Jump to content

Do you want up to date information about Scleroderma? Check out our Medical pages at www.sclero.org for all your Scleroderma questions!


Raynaud's & Hand Trauma

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 CraigR


    Senior Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 438 posts
  • Location:Escondido (near San Diego), Ca

Posted 13 November 2008 - 08:54 AM

I've often thought that Raynaud's seems to get worse with hand trauma/soreness. Recently something happened to me that demonstrated this.

I haven't had severe Raynaud's for a few years. A few weeks ago I fell on a concrete surface and injured two fingers on my right hand. The injuries appeared remarkably similar to Raynaud's ulcers. For about a week after the injury, I had the worst Raynaud's attacks in several years. Upon healing, the attacks went away.

It seemed to me that soreness of the hands obviously had a strong effect on the attacks - with a possible conclusion that soreness, whether by injury or Raynaud's ulcers, tends to make the situation worse (Perhaps an inflammation reaction?). A very good argument to be very gentle with those hands and do everything to help the circulation and heal ulcers.

I'm not a doctor, but I found this incident revealing.


#2 jefa


    Platinum Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,325 posts
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 13 November 2008 - 09:04 AM

I have found that stress increases a Raynaud's attack, so it is no surprise that the stress of trauma would do the same. Last year I stubbed my toe really badly and it set off an attack on both feet (sympathetic?).
Warm wishes,

Carrie Maddoux
(Retired)ISN Sclero Forums Support Specialist
(Retired)ISN Sclero Forums UK Chat Host

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#3 Wohali


    Senior Bronze Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 72 posts

Posted 13 November 2008 - 02:09 PM

Well I've read that certain things like using a jackhammer can cause Raynaud's. So it seems logical that any sort of bad hand trauma might also irritate the condition.

Last winter I broke my ankle and tore the plantar fasciitis tendon. Not long after that I started having bad nerve pain and Raynaud's cold and numbness in that foot come back after it had gone away for several months.

#4 Buttons


    Senior Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 609 posts
  • Location:UK

Posted 14 November 2008 - 01:17 AM

I go along with what everyone has said because I badly smashed my wrist and had dreadful Raynaud;s attacks for weeks after along with horrible nerve pain. It took much longer than expected to heal so I put that down to the issues with Raynaud's.


#5 Karenlee


    Senior Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 381 posts
  • Location:Long Island, New York USA

Posted 14 November 2008 - 05:33 AM

This is very interesting. I don't recall any actual trauma to my hands that set off Raynaud's, but I was at the computer at work 24/7 and had the blasting cold air conditioning directly on me. I know that's not a trauma but it could have sped up what was going to happen eventually anyway. B)

#6 debonair susie

debonair susie

    Platinum Member

  • ISN Support Specialists
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,638 posts
  • Location:(United States)

Posted 14 November 2008 - 08:29 AM

Ow, OW...Everybody!

You've ALL experienced traumas to your hands and or your feet, it sounds like, so I really empathize with every one of you!

Whether it's emotional or direct trauma, it can cause a lot of pain and problems.

Soft Hugs,
Special Hugs,

Susie Kraft
ISN Support Specialist
ISN Chat Host
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#7 kellyA


    Senior Bronze Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 73 posts

Posted 14 November 2008 - 10:30 AM

I have attacks of Raynaud's several times a day, now when I say attacks my hands turn purple, but I have no pain and it goes away fast, once I get my hands warm it will go away,

Can anyone tell me how many times a day they have attacks, what is normal?


#8 Wohali


    Senior Bronze Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 72 posts

Posted 15 November 2008 - 10:08 AM


I don't know that there is a "normal" number of Raynauds episodes per day. Raynauds isn't normal to begin with. My Raynauds doesn't affect my hands as much since I am no longer working in a overly airconditioned office at the computer. I used to wear fingerless gloves at work! So I only get cold painful hands now when I am driving the car in the cold so immediately put on my gloves before touching the frigid steering wheel. My feet are much worse. My apartment is very warm right now and can feel the heat wafting from the oven and stovetop yet my feet currently feel like two ice blocks, numb yet painful at the same time and very cold. I might add I am wearing two pair of socks right now, with one pair a set of heavy winter hiking socks and I take 240mg of Diltiazem daily, a calcium channel blocker that is used off label for Raynauds. Yet my feet still freeze and will be like this through the whole winter. I usually thaw out around May.

