Stiff/sore/tight tendons with RA?

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_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 5/15/2009 7:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I just went to the Rheumy this week for a regular visit and was complaining about stiffness in my hands aand pain in several of my fingers, particularly in my thumbs.  My fingers are hard to straghten, painfull to lay flat on a surface.  When my hands are relaxed and least painfull they are curled nearly closed.  When I wake up I have fingernail marks on my palms where my ring and pinky press into my hand.  I have pain in the joint, but it is not particularly painful to the touch, so when the Rheumy squeezes the joint and asks me if that causes pain, I have to say no.
Except for my left thumb.  When that one is touched it hurts, but she says that the pain is localized just below the joint, in the tendon. I don't remember injuring it at all, but that is what she asked about.  I feel like the pain is in the joint.  (the 2nd joint below the thumbnail) 
Anyway, does the tendons stiffin up with progressing RA, causing the hands to curl in, or is this something totally diffrent to deal with?
 
 
 
Christina
 
Current medications:
Bipolar treatment-Lamictal, 200mg, Mood stabelizer, daily(main side effect: brain fog) Bipolar treatment-Cymbalta, 40mg, Antidepressant, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting, insominia) Anemia, Fatigue treatment- Iron supplement, 65mg, daily(main side effect: constipation) Insominia treatment- Ambien, 10mg, daily(main side effect: amnesia eppisodes between taking pill and falling asleep) Mania treatment- Alprazolam, .25mg, Very rarely(main side effect: fatigue, slowing of thoughts, depression of CNS, can't take ambien or vicodin when on it) RA treatment- Plaquenil, 400mg, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting) RA treatment- Methotrexate, 25mg, 1X weekly(main side effects: hair loss, stomach upset, mouth sores, sore muscles, fatigue, brain fog, compromised immune system, decreased Folic Acid absorption) GI upset treatment- Leucovorin Calcium, 10mg 1x weekly(main side effects: ?) Folic Acid defintioncy- Folic Acid, 1mg, daily(main side effects: ?) RA treatment- Prednisone, 8mg(and decreasing...)daily(main side effects: increased manic eppisodes, constipation, brain fog, bone density degeneration, compromised immune system) Multi-mineral Supplement (main side effects: constipation, GI upset) Constipation treatment- Docusate Sodium, 200mg, daily(main side effects:?) pain control- Motrin, 800mg, PRN Q6hours daily(main side effects: GI upset, decreased clotting) Pain Control- Vicodin, 5-500mg, PRN Q12hours regularly (main side effects: brain fog, fatigue)
 
 
 
 


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 5/15/2009 7:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Anything that changes the way a joint works can effect the tendons. Though your condition sounds like it is more severe then most. Did your doctor give you an order for therapy-PT or OT? If not I think you should ask for one.

_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 5/15/2009 8:15 PM (GMT -7)   
She suggested that I purchase a splint OTC that keeps my fingers straight to sleep in.  That if I have them straight for those hours that it could help them be less painful in the day. Acewrapping my hands loosly to a flat surface while I sleep.  I am unsure about the idea- mostly because I do not have the money to purchase the splints.  (I am yardselling anything I can spare in the house to pay bills/meds/co-pays at this point)  I am also unsure of having a splint on my hands while I am unaware if circulation to my fingers became an issue. It's a good way to loose fingers while I sleep.
I try to stretch them out, but when I relax my hand, they just close right up.
I should ask about PT or OT, but I hate the idea of adding another co-pay to my monthly bills.  We spend a fortune in medical bills even though we have insurance.  In the end, use of my hands is more important than budget problems. 

 
 
Christina
 
Current medications:
Bipolar treatment-Lamictal, 200mg, Mood stabelizer, daily(main side effect: brain fog) Bipolar treatment-Cymbalta, 40mg, Antidepressant, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting, insominia) Anemia, Fatigue treatment- Iron supplement, 65mg, daily(main side effect: constipation) Insominia treatment- Ambien, 10mg, daily(main side effect: amnesia eppisodes between taking pill and falling asleep) Mania treatment- Alprazolam, .25mg, Very rarely(main side effect: fatigue, slowing of thoughts, depression of CNS, can't take ambien or vicodin when on it) RA treatment- Plaquenil, 400mg, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting) RA treatment- Methotrexate, 25mg, 1X weekly(main side effects: hair loss, stomach upset, mouth sores, sore muscles, fatigue, brain fog, compromised immune system, decreased Folic Acid absorption) GI upset treatment- Leucovorin Calcium, 10mg 1x weekly(main side effects: ?) Folic Acid defintioncy- Folic Acid, 1mg, daily(main side effects: ?) RA treatment- Prednisone, 8mg(and decreasing...)daily(main side effects: increased manic eppisodes, constipation, brain fog, bone density degeneration, compromised immune system) Multi-mineral Supplement (main side effects: constipation, GI upset) Constipation treatment- Docusate Sodium, 200mg, daily(main side effects:?) pain control- Motrin, 800mg, PRN Q6hours daily(main side effects: GI upset, decreased clotting) Pain Control- Vicodin, 5-500mg, PRN Q12hours regularly (main side effects: brain fog, fatigue)
 
 
 
 


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 5/15/2009 8:33 PM (GMT -7)   
How about soft splints for a few hours during the day when you are up and about but not needing to move your fingers-like anytime you are sitting reading or watching TV.
You do want to try to prevent contractures.

