Very painful hands after sleeping/resting!

Agape Member Posts: 76
edited 1. Jan 2014, 02:41 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi all, I have noticed for a while now that my hands feel really tight, weak and painful to close or grip anything after sleeping or resting. Would this be due to my Osteoarthritis? During the day my hands can feel painful in the joints but most noticeably after sleeping they are really painful. Now I think of it, I am having some trouble with a couple of my toes as well. Bizzare.

I see my Rheumatologist in January, so will obviously be mentioning these problems, but in the meantime is there anything I should be doing or not doing to help this?

Does anyone else have this problem? I looked on the internet and it does sound like it might be my Osteoarthritis. :(


  • kathbee
    kathbee Member Posts: 934
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I do have this problem and it goes on throughout the day as well.

    Frist presented with this over 30 years ago but was diagnosed with RA 15 years ago, I also have Osteo.

    Can be carpal tunnel as well as I get the kind of pain associated with this but also get pain and stiffness and swelling in fingers which appears to be worsening despite many many DMARD's and Anti-TNF's, although dont be put off as many patients do very well on the meds, just not me for some reason.

    Hope the rheumy appointment throws some light on it for you.

  • Michelle63
    Michelle63 Member Posts: 63
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have had similar problems for several years and find my toes are the worst in the mornings. They can be quite painful, mainly the big toe on my right foot. I have OA in several joints and recently had a trapeziectomy on my right wrist. Other joints play up at various times but fortunately do not majorly affect me at the moment, other than the thumb joints.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,300
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It sounds like a definite possibility that this is the arthritis. Your rheumatologist might prescribe a night splint though this kind of trestment might be old hat by now,. You could try alternate bowls of hot and cold water to try to get them going in the morning. It just stimulates the circulation and might help as might hand exercises.
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This sounds all too familiar to me! I have OA and sometimes wake up in the morning to find that both my hands and my feet are non-functional and horribly sore. Getting moving generally improves matters although I have to grit my teeth and take things slowly otherwise the feet make me fall over and the hands make me drop things. A couple of occasions were bad enough that I had to take a painkiller and go back to bed for a while and then try again - which was tiresome as it meant I couldn't even have my morning cuppa as I didn't dare risk the stairs. Fortunately most of the time it is a transient and bearable irritation in my hands of a morning.
    It would certainly be worth raising it with the rheumatologist to see if there is a way to manage it.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I know this quite well too. On waking I do a check from top-to-toe and, if I deem it necessary, I take one or two cocos before attempting to rise. I pass the time waiting for them to work by either dozing or reading my Kindle. If my hands are not happy then I will soak them in a basin of warm water, gently flexing my fingers to help get them going. Adding Epsom salts can help too. DD
  • Boomer13
    Boomer13 Member Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have this too. I follow a plan similar to DD's and generally decide what kind of day it's going to be by the ease, or none, of opening the laptop, holding coffee cup.

    For the joints, I believe this is called "gelling" and results from altered structure of the cartilage and synovial fluid and occurs both in OA and autoimmune arthritis. There are also symptoms from CTS and tenosynovitis for some of us.

    I wrap a hot pack around my hands while the pain meds are kicking in. Sometimes, the arthritis rubs available can help.

    Using wrist splints at night is helpful too.

  • Mat48
    Mat48 Member Posts: 1,161
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yes I have this problem - not really the pain these days but the stiffness and inability to do much with them until after I've run them under the hot tap for a while or if I have time I run a basin full of hot water and dunk them in and move them about. I have both RA and OA in my hands. Someone told me that this was my circulation but I think it must be an inflammatory problem because when I was on Prednisolone recently it went away and I woke each day able to clench and unclench my hands :shock: :D

    Good luck with your rheumy appointment I hope you get some answers.
    Mat x
  • Agape
    Agape Member Posts: 76
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you so much everyone for your input. I feel comforted to think that I am not going mad and that others understand.

    One thing I can say is that having pain makes me realise the blessings that I do have when my body works as it should.

    Thanks everyone. :wink:
  • Agape
    Agape Member Posts: 76
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi everyone, I thank you for your replies to my earlier posts regarding my painful hands. I see my Rheumy on the 3rd of January. Can anyone tell me if at the beginning of their Osteoarthritis pain in your hands, did it slowly get worse or did anyone consider that it may have been something else causing the pain, AKA, Repetitive Strain Injury? I am a little nervy to ask for some meds if I can avoid this course of action, but don't want to leave things and cause more problems for myself in the long run. Should I ask for an X-Ray to be sure? Sorry to be a pest, but just wanted to ask your advice before my appointment.

    Many thanks and I do wish everyone a very Happy New Year.

  • Mat48
    Mat48 Member Posts: 1,161
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi - I would say that it varies from rheumy to rheumy so much that there's not a huge amount of benefit planning to ask for things like x-rays at this stage. They may order X-rays or use ultrasound anyway.

    If you can get a full blood count done before your appointment that may help speed things up too. The main thing they would be looking for is whether you have inflammatory arthritis of the autoimmune type or not. If not then you will likely not be seen by a rheumy again but would need to rely on your GP and perhaps a physio and occupational therapist for ways to help manage the arthritis in your hands. If its in both hands and both feet them that does suggest that you have an inflammatory type of arthritis rather than or as well as OA. Good luck let us know how you get on. X
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,279
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Agape
    I have painful hands mainly my thumbs...and a little bit in my wrist...I have been told I repetitive strain injury in my wrist but my thumbs are OA ..I have had a quite a few injections and they really did help..but now they are talking surgery..hope your rheumy can help
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 750
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have the same thing - OA in my hands and particularly my left thumb. I run them under the hot tap in the morning and this eases things a little. I've had cortisone injections into the basal joint and into the middle joint of my thumb over the past few months, but it looks as though I may have to go back and ask for another one, as my trigger thumb has returned with a vengeance. The injections worked for about five months, though, so I don't feel that's too bad.
    I had an x-ray on my thumb two years ago, which at least confirmed that it was OA and also gave me an idea of what stage it was at. I hope your appointment goes well. Do let us know how you get on.