Damn these hands!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by WendyC, Mar 8, 2003.

  1. WendyC

    WendyC New Member

    Has anyone had trouble with their hands? I can't make a fist, they are in pain all the time, stiff, numb. It's getting to the point where I can't do anything with them, even cook. No nsaids have worked, or steroids or anything. Anyone got any suggestions? They are like dead meat on my arms. I used to be an artist and a horsewoman. Nada on both right now. Thanks

    WendyC
  2. RachelLeah

    RachelLeah New Member

    I have terrible problems with my fingers. They have just started to get very bad. The simplest things like gripping a steering wheel while driving causes my fingers to feel stiff and extremely painful. I went out with my family for a crab dinner last week and I realized I could not crack open my crab! It was too painful and my fingers were too weak. My Mom had to do it for me! I felt like a child and it was so frustrating. I haven't found any nsaids that have worked either. Sorry I don't have any suggestions for you. I'll be talking to my doc the next time I see her and will let you know if she gives me any helpful advice. Good luck in the mean time and know that you're not alone.

    Rachel
  3. jeanderek

    jeanderek New Member



    I have had pain in my hands for the past couple of months. They also get to the point where they feel like they are asleep, but on days where I don't even have pain in them I find myself dropping every thing that I try to pick up which leads to having to bend over and pick it up which leads to back pain lol. It can get frustrating day after day just when you think you have had every symptom in the world along comes a new one to prove you wrong. Best of luck.

    Hugs,
    Jeanna
  4. WendyC

    WendyC New Member

    Thanks for your reply, its so frustrating isn't it? Maybe someone here has some suggestions.

    Hugs (I like this)

    WendyC
  5. debbiem31

    debbiem31 New Member

    I'm right there with you!! Sometimes it's all I can do to take a lid off a jar! Is is FM though? I have osteoarthritis and just assumed that it was part of that...
  6. pearls

    pearls New Member

    I used to make my living by playing the piano and organ, but I don't play as well anymore. Also, when I was young, I could squeeze my hands so hard that I could bring tears to a lot of young men's eyes. (Imagine me going around looking for young men to best!) Anyway, that hasn't been the case for years. But after my fibromyalgia came to stay, my hands have gotten much worse. I can't make a fist, but even worse, my middle fingers on both hands won't straighten out. They were causing me a lot of pain and I tried a lot of different things - such as heat - which helped, but a heating pad of any kind was very difficult to keep in place.

    Then I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. I started wearing splints with hard plastic inserts 18 hours a day, especially when I slept. I still have problems with my hands. My fingers still must be manipulated to keep them useable, but the pain vanished! So, perhaps my hand pain was related to my carpal tunnel syndrome.

    I have had therapy, though, and learned that you can warm up your hands in hot water for about 10 minutes per side. Then you can push the second knuckle from the hand as far as it will go. Do this 10 times. Then place your index finger of the opposite hand on that same knuckle and your thumb on the third knuckle (the one next to your finger nail). Push both knuckles 10 times. Repeat this with all fingers involved. I bought a foot bath for the heating. It would be nicer if it were deeper, but it does work.

    As to the straightening out of the middle fingers, I "fired" my rheumatologist because I kept telling him about it, but it wasn't until I specifically asked what I could do for it that he told me what to do - and added that it was worth fighting for! Months had gone by, with my fingers getting worse and worse! What did he think I was telling about it for?

    Anway, for that, place your hand flat on a flat surface. Then gently push down on the knuckle that won't flatten out. After that, hold down that knuckle and lift the palm of the same hand up. That will give you a good stretch. He didn't say how many times to do this, but I would guess 10 times each to be reasonable. It also stands to reason that you might soak your hands in warm water before doing this exercise, too. I tend to be lazy, but I wish I wasn't, because those fingers are not in good shape.

    Perhaps these things will help you, too.

    -Pearl
    [This Message was Edited on 03/08/2003]
  7. ohmyaching

    ohmyaching New Member

    It could be arthritis. Is the pain in the joints? Are your joints stiff and painful when you flex your fingers?
  8. bluebirder

    bluebirder New Member

    Hey more people like me...and one of you described the little table crunch I do to get my fingers to unlock when they cramp up holding cards or paper etc.

    As per dropping things! I am the master. I can either get frustrated or laugh and count the number of times I fumble something in a row. Should have seen me trying to pick up the straw for my coke the other night!!! 15 times of it slipping out of my pinchers or across the table like a wet live fish!!! All of us at the table had a good laugh when it finally went right up out of my fingers and into the shirt of the person laughing the hardest. I just told her "Hey, gimmie my straw back! I worked too hard for that one, get your own!"

    Ah life can be fun between the spasms of pain and lack of muscle control!

