Clenched hands/fist problem

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lgp, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. lgp

    lgp Well-Known Member

    Does anyone else do this unconsciously? My hands just naturally seem to go into a clenched, tense fist position, sometimes with my thumbs tucked in under my other fingers while I'm just hanging out, watching TV, a passenger in the car, etc. My husband pointed this out to me awhile ago--I didn't even realize I was doing it.

    I am now consciously aware of this, so I continuously correct the postioning of my fingers and hands, but I don'y quite get why my hands just naturally assume such a tense position. It happens as I'm drifting off to sleep also. I think this is a lttle strange, frankly, and was wondering if anybody else has this problem.

  2. dollinitup

    dollinitup New Member

    Even on the phone I will realize I have death grip on the phone. Any time I have to hold on to something I always have such a tight grip on it I can barely open my fingers from around it. I am a very intense person.
    I have tried for yrs tostop this but nothing seems to help.
    I know exactly what you are going through.

  3. desertlass

    desertlass New Member

    This could be a nervous tension thing due to temperament, I suppose.

    Or it might be a reflexive thing-- like the fetal position when we are hurting or feeling badly. Babies keep their hands in a very tight grip, too.

    Or it could be part of the pain issues. Muscle "spasticity".

    I have gone from the clenched fists, to finding myself having them tucked up near my chin like a cat, to actually having my forearms raised in the air while I sleep! Crazy.

    My husband puts them back down again, but if I am having a particularly restless time of it, they seem to creep back up.

    Your own clenching issue will not necessarily lead to that, but as you can see, you're not alone in this.

    Perhaps you could just think of it as your Indian name, "Makes a Fist". There could be worse things! ;)

  4. nanannan

    nanannan New Member

    I can't believe someone posted about this topic. I have been doing this for 25 years and no matter how much I have been relaxing my hands when I realize I'm doing it, it still happens. As lpg said, I do it mnostly when I'm about to fall asleep. I spoke to my pain therapist about it some time ago, but as is par for the course, I got blown off about it. Is this strange or what? Nancy K
  5. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    Sometimes I catch myself doing it during the day as well.

    I was at the massage therapist yesterday...she was working out some problems with my neck, and I realized that I was already starting to clench in reaction to how bad it hurt. Hard to accept that part of 'helping' is actually tensing up again.

    I think our muscles with FM have a tendency to contract. I know mine sure do.
  6. munch1958

    munch1958 Member

    The teenager on this show had this symptom or a result of her Lyme Disease. The show can be downloaded for a small fee. Her hands were locked up due to muscle spasms.

    Have you ever been tested for Lyme? (The ELISA test or EIA is horribly inaccurate. The Quest Western blot is only 30% accurate and the Igenex Western blot only 78% accurate.)

    Do you have a history of an insect bite? or rash? (Less then 50% ever have a rash but if you have had it your Lyme was never cured especially if you now have FM symptoms.)

    Do you live in a Lyme endemic area? (That would be anywhere on the planet Earth but some states have a very high incidence rate like NY, PA, CT, WI.)

    Did your illness start with a case of the summer flu? (There is no flu in the summer! The flu bug dies in the summer that's why no one ever gets a flu shot when it's warm out.)

    Show: Mystery Diagnosis, Season 2
    Episode Title: Stabbing Sensation
    Duration: 43:07
    Release Date:
    Date added to iTunes: Mar 23, 2008
    Network: Discovery Health
    Episode description: Jackie Spar is an outgoing, active teenager who is full of promise until mysterious pains take over her entire body. The joint problems become so bad that Jackie must drop out of high school. Will doctors find out what is causing her malady in time?
  7. Goldyfm

    Goldyfm New Member

    doing this especially during sleep. I have awaken to find I have literally cut my palms by the tight clenching during my sleep. I now keep my nails super short just because of this problem. I also clench my teeth (TMJ diagnosis also). I find myself doing that all the time. It is a curse. I awake with my hands so tired and stiff from the clenching.
  8. JulieL

    JulieL New Member


    I have been doing that for as long as I can remember. My husband let me know (a long time ago) that I was cutting the circulation off of his fingers when we hold hands.

    I believe I even did this when my kids were young because they would take notice as well.

    When I drive my husband tells me I always clench the steering wheel. I also noticed that I clench my own hands and sometimes I even sit on them...weird.

    I don't know why I do this...I just thought I had really fat hands even though I use to weigh about 115 pounds.

    Thanks for bringing this up. Interesting to me.


    [This Message was Edited on 04/15/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/15/2008]
  9. lca

    lca New Member

    I think we've talked about every problem we have, sometimes over and over and then someone brings up another one, and you say Gee! I almost forgot about that one too.

    Yes, tight, clenched fist mostly on the right. It goes in that position automatically all day long. I'm constantly trying to relax it to no avail. I also sit on my hands while watching TV just to keep them in place. Being on the computer, holding the mouse so tight like it's going to run away on me. Very frustrating.

    My head also pulls down to the right, sort of like a rubberband is pulling it to my neck, so my neck gets very sore. This happens when sitting or standing for a while.

    These tightening actions done constantly every day just add to the exhaustion we already have.

