My Hands are Killing Me! What can I do?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kalynn1, Dec 8, 2002.

  1. kalynn1

    kalynn1 New Member

    I've had Fibromyalgia for as many as eight years now and I have a new symptom. My hands are killing me! It hurts to touch things. Driving is painful! Holding the banister to go up the stairs hurts. Anything I do with my hands that require that I put any pressure on them kills me! What's with this? I never had this before. My pain was concentrated in my arms, shoulders and back before. It's still there, but my hands are the worst now! This morning I woke up and my hands were screaming with burning pain. After I woke up I stretched them and the burning subsided, but they're still extremely painful. Does anyone else have this? Can anyone offer any suggestions to help with the pain? Pain medicine hardly touches it. I mentioned this to my doctor at my last appointment, and he said that my muscles were irritated from my last flare. Well that was three months ago and my hands haven't recuperated. I'm worried I might have something else going on here. No inflammation or redness and my rhumetiod test was negative over a year ago. Do you really think this could just be Fibromyalgia? And if so, I HATE IT! I am an accountant and work with my hands all day.
  2. kalynn1

    kalynn1 New Member

    I've had Fibromyalgia for as many as eight years now and I have a new symptom. My hands are killing me! It hurts to touch things. Driving is painful! Holding the banister to go up the stairs hurts. Anything I do with my hands that require that I put any pressure on them kills me! What's with this? I never had this before. My pain was concentrated in my arms, shoulders and back before. It's still there, but my hands are the worst now! This morning I woke up and my hands were screaming with burning pain. After I woke up I stretched them and the burning subsided, but they're still extremely painful. Does anyone else have this? Can anyone offer any suggestions to help with the pain? Pain medicine hardly touches it. I mentioned this to my doctor at my last appointment, and he said that my muscles were irritated from my last flare. Well that was three months ago and my hands haven't recuperated. I'm worried I might have something else going on here. No inflammation or redness and my rhumetiod test was negative over a year ago. Do you really think this could just be Fibromyalgia? And if so, I HATE IT! I am an accountant and work with my hands all day.
  3. JaciBart

    JaciBart Member

    fairly new symptom for me, don't know what to tell you, I rub my hubby's feet at night and I have to use whichever hand is better, I just love doing it so I do anyway, my left is worse.

    Jaci
  4. darlamk

    darlamk New Member

    about your new symptoms. I have had increasing problems with both of my hands, wrists and elbows. I had a lot of physical therapy and one of the things I learned to do is contrast baths. Just fill one side of your kitchen sink with very warm water and the other side with cold water. Soak in the hot water for about 30-45 sec and then immediantly switch to the icy cold water. Do this several times and you should get some relief. Stretching exercises are good too as well as learning to modify how you do things especially when you have to grip (like the steering wheel)- try to keep your grip relaxed. Has your Dr considered that you might have osteoarthritis in your hands? Are you taking any anti-inflammatories? I have been on the max dose of Celebrex for over a year and before that I was on Vioxx. An earlier reply suggested thyroid studies too. One of the symptoms of a low thyroid level is carpel tunnel pain in the hands and arms. (I am on thyroid meds too.) Good luck, I hope you find some relief!
    Sincerely,
    Darla
    [This Message was Edited on 12/08/2002]
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    If we have FMS long enough, we are almost certain to develop O/A. I have found the paraffin spas extremely helpful for this. I also have a pair of electric warming mitts. I dip into the paraffin several times, place my hands in plastic bags, and slip them into the mitts.

    I also exercise my hands by squeezing a soft ball and stretching them out. I do this all day long.

    Yesterday, I put up some outside decorations on our condo bldg. My hands are now swollen and very painful. Time to break out the spa.

    Love, Mikie
  6. dan0248

    dan0248 New Member

    Kalynn1, we sound a lot alike other then the fact that I’m a 52 year old male Power Lineman, but just like you I need my hands for everything I do. I can’t climb poles if I can’t stand to touch them, I can’t cut wire if I can’t hold the pliers, I can’t operate all the different types of equipment that is used in my line of work if I can’t hold the controls. I would go on trying to explain my self, but trying to tell you what extending hot stick is and what we use it for wouldn’t make since to you so I won’t go there. My hands feel like they made out of glass and that they have been crushed and hurt so bad, that you have to move them and that’s when you find out, what real pain is waiting for you. They snap and crack like they are going to shatter and fall off your arm. I have tried several different things from soaking them in ice water until I can’t feel them, to swapping them back and forth between hot and cold. I was laid off from work or in your terms fired from my last job because of this DD. I’ve been off for two months now and have filed for SSD, not sure what the end is going to look like, may end up losing my house and autos. I have a family to support and they need a roof over their heads. But from what I’ve heard from this board it is going to be a long drawn out ordeal. It’s only taken me 10 years to track down what has just about ruined my life, this Fibromyalgia, and all of its little side affects. I couldn’t take any thing for the pain that would hinder my judgement because of my position as a Regional Supervisor for a Gas and Electric Utility Company. I was on call 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. It has been pure hell to say the least. I worked at managing the pain, but the thing that really tore me was the irritable bowel syndrome. It has caused me so much shame and embarrassment that it is hard to talk about here other then the fact that I’ll never see any of you and I can talk freely. I take a handful of medicine everyday just to try and hold this BEAST off; I’m really getting sick of it. I only make it through the day because of my faith and my family. I wish you all the best that life has to offer, hang in there. Have a Merry Christmas.
  7. teacher

    teacher New Member

    I've had CFS for 14 years. The biggest thing I've had to deal with is my hands. I'm an elementary school music teacher. I play the piano most of my day!

