pain in hands

dromore1 Member Posts: 2
i am new to this, my hands are so painful i cant even hold a cup, i have tryed all i have been told have you any thoughts.
i am 49 and this is all new to me as i only found out i had this about 4 months ago, it is in my hands, hips and spine, is life worth living with this?


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,418
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm just an ordinary forum member, dromore1, not a member of the Helpline team but, for what it's worth.....

    In answer to your last question – yes, definitely. I've lived with arthritis in my hands, wrists, shoulders, feet, ankles, knees and hips for over 50 years. There's been a lot of pain but a lot of fun too.

    I'm guessing that yours is osteoarthritis? You can do things to relieve the pain. Exercise is good but it needs to be the right kind of exercise so asking to be referred to a physiotherapist would be a good first move. Exercise keeps the muscles strong. Strong muscles support the joints better and supported joints hurt less.

    Many of us use distraction as a tool against pain. Anything that you can get absorbed in will help. When stuff's really bad for me that means computer games, reading books, watching TV. (My preferred distraction is cricket :D )

    Your GP can give you pain relieving medication. There are different types. For most of us, they never take the pain away properly but they will put some distance between you and it for a while.

    Splints might help your hands though they shouldn't be used all the time as they encourage the muscles to weaken. I'm not sure who deals with them these days but your GP should be able to point you in the right direction.

    As for not being able to hold a cup, there are ways round this. A plastic cup is lighter: disability shops sell two-handled cups which are easier to hold or even ones which are indented so that you hold the cup itself rather than a handle; when things are really tough I use a drinking straw.

    Finally, why not join us on the other forums? Living With Arthritis is where we talk about all things to do with arthritis and Chit Chat is where we talk about other things and share laughter. (Laughter is acknowledged as a good source of pain relief.) I hope we'll see you around.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I'm not a Helpline member either (just a forum one) but I do empathise. I had a fortnight without the use of either hand last November, thanks to a double carpal tunnel op and no, life wasn't easy but drinking straws helped (and they still do from time to time). I routinely use two hands to hold a cup, mug or glass (having waited for drinks to cool :wink:) I now do food prep over a period of an hour or two and have made other adjustments. I have two kinds of arthritis in a number of joints and yes, life isn't turning out how I thought it might but there again, who's does? Please post again on the Lliving with Arthritis board on the forum because you will gain more replies from people who are in similar boats. I wish you well. DD
  • Kittkat
    Kittkat Member Posts: 309
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello am sorry you are in so much pain with your hands. In answer to your question is life worth living like this? The answer is yes. You will have your down times but things do improve.
    Take care x
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,020
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear dromore1
    Thanks for your post to Helplines.
    It sounds like you’re going through such a difficult time - adjusting to your recent diagnosis and coping with severe pain. You asked if life’s worth living with this and it sounds like you’re feeling very low. If you’d like to talk to us in confidence about how this is affecting you please don’t hesitate to call Helplines (freephone 0808 800 4050, weekdays 10 -4). As well as providing information we offer a listening ear and support.
    As stickywicket mentioned, you might also find it helpful to use the ‘Living with arthritis’ strand of the forum. You can simply read about how other people are doing, or share your experience and get support.

    Looking at the replies to your post so far, they cover many of the practical things you might find helpful - exercise, possibly using a splint on your hands, using interests that really absorb you as a distraction, and tips such as using a drinking straw.
    As far as exercise goes, if you’ve not been referred to a physiotherapist you could raise this with your GP. The physiotherapist will work with you on exercises specifically to help strengthen your muscles and retain as much range of movement as possible.
    If splints are appropriate for you, they are most likely available from an Occupational Therapist (OT). The OT provides advice on how to manage everyday tasks and on practical equipment that’s appropriate for you. Again, the GP can refer you to an OT.
    You haven’t mentioned a pain clinic – these provide specialist advice on how to manage the level of pain. Again, your GP can make the referral to the clinic.

    I hope this is some help.
    Best wishes,