    Oh yeah, Know the little excercise they have people in stroke recovery to do? They test if each finger can be touched to the thumb....well, if you do that several times a day and then open and close the hand it seems to help the circulation and lessens my stiffness.
  9. bejo

    bejo New Member

    I have a lot of trouble with my left hand.Partly numb and loss of strength.They don't think it is caused by fibro though.I went to a nerve specialist,he said I have good nerves going to my elbow but not good when they come out of the elbow to go to my hand.I have had bursitis in my elbows and he thinks that may be causing my problem.I have an appintment with an orthapedic specialist later this month and should find out then if anything can be done.But your problem with your hands could be entirely different than mine.Have you asked your Dr.?I know fibro can cause hand problems but I'm not sure what they feel like or or how they act.
  10. chewie

    chewie New Member

    HI Wendy,
    Have you had your dr. check you out for GOUT? He/she can do a simple blood test for uric acid levels.
    I started out with my rt. toe hurting in Sept. Drs. reply just another symptom for this DD. OH WELL chalk it up to ache on the list Then in Jan. my knuckles start hurting still along with my rt. toe . Back in to see dr. I remembered admist the fibro fog that my beloved mom had GOUT. Told him he ran bloodwork. YEP. my uric acids levels off the chart!
    He precribed :1.ALLIPOURINOL 300mg 1 A DAY.
    I still did't get any relife. So now he precribed:
    INDOCIN .25MG 3 X ADAY
    My knuckles are STILL bad. HANDS swollen all the time .Rt hand baby finger sticks out about 1 inch from ring finger .MT hands TINGLE all the time and feel nume like now MAKES it hard to type.STill can't close them. I'm calling back dr. on MON. 3/10 for appt. HEY was thinking this should help out on S/S appt. on 3/12. I can't even grip a pen to sign my name to a birthday card today Had Darling husband sign for me.THIS is the all time pitts. Sorry this is so long JUST don't want to see anyone else in this much PAIN.
    Good luck and GET your dr. to run blood work GOUT to make sure. ALWAYS better to KNOW than wait like I did.
    SOFT HUGSand GOD BlESS Joyce
  11. WendyC

    WendyC New Member

    I will definitely ask my rheumy to check for gout and carpal tunnel. I tried to do some of the exercises suggested, boy are my fingers stiff. I can't wear any rings because they are swollen too. I've had blood work and xrays, no indication of any type of arthritis, still drs. prescribe nsaids, to no effect. Funny things happen, lot of flying objects. I am no longer allowed to help any hostess clear dishes after holiday diners (too many broken plates), a nice side effect but I feel like a lazy bum. My mother inherited a very nice set of Fukagawa Sumi-e china and I am not allowed to go anywhere near them, even to look! My reputation precedes myself I guess. I'll keep trying, just wondering if anyone who has tried anticoagualtion therepy or ABX has seen improvement with their hands? Would be nice to be able to do things with them again, I want to start painting and sculpting soon! Hugs to everyone.

    WendyC
  12. northwoodssue

    northwoodssue New Member

    Hi Wendy:
    Sorry for the late reply - been off the board for a couple of days. Hand pain is one of my major complaints. I can't open jars anymore at all, and have a difficult time holding a book up. It is frustrating to say the least.
    I've tried heat (heating pad) and also use an ace wrap with a heat / cold pad in it. I heat it up in the microwave and wrap it around where it hurts. It helps some. I also do hand stretching exercises, but don't see any help there.
    good luck. the posts don't offer much advise for help, but let us know if you find something.
    (hugs))
    sue
  13. allie124

    allie124 New Member

    This is one of the most frustrating things that I have experienced with my FMS. I have broken 18 glasses in the last year and a half while washing dishes (no dishwasher other than me). I have hand spasms without any warning. The cats appreciate the spilled food! I can't manage some utensils, so my husband has to cut my food for me when we eat out-believe me it is better than explaining to the restaurant staff why my steak is on the floor! Picking things up or turning a page/leafing through papers is sometimes impossible. My hands get so cold and the muscles so stiff that I frequently wear fingerless gloves to try to keep them warm. I can't type without them on. When I was still working, people tought it was funny that I would be bundled up so much to sit at my computer, but I was better at typing with my gloves on than they were without any gloves, so I just ignored them. Sometimes we have to do things that may get us some strange looks, but if it is helping us, who cares what others think. Anyway, I do not have any swelling to deal with, even though my hands feel swollen at times. I do stretches, try to keeep them warm, and I'll save certain tasks for when my hands are having a good day. I have some thera-band balls for relieving hand and forearm tension, as well as building hand strength-they come in a few different strengths from easy to squeeze to more difficult, what I need varies from day to day. I've found that the items made by OXO "Good Grips" are so helpful. They are geared toward people with arthritic hands. They have several kitchen utensils and other kitchen items, silverware, knives, cookware, cleaing items, hand tools, car care tools, etc. Most of the good grips items have a larger handle with a rubberized grip that makes it easier to hang on to. Some of the good grips items are easy to find in department stores or kitchen stores. Some I have found online (like the silverware- through an arthritis related site), some hard to find items I was just lucky to find-like my cookware. The pots and pans are great. They are a little heavy, but the thick handle is balanced and rubberized and making them much easier for me to lift than my old lighter weight stuff. If you can't already tell, I highly recommend the good grips for anyone who has trouble with their hands. Especially for opening jars!!!! The jar opener is fantastic. My husband always asks "Do you want me to open that for you?" but with the jar opener, I am happy to reply, "No thanks, I can do it!"
  14. IacheIache

