Stiff painful swollen fingers in mornings

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Mayo2012
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 9/22/2012 3:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all. I was just wondering if anyone has problems with stiff, sore and swollen fingers in the morning? This seems to be a new problem for me. They are so sore, I cant bend my fingers for half an hour or even more on some mornings. Its yet another strange problem I have to deal with when I get up in the mornings. I've started taking Amitriptyline to help me sleep better. Has anyone else taken Amitriptyline and had similar problems? I used to just wake up in the night lots of times, now I wake up lots of times and am groggy. They were working at first but stopped in the last few weeks. This is so frustrating. Thanks everyone.

Sean
36yo Male

Namian
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 400
   Posted 9/22/2012 4:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I take Amitriptyline to help me sleep better. What dosage are you taking? I started at 10 mg and when it stopped helping I moved to 20 and now I'm at 30mg.

I also have problems with stiff swollen fingers. This predates my taking Amitriptyline, so I know the medicine isn't the cause of my problem. My diagnosis of Fibro came about because at the start my fingers hurt so much my doctor though I had RA, but that test came back negative. As did all of the others as the pain spread throughout my body. The pain is mostly gone now, but my fingers are so swollen I haven't been able to wear my wedding ring for months.
Namian
Mom to three
Fibromyalgia, Migraines, IBS, GERD, hearing loss, tinnitus, teenagers (I might be kidding)

katie bell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/22/2012 5:01 PM (GMT -6)   
3 years ago I suddenly woke up unable to bend my fingers with swelling and pain in both hands, with no prior warning or injury.  The fingers have been stiff like this every single morning since then, swelling (can't wear rings anymore), burning sensation.  It happens every time the hands are at rest, the swelling is worse in the heat, and the burning is worse after I've held them under cold water or held something cold, like a drink. I've had thousands of dollars worth of tests from a neurologist, rheumatologist, and hematologist (have had bleeding under skin on top of fingers when doing yard work in the heat) but absolutely nothing shows up.  I have hypothyroid (autoimmune type) but it's treated properly with meds and the bloodwork is always fine.  I've had chronic cystitis, but that's also being treated just fine.  I've had severe endometriosis, but that's been solved by hysterectomy last year.  I've had acoustic neuroma, but that was solved with brain surgery.  Typing on this computer, though, makes my fingers so swollen that I can't make a fist.  It doesn't keep me from typing or playing the piano just fine.  I just can't squeeze a sponge or a hairbrush.
 
Any ideas?????

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12405
   Posted 9/22/2012 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
My fingers swell up at anytime. I have days where the joints throb with the typing on the keyboard.
Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Degenerative Disk and Facet Disease, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Acheybody
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 5601
   Posted 9/22/2012 11:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I get hand and finger soreness at odd times, but very little if any swelling. I've always considered myself lucky as far as that goes.

Katie Bell - why don't you start a new thread of your own, telling us about yourself in more detail? That way you'd get more people greeting you...you won't slip through the cracks.

Debbie
Moderator, Fibromyalgia Forum

Fibromyalgia, herniated disc L4-5, (recent discectomy), DDD, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, IBS, migraines, tachycardia, hearing loss (probably Menieres) with balance issues, chemical sensitivities

katie bell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/23/2012 12:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks. I've never posted on a forum before. Thanks for the suggestion, Debbie. Would I stay on the fibromyalgia group? How do I start a new thread? (Sorry about my ignorance)

DW, is it possible that the synthroid can cause this as a side effect? The dosage was raised a tiny bit from the 25 to 50 mcg before this happened, but absolutely no doctors thought the dose was too high or that the dose was the problem. The first rheumatologist I saw, who patted me on the head and said in effect, "Don't worry, little girl, about this silly frozen finger business" (I'm 47), said that generic synthroid was the culprit. So we switched to the expensive brand. No improvement.

If I drop back to 25 mcg., how long would I need to stay on that lower dose, do you think, to figure out if that's it? My primary dr. (managing the thyroid) thought that if I were having a reaction to the thyroid medication, it would have shown up a few years ago when I started taking it, not when the dosage was raised a little bit. I shut it down to 25 mcg several time for a few days in a row, but then I realized that I was feeling awful and acting really grumpy and mean, but the fingers were still the same. They've tested all sorts of thyroid numbers, but I don't know if they did reverse T3. The current rheumatologist tested for antibodies and found them, so I'm guessing he also tested the other T numbers. For a while he put erythromelagia (sp?) as the diagnosis, but it doesn't really fit. I'll check my test results (if I have them -- you know how hard it is sometimes to actually get information about your own bloodwork!).