PS: To combat the Raynauds when I shower I put the stopper in the tub so hot water collects and covers my feet while showering. Otherwise I find I loose precious body heat while showering.

#9 Wohali


    Senior Bronze Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 72 posts

Posted 15 November 2008 - 10:11 AM


Typing at the computer in a cold room very much is a trauma to the hands. I formerly worked for 10 years in a call center with over 180 people on computers. There were LOTS and LOTS of repetitive hand and wrist injuries at the company so yes indeed computer work is trauma to the hands.

#10 gigi08


    Senior Bronze Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 67 posts
  • Location:Pennsylvania

Posted 15 November 2008 - 04:29 PM

Now that it is getting colder, my raynauds has gotten worse. In the summer it was bad when I would go into air conditioning, but now it seems to be happening much more and usually at least once a day, unless I stay in my house and keep warm. My toes get bad also. I even notice that around my lips and nose I get a funny sensation, but they never look like they're changing colors. Does anyone else get that? I do notice that the days the Raynaud's is the worse, my hands and wrist hurt much more. I've even noticed the blue color going up into the wrist and I told my doctor. that, but she didn't seem too concerned.

#11 JohnJ


    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts
  • Location:St. Louis Mo.

Posted 16 November 2008 - 07:55 AM

Craig, I can attest to what you are saying. It's been 2 days in a row,
that I have banged my hand/finger, and each time almost my entire hand turns white, and is very painful. Two days ago I was merely turning the faucet knob on the kitchen sink when it slipped and hit the wall, and last night I hit the tip of my finger with the finger nail of another finger on my left hand while lathering in the shower and it was a bloody mess! I let out a yell and more then a few choice words as it feels like a window has slammed down on it, over and over again. Each time the hand turns white and takes about 15-20 minutes to turn normal color again. I have decided to keep my finger protector on, covered by a brown jersey glove on top of that at all times now. I also notice that even getting up out of bed I have a daily morning attack, and was told that it could be due to changing blood pressure.
I'm ready to ask for a trial of Tracleer, and if that doesn't help I will request
another amputation.

#12 MaryFanPhilly


    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 120 posts
  • Location:Central California

Posted 18 November 2008 - 01:41 AM

When you consider that Raynaud's is a direct result of vascular changes, it makes perfect sense that anything which would damage or affect the vascular system would then cause a stepped up Raynaud's response. All my doctors are ultra concerned with my hands, keeping them warm and protected, and free from any cuts, scrapes, bruises etc. The rheumatologist tells me to wear gloves when the temp hits 60. The podiatrist tells me the same thing, check my feet daily for micro cuts etc, as I am also diabetic and very prone to nasty things happening. Raynaud's is not just painful and annoying, it can also damage the larger blood vessels of the body, so it is essential that we keep our entire bodies warm. Two years ago I had such a severe Raynaud's attack, I passed out. It was a very cold day, only about 12 degrees outside, and I was on my way to a doctor's appointment. I use heated gloves and a heated throw blanket while at home, and I had an automatic starter installed in my car so I don't have to get into a cold car. You can bet I take Raynaud's very seriously.
Good luck, Mary in Philly
Diffuse sclero; diabetes; hypertension; GERD with Barrett's

#13 CraigR


    Senior Silver Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 438 posts
  • Location:Escondido (near San Diego), Ca

Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:16 AM


I probably thought most of you with my original posting. You are so accustomed to using your hands (as I was with piano rebuilding), and it is so hard to change habits. I find that not only obvious trauma, but any kind of repeated tensing of the hand muscles always made the attacks worse.

Regarding Tracleer: It's my understanding that it is mainly approved for pulmonary hypertension, so it may be very difficult to get it for anything else. Also, it is very expensive, so some insurers may not cover it. I was told that one of the reasons I got quick approval was because I was being treated by a major center for PH. Some on folks on government that I know can't get it because it isn't covered.

Are you taking or have you considered?:
Nitro cream
Calcium channel blockers (Nifedipine, Adalat)
Prazosin (minipress)
Revatio (Same as Viagra, but smaller dose and also expensive)

These and others have been helpful to forum members.

And be sure you keep your core temperature up. During one of my worst times I was helped by keeping quite warm, perhaps a little warmer than I considered comfortable. Like Mary says, you must pamper your hands.