Muscle Wasting Away :(

Hi All,

Since my flare up kicked off in November my wrist has been in a wrist splint in the day due to it being so painful now as expected I cannot move my wrist hoping to get physio soon. However my wrist has got so skinny I can feel my bone so I'm guessing muscle is wasting away as I can't hold stuff.

This last week I've started getting a horrible throbbing pain in my upper arm muscle and looking at it last night I realised my muscle has gone and my skin is drooping :( I'm 27 with a bingo wing as I'm calling in.

Sitting at work currently and the pain is so evil it's making me want to scream & cry. Had to take a co-codamol just as can't cope so got to try and keep my eyes open now as they usually make me sleepy.

Has anyone else had this and how on earth will I get my muscle back in my arm?

Jene xxx

15 Replies

  • I see go and see a physio? and or OT Thats what I did and do so sorry to hear what your are going through x

  • Hi Summer,

    I saw my GP to discuss a physio on Monday and waiting for a referral as it's really worrying me now. How do you contact occupational therapist, as never done that?

    Jene xx

  • It's horrible I remember - and it's now a whole year since I had this kind of pain but the memory is still very clear. As Summer says you need get an appointment with GP to look at your pain meds and referral to physio asap. When my wrist was as you describe (both but right wrist much worse) I was given Naproxen and Tramadol (which I never tried as got a bit scared!) and my OT made me customised splints, a fixed night resting splint which is brilliant, because my knuckles were too swollen to wear the over the counter splints so everything had to be shaped to fit me.

    Then the physio got me some molded ones and they are black and I sometimes wear them too. I was warned not to wear splints for long periods (not longer than 30 minute stretches) in the day time because of muscle wastage. But you obviously need help addressing this and I would say physio for exercises is urgent, your meds need to be reviewed by your consultant if you are still having this level of pain and your GP should be able to advise on your pain meds and find you something that doesn't make you so sleepy. Tilda x

  • Hi Tilda,

    Yes it is horrible but in way got used to it even though today feeling teary as so tired.

    My GP has put me on some different anti inflamm (9yrs on celebrex now started meloxicam) however rang doctors today and I have just got to wait for physio appointment to come through post :(

    I wear the black splint and have done most days since end of Nov due to the pain, lack of movement and delicate top of hand and wrist. I haven't been told anything by hospital or doctor not to wear it they just seem to ignore the fact. But as you said it causes muscle wastage and yes it's the case my hand and wrist are tiny now but now my top bit of arm is doing the same as can't pick stuff up with it. Only using my arm for driving & typing at work, but it hurts so much when I do use it.

    I have an appointment with consultant next friday luckily an earlier appointment than original but still a week off :(

    Any help/advice is appreciated as I just feel all over the place.

    Jene xx

  • ask consultant about occupational therapy referral

  • I will do Summer thanks, hopefully he listens.

  • I have to say it doesn't appeal to me much but have you tried swimming at all? I know it's one of the ways of exercising that's most recommended for RA and it would really help your upper arm strength and give your wrist some gentle exercise too? My physio referred me to the hospital for something called Short Wave therapy for both wrists. I don't know if it was this that made the big difference to me but I've never had too much bother with my wrists since. Tilda x

  • I'm going through the same as you Pinkjen, couldn't believe it when I noticed bingo wings.Still got the pain in both underarms and shoulders and wrists,and like you it started in November,still waiting to get my meds. Take care xx

  • Oh no not the bingo wings too! Its made me feel self conscious and I'm not like that usually. I'm a bridesmaid in a couple of months and don't want it getting worse I'll look silly :(

    It's crazy how quick it's happened I'm so fed up with it just shown my mum and said I shouldn't have this grrr!

    I'm hoping to get new medication next week when seeing consultant, are you on medicine at the mo?

    Jene xx

  • Poor you and your Mums right you shouldn't have that, especially at your age, hopefully when the pain eases you can start some exercises, I tried to do some when then pain eased,but it was only a week and then the pain came back.I'm not on anything yet,although I know what I'm going on,just got to wait for a scan on my liver as the lft was high,once I've got the all clear from that I can start the meds. Good luck Jene, and fingers crossed that by the time of the wedding the bingo wings are no more. Love Elaine xx

  • And you are pain free for the big day as well :-)

  • Thanks, I have a gym membership for swimming actually but due to being so tired and struggling to walk haven't been for a while. But as you say it could help build muscle back as well as give my wrist some exercise. I will get my mum to ensure I go with her again. Thank you xxx

  • Hi Pinkjen,

    I have terrible hand and wrist pain. Like you I can't hold anything or pick anything up, every movement is extremely painful and then there are the shooting pains and what I refer to as my little man with an electric drill on my wristbone. Mercifully at the moment it is not bad as I had a steroid shot before Christmas and another one in Jan. I find that I get great relief from ice packs, I bought some off the net that have Velcro on so you can strap them on to our wrists as those that you have to hold on make it difficult to do anything as both hands are occupied! I keep them on for about an hour and it does bring relief. It is something you can try easily with a pack of peas first to see how you get on with it. I hope this helps you - do try it.

    Good luck,


  • Have you tried a splint at night? I don't need one during the day but always wear one at night & I really notice the difference if I don't bother to use it.

  • I have a wrist splint that I wear during the day to do my job but take it off at night to give hand wrist a rest.

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