Sleeping positions during flare

It's daft o'clock and I can't get to sleep for the pain in my hands, wrists and feet. It's mainly my wrists, I can't find a comfy position. I only sleep on my sides and the best position was folding my arms and putting my hands flat under my armpits but I keep waking with excruciating pain as I think my wrists are bending during sleep. Has anyone got any tips please?

24 Replies

  • Morning Bernese

    Join the club - albeit I wish you didn't need too!

    I too am struggling tonight. Do you have any pain killers / anti imflammatories you can take? I know when my hands are bad, compression gloves do help and allow for an hour or two of sleep. Heat also helps.

    I hope you manage to get some relief from the pain soon.


  • Thank you for replying. I don't have any painkillers. I can't take anti inflammatories due to Gerd and paracetamol have been triggering migraines lately.

    I'll try my compression gloves. I didn't think to sleep in them 🙄 Thank you again.

  • Have you been to see rhuemy or GP? Maybe getting some appropriate pain relief for when things are terribly bad, might be helpful?

    Hoping your gloves help and you manage even a little sleep.

    Take care

  • I'm going to try and get an appointment with GP today and I emailed my rheumy's secretary yesterday as I couldn't get through on the advice line. It's been stopped due to staff shortage. I had an appointment on the 24th of this month but got a letter to say it's been re-arranged for November.

    Thanks again. I hope you get some pain free sleep too 💤

  • Wow - They moved your appointment out 7 months without talking with you?? That's crazy...

  • Tell them to put you on the list to call you in case there is a cancellation.

  • Hi bernese1225 .

    I sometimes have the same trouble but I have some wrist and hand splints.

    They keep them straight,not always comfortable at and they do take some getting used to at first,but when you have adjusted to them they prevent hands and wrists from bending.

    I think I got these from my rheumatologist,if not it may have been my physio but they are a godsend.

    Yes I know what you mean about silly o'clock I am still awake too.

    Try and get some rest.



  • I have hand/wrist splints too. I wear them day or night when I need some relief. I too got them from the hospital - my gp arranged it. Hope you are able to get some relief burnese as rest is so important for us all.

  • Morning, I do the same as Crusee, splints, although my Rheumy told me not to wear them during the night. I never asked why not,anyway I do & they work well for me. I got mine through the hospital but you can buy them.

  • When my hand/wrists are bad I use a ice pack (the small square ones) place it under my pillow & put a hand on each side of it. I always get back to sleep, it seems to take your mind of the pain.

  • Have you tried getting some splints to put your hands in so they can get some rest,got to you pschio dept and ask them about getting

  • I had the same problem very painful wrists my rummy sent me to the physio dept and they gave me wrist supports they have a solid bit in them that runs under the arm and comes up into the palm making it impossible to bend the hand when they fitted mine the pain went within ten mins and l felt great as for not trying the support at night l did and l could sleep please try this as it did work for me and l would hope for the same for you good luck

  • Yep splints at night are the only way to go for me too! M x

  • A hot water bottle filled with cold water helps my feet a lot. Same for hands. Happened to me last night too. Hope it feels better very quickly

  • I have hand splints tailor made by the hand therapy department after a referral from rheumatology. They do help.

  • Marie offered wonderful suggestions. My doctor prescribed amitriptyline for sleep and pain at night. I take two when flares hit.

  • Hi I wear wrist braces in bed which stops the wrist bending while in bed. They do help also wear in day if they are painful. Regards Carol

  • Hi bernese - I use a "woobie" - a large fluffy pillow and make myself put my hands on the sides of the pillow (one arm under, one over), and generally I can get them to stay that way. The other thing you can do is get a splint like you would use for a fracture or sprain, and that will help hold your hands straight..

  • I stretch my fingers and wrists into extension and place my hands face down and lay on them under my hips while back lying. Laying on them with an electric heating pad helps my hands and back at the same time. Good luck. Alice

  • Thanks everyone for advice and tips 😊

    I managed to get an appointment this morning with GP for painkillers.

    My RA nurse rang at lunchtime when she got my email about the cancelled appointment. She asked me to to go straight to the hospital as she had a cancellation. I've just had a steroid infusion, also been given an appointment for next Tuesday to have my first Tocilizumab infusion and orthotics gave me wrist/hand splints and said it's fine to sleep with them on. Can't wait to go to bed 💤

  • Brilliant

  • Another thing I found really helpful is filling the bathroom basin with hot water and flexing my fingers/ hands in it.

    Hope you're feeling a little better and manage some sleep tonight .


  • Thank you for being there. It makes all the diffence x

  • So pleased you are getting sorted out. Good luck. Regards Carol

You may also like...