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Pain when "unfolding"

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#1 amberjolie


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Posted 16 March 2011 - 10:54 AM

Didn't know how to describe this subject. I get pain in my joints (fingers, wrists, knees) when they are bent for a time and I have to unbend them. For example, once I was in a drive-thru and had change in my hand to pay, but it was painful keeping my fingers closed around the coins because when I opened them, it hurt.

But I also find at times at night if my legs are in a sort of curled up position, then I try to straighten them out, the actual muscles themselves hurt as well (quite a bit, actually, almost like the sensation of a charley-horse). Fortunately it doesn't last too long.

Anyone else have this? Apart from trying to keep all my body parts as straight as possible at all times (which gets tricky at night :D), any thoughts on what could help?

#2 janey


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Posted 16 March 2011 - 11:26 AM

Same thing happens to me, especially at night. Most nights I start on my left side with my left arm bent upwards. Invariably I'm woken up with a sharp pain in my elbow - all the way through the elbow from front to back. Same with the knees and hips. I can pretty much reduce the pain in the knees and hip by getting up and walking around a little. The elbow I have to just straighten out and hope the pain goes away. Sometimes I can anticipate the pain before going to bed (because of the day I've had), so I'll take a OTC pain pill. That seems to help me. Also,I tested out an eReader recently and after about 5 minutes my hand was stiff and hurting. No eReader for me.
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#3 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 03:58 PM

Hi Amberjolie,

I may be wrong, I often am, but do you think you are searching for the phrase "joint stiffness"? If I'm not on any anti-inflammatory or pain medications, any time I sit or stay in one position for awhile, I have pain and stiffness upon moving. That can be at night, too, just rolling over in bed. You can have joint stiffness without having a lot of precise joint pain (at least, I can). It is something to mention to your doctor next time they see you. They will probably want to know what triggers it, how long it lasts, whether its worse at any particular time of day, and so forth.

I generally wake up very creaky but by the time I've had my shower and have taken a short walk a few hours later, I have less joint stiffness. But then if I stay in any one position too long, with any body part (including hands) well, the definition of "too long" is when you try to move and your body says no way, not going there, or at least, not quickly to start with! When I do get moving again, my posture gets progressively better. For my hands, it helps a lot to do little stretching exercises and to avoid holding or carrying anything for very long or they sometimes like to freeze into position (I call that trigger fingers) for a spell.
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#4 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 06:06 PM

Count me in on whatever it is, pain unfolding or joint stiffness! I have it when I have been sitting to long or basically have any joint in a position to long! Don't forget the creaking sound, crepitus that can accompany it. Can't beat it.
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#5 amberjolie


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Posted 16 March 2011 - 06:27 PM

Hee, hee - I don't have a creaking sound yet, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time...

Shelley - there's definitely stiffness, but definitely pain as well. My finger joints in particular feel almost like they've been bruised (especially the middle joints). I had to hold my 4 year old son's hand tightly today as we were walking close to a fast-flowing river, and my hands hurt terribly, especially when trying to open them again. It used to be (we're talking just a few months ago) that they were worse in the morning, and I suppose they still are, but they don't get much better through the day. I did a very small amount of cross-stitch recently and it almost killed me! It seems like even trying to exercise them a bit just makes them feel worse.

Now, I'm not exactly sure if what I have is Primary Sjogren's or Secondary Sjogren's with CREST (the way my fingernail beds are looking makes me wonder if it's the latter, but I haven't seen my rheumatologist lately to show him), and I don't know if they manifest themselves differently with joints or not. I don't have RA antibodies, the last time I had it checked.

#6 queenie


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Posted 20 March 2011 - 06:11 PM

I to have the same problem if I keep anything still for too long which can actually be a short time the stiffness and pain is immense but as I move around I do seem to free up a bit. I was driving the other day and just holding my hand in the position holding the steering wheel I had to pull over it was like lock jaw only in my hands the pain actually brought tears to my eyes and then after forcing them open the pain eased.
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queenie x