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OA hitting my hands hard

MaggiePMMaggieP Posts: 349
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Arthritis, Osteoarthritis
Now my hands are going. Several years ago 5-6, not sure exactly, I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand. All was well for a time, and now after an EMG study and exam by a heuro, he found carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. I drive an 8 hr shift for a living. By the end of the night, get off work at 10:30, my hands hurt, and my fingers are stiff and swollen. The neuro found spasticity in my arms, and pins & needlets and numbness in right leg, which he attributes to diabetic neuropathy. My cervical spine is a mess, a bulging T-8, and a hemangioma at T8. The insurance company denied MRI of the lumbar area. I don't think they want me as a customer anymore :''( Very difficult to come up with a treatment decision when I don't have the whole picture. I've been diagnosed with OA since in my 30's. Now I have fibro, type 2 diabetes, DDD, and who knows what else.but my blood pressure is good!!!How do I keep my hands and fingers working. My thumb screams in pain when I have to use it on the steering wheel. Any advice would be appreciated.


  • I know that there are lots of exersizes that can be done to keep things limber. I used to suffer from carpal tunnel and I knew tons of wrist and finger exersizes that really did help. Any chance that your insurance will cover physical therapy? lots of times you can go and learn the exersizes yourself and continue at home. Maybe someone else will come along that knows more than I about the subject. Good luck and please keep us posted with your progress.
  • Hi Maggie,

    Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble with this. I have arthritis in my hands, and sometimes have a tremendous amount of pain from that, especially my thumb joints. And it is very hard to do anything, especially driving! This happens to me when I am in a flare, and mine has just gotten better within the las month or so. So I really can relate.

    You didn't say if take any knid of anti-inflamatory medication. But even if you don't have a prescription, the OTC ibuprofen or naproxen (Aleve)might help. Although, when mine are really bad, prednisone is the only thing that works well.

    Also, you can get a brace for your thumb. I wore one of those for driving and computer, and it helped me a lot. Mine was called a thumb stabilizer, (supported my wrist from bending, too.) I it mine at Wal-mart without prescription. Then I ordered another on from Amazon which I actually like better. A physical therapist taught me this exercise. Fill a deep plastic container with rice and warm it in the microwave. Then immerse your hand in the warm rice and just open and close your hand. It feels so good. The hot parafin dips feel good, too.

    These are just some things you can try yourself until you can get to the dr or get a referral for PT. That would be your best bet.

    Good luck with this and keep us posted how you make out. Hugs, Marti

  • Hi Maggie,

    I just wondered how you were doing now. Any relief yet from the hand pain? I saw Paul's post and it reminded me to check back with you,too.

    Paul, you are a gem! Always the considerate one, remembering to check up on all of us.

    My right is bothering me a lot today. And it sure makes everything very hard to do.(I have been off my arthritis meds for a few weeks due to surgery and that's what is making mine flare now.) I have been using the brace at night and the warm rice a couple times a day. That is UNCOOKED rice. I guess I didn't make that clear in the post above, lol! Be careful though, it's easy to get the rice too hot.

    I hope by now you have found some relief from this. I know how miserable it really is. Please post an update or send me a PM. Hugs, Marti
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