Parkinson's Movement
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Anybody experience pain when making a fist?

Hello everybody. After a few weeks making little comments here and there, I am ready to post a question that is very important to me. First, however, the clinical snapshot; skip if you are sick of reading these accounts.

History and treatment:

My first unequivical symptom (micrografia) showed up in the fall of 2006. I was also profoundly depressed and wracked by anxiety. In November of 2010 I got my dx of PD, which was quickly confirmed by a PD specialist. I was 57, an elementary school teacher. I could not continue to work and was able to retire on disabilty My neurologist, whom I trust, prescribed generic Sinemet (25 mg carbidopa and levadopa 100 mg) 3x daily, plus Pramipexole, which was soon replaced by Azilect 1 mg once daily. I also take clonazepam .5 mg to sleep better, as well as a testosterone cream and a vitamin D supplement. I get acupuncture and body work treatments, practice yoga and Qi Gong, walk daily, and ride a bike when I have a need to.

My main motor symptoms are:

• a pronounced resting tremor in my right hand, that gets worse in public, especially when I am performing music

• a tendency to adopt a stooped-over parkie posture

• difficulty moving in confined, crowded spaces, especially in the dark or when the floor is littered with obstacles (going on stage is particularly challenging)

• moving in slow motion in certain circumstances, especially getting out of a car

My non-motor symtoms include:

• fatigue

• difficulty multitasking (cooking, for example)

• poor abilty to plan (executive function)

• low volume of voice when speaking, although I can sing as loud as ever

the good news is

• the depression and anxiety disappeared once i began treatment for PD; in fact I am happy and upbeat, tho not unbearably so

• I can perform (sing and improvise intricate rhyming lyrics) better than ever

• I can walk steep, rocky trails with ease; I have stumbled due to foot frop but I have never fallen

Here is my question:

In early October 2011 I developed a severe pain in the joints of the fingers of my right hand while I was playing the claves ( a percussion instrument) and my hand has been very sensitive ever since. I can barely close my fist, and operations like tearing up a cardboad box for recycling are at best painful, at worst impossible. There has been no improvement; if anything, it;s getting worse, especially after I play any percussion instruments, even the most low-impact. I have refrained from playing for weeks at a time but my hand remains the same. My joints appear sightly swollen but otherwise normal. They do not hurt when pressed or squeezed by another person, only when used. My GP examined my hands and ruled out arthritis but had no dx for me. My neurologist, contacted by phone, had nothing to add, other than this does not sound like a PK symptom. I’ll see him in February. Meanwhile I am scared becuase for the first time PK is actually hurting me and making it hard to do simple things with my hand.

So the question is WTF? Anybody out there have any experience with this symptom?

Thanks in advance. Best wishes for 2012.

6 Replies

hi i was diagnoised with pd by dat scan march 2008 age 49 im on meds 5 times daily . eldypryl sinemet plus compess requip and slow release sinemet going to bed . i wake at around 6 stiff as a poker as meds wear off and after lying down for more than 6 hrs its uncomfortable . i have pd in my right side and for the last 3 mths hve trouble with pain in my right arm from wrist to elbow . i have to pull myself up with the headboard to get out of bed and sometimes i cant close my hand to and have to get my husband to help me up . i too cant make a fist at times .phisioterapisit said it was tennis elbow and after 7 wks phisio its worse she said its tendinitis that it is from when my meds wear off im inclined to hold my arm into me and im rigged . the pain is now into my hand and it swells up when im in pain worse when i hang it down , i have searched the net and have found that people with pd can get carpal tunnel its a trapped tendon in the wrist and am wondering cud it be that im going back to my doctor this wk and im not leaving without an answer . hope this is any help to u . take care xx


Before I was dxd with PD the docs treated me for ulnar tunnel syndrome. After having surgery to release the nerve, the recovery was slow and painful. That is when I found a doctor that has PD and he explained what was going on and dxd my PD. I too have pain and stiffness in my wrist and find myself stretching that arm and joints almost constantly to keep it from freezing up. I don't care what the Doctors say, he short answer is, "Yes" PD can cause stiffness and painful joints.


Count me as another with PD (~7 years) with an apparent Ulnar nerve problem. No pain - just numbness in two fingers. Electrical test on jan 12. Probable surgery after that.




Hi, not the same problem as you P_S but like Paul I got ulnar nerve entrapment a year ago on my affected side, no pain just numbness. Probably developed the problem from leaning on my elbow too much when I was writing and assignment. Had some physio and nerve conduction testing. Nothing sinister was found and I was advised and my reading confirmed that nerve irritation had take a long time to settle. The numbness is still there but slowly improving. It doesn't interfere in my life so I usually forget about it until the subject comes up!


Mohammed Ali.


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