Wrists?

Hi - lying in bed still feeling a bit weak/ low energy and poorly with headache and cold - although much better than I was yesterday and my side light is on today! My fingers are still relatively good but my wrists are sore once again.

I was wondering at the pain in them. When they were at their worst a few months ago they felt as though they had been fractured and the pain was across the top. Now it's not nearly as bad as that but the pain has moved to the sides of them - onto the outer wrist bones - which have both been tender to the touch for a while now. It is quite intense pain but not right across the middle anymore, just on sides, and equally painful on both wrists. My wrist bone (the one that sticks up on the outer wrist) seem to get hot often but I'm confused as this isn't where the joint is and although they have been my most painful joints to date they don't seem to swell up visibly like my fingers and knuckles have done.

Hey sorry if I'm always asking questions - but as I'm stuck in bed I've got too much time on my hands today!

14 Replies

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  • Hi Tilda. I had this problem with my wrists for months.It felt as though my wrists were being shot through with large sharp needles.It was agony and I thought I must have broken them.No one seemed able to give me an answer why this was happening.I tried consultant,rheumy nurse and physiotherapist.

    I wore sport wrist bands as they are easy to get on and off and did provide a little support.I still wear them when my wrists start to feel awkward.

    Now for the good news.I woke up one morning and they didn't hurt anymore.I've no idea why this happened.Think the Ra just moved on to other joints.

    Hope this helps xxx

  • Hi Tilda

    I get it at the outside edge worst and then it travels to the whole wrists, when its really bad. Near the wrist joint on the outside edge I have a rheumatoid nodule. It only comes up when my wrists are really bad, at moment, there is alot of heat where the nodule is, but its not as prominent as it normally is, but I am not as sore as how they can be. Maybe you to are getting a nodule. I presented with a nodule at time of diagnosis.

    Pain moves from the wrist and goes across the hand starting from the outside and moves towards the inside of the hand (where the thumb side is). Most of my intense pain is on the left (opposite side of thumb). It mings there the most.

    I am not sure if that is the same for all? But I have been fortunate not have suffered like that for about 7wks, hope I never experience pain as bad as that again.

    Hope that helps and I do hope you are not developing a nodule as they look unsightly and really are tender and painful!!

    Sci xx

  • If your fingers have ra in them tilda the inflamation will travel to your wrists. rest them and see how they go. Your in the right place bed. It is the cosiest place to be when your feeling like that.

    You take care my friend.

    Love sylvi.xx

  • Hi Sci and Avjh - thanks that helps to make me feel more normal at least. My rheumy kept pressing middle of wrists despite my telling him it was now bad only on the sides. I asked physio and she said it wasn't carpal tunnel as that's in middle and gives different symptoms that I don't appear to have. But it is much less appalling than it was for sure - can now drive, wipe bum, open doors and hold dog lead without wanting to weep or just being unable to -and it doesn't seem to have found anywhere else to go yet (apart from fingers and I'm working on them!) - which I put down to the Nintendo Wii Fit yoga and daily muscle exercises and the stress ball and diet. What a healthiness obsessed old bore I'm getting to be these days - never thought i would be like this its so not me- sorry!

    Hubby has now decided I'm anaemic now because my face is so white and I feel a bit short of breath and very wan as they say in these parts ("whaan"). Feel lousy still I admit so waiting to hear back from the GP by phone hope maybe to start on some iron supplements perhaps. TTx

  • Hi Tilda, sports wrist bands are ideal when the wrists are painful. I use them and wear them at night as well. The bump on the top of your wrist at the side is also a small joint so not surprising you are getting pain there.

    Try not to overdo it with all your exercising - you don't want to cause a further flare. Some gentle stretching would do wonders. Glad you can now do all the things you listed (!) - I still have trouble walking the dog as it causes havoc with my shoulder if he suddenly pulls.

    RA is responsible for so many problems including extreme tiredness and possibly anaemia but your GP will advise you if you need any supplements. I have to have a Vit B12 injection every 3 months as don't absorb B12 from food.

    I also get pain across the top of my wrists which feel swollen and lumpy but can't actually see anything! The Orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital told me to stretch my fingers back so as to stretch the tendons. I find it does help.

    LavendarLady x

  • Thanks LL I feel a bit less like "fraudulent-on-MTX" now. I did try and find some diagramns of hand and wrist joints a while back but didn't see that the small bone sticking out at top of wrist was also a small joint. Never been one for biology/ anatomy I'm afraid - same with geography. I am so useless that I couldn't help my son locate parts of the States when he was playing with his new Xbox flight simulator on Boxing Day - we had to go and ask middle son who is a star at all matters to do with geography!

    I do wear wrist bands sometimes but find my joint/bone thing is presently rather swollen and hurts when pressure of bands are applied.

    GP hasn't phoned me back yet so I managed to gather self up off recliner and make a very iron rich broccoli and stilton soup with lots of fresh parsley thrown in - had two bowls it was so good and have managed to hide recipe book so youngest doesn't know it's got Stilton in it - which he abhors! Now feeling fat again though as it was quite rich even just without bread or oatcakes or butter or cream added. Trouble with being wiped out today is I can't do my exercises. I did try but hubby got cross said I was killing myself - it was only yoga and stretches?! But got really breathless at the smallest stretch so he's probably right. I'm not used to enforced rest?

    Hope your cold is on the mend now? At least I suppose it means that the drugs are doing their job suppressing your immune system. You would have been doubly susceptible with all that socialising over Xmas and New Year I'm afraid. TTx

  • My wrists always hurt on the outside & that bone there, until I got both wrists fused and those bones were removed. I used to have pain that would take my breath away and I'd have to stay absolutely still for a few seconds. I still have pain on the inside on my left wrist, it might be tendonitis again. I am prone to that.

