Cold Affects Pain in Arm and Hand

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by RedB, Jan 14, 2003.

  1. RedB

    RedB New Member

    Just wondering if anyone has this problem besides me. A major portion of my pain has always been in my left hand and arm (I am left-handed). I have always had a problem with cold. Holding anything severely cold, such as a gallon of milk, causes my arm and hand to do nasty pain things. Also, no matter how much I bundle up to walk outside in the cold, the cold still sets into that arm and does it in. Recently, I was told I have some carpal tunnel in that arm, too. Believe it or not, this has never been checked for me before, so chances are it could have been there for almost 6 years, who knows? I asked the doc if carpal tunnel could be what causes the pain from the cold, but she said no. I will say, that the problem is much less severe than it was when I was first diagnosed, but it is still a problem. My pain is very un-carpal tunnel-like, so I guess that is why no one ever tested for it before. The carpal tunnel was actually found by accident, when they were looking for something else. Does anyone else have this cold problem?
  2. Jennifer

    Jennifer New Member

    Yes cold affects all of my pain including my freeze migraine headaches. I also have corporal tunnes in both hands and arms. My right one burns up the arm to and including the elbow. Hard to lift things. jennifer
  3. fibro

    fibro New Member

    I've had prolems with my hands and feet since i was a child.I have been tested for carpal tunnel, and was told i do not have that. However, i was told that it is Raynauds. I know if i take anything out of the refrigerator it hurts almost immediately. I live where it is cold and winters are not good for me. But i don't have a choice. The numbness can come anytime, even in my sleep. It wakes me up, that's how bad it is. My rheumy told me that it was Raynauds. You can find info on this on any web or library. Hope this has helped a little. This is my first time on message board. HI everyone.
    [This Message was Edited on 01/14/2003]
  4. j-bearmama

    j-bearmama New Member

    I have the same problems.
    CTS along with my FMS.

    I was wondering if you notice any color change in your hands.
    Is it both hands or just the left one? Although I do get more pain in my dominant hand. ( because I use /over use it more).

    I have what is called Reynaud's phenominon.

    sometimes my hands are whitish grey like the color of someone who is feeling faint..or even frost bitten.

    other times they are just RED as if sunburned but they aren't. I am very light complected ( pale and pastey is more like it.) sometimes they are bluish.

    My skin is also "mottled" you can see EACH vein and capilary especially when I am even slightly cold.

    as a kid drs. told me I had "thin skin". ( wow they ARE geniuses aren't they?)LOL

    When I was in highschool my dr. took one look at my hands and told me it was Reynauds. you can do a search for it to see if you fit the criteria for it.

    it is painful. I get these very sharp needles in them. as the cold exposure increases the pain crawls up my arms to my elbows. and shoulders then into my spine.

    and then I am just DYING in pain.

    I do what I can to keep them warm.
    Driving gloves, pockets.etc.
    a GREAT way to keep them warm is to get those chemical hand warmers in the hunting section of walmart, k mart
    they are hard to find in warm weather. even though hands DO get cold in the off season!

    you can also make "rice socks" that are smaller. or use kid socks. heat in microwave for 1-2 mins and put in pockets. works GREAT.

    also I have major circulation problems. decrease caffeine to help with that. also smoking slows circulation. ( my biggest culpret I'm sure).

    If you are always COLD you may have a thyroid problem. or hypoglycemia. Something you can mention to dr. to rule them out.

    also it is not uncommon for CTS to REALLY hurt.
    Do you have a splint for it?

    another product that I recomend is the TheraP wrist band by HOMEDICS.
    I don't mean to advertise at all. And I NEVER believed in ANY of the magnet mumbo jumbo before. but my husband got me one for christmas and I have noticed not ONLY a reduction in wrist pain but also a decrease in the all over pain.

    If I don't wear it I feel aweful. I notice a difference in pain within about 30 mins of putting it back on.

    I believe now!

    It doesnt' STOP the pain. but does decrease it to a "dull roar" so to speak.

    oh. the wrist bands are $8 something locally. the Knee one is $14 and there is also a back one. no idea what it costs. but I WANT ONE! you can ALSO buy matress pads. Not sure who makes that one. but I WANT that too.

    for increased pain relief I take a magnesium pill every day.
    you may not think much of it. BUT if you take it for a few days and then stop you will see JUST how well magnesium pills work.
    I also take glucosamine/condroiten with MSM you can get it in a tripple combonation. which comes out way cheaper. I get mine at walmart. IT's kinda $$$ at $25 but it lasts over a month for me. I only take one a day unless pain is REAL bad.

    a buck a day for pain is worth it to me.
    I am on motrin and pamelor also. I don't take any "pain meds" besides that and the suppliments and a yummy kids vitamin. I discovered that now only are they cheaper, but the kind I get have MORE of the stuff we need in us each day.
    before you take ANY suppliment check with dr. some meds and suppliments do NOT work.

    or even make you ill.

    another simple suggestion. try to do as much with your right hand as you can to "save" your left.
    easier said than done I know.
    I'm "so right handed" I can't even stir coffee with left hand.

    Good luck and God bless,
    Heather
  5. marcus1243

    marcus1243 New Member

    That cold weather is NOTORIOUS for exacerbating pain symptoms in FM. Same can apply to dampness.
    Hope you feel better soon,
    --Marcus
  6. RedB

    RedB New Member

    Thanks, everyone for the advice. I'm pretty sure it's not Raynaud's, because the skin color doesn't change because of the cold. And my hand never "burns" from the carpal tunnel, nor does it get numb. It just hurts, and I can't really differentiate that pain from my FM pain, because all of the pain seems to be in different areas than where it should be for carpal tunnel. (The outer side plus two pinkie fingers is where most of my pain is, plus some in in inner and outer wrist). It's just such a weird thing that cold affects that whole arm so much. And I do have hypothyroid, but it is under control, because we check it frequently. I've tried magnesium and malic acid, but I can't get the right dose, apparently, because it affects my bowels way too much. The doc told me to try a wrist band, so I think I'll look for the TheraP one. Thanks again for all the help.