will cope. I had to visit the doctor today wearing just my slippers I could not get any of my shoes or boots on. I am 53 and still young at heart so the diagnosis has been very distressing and worrying. Anyway thank you for your reply take care


nomoreheels in reply to Kazwilks

Don't worry Karen, the steroids will bring the inflammation down until you see your Rheumy then maybe your treatment will be reviewed. It could be a flare or it could be you're not responding well enough to SSZ & naproxen. In the early months of treatment I'm afraid it can be a bit hit & miss & usually why you have an earlier than norm Rheumy appointment after diagnosis. If yours isn't due any time soon do ask your GP request an earlier one.

Meantime rest your hands as much as poss & apply either hot or cold compresses, whichever is more effective. RD can test us at times, try not to worry. x

Thx for your comment no nomoreheels I really appreciate it. I honestly don't think my medication is working I am due back at the hospital 17th March hopefully they can advise what course of action is next. I definitely cannot continue in this much pain. I have gradually been getting worse for a few weeks now. I can feel the steroids working already so that is good news.

Thank you Karen

nomoreheels in reply to Kazwilks

Oh good, at least you've not too long to wait. I remember that pain (though mine was my feet, when I was first aware something was amiss) & it is awful. It might be a good idea to take pictures (or have someone take them for you) so you can show your Rheumy how inflamed they've been.

Let us know how you get on. x

Ok guys so you think I should rush this appoint,net with my doc ( my middle finger on my left hand is per emailed straight I can only bend it part of the way I've lost quite a bit of movement in the last year which is so disheartening! I'm not even thirty yet! 😞)

N-work28 in reply to N-work28

Permanently I meant!

nomoreheels in reply to N-work28

Yes! If it's permanently straight & you're losing movement you need attention so try & get it brought forward or at least contact your Rheumy nurse to see if you can be seen by her. Hopefully if it's not beyond a steroid injection will do the trick.

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