Osteoarthritis - severe nightly pain in hands

Lassie1970 Member Posts: 2
edited 14. Jun 2018, 09:13 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi. My 84 year old mum has had osteoarthritis in her hands for many years. She has recently been suffering with excrutiating pain in her hands at night (particularly the right) mostly in her finger tips. Rubbing them is the only thing that seems to bring them back to life and eventually helps the pain subside. The Dr has prescribed ibruprofen gel which has had no effect. Mum is active, has no problems during the day, but the pain wakes her at night despite her taking prescribed painkillers. Initially sleeping with a glove on seemed to help so I have bought her some arthritis compression gloves online which have good reviews. Does anyone have any suggestions of things mum can try which might help? I would appreciate any ideas as she is becoming quite depressed when she is usually very positive. I have asked the Dr to refer her to a specialist asap which he has agreed to do but dread to think how long that will take! Sorry to go on.....


  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 3,640
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lassie
    welcome to the community and I am sorry to hear about your mum being in so much pain at night with her hands. It is great that she has got a referral and hopefully it won't be too long.
    We have a booklet on pain management that you might find useful here https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/do-i-have-arthritis/publications/217-managing-pain

    I also wondered if the pain alters depending on what position she is sleeping in. It would be worth your mum making some notes about her pain to tell the consultant when she sees them. You might also like to phone our free helpline service on 0808 800 4050
    I am sure some other members of our community will be along soon to share their experience with you. Please let us know how your mum gets on
    Best Wishes
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,707
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm sorry your mother is having these problems. It sounds as if she normally copes well with things and a good night's sleep certainly helps in that area.

    It's odd that it's mainly at night, isn't it? Possibly because we don't move our hands much in bed.

    I have RA and OA but no medical training at all. However, something you wrote just made me wonder. You said “Rubbing them is the only thing that seems to bring them back to life “. They don't go white, do they? Because, if they did it could be Raynaud's which causes a lack of circulation. It can be very painful and would explain them 'coming back to life' after being rubbed (and the circulation returning). I know there are specific gloves for this. I'd guess they're different from the usual 'arthritis gloves' but I've never used either.

    I'm not sure which 'specialist' she will be referred to. Rheumatologists deal with autoimmune forms of arthritis, not usually with OA, and orthopaedic surgeons only usually enter into the scheme of things once surgery is needed. There are clinics which specialise in dealing with pain. Maybe that will be it.

    If you want to read up on Raynauds to see if you can exclude it ARUK are a very reliable site for all things arthritic. https://tinyurl.com/yad8zq44 .
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Rheumatology also covers things such as Raynauds, carpal tunnel and (as I found the hard way) osteoporosis, so if the GP thought Raynauds might be an issue then the referral could well be to a rheumatologist.

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