YIKES my hands are different colors!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by daylilyfan, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. daylilyfan

    daylilyfan New Member

    I'm the one with the shoulder injured by the Physical Therapy evaluation.

    I went for an MRI Tuesday. The technician had me lay on my back, and she positioned my arm just so, then asked me to hook my thumbs in the waistband of my pants to help hold my arms still for the 45 mins. of the test.

    She said, oh, my, why are your hands different colors?


    Yep, my hand (and arm) on the side with the bad shoulder is sort of bright red, like it is sunburnt. It is several shades redder than my other arm. (My skin is normally pink/red toned anyway- but not this red!) The other hand is normal. I have no idea if it's been that way since the shoulder injury. I don't often hold my hands together and compare them. But - it's been that way at all hours of the day and night since Tuesday morning.

    When my Dr. called with MRI results Tuesday evening, I told her about it. She was a bit alarmed, and scheduled me right away Wens. morning for testing on that arm to be sure there were no blood clots. There were not.

    The MRI said I have severe tendonitis in the shoulder, and looks like a pinched nerve (but I have no numbness, and no more tingling than I usually do)... and what looks like a tear in one of the tendons, plus a dark area that they think might be pooled blood from some hemoraging in the joint. She's sending me to a shoulder specialist. [And, the physical therapy evaluator said "there is no way my evaluation could have caused you any physical damage]

    I've searched all over the net, but can't find any reason for my hand/arm to be red. Some sites said about hands becoming pale or blue but nothing about red.

    I know that this shoulder is VERY painful..... not just the joint, but going down halfway to my elbow it hurts A LOT, and also the muscle going over my left breast, and the one going around my back, over my shoulder blade. It's been about 6 weeks now since the injury. My shoulder, arm, hand and upper back on that side, are all slightly swollen.

    Anyone ever hear of this before???
  2. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Could the redness have been from the pressure she was putting on your arm, or the way she was holding it?

    You say your skin tone is normally pink/red anyway. Mine is too, and when I am in offices, stores, etc. that have florescent lighting, they turn even more red! Did your redness go away when you left your PT? If so, it may have been just the way she was handling your arm, and the other arm was more red due to the lighting.

    My skin does this as well as the blueness, etc., due to the fact that I have Raynauds Syndrome that is associated with my lupus. The sun/photo sensitivity with the lupus is what causes me to react to the fluorescent lighting.

    Hope your shoulder gets better soon,
  3. Mareeok

    Mareeok New Member

    what I have...RSD/CRPS. The pain goes all the way through and out the skin. When my pain level is high my hands, arms, feet, legs are noticably redder than the rest of my body. I don't know if FM does the same thing since I'm new hear to try and seperate the two syndromes since I also have FM (I don't have as bad a case of FM as I do RSD).

    RSD= Reflex sympathtic dystrophy
    CRPD= Chronic Reginal Pain Syndrome (new name for RSD}

    I'm sorry but your doctor is wrong in saying the testing could not cause these results. Testing, especially anything where they hook electrical sensors on your flesh will cause RSD pain to hit the roof and causes a very bad flare. I had it happen to both hands, arms and then a few days later had it happen on my legs and feet and my back from different tests. With RSD any trauma will cause a flare and that kind of testing is considered trauma in the RSD sufferer.

    RSD skin can change color with the temperature of the pain:
    Hot pain---It can be anywhere from slightly redder than the rest of the skin to dark red to purple. Pain is red hot, boiling pain.

    Cold pain---the skin is 'blanched' which is greyish white with the pain being very icy cold.

    RSD pain is not as localized such as joint pain at rhe knees, etc. RSD pain is all the way through and can radiate up and down the entire limb. Can also jump to the opposite side of the body. Ex: Right arm and left leg or right arm and right leg, etc.

    I always have pain and severe pins and needles WORST in my legs and feet because that's where it started (very severe). The pain has now spread full body from 2004.

    I don't mean to frighten you, Daylilyfan, butI find WE have to do research because the doctors seem to be blind when it comes to FM, RSD/CRPD, CFS and a lot of other problems out there that they don't have quick answers to.

    I hope you are just having a very bad FM flare from the testing and that it calms down very soon.

    Heart hugs,
  4. daylilyfan

    daylilyfan New Member

    I should have been more clear...

    The Physical therapy evaluation/test was almost 2 months ago. That was when the injury to the shoulder joint happened.

    It was just noticed this week that my hand/arm are red compared to the other arm, so I don't know if it has been that way since the shoulder was injured or not. It is quite a bit more red than normal, but not bright bright red, or I think I would have noticed it before now. The MRI Tech noticed it because she had me lay both hands on my stomach together, side by side. She was pretty observant.

    My 1/2 sister had RSD. She could not take it. We were not close, so I was not around her when she was really suffering with it. For a while, they thought I had it in my foot, where I broke it, and I did a lot of research into it, so I do know something about it. I must say, it has crossed my mind. I don't have burning pain in that arm though - my pain is confined to the shoulder and upper arm, although the redness goes all the way down the arm. I've been so scared of getting RSD, with Gloria having it, and also with 2 other family members having odd nerve pain conditions, and me with FM. It seems that pain runs in my Dad's family.

    I did check out the Reynoulds (sp?). I am wondering if that could be a possibility, but everything I saw said about skin turning blue/purple, and changing temperature.

    I did speak to a friend who is an RN today. She said it could also be from the swelling in my arm causing some constriction of blood flow.

    Thanks so much for the replies.