Painful hands - any suggestions?

Has anybody got any suggestions what I can do to alleviate the pain I have in my fingers? I'm so lucky to never have suffered with my hands, but the past few weeks my right index finger in particular feels like it's on fire and I can't make a fist. Even holding the steering wheel is painful. Poor R went to hold my hand last night whilst we were watching TV and I almost jumped through the roof!! I've tried Movelat cream but it doesn't make any difference. Luckily I'm left-handed but it's still making life difficult. Any suggestions?

12 Replies

  • Hi Bub, glad you and Hubby are holding holding hands, even if it is painful!!

    I wonder if it's the tendinitis, are your fingers straight? I have found in the.ast couple of years fingers on my left hand,and I'm left-handed too, cannot bend easily and get stuck bent! It's really difficult to treat pain I the hands I find, maybe try soaking in warm water or a bit extra painkiller. Jennyxxx

  • Hi Jen Yes they are straight thankfully. As I said Ive never really suffered with them before and it's only really my index finger, although the others are a bit achy. Told my rheumy nurse and he said wait and see if Cimzia makes a difference as it's only really been since I've been on Humira that they hurt. Quite happy to do that but just thought there may be somethng I can do in the meantime. I try and keep co-codamol down to twice a day and already on max NSAIDs, but maybe I'll increase it for a few days and see if it makes a difference. Daft isn't it, all the other pain and it's this that's really bugging me!

  • Yeh, hopefully the Cimzia will help, it's really weird but some of these biologics seem to affect just one joint, recently have stopped abatacept because of extreme pain in lower spine especially few days after infusion, also make my fingers ache! Fingers crossed for Cimzia, ( no pun intendended) I take paracetamol and codeine 3 times a day and 4 when bad. Actually have you tried a little local anti- imflammatory and slightly cutting down the orals. Jennyxxxxxx

  • My hands used to become really painful and hot, so I'd soak them in a sink of freezing water it really did help ease them.

    So try soaking your hands in a bowl of either cold or hot water.

    Beth x

  • i've found that self adesive bandages seems to help relieve the joint paint in my fingers. i cut it down into strips about 7 inches long by an inch wide and wrap it around my fingers.

  • i have had lots of pain in my fingers too just lately, my left hand won't straighten without pain, I take paracetamol and ibruprofen every 4 hours the pain goes away for awhile, but I agree cold or hot water helps, I have to remove my rings too before they stop the blood supply. As for driving, I have today and its a pain to change gear as I can't stretch my fingers, so be careful, hope the pain goes away as quick as it came..

  • Hi Bub I have had pain with my fingers in the past what I find works for me is a half a cup of epsom salt (you can get these in any chemist) in a bowl of hot water and soak your hands for 15mins then when you take them out wrap your hands in a towl for 5mins more usually works for me. Whats even nicer is a bath with epsom salt same timing but just add a cupful into the water always better closer to bed time. Poppy

  • Do you have access to an Occupational Therapist? They have all sorts of tricks for stiff/painful hands and fingers. Hot wax treatments, ice cold treatments, special exercises and "putty" which is my favourite, as you are given lumps of coloured putty which you "knead" and it strengthens your finger muscles.

    Otherwise you could try making bread, for the chance to knead the dough.

    When one of my fingers locked, I was given a steroid injection in the tendon which was trapped.

    Good luck, hope you find something that helps.

  • OLD FASHIONED REMEDY I HAD WHEN I WAS 5 IN HOSPTIAL FOR A YEAR BUB TRY ICE PACKS IF YOU HAVE SWELLING FOR RA my consultant told me and it works gets the stiffness out of joints heat is for osteo arthristis but i remember hot wax baths so well and salt water baths aswell

  • thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I shall give them a go and let you know which ones work. xx

  • hi Bub124 it is worth a try ice pack bag of peas out of the freezer get swelling down if you have any

  • Hi Bubs - I'm the opposite to you in that most of the pain for me started in my wrists and fingers before my knees and then my shoulders got involved. Before I went on MTX I was having a terrible time with my hands and couldn't write, work, drive, open doors or lift anything with them. I still can't fully clench them and in the morning it takes a while to unstiffen them but they are so much better now. My right forefinger (and I'm right handed) and my left pinkie were the worst and still are slightly inflamed and won't fully bend but I exercise them all the time and that has helped enormously. The physio gave me exercises for them and the OT gave me a night resting splint to prevent ulnar deviation but most of the extreme pain has gone from them now although they ache if I squeeze my hands I can at least write no problem and much of the strength has returned to them although my wrists still give me some jip.

    My advice is to purchase a parrafin wax bath. Just go online - Amazon do them. They are so theraputic and if you can get some finger exercises from a physio then you can try doing them with the wax on and it's seems to limber them up brilliantly. Meanwhile my physio recommended that I buy a pack of latex gloves, rub olive oil on my hands and fingers and then put the gloves on and run a basin full of hot water and dunk them, wriggle them as much as possible and that seems to really help in exactly the same way as the wax. Hope they improve soon. Tilda xx

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