    IacheIache New Member

    Hi Wendy-
    Part of diagnosing my fibro, was because of the hand pain I had/have.
    My hands hurt me most of the time.
    I have pain all over in them, but sometimes joint pain also.
    When I can work more than usual in a day-
    They get so hot, like an inflammed hOT.
    I know its not my imagination with the hottness, because my mom will grab my hand to hold it and she can feel how hot they are.
    So I would definately say, Hurting hands can go with fibromyalgia.
    ~Thea~
  15. jka

    jka New Member

    i have that problem too.i can't even open most jars anymore!they feel kind of swollen and stiff.rhumy said it was fibro.not much to do about it.i don't know if soaking them in warm water,epson salt and peroxide might help.it sure helps mmy muscles.
    good luck

    kathy c
  16. aching

    aching New Member

    My hands are useless, very swollen(can't make a fist,they look like sausages)& terribly painful at times. They thought maybe I had scleroderma at one point because of my hands,raynauds and wrinkleless face, but no, I don't have the right autoantibodies,so I guess it's all fibromyalgia.My friend bought one of those home wax machines and I tried it. It felt wonderful (didn't do much for swelling)so I may purchase one myself. The only problem is it takes several hours to heat up and melt the wax.It would be nice to have it ready right when u need it.
    Piper
  17. 2aycocks

    2aycocks New Member

    My hands and feet where what finally drove me to the doctor. I would wake up at night with so much pain in my hands that I couldn't sleep. It hurt just to lay my hands on the bed because it put slight pressure on fingers and caused so much pain. NO matter how I laid, something touched my hands and caused pain.
    I was school teaching at the time, and I would sit at my desk and just hold my hands in front of me so they wouldnt touch anything. My feet felt the same way.....shoes would come off and prop up on heels so my toes and ball of my feet didn't touch anything.
    I have been taking Bextra along with 52,000 other meds since then and they are better. Joints still hurt, stiff, can't grip, but the pain is much less.
  18. pearls

    pearls New Member

    You might want to get a copy of Davies, "The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook." There has been quite a bit of discussion about this book on this board recently. No matter what the source of your hand pain, it is very likely that you also have trigger points that add to your pain, since any sort of stress can set you up for trigger points. Davies makes the work of Drs. Travell and Simons very clear to the layperson. I've been working certain trigger points and believe they have been helping my hand pain. In "Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain," Dr. Devin Starlanyl discusses trigger points that can cause hand pain, but Davies shows more clearly where these trigger points might be and how to work them.

    Another thing that's been discussed on this board recently is the use of Vitamin B6 for carpal tunnel syndrome. Your hand pain may very well be part of a carpal tunnel problem - or if your's is not - perhaps some of the others who have written in about this problem might have carpal tunnel syndrome.

    You might also find some relief if you can find a chiropractor who is trained in A.R.T., short for Active Release Technics. It was discussed quite a bit on this board awhile back. Do a search for chiropractor+A.R.T. and you might come up with the A.R.T. search engine for finding an A.R.T.-trained chiropractor in your area.

    As to warmth, I absolutely love the feel of towels when they come out of the dryer! Such a relief! I'm going to look into hot wax treatment.

    Love,
    Pearl
  19. kerrymygirl

    kerrymygirl New Member

    A couple yrs. ago my hands, palms started swelling. Also, 1 finger and thumb (what they call trigger finger),no carpal tunnel,or gout etc. It eventially closed shut,locked even with treatment. Had to get operated on. When they opened me up doc said 20min. surg. was 1hr. Doc said he never saw tissue like that. I had woken told him it felt like he was digging and digging, he said I guess I was. Looks indicitive,tissue, of scleraderma.

    Now all my finger except 2 operated on are doing the same thing. They are getting very painful. Work on them hrs. per day sometimes. Very hard to drive.

    I tried braces makes it worse. Should try the parafon wax machine for temp help. I can`t keep getting operations.

    I was on lyme-net someone had a web site about this. Stated when doc did biopsy on the ligament spirochete`s were attached and alot of people who have lyme have this problem also. Due to spiro. So hope the sclera thing is wrong,since I already have more things than I can count going on.

    Just try working and massaging to keep them going. Becareful about the carpal tunnel thing because it mimmicks with fm. People with fm rarely have successful carpal surgeries.

    You prob. have already have had complete blood work up so if you did you would have been told if it was gout.

    Neuropathy is common,burning,with fm. Due to circulation.
    Neurontin helped me with that.

    It is a B****,since our hands are rather important to do anything. No one understands how much we have to put up with, will they ever get it???? Sorry, I hope one day we can get the help we so dearly deserve...Take Care....
  20. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    Moducare STerinol.

    I think.

    Or was it Efamol? Evening primrose oil.

    Well, gee, I realize now I'm not sure if I remember correctly. but i do know he takes Efamol cause of definite slight improvement in his pain with that. The moducare sterinol was a newer thing. Next time I speak with him will have to ask if he still takes it.