    The best thing I have found is heat. If my hands get cold, they shut down on me. I also have had to learn to pace myself at school. If I play all day today, I can't play tomorrow. I have to use a lot of recorded music. THAT goes totally against the way I want to teach, but OH WELL. One must do what one must do.

    I also put a padded steering wheel cover on the steering wheel of my car. That makes a bigger, softer surface to grasp. I've also learned to relax my grip when I'm driving. I also try to avoid driving during rush hour. That time is very tense for me and I find myself with a death grip on the wheel. I also avoid driving long distances when my hands are in this mode. Long drives aggravate the situation.

    I also take glucosamine and chondroitin. That helps the joints in my hands some too.

    Try resting your open hand on the banister instead of holding it. Just slide your hand along for balance. If it's a really wobbly day, maybe lean your body against it. Let your body do the work. Try padding the banisters at home (bigger and softer surface). Ask about padding them at work, if they are understanding about your illness.

    Also, consider the position you sleep in. I have found that my worst mornings were when I spent most of the night lying on my arms in an awkward postition (I'm trying to break myself from sleeping on my stomach). Sometimes, if my hands are really entertaining me, I put some sports creme (I'm after the deep heat) on my hands and put socks on them before I go to bed. Kinda weird, but sometimes it works!

    I understand your frustrations! I hope that you find something in all of these replies that can help you.

    Take care,

    teacher

    P.S. I've been typing for a while now. Time to stop and just do nothing! :)
  8. Annette2

    Annette2 New Member

    My hands have started to hurt me too. The area that hurts the most is that fatty part, right under the thumbs. I have trouble writing, holding the telephone, opening jars. My hands also start to get numb and tingly. Fortunately, typing is okay for me, which is good since I'm a legal secretary. I can't even close those big clips you put on large envelopes. I'm going to have to speak to my doctor about this. Yuk!!!!
  9. Sandyz

    Sandyz New Member

    I have carpal tunnel in both wrists plus bad arthirtis in
    my hands. It was gettin to the point I could hardly use
    my right hand. It was so stiff I could barely open close
    it and the pain was awful.

    I got some of the Super Blue Stuff. There`s also another
    cheaper brand you can get. It really works great on arthritis pain. My hand is mobile again and doesn`t hurt
    if I put some on a couple times a week. Its good stuff!

    On the fibromyalgia pain it didn`t work as well.
  10. northwoodssue

    northwoodssue New Member

    Hi Kalynn:
    I also have the honor of having the "new" symptom of hand pain, and it is VERY frustrating. Bad enough to hurt all over, then you can't even open jars or hold a glass or read a book!!! Enough about griping, but it does feel good!!!
    I have pain in the wrists, fingers, under the thumbs, everywhere. I went to Kmart and got a generic ace bandage that has a hot-cold pad in it. I use the heat to help with the pain and elevate my hands when resting. That seems to help. I also use a sleeping pillow and put it between my arms at night so my arm is not hanging down. I modify my daily activities by using a pillow to hold a book on my lap, using a very light weight glass or cup and using both hands to lift it, and just plain resting the hands alot til this flare resides a bit.
    good luck and Merry Christmas
    northwoodssue
  11. Myst

    Myst New Member

    U can read my profile,but my Dr. says I have O/A in my hands & feet.Here's a prayer I think is quite awesome: Dear GOD,I have never thanked U for my thorns.I have thanked U a thousand times for my roses,but never once for my thorns.Teach me the glory of the cross I bear;teach me the value of my thorns.Show me that I have climbed closer to U along the path of pain.Show me that,through my tears,the colors of your rainbow look much more brilliant. I do think putting a heat pad on my hands helps.Plus just relaxing in our hot tub with the jets on low or off helps.GOD Bless.
  12. pearls

    pearls New Member

    Today my doctor suggested for me to have a nerve conduction test to determine if there has been nerve damage. It seems to be related to carpal tunnel syndrome, and notice how many of us seem to have trouble with this!

    I've been cutting off the ends of those heat patches that last eight hours, cutting them into two, and wearing them inside a pair of gloves during the night. Trouble is, I've become very tired of the gloves. So, I've switched to just doubling over my heat-pad halves and holding them. Trouble is, I drop them while I'm asleep. My husband has ordered some very large mittens from a hunting supply company that actually has little pockets for heat-pads. We'll see.

    (Note: these heat pads are absolutely great for pain. If you cut them, though, be very careful not to cut into the part with the chemical mix that creates the heat or you'll have black sand all over the place.)

