Numb fingers and thumbs

joanmary1
joanmary1 Member Posts: 16
edited 30. Jun 2013, 17:36 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hallo, this is my first post. I have had OA for twenty years.

Does anyone have any tips for getting on with life with numb fingers and thumbs? I’ve just been told it’s just the passage of time and nothing can be done? :roll:

Joan.
Joan.

Comments

  • lizzieuk1
    lizzieuk1 Member Posts: 302
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Joan,
    I guess its a doc that's said nothing can be done, is it a rheumy or orthopod or the gp? There are ops that can be used to scrape bone away from around the nerves if that's the cause, quite commonly done in neck and low back.
    I imagine trying to cope is pretty horrible and can only suggest using things with large grip area to help you hold them, really though if its ur gp saying nothing can be done I'd be chasing for a referral.
    Obv manual therapy to help keep everything else as loose as possible is also worth looking into.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,248
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Joan. I don't remember 'numb fingers' coming up on here before. Do you have OA in your fingees? Aree they numb all the time or just occasionally? I think I'd try another opinion. from a different doc in the practice.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • joanmary1
    joanmary1 Member Posts: 16
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for replies!

    It was a Rheum with this information. They are numb all the time, thumbs and index fingers are the worst. I have OA in my knuckles. Typing is not easy....
    Joan.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,248
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It does seem unusual, Joan. I'd get another opinion from the GP. Good luck :)
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My rheumatologist ignores my OA preferring to leave it to my GP as that is her remit. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done but some investigation about the cause of the numbness should be carried out. Have you been tested for Raynauds or some form of nerve impingement? DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • joanmary1
    joanmary1 Member Posts: 16
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dreamdaisy wrote:
    My rheumatologist ignores my OA preferring to leave it to my GP as that is her remit. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done but some investigation about the cause of the numbness should be carried out. Have you been tested for Raynauds or some form of nerve impingement? DD

    I have had nerve induction tests because the Rheum. thought I had carpal tunnel.

    Doesn't raynauds produce white fingers?
    Joan.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Probably yes because it 'interferes' with blood flow and so fingers can tingle and feel numb as blood flow is restored. If yours is constant then maybe that isn't the trouble, it was just a thought. I had nerve conduction tests resulting in a double carpal tunnel op last November. My rheumatologist deals with my psoriatic arthritis, do you have an auto-immune form too? DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • joanmary1
    joanmary1 Member Posts: 16
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Originally I was diagnosed with viral arthritis after a bout of 'flu 20 yrs ago, then osteo arthritis and as it spread, poly arthritis!. This last problem started four months ago again after a nasty bout of 'flu and a chest infection! I'd even had my flu jab!!
    Joan.
  • joanmary1
    joanmary1 Member Posts: 16
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    joanmary1 wrote:
    Originally I was diagnosed with viral arthritis after a bout of 'flu 20 yrs ago, then osteo arthritis and as it spread, poly arthritis!. This last problem started four months ago again after a nasty bout of 'flu and a chest infection! I'd even had my flu jab!!
    Showing my ignorance but what is an auto-immune form?
    Joan.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    An auto-immune arthritis is caused by an over-active immune system, causing the body to 'attack' itself. They are many and varied but the most common forms are rheumatoid, psoriatic and ankylosing spondylitis. A more uncommon form is reactive arthritis which results after an infection, it clears when the infection does but can then return when another bug is caught - your viral arthritis may come under this heading too, hence your seeing a rheumatologist. What meds did he give you? The drugs that people like me take are designed to suppress the immune system so that it doesn't trigger the arthritis. There is an heriditary aspect to them but they can also start out of the blue. Osteo arthritis was defined as a 'wear and tear' arthritis but as that can occur in young people that too is being re-thought. It can also result after an injury or trauma to a joint.

    I have OA in my knees, ankles and right hip thanks to the joint damage caused by my auto-immune form which, because it went un-treated for a number of years, was able to get a good grip. I still take the meds for my psoriatic arthritis but they don't improve the OA because that is a different beast. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • joanmary1
    joanmary1 Member Posts: 16
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks very much for informative reply - I am on meloxicam and
    painkillers.

    I have OA in hands, wrists, feet, knees, neck and pelvis.
    Joan.
  • BonnGayle
    BonnGayle Member Posts: 26
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have occasional tingly fingers but lately Ive had problems with my lip beening numb in the morning it feels cold almost like ive had a anasthetic injection Ive been told I probably have RA although Rheumys still investigating.
  • snowdrop123
    snowdrop123 Member Posts: 41
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello all,
    This is my first post.
    I have OA (in my back, and hands) and also suffer from strange numb sensations, just like a local anaesthetic injection, in my chin and lower lip. I've told my GP but she didn't have an explanation for it. I get numb fingers and toes which also comes and goes. I have a numb patch down the outside of my right calf but this is permanent and started a few years ago when I had a prolapsed disc in my lower spine and I've just got used to it. It's probably the wrong thing to say (because I wouldn't wish it on anyone else) but it's nice to know that I'm not the only one having this problem because I wasn't sure if it was anything to do with the OA and it helps to know it might be. I'll mention it at my next GP appoinment and check that it's not possibly something else.
    Thanks
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,248
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello snowdrop123 and welcome to the forum. My OA is a result of my RA and so far my back is relatively OK. I never get numbness anywhere so I can't help on that front.