    Take care of yourself Tilda, rest, ice, and do range of motion exercises.

    Christine

  • yes Tinwoman I've had that kind of pain in my wrists - breathtakingly bad - but not for a while now I'm glad to say. These two are just very sore now and the bones feel raised and sometimes swollen and hot around this bony joint. I'm having a day off pain medicines and ibuprofen because yesterday when I was feeling really terrible with fluey cold I took the full quota of everything to no effect that I could tell - ended up moaning under the quilt at every bang or thud or light - so today I thought I'll have a day off to give my body a chance to reset itself and hopefully they will become more effective again when I restart. Also wanted to see what the MTX is doing and can't really tell unless I have a day clear of other medicines. So far it's only the wrists that are getting more painful. TTX

  • Hello tilda i have the wrist and thumb supports which i use for driving, writing etc and a big montrosity of a thing that i wear sometimes at night. My OT made them for me, i don't know how they work just know that they do ease the pain and i have that moving pain as well, at present i have it in the middle of the wrist but i have known it to be on the sides particularly the thumb side.

    Tilda the other thing could be that the cold you have is playing havoc with your immune system as well - trying to remember what the gp told me - when I have an infection it usually causes the ra to flare up a little, so it could be that it is a reaction to your cold as well.

    Hopefully someone will come along and correct or confirm what i have said there, my memory is shocking, its a wonder i remember what it is that's wrong with me. Have a restful night.

  • Proper supportive wrist splints can be obtained from the occupational therapy dept of your local hospital , when my wrists are bad they are great.. they can also make "resting splints" for evening use.. might be woth looking into

    Alison x

  • Thanks but my OT said that the person who used to make splints up here has taken on new extended work at the hospital and doesn't have time to make things like splints now. And the physio just advised me to customise my off the peg splints she sent me. They used to be a great help - especially for putting people of shaking my hand! But now I find that the top of them sits just exactly on the most sore bit of my knuckles - which until a few days ago have been the joints most affected by this RA - with tendonitis adding to the joy! I can't see how to hold them in place without the velcro or splint touching my knuckles.

    So I've just got back into splinting but use my, shabby old flappy ones rather than the smarter ones she gave me. Also I find that wrist splints I bought from Boots are very tight and I can only bear them for limited amounts of time - they are the medium size and my wrists are quite small but nonetheless they really make my outer wrist bones more inflamed if I wear them for long? I did find them very good when I was singing carols with my choir and holding up the music folder/ song sheets though so I do know they have their uses! I will keep working on the OT to help me get some made properly though so that my knuckles are safe from rubbing somehow? Thanks to you all though. And I think it's just a case of the ibuprofen holding the wrist pain at bay because my elbows are kicking off a bit now too and I've got a nodule on the left one that I think must be rheumatoid so I'll get back on ibuprofen and stop expecting too much of the MTX I think! TTx

  • Hi Tilda I have had RA now for nearly 40 years and it started in my fingers. They would swell and become extremely painful that I couldn't grip anything. Then it went to my wrists and they got so bad that I couldn't lift even a telephone receiver without feeling tremendous pain. I used to have to go for wax treatment, where I sat in front of a bowl of hot wax and dipped my hands into it until it was coated and then the nurse would wrap my hands in hot towels. You would then sit there until the hot effect went cold, but the relief was brilliant! They also gave me hand splints to wear, which were held on with velcro bands. This prevented sudden movement of the wrist and therefore eliminated the pain. However, eventually my wrists got so bad that I had to have them both fused by operation. Although they are now both ridged, they are relatively pain free. Ask your Rheumy people if you can have this treatment (if they still do it!) and have some splints for both wrists. Hope you get the relief you deserve.

  • Hello DF - I have just returned from having mtx blood test. Hands and wrists appalling again today - mainly because I couldn't take my ibuprofen 400mg last night my sons and husband had used them up to sort out their colds and hangovers. Had a day off pain meds yesterday after a week of heavy cold I wanted a day without ibuprofen to see if the MTX was working yet. Unfortunately I've found out the hard way that I'm still relying on pain killers and ibuprofen to keep me from excessive amounts of pain and discovered too late in the day that I had no ibuprofen left anyway! So I've just been and bought some more and am now waiting for them to kick in. Also waiting for my hot wax bath to heat up for the first time of using - it was an Xmas prez from my husband. Just about to query how to use it actually because the instructions are very unclear.

    My physio only offers me exercises, ultrasound massage thing and a pair of very unusable splints not made to fit - which she tells me I need to customise in order to use. But I dug out my old ones and have them on right now - they are grubby looking (despite washing) and nice and soft around the knuckles so are far better than the smart ones which curl into my knuckles and cause pain to inflamed tendons there.

    I hope i don't end up needing surgery for wrists as you've had - but if I get to a point where pain is unbearable again and I can't do anything with them - even move a pillow or lift the duvet off me at night - then I might have to ask for something more drastic to be done as it stops me from functioning when they are that bad. Hoping that the MTX will make a difference soon though. Well done for enduring this for 40 years - you must be a stalwart/ hero! TTx

  • Tilda, my brace used to rub right on that sticky up bone on the outside too. I went to the drugstore & bought some callus (sp) cushions, they have a hole in the middle & padding on the sides. It helped a bit, at least it held the brace further away from my sore wrist. I put it on the brace instead of on my wrist. They last a few days each, unless you sweat a lot-like I did.

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