Do a lot of people with fibromyalgia also suffer from other odd conditions? Sorry, but I just now found this helpful forum when I googled about my fingers.

My parents were diagnosed with low thyroid a few years ago (ages in the 70's) and yesterday my sister was diagnosed with MS. My brother is one of the few people in the US who lived 8 years with severe chronic pancreatitis (hooked up to TPN for years, unable to eat, stuck on the highest doses of narcotics, continual attacks, living in a hospital bed) and then was a grand success story when he found top doctors to remove the entire diseased pancreas and give him his life back. So I don't know if I've inherited some odd conditions myself. . .

As far as fibromyalgia goes, I was diagnosed with it years ago after neck, shoulder, wrist, nerve entrapment problems; but after changing my computer setup and work station and changing piano instruction (to an expert on healthy wrist positions and technique so I wouldn't be straining my hands or arms), those symptoms disappeared and I figured fibromyalgia was just a diagnosis the dr. used as a catchall because he couldn't quite pinpoint it anyhow. One nurse practitioner thought this hand condition was from fibromyalgia, but she prescribed some sort of very strong antianxiety meds, which I decided not to take because of the possible side effects. A neurologist thought I could try strong medicine used with parkinson's, which I decided against because of the scary side effects. These were just hit and miss attempts to help.

So a low dose of thyroid meds could cause arthritis-type symptoms? Sometimes my feet burn too in the mornings. Is the burning sensation in extremities a symptom of fibromyalgia?

Thanks, everybody.

Mayo2012
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 9/23/2012 3:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Many thanks for all of your replies. There is some excellent information here once again. I am meeting a new Rheumatologist on Tuesday so hopefully she will have a better suited med than the Ami. I have sore fingers, especially the joint at the top of the fingers, again this morning and once again I didn't sleep last night. I'm now on 75mg of Ami, after starting on 25mg which didn't work at all. I really don't like them. I'm taking Lyrica and Tramadol along with the Ami.

Deepwell, thank you very much for the links and info you provided. I don't remember ever been checked for thyroid problems or adrenal fatigue. I had a scope test last month because I had internal bleeding due to difene (was taking them because I had carpal tunnel release surgery) and I was told I had two gastric ulcers and hiatal hernia so its interesting that you mention that. I will bring this up with the new Rheumy on Tuesday. I do take fish oils and glucosamine (arthritis in my shoulder) but not regularly, only when my wife reminds me. I have been extremely stressed lately because I am having a battle with my income protection insurance company. They are refusing to pay out on the insurance so I have been building my case for an appeal. I figured the finger pain was either the additional stress or the Ami.

Thanks again everyone for taking the time to reply. Its great to have somewhere to get some great advice.

Sean
37yo male (not 36yo, I forgot what age I am in the first post) with FMS, TMJ, Migraines, plantar faciitis, Achilles tendinitis, Osteoarthritis, GERD, IBS, Hiatal Hernia, RLS, Hearing problems, tinnitus.

Mayo2012
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 9/23/2012 4:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I meant to say, katie bell I don't have as severe symptoms as you do. My fingers are only swollen and sore in the morning and there is no bleeding under the finger nails.

Sean.

Mayo2012
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 9/23/2012 4:56 PM (GMT -6)   
DW, thank you very much for all of this. There's some great information. Funny that you should say that about Ami, I have found myself a bit more emotional lately. I have been teary eye'd more in the last few weeks than I have in my whole adult life so far. I can't say I'm depressed though. I'm not typically that emotional and it definitely is not keeping me asleep so whats the point of taking them. Also good idea with checking up on records. I was getting some documents together for my new rheumie and forgot that I had a MRI a few years back. My GP at the time said there was nothing noted in the MRI but when I looked at the actual notes today from the clinic there was mention of transitional lumbosacral vertebrae. It might be nothing but I do have lower back pain for years. I would have appreciated being told about the notes by my GP after paying a lot of money for the scan. I would never have known about it if I hadn't looked at the notes myself. Thanks again DW, I really appreciate it. Hope you get some sleep tonight. Thanks again.