    However, we have a fair bit of knowledge and experience on here and I'm sure you'll find someone else with similar problems. I hope you can get something that will help with yours.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's nice to meet you and I hope we can help. I'm not a doc but to me persistent numbness would hint at trouble with a trapped or squashed nerve - this may be an idea to present to your GP. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • snowdrop123
    snowdrop123 Member Posts: 41
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you so much for your replies to my post and welcoming messages. This sight has been so helpful over the last couple of weeks with so much advice. I'm only just taking in what is happening to my body and the chaos it has reeked through every aspect of my life. Like most people I've got other health problems, the most recent being sinus surgery (3 weeks ago) to try to clear a persistent infection. Needless to say, really but that was not nice.

    The numb patch on my right calf is, definately, a trapped nerve. It was a whole lot worse before I had surgery to remove a prolapsed disc in Nov 2008 when I'd lost all the sensation down the entire back of my right leg. It's not perfect but it's a massive improvement.

    I can live with that but the other numbness in my fingers, toes, chin and lower lip are problems that have developed more recently and are not constant, they come and go. I lay awake for hours last night writing down every single strange sympton I have, no matter how small so that the next time I see the GP I can ask her whether something else apart from the OA is going on. I don't want her to think I'm a hypercondriac but I'm feeling so rubbish that I need to get some answers to why, if at all possible. I don't know enough, yet, about OA to know if some of my other health problems are related. It's not been that long since I was diagnosed as having it and I've been in denial for a few months now. I just want it all to go away and it's not that simple, as we all know.

    Boy, this trying to stay positive is not easy and thanks for listening to my moans and groans. It's so good to know that there are other people out there who can relate to what I'm going through.

    Cheers
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,248
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That's a good idea to write things down ready for your next G P visit. You might evem see a pattern emerging. I do hope things improve for you.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • BonnGayle
    BonnGayle Member Posts: 26
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have the same thing mostly fingers and bits of my face, Im still in the diagnosis process although he has hinted at RA, Id be interested to know if you get any answers I can use it as ammunition for my Ruemy
  • snowdrop123
    snowdrop123 Member Posts: 41
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi BonnGayle,

    I'll let you know how I get on with the GP but I couldn't get an appointment for over a fortnight so it won't be for another week yet.

    I first noticed the numbness in my face a few months ago when I kept biting the inside of my lip. I told the GP but she didn't seem too concerned that it was anything serious. It went away and I stopped worrying about it. Then I started getting numbness and pins and needles in my hands and feet. Then, oh joy, the numbness in my lip and chin came back.

    Anyway, I'll keep you posted on how it goes with the GP.
    Best wishes
  • BonnGayle
    BonnGayle Member Posts: 26
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    mines ok just a little odd it vary from completly numb and feels cold to feeling like i have ants running around! ) but when I get it in a lip and its complety numb it can make me slurry, if Im at work thats just damn embarressing!
  • BonnGayle
    BonnGayle Member Posts: 26
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    HI an update on my situation My reumy has now made a concrete diagnosis of Fibromyalgia with a secondary Arthritis so the tingles are to do with the Fibro
  • DebbieT
    DebbieT Member Posts: 1,033
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi & welcome to the forum :)

    I have Psoriatic (PsA), Osteoarthritis (OA) & Fibromyalgia (FM).

    In May this year I had a numbness & tingling in the left half of my face, neck & part of my arm, after a over night stay in hospital & a CT Scan I went back for an MRI, a cyst was found but the cause of the numbness & tingling (it felt like a dentists injection) was Complex Migraines.

    (I have also had numbness caused by trapped nerves in my back that affected my arms, face & legs)

    I'm not suggesting that ures is coz of the same thing but I think it shows there can be other causes than our arthritis. Mine was diagnosed by a Neurologist. Wot is strange is I get migraines from Cervical Spondulosis caused by my PsA, this is currently in a flare & so are my migraines & I have noticed the same sensations as far away as my toes!!! All very odd.Lol

    I would, personally, request further investigations if you aren't convinced it's related to ure OA/FM.

    Good luck.x
    Healing Hugs
    Debbie.x
  • woodbon
    woodbon Member Posts: 4,969
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    I'm no medic but I do know that nerve pain can cause your symptoms and depending on the cause, things can be done to help, some surgical and sometimes injections and medication. Wear and tear can cause damage, but I think some Rheummys are beginning to look at why some of us seem to get more 'wear and tear' than others, but even straight forward wear and tear sometimes can be treated, so keep on going and looking for help.

    I get numb feelings and I have OA and Fibro I aslo have problems with the nerves in my left arm, the ulner nerve, and carpel tunnel in both hands. I've had surgery on my left carpel tunnel and its a lot better. My right hand was a lot better after injections of steriod, so I've not had surgery on that.
    It may be that your doctor will refer you to a neurologist, my rheummy did for carpel tunnel tests.

    I have OA iny wrists and finger joints and he tips of my fingers are quite numb. OA also effects my spine and that causes nerve pain.

    Keep on, ask your GP. Good luck!
    Best wishes Suexxx