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hand arthritis?

mamadeesixmamadeesix Posts: 83
edited 30. Mar 2018, 09:26 in Living with Arthritis archive
This might seem like a dumb question, but how do you know if you have hand arthritis, save an xray?

When I went to the rheum, he briefly looked at my hands, but made no mention of them.

I do have Raynauds, so am used to my fingers hurting with cold, but my hand joints are less painful in general than my toes, knees, elbows and hips. lol. I assumed there was no arthritis in my fingers.

The other day, I used a paintbrush and a roller. Within a few minutes, my hand was killing me. I thought maybe they were just cramping up, but it seemed to be focused on the base of my thumb joint. Fingers, too, but not as much. Even hours after, it hurt to bend my fingers or stretch my hand out too much.

Does this sound like arthritis? I mean, I haven't painted in awhile, maybe this is just what 51 year old hands feel like after using a paintbrush?

The only other time my hands hurt is when I use the computer mouse for too long.

Comments

  • lindamaylindamay Posts: 112
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sorry to hear of your pain.This sounds similar to pain I have in hands and wrists. I went to doctors and all they said was take paracetamol and no more than 8 a day. I have always enjoyed knitting and some craft work but now I can only do it for short spells. I had hip replacement 18 months ago and it has been brilliant. My shoulders now bothers me when I am in bed.
  • Airwave!Airwave! Posts: 2,371 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    When you go to see a medical practioner of any level they only tend to talk about the ailment you have been referred about, so if you have a foot falling off they tend to ignore it when you say your hand hurts, might actually point the way to complications but thats the way it is.

    I have oa in my hand joints but not all the time causing severe pain, arther saves that for when I forget about him, fingers can get puffy but not hugely swollen, pain on movement or still, pain in the ends of fingers can occur. Overuse will hurt not always at the time, shaking hands is a definite no no as is doing things without thought the same, dropping things is common. It is different for everyone but the general rules apply.

    Wheat bags are the answer to everything and painkillers and analgesic creams and warm gloves, I expect others will name what works for them.
  • mamadeesixmamadeesix Posts: 83
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks everyone. Good to know I'm not crazy. lol.

    It is so weird. It's like every week, something else hurts worse or something new starts. Last week, I painted and my hands were fine....this week, they were on fire. They don't think it's autoimmune..but in the last few months, everything has gotten worse.

    I don't know. I had a hysterectomy 15 months ago.....maybe the aging process has just accelerated and this is the new norm.

    I went from my first Raynaud's episode in 2014......with no other symptoms to multiple joints causing issues now. When I went to the rheum in 2014, she looked at my big toes and said I had arthritis in them. I laughed b/c I had no symptoms at all.

    I worked out every day and was the person known to everyone as the one who does everything with energy to spare.

    Now I am tired all the time and everything hurts. It's frustrating not to understand the why of it.....but I guess for now I'm just going to have to put a band aid on the symptoms one by one, if they cause too much interference with life. And learn to ignore those things that are now just chronic and part of it.
  • Airwave!Airwave! Posts: 2,371 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I was first diagnosed OA at 25 and had it before that so nothing to do with aging. I kept working until I couldn't carry on any longer.


    If I ever get my hands on arther.........😠😠
  • mamadeesixmamadeesix Posts: 83
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    lindamay,

    do you have OA?
  • lindamaylindamay Posts: 112
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yes, diagnosed about 4 years ago in my hips. Right hip was well worn according to the consultant and this is the one he replaced. Left one not too bad at the moment but......
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    How do you know? In my case I can feel it, my fingers are affected by PsA, every joint is tender and my flexibility can be affected. I suspect I am also at the beginnings of a Dupuytren's Contracture so I'm keeping an eye on that - I have the classic lump on my right palm under my middle finger (where last summer I contracted cellulitis). DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • lindamaylindamay Posts: 112
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have lumps at the base of my thumbs and on my fingers, pain is very sudden and sharp and sometimes constant. Do you think it is not arthritis?
  • barbara12barbara12 Posts: 20,739
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have OA in my thumbs and wrist..I did have xrays on my thumbs and injections for the pain, then they found it in a couple of fingers..sometimes they ache sometime they are painful..but you do have to keep them moving..
    Love
    Barbara
  • mamadeesixmamadeesix Posts: 83
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Do you guys know.....which is a better diagnostic tool for early OA? Ultrasound or x-ray?

    The x-ray of my big toes showed only one had bone spurs.....but they both hurt.

    The xray of my elbows looked just fine....although both elbows hurt. I suspected one had tennis elbow, which wouldn't show on x-ray....but why do they both hurt?

    The x-ray of my knees shows only one has joint space narrowing....although they both hurt.

    Would an ultrasound show any more than an xray?

    What scans have you guys had?
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,946 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think x-rays are the norm. The only time I've had other scans, for either my RA or OA, was when I managed to break a hip. As for interpreting them - I leave that to those who are trained in it.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • daffy2daffy2 Posts: 1,713
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The xray of my elbows looked just fine....although both elbows hurt. I suspected one had tennis elbow, which wouldn't show on x-ray....but why do they both hurt?
    Because they can. What shows(or doesn't) on an x-ray very often has little relation to the level of pain experienced when it comes to OA.
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Xrays are not that detailed compared to MRIs etc., they are useful for revealing the obvious but not the subtle. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • mamadeesixmamadeesix Posts: 83
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That's what I thought, dreamdaisy. About MRI's for sure. Not as sure about ultrasound.

    My doctor's office only does in house ultrasounds, not x-rays.

    The only thing they did a scan on was my hip, though. And the only thing he said about that was that I had fluid in my bursa and knots in my IT band. So I got injections.....which helped for a week or so. :roll: I wasn't sure if he would have seen anything else on just an ultrasound. He didn't say anything else about it.

    But they never offered to scan my feet, knees or hands. Wasn't sure if it's because they couldn't see a lot with an ultrasound or not. I can ask when I go back on Monday.
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