_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 5/16/2009 4:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Good idea. Do you have an idea on how to make one with ace bandages to I won't have to shell out so much $$$ for OTC splints. I thought of wrapping my hand around 2 of my kids smaller bouncy balls- but that just seems to bulky to me. It would have the right contour though.
 
 
Christina
 
Current medications:
Bipolar treatment-Lamictal, 200mg, Mood stabelizer, daily(main side effect: brain fog) Bipolar treatment-Cymbalta, 40mg, Antidepressant, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting, insominia) Anemia, Fatigue treatment- Iron supplement, 65mg, daily(main side effect: constipation) Insominia treatment- Ambien, 10mg, daily(main side effect: amnesia eppisodes between taking pill and falling asleep) Mania treatment- Alprazolam, .25mg, Very rarely(main side effect: fatigue, slowing of thoughts, depression of CNS, can't take ambien or vicodin when on it) RA treatment- Plaquenil, 400mg, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting) RA treatment- Methotrexate, 25mg, 1X weekly(main side effects: hair loss, stomach upset, mouth sores, sore muscles, fatigue, brain fog, compromised immune system, decreased Folic Acid absorption) GI upset treatment- Leucovorin Calcium, 10mg 1x weekly(main side effects: ?) Folic Acid defintioncy- Folic Acid, 1mg, daily(main side effects: ?) RA treatment- Prednisone, 8mg(and decreasing...)daily(main side effects: increased manic eppisodes, constipation, brain fog, bone density degeneration, compromised immune system) Multi-mineral Supplement (main side effects: constipation, GI upset) Constipation treatment- Docusate Sodium, 200mg, daily(main side effects:?) pain control- Motrin, 800mg, PRN Q6hours daily(main side effects: GI upset, decreased clotting) Pain Control- Vicodin, 5-500mg, PRN Q12hours regularly (main side effects: brain fog, fatigue)
 
 
 
 


golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 5/21/2009 6:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Christina, my splints were made for free by the hospital OT's, shame I can't send them to you but they mould plastic by heating it in a water bath and mould it to your hand shape it made me think you could use modelling plaster. Visit a craft shop and make a mould from the plaster bandages. Once its dry you could cut it to shape. My splints are attached with velcro which you could also purchase from a craft shop??? Well its worth a try. Better than a rubber ball anyway. Sorry you can't visit my OT she is absolutely fabulous.

MCMMonica
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/12/2012 6:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Christina,
I only use bees venom sting, this is really helpful
my ID cami.monica@yahoo.com

nurserex
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/13/2012 9:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Christina,

Glad to hear you're trying something to help w/the finger joints. When damaged joints 'force' the surrounding muscle to stay in a fixed position, the muscles stop stretching and you can wind up w/a muscle contracture. Anything you can do to try & prevent this is worth the effort. Good luck!
Spouse of partner with RA diagnosis (2010), lupus (20+ yrs) and a host of other auto-immune diseases.
Started Humira 12/2011 (weekly); previously no response to Enbrel or MTX.
Upper extremity joint involvement: wrists & shoulders (+bursitis in right shoulder) primary; neck, ribs, knee, feet, intermittently.
Struggling with pain, fatigue & functioning.

Brucesmom
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 1/17/2012 8:04 AM (GMT -7)   
My son gets enthesitis...where the tendons go into the joint and it can be on both sides...above and below the knee, shoulder, elbow....his peeds rheumy says not much can be done with enthesitis except it was getting better when taking remicade but he still has it now and then. Heat and splints work well...he doesn't have those but some moms I know have them for there kids.

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 1/17/2012 9:02 AM (GMT -7)   
If you can't get the stuff Golitho suggested maybe try a couple of popsickle
sticke's with the ace bandage wrapped around them, it can be hard when you
can't afford things they recommend, but try saving up for the splints...
and use ice to help reduce the swelling and then heat followed by the wrap...
and ball up some socks and squeeze the socks and relax, squeeze and relax...
throw some small things on the floor (a few) and try picking them up is good
hand exercise, and you don't have to use a lot, like a few paper clips, anything
to get your hands moving, so you can get some range of motion, you can google
range of motion hand exercises and try that...as that is what pt would do...
many well wishes and hope this helps...hope you can get your hands moving soon...
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

gypsysgrounded
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 1/21/2012 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I think the Popsicle sticks sound like a good idea but I think you would
Safer if you wrapped it in place with gauze and tape
As apposed to ace bandage. because the lymph flows just under the skin
And ace bandages if wrapped to tightly can cut off the lymph flow
Gauze isnt as severe and will hold it in place just fine I bandage lymph edema
Patients and had no idea that bandaging can harm you if u don't
Know how to do it properly. Similar to putting a rubberband around your wrist
And it cuts into your skin.... It hinders the flow of lymph to your fingers.
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