In late 2004, a couple of months after my son was born I started to have troubles with both hands and wrists. My doctor checked me for RA but my levels came back just far enough off to have her say I did not have it. I took over the counter meds to help with the pain and they worked and used braces. Told to retest in one year.
Fast forward to 2006, we move to a new state and my new doctor puts me on Cymbalta to help with my depression (caused by the move) and come to find out my pain goes away also. I am now off the Cymbalta (3 weeks) and the pain is worse than ever. Over the counter meds no longer work like they use to.
I wake most days with all 10 fingers numb, along with my hands and wrists. Hands/fingers and wrists feel tight and constant discomfort all day. Various other joints hurt on and off during the day.
I have an appt set for 1 May, but as I do not have insurance I am not sure I can even afford to be retested to see if my levels are now "right" to be diagnosed. Plus costs of meds will be through the roof if I am.
Are there any generic meds that work? Ones that have few side effects. I am one who wants to have an idea before I see a doctor, costs, side effects and such. I do not want to be a guinea pig for a doc to test out various meds when they know a cheaper alternative is just as good. Thanks.
Hi. I have pain in the same areas that you do. I've been taking Advil and icing my hand and wrist. After an MRI and regular xrays, I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis and tendonitis. This morning the pain was so bad I thought I'd lose it. We have medical insurance, but they do whatever they can to avoid paying for tests, meds, etc. I'm trying to get authorization to try Celebrex. I won't hold my breath on that one. Can you ask your Dr. for samples of Celebrex or something else? I understand how bad it is to not have medical insurance b/c I've been there too. Soaking my hands in very warm water provides temporary relief. Also, I go to Acupuncture once a week and am having him treat my hand and wrist. A friend recommended pine bark extract to relieve arthritis pain. I haven't tried it yet. Also, some people find relief from Zyflamend which you can find at a health food store. Have you tried Glucosamine and Chondroitin? Some people find relief from that. Feel free to write me a pm if you'd like. I hope you find something to give you relief.
I just remembered something else you could try. You can buy one of those machines that heats up paraffin wax and put your hands in there. The heat will be very soothing and your hands will get softer too. I finally got the pre-authorization to take Celebrex and took one tonight. It's too soon to know if it will relieve my pain though.
Went in and tried to talk to her about my hands/fingers/wrists but she was more concerned with my blood pressure as I went in 1 month ago and it was still high. I am now having to come in for blood pressure tests 2x's a week for the next 2 weeks. She said she will look more into the pain I am having after finding out if I need blood pressure meds.
I did also have my thyroid tested, not that this will have anything to do with my hands/wrists/fingers but concerned about this now. It feels as I will forever be ill with one thing or another.
So I am now on hold but the pain has been pretty good the last couple days and I have been able to do things while not in to much pain. I worry about taking anything "natural" for the pain as I do not know what side effects will be caused by the "natural" meds especially to my blood pressure. Oh what fun!
Hello Lady B
Have you seen a hand specialist? I know you mentioned that you don't have insurance which totally sucks. I would recommend specifically seeing an orthopedic hand specialist. Your problems may be tendon/nerve based, and there a number of things that can be done to make you feel better. I know. I have had 7 hand/wrist/finger surgeries over the last 18 yrs - and it really stinks because I'm a classical pianist. But in finding the right doctor, I was able to make the right decisions about surgery/treatment. I went to a physical therapist who works only with hands, did acupuncture, only a small amount of meds, and with the help of the doctor and PT, I have been able to play. The irony now is that I was dx w/RA, so I'm entering a whole new world of pains! Regardless, I would really recommend that before you jump to an RA diagnosis, to rule out structural hand problems with a hand orthopedist, complete with xrays and conduction studies. For the record, I did a lot of this crap when I was in college and grad school when I didn't have insurance. A lot of MD's and therapists will work with you - it's worth a try. Please feel better and good luck
I have had the same problems with my fingers/wrists as well. I was dx with RA in 2005 and oh my goodness I asked God if I had seriously wronged someone inadvertantly. SERIOUSLY! I went to a Chiropractor and he gave me RheumaShield for my morning stiffness, and let me tell you, it worked like a charm! Because my RA is so aggressive, I took it a step further and was placed on Enbrel. For the past year and a half I have felt as though I didn't have RA at all. Great, right? Unfortunately, it weakened my back and neck. I almost had emergency surgery. It has been only recently that I figured out my neck and back pain was due to the Enbrel. WHAT A BUMMER! So I'm back to RheumaShield. It's great, just not covered on my insurance. (not too expensive though) I know I've rambled on, but I'm hoping this has helped you. I also did some research and discovered most people who have RA have a deficiency in Potassium. When your hands are aching try some morton's light salt and if your pain subsides, there you go. You simply need to balance your potassium. This is probably why I feel better after I take my vitamins. Oh! Be sure to take liquid multivitamins because your body absorbs more of it and faster than it's counterparts. I truly hope this helps
Last edited by tmcn1826; 05-14-2009 at 08:47 PM.
Reason: Added add'l info
Hey there, I just wanted to add that I have not been diagnosed with anything yet, but I am sure I have RA. I too was low in potassium! I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, low B12, low folic acid and low D. I'm taking vitamins now and am hoping I feel better soon. I see a rhumey Dr. June 9. I think all of this is related somehow, and I thought I was pretty healthy!!