Stiffness n aches in hands when waking up

I was diagnosed with PMR last August,was on prefer, started with 20mg n reduced to 2.50 n June 1st I am off pred. So far just slight aches, but my hands are stiff n ache upon waking up. After about 1 hour it subsides somewhat. My Rheumy tells me this is not pmr but rheum. Arthritis in my hands. Does anyone else have these symptoms in your hands

9 Replies

  • I have occasionally when doing a taper, experienced severe pain in the hands, lasting most of the day. It was impossible opening jars, wringing things out, and even difficulty with toileting needs. Unlike your Rheumy mine agrees its from the PMR. She has done studies doing MRI of PMR patients hands, and says the evidence shows PMR can affect the hands. When I go back up usually by 1mg the pain disappears. Have you had X-rays or ultrasounds of the hands to back up his theory?

  • I have not had any tests for my hands. My Rheumy stated that PMR is an inflammation of the muscles not of the bones. Therefor she said said I have rheumatoid arthritis. I took my last prednisone 2.50 mg May 31st. My arms, legs and neck feel much better.i take Tylenol arthritis 600 mg. that seems to help. Thank you for your input

  • She's wrong - it is generally tendonitis and synovitis that affects the hands and feet and it is definitely part of PMR, as runrig has said, the Leeds group have looked at it, also using imaging.

  • Having monitored my ESR & CRP monthly I've maintained ave. 5 & 4 which against 69 & 72 at the first diagnosis says ALL is O.K. Reducing the Pred. is the real issue, I've YoYo'd for 14 months Lowest 9 highest 15mg. During this time I had at times sever hand weakness/cramps and couldn't undo the marmalade jar. But moving back up the scale to 20mg and now slowly back down to 16.5mg over 7 weeks, all weakness and cramps have been virtually removed. My Doctor said at first, it's only in your shoulders & hips so it must be something else. All I know is the higher Preds have removed the issue, too odd short term cramps. Bearable along with a numb left heal, but that's changing. Keep working with it and keeps plenty of notes, helps to convince the medical specialists and maintains your own sanity, when they question you.

  • I have pain and stiffness in both hands and changing my dose of pred does not affect it one way or the other. I cannot make a fist with either hand and it is virtually impossible to open bottle tops, jars etc.. I have to make sure that my hands are flat on my mattress when I fall asleep, because if they are closed or partially closed, when I wake up they have locked in that position and it can take me several hours to prise them open, with extreme pain. I also have constant pins and needles, more in the right hand than the left.

    I'm looking to get a conduction test done to rule out carpal tunnel issues. I'll let you all know the results in a later blog

  • Thank you for your reply, keep me posted hope you feel better. Also the weather has a lot to do with how you feel

  • I was diagnosed with PMR six months ago. My hands ache when I wake up, especially when the weather is damp, or when I've worked on my computer for a long time. I also have nodes on two finger joints. My rheum doc did x rays and a physical exam. It's osteoarthritis. On my initial dose of pred every ache went away. At this point in my taper the hand aches are apparent again. I guess I'm surprised your rheum doc would say RA without any tests.

  • I have had morning pain and stiffness in my hand and foot joints for more than two years. It was diagnosed as arthritis. Last year I started getting pain in my hips, neck, shoulders, and arms (joints and muscles), plus sensitive scalp and fleeting jaw pain while chewing. No inflammation showing up in blood tests, x-rays were normal too. The rheumy has diagnosed this as fibromyalgia. I don't agree and they will see me again some time in October.

  • I'd seek another rheumy opinion - about one in 5 patients with PMR/GCA has no raised blood markers. Sensitive scalp and jaw pain when chewing as typical of GCA - and NOT fibromyalgia.

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