    Thanks for posting this.
  10. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

    I hold my left thumb tightly in a fist 24 hours each day and also stretch both my big toes upwards (a positive Babinksi sign). I've been told by my neuro that these are a sign of central nervous system disease. These signs (and many others, of course) is how I ended up with a diagnosis of spinocerebellar ataxia. Isn't it odd how many odd symptoms we have?

  11. nina_and_me

    nina_and_me New Member

    I've been clenching my fists at night since I was in my teens. I'm 43 now, and it's painful to straighten my right hand - it's in a permanent little curl. My left hand isn't as bad. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who does this.

  12. inbetweendays

    inbetweendays New Member

    i notice this myself ---during the onset of this illness my jaw clenched like a lock jaw type of thing--and so do my fists---i think it is like how our muscles tighten--i think it could be nerves or viral loads--very strange
  13. ladyofthemist

    ladyofthemist New Member

    It was pointed out to me by a friend one day. It has also been brought to my attention that my shoulders creep up and I look like a turtle trying to tuck my head in, also clench my jaw.
    The muscles tigten up and now I'm aware of it happening and try to shake it out and relax.
    Terrible any of us have to experience this stuff..but good to know we aren't alone in it.

    hopes for better days everyone
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  14. mollystwin

    mollystwin New Member

    I notice it the most when driving. My hands clench the steering wheel and I clench my teeth.

    I also notice this sometimes when I am trying to go to sleep. My muscles in my entire body will be clenched. I have to force myself to relax.

    I'll bet we burn lots of calories doing this!!!
  15. LadyCarol

    LadyCarol Member

    The clenched hands/fist is tension caused by anxiety and stress. It's the same if someone bites down hard on their teeth when their mouth is closed, or taps their feet etc.

    You need to ascertain/identify the root of the anxiety/stress and then apply something like CBT and then you'll need to work on relaxing whatever part of the body is being held in tension.
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  16. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    ...that the thumb in the fist position is a sign of anxiety and it's sure true of me.

    I've also become able to spot it in others which lets me feel compassion for them no matter what they say.

    When I notice that I'm doing this I make a conscious effort to R E L A X. I take three deep slow yoga breaths and move my head gently around my neck. If I'm able, I get up and take a little walk, even if it's only around my house. It helps.

    Hugs from one anxious person to another,
  17. ssstarks

    ssstarks New Member

    WOW ! Thank you all who have posted comments about this problem. I just today typed this into google just to see if their was anyone like me out there with this same problem, I felt foolish searching , but to my suprise there are others. it seems to me no one has a clear answer yet. However in my opinion i believe its phychological. I could be wrong. just looking at the type of person that I am . I have always been one that had to defend myself in situations I grew up in a disfunctional atmosphere , was bullied in grammar school then was in a disfunctional relationship years before I married my loving husband . I believe that unconciously my mind is always in a defensive posture and ready to fight to defend myself even today when I dont have to. I believe this point is worthy to be discussed with a qualified therapist who can help in getting someone over a possible rough passed life , where you had to defend yourself all the time. Im wondering if this is a common trait among women who have always had to fight or have been exposed to some level of abuse, or are there men who have been experincing the fist formimg automatically syndrome I would like to name it the FFAS problem. my opinion is worthy of research. people who form fist in reality are ready to fight ,do this make sense ? I would love to discuss this with anyone . psychotherapist are welcome to discuss. Lets talk. P.S I have no illness in my body, so I ruled that out.

    S.S 1/22 /13
  18. roge

    roge Member

    I do not think it is psychological at all but rather an abnormal neuro muscular system

    you know we just cant relax the muscles

    I clench my toes, cross my legs very tight and most times im not even aware of it until my wife says why are you curling your toes

    [This Message was Edited on 01/23/2013]
  19. lv2sing

    lv2sing New Member

    Funny u should mention this. I just watched a GREAT documentary on my Amazon Prime on my Kindle Fire last nt.. You may be able to possibly have your video store order it if you dont have a KIndle, or possibly watch it online. It was called "Under Our Skin". It is about Lyme... VERY interesting movie. About hour & a half long. There was a woman who had chronic Lyme, & her hands would clench into a fist position & couldn't open them. Might wanna check it out. By the way, not all people get a rash w/ Lyme..only around 20% ( I thought I read somewhere)...Good luck
  20. ssstarks

    ssstarks New Member

    well I researched lyme disease I found that there are different stages of this disease in which I have none of them . research says some symptoms of lyme disease would be a rash , flue like symptoms, headaches, fever ,swelling of some joints ,pain , some fatigue etc. all at different stages. all this come from a certain insect bite. Did I mention that when my fist form automatically without me being concsience of it, there is absolutely no pain and the fist is NOT always tight. it seems as though my hands are relaxed in a fist formation , both hands ,very strange. so I also rule out lymes disease for me. At this point it is frustrating because I dont know why my hands do this .Im always trying to straighten out my hands everytime I notice it. UGG ,really getting on my nerves, I cant wait til I find out what is causing this . My husband jokingly says all of us that have this issue with our hands are mean people who is ready to fight. LOL .Im glad someone has a sense of humor about this .

    S.S. 1/25/13
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