Sean
37yo Male

Fibromyalgia, IBS, Migraines, TMJ, RLS, Short Leg
300mg Lyrica, 300mg Zydol (Tramadol SR), Ibubrufen, Vitamins (when I remember), Apple Cider Vinegar (again when I remember)!!!

Luvzminis
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1931
   Posted 9/23/2012 5:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I took Elavil (amytriptyline) for several years for chronic diarrhea (Elavil is very drying to the system). I had no problems with stiffness then, but now, a few years later, I wake up with stiff fingers. No swelling, though.

katie bell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/23/2012 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Mayo,
Please tell us what your rheum. says on Tuesday. I don't have trigger finger. What I mean about "frozen" is that I use my other hand to make them loose enough to bend. They feel like they have to work against heavy weights attached to pulleys in order to bend. The top joints are the worst, too. My rheum. has been practicing for about 50 years and says he has no idea what this is. Good luck!

Mayo2012
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 9/24/2012 3:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Katie, I certainly will let you know. The rheumie I am seeing on Tuesday is supposed to be the best in my country so hopefully she can help. My last rheumie was not great, it was my GP (family doc) that helped the most. He kept saying that I should go for the Calmare therapy. There is no way I would do that. That does sound the same as me, its so strange. I had the same thing this morning but now the joints at the top of my little fingers are still sore after being awake for a while.

Thanks for replying luvzminis. I hope it is the ami and not something more sinister.

Sean

katie bell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/24/2012 10:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Mayo, may I ask how long you've had this experience? The rheum. has used the words "strange" and "bizarre" to describe my problem, so if you're experiencing the same thing, then if one of us figures out the nature of the problem and solution, then maybe it can benefit the both of us. Good luck.

Mayo2012
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 9/25/2012 2:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Katie. I'm just back from the rheumie visit. What an interesting 45 minutes. She noticed within 5 minutes, before I had a chance to say anything about symptoms, that I had hypermobility syndrome (I've had this since birth and inherited this from my mother) by squeezing a few fingers and streching my skin. She then checked all of my tender points and checked each joint for how mobile they were. After that I told her my symptoms. She said that I had fibro which was caused by joint hypermobility syndrome. I posted a question a while back about this - http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=24&m=2370452. Finally I have a reason why this happened to me, I'm still shocked. She was at a conference a little while ago about hypermobility and Fibro. So she has rx prozac and to stop taking the amitriptyline. She also gave me the contact details for a Neurostructural Integration Technique physician and told me to start doing some serious exercise, starting with 30 minute walks, no matter how sore I am. Just in time for winter, brrrr. I am still in shock about all this. I brought this up with my previous rheumie and he just brushed it off as if I was crazy. We are all so different though, this is just what seemed to happened to me. I suppose I'll find out over the next few nights if the finger pain is from amit. and I'll let you know. I'm going to sit on the couch and watch tv for the rest of the night, nice way to start off my exercise routine rolleyes

Sean

Mayo2012
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 9/25/2012 3:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks DW. Our bodies definitely know best. It's so strange that I went to this rheumie too. I could have gone to one of thousands but picked her, I think she said the conference on this subject was a couple of weeks previous. I will never doubt my instincts again. Only problem now is I have always hated walking or running, it's always been too sore.

I've learned the hard way about the shots. I had two in my shoulder that did work but I got one in my heel and I have been in very bad pain since. I usually have pain in both heels but the pain in my right heel since the shot has been really bad. I had the carpal tunnel release surgery after that which helped but now I'm sore around the scar. Just can't win sometimes. Its great they did work for the shoulder though.

Thanks again DW. I will give my 2 cents on the shots on the your post now.

Sean

katie bell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/25/2012 9:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Congratulations, Sean! Even though you've "hated" walking or running, now you have a reason to push forward -- onward and upward! If you start slowly and congratulate yourself every time you walk (record it so you can brag to yourself and everyone else), you will improve without even feeling it. After a while, you might try sort of "shuffling" as I describe it -- the slowest jog humanly possible, the same speed as walking but better for your fitness. The next thing you know, the shuffle will slowly transform to a jog . . . and who knows what you'll be doing and feeling like by this time next year! I have experience with this, so I'm not just making it up to cheer you on. Best wishes, and thanks for the info!!
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