    But my pain also come with a lot of stiffness. In the morning I use a foot spa placed on the counter to soak my hands in hot water. I just use the bubbles setting. After - or even during - the hot water bath, I learned from my physical therapist to push down on each finger from the knuckle that joins with the hand. Do this ten times. After that, put the the index finger of the opposite hand on that same knuckle and the thumb of the opposite hand on the second knuckle and push on the combination of the two knuckles ten times each.

    My pain also comes with severe pins-and-needles pain. When that starts up, I've been getting out of bed and walking around. That has been enough to stop it until recently - though not good for a night's sleep. Just recently, I could not get it to stop, so I wrapped a heat-pad completely around my hand, securing it with the sticky part, took a Vicodan and went to bed - only to wake up an hour later and repeat the whole business before I could go to sleep again for the rest of the night.

    Whew! All this just for the hands - as if all we suffer with is pain in the hands!
    [This Message was Edited on 12/09/2002]
    [This Message was Edited on 12/09/2002]
  13. achy

    achy New Member

    There are days I want to cut my hands off. I can't do anything...hold a pen, write my name...a big reason I don't post often. But i have found a miracle...
    go to "thefeelgoodcatalogue" and find the thermoskin arthritis gloves. They are about $46....they have 3/4 length fingers, keep your hands warm, but not sweaty and they gently massage as you do things.
    I would be lost wihtout them. Hand eze gloves are ok, but kinda whimpy...mione fell apart after 3-4 months.
    I also have a microwave gel pack I wrap around my hands...
    This is the worst pain. What can you do if you can't use your hands?
    Warm fuzzies
    Achy
  14. darlamk

    darlamk New Member

    My husband's mom has FM and severe arthritis/ carpal tunnel in both of her hands so I ordered those gloves for her as an early Christmas gift. She absolutely loves them and wears them all the time! I am getting some for myself soon too! Thanks for the tip!
    Best Wishes,
    Darla
  15. pearls

    pearls New Member

    My hands are chronically achy these days, though certain things come and go. Even water bottles are hard to open. Here are some things I do to ease jobs that have become difficult:

    1) Jars: Get some of those rubber grippers. I keep one each in my lunch box, my purse, and my kitchen. However, a latex examination glove will do in a pinch - and so will a rubber band.

    2) Medicine bottles: Use the center of the palm of your hand to open medicine bottles. I gave up relying on my fingers a long time ago.
  16. lucky

    lucky New Member

    I cannot believe it, but this year my hands are killing me as well. Never before have I had this problem. However, since most of us have osteoarthritis with FMS, may be this flares up with the cold weather.
    Anyway, my hands are swollen and hurt, and I have noticed that some days are worse than others due to what kind of weather we are having. I am taking fishoil which does help a little with the inflammation.
    Regards, Lucky
  17. MildredAnn

    MildredAnn New Member

    I, too, have painful hands. My doctor said it is a type of arthritis called herbeden, as well as osteoarthritis. In addition to the pain, my fingers are beginning to be crooked, there are "notty, boney" raised areas where you bend your fingers behind the nail, it hurts to do EVERYTHING (chopping food, taking clothes out of the washer, opening doors and drawers, etc). I can not take NSAIDS, or any of the new COX anti-inflammatory drugs due to allergies and stomach problems. My doctor said the only thing I could take is Tylenol, which helps a little bit, but does not help the inflammation. Cold weather also affect my entire body. Dressing warm, using warm parifin dips for hands and feet, warming a hotpad for feet, using an electric blanket all night on the low setting, all of these things makes life some easier. Does anyone else have the herbeden arthtitis. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  18. kaymac

    kaymac New Member

    I've been diag a year, and in the very beginning of this forst horrible flare, my hands were there worst. Since January the pain comes and goes. Last several days to weeks. I too struggled with holding books, driving, typing, etc.... My DH would massage my hands deeply and stretch them. Even during the night, they would burn and ache endlessly. I kept them warm and continued to have him rub them and massage.
    I would be curious also if you have developed arthritis, but having read all the above, this seems to be common in FM.
    By the way to Myst, I loved your prayer. I have done this before in several personal trials. It does work.

    Kaymac
  19. healing

    healing New Member

    I have painful hands, feet, ankles, knees, elbows...but was told this was due to my reactive arthritis (Reiter's Disease), which primarily affects the extremities. I've found the paraffin spa to be wonderful help, as well as the microwave moist heat pads. One caution: my physical therapist told me if you have a "hot" inflammation (as opposed to one with no heat), you should not use paraffin or heat but rather ice. In any case, your symptoms sound more like arthritis than FMS, which I also have. Anti-inflammatories (Advil, aspirin, etc) and heat/ice should help over time. Peace to you!
  20. Rosetta

    Rosetta New Member

    Some days I can not open a jar. I can not put any pressure on my hands. I dont have any grip ability. My hands also swell and so do my fingers. I have had to stop wearing my wedding ring. I was not sure this was FM but I guess if so many people have it then it must be. My hands and fingers hurt.