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Finger and Wrist stiffness and pain


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#1 amberjolie

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 02:55 AM

My fingers and wrist get quite stiff sometimes and hurt. Some mornings are better than others, but they always have some degree of stiffness. Is this something typically associated with Scleroderma, or Sjrogen's, or is it something that's seen in both? I don't have any tight skin on my hands, so it's all happening within the joints.

#2 Sheryl

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 03:30 AM

amberjolie,
Arthritis is to Scleroderma as dry eyes are to Sjorgrens. Joint pain seems to come and go with me for instance, with different intensities and frequencies. Also different areas of the body. This week it could be all the joints in my toes and ankles where I can hardly walk. Next week it could be slight pain but constant and annoying in my left hip. After that it could be back to the feet or into the hands and feet at the same time. Make sure to work and stretch your muscles and joints with a tiny bit of pressure. Keep yourself and your joints moving. Don't give into the pain and let it consume your thoughts and keep you from your daily tasks. Make sure to ask your nurse or doctor to make sure they think that is a wise thing for you to do in your instance. Also maybe they can prescribe something for pain or inflammation if they deem it necessary. Keep smiling and moving and stretching, even if you are sitting or laying down you can move and do many things.
Strength and Warmth,
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#3 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 03:44 AM

Hello Amberjolie

After 2 years with my sclero diagnosis I can most certainly conclude that pain and stiffness are a result of sclero. My pain is mainly in my feet and calves and starts when I just stand up. Some days it's really bad and I shuffle around dreading the thought of having to stand up and move. Other days like today it's not as bad. :happy-day: I also get muscular type pain in my arms and legs if I ask them to do much. In the beginning I had a lot of hand and wrist pain but since they've become immobile the pain has lesened. Mind you I now have a pretty sedintary life style and am sure I'd hurt more if I didn't.

Hope this helps and take care.
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#4 Joelf

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 04:29 AM

Hi Amberjolie

I would certainly agree that stiffness & pain in the wrists & fingers is down to Scleroderma; before I was put on the 'miracle' drug, Prednisolone, my fingers were like sausages & my wrists were so painful. I had awful problems picking things up & opening bottles & jars (everything is so tightly sealed these days!! :angry: )

I'm so hoping that when I go on my permanent medication I can carry on with some sort of anti-inflammatory or I'm going to be back to being in extreme discomfort again. Posted Image

Kind regards x

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#5 amberjolie

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 05:14 AM

Thanks for the replies! I guess I'm trying very hard to find indications that maybe I don't have CREST after all but just Sjogren's (which I know in itself isn't fun, but seems to maybe be the lesser of two evils). :)

I agree with the jars. I used to have no trouble at all opening jars that others found difficult, but now I have to use one of those jar openers (which I must say work quite well). And there was one day a couple of weeks ago where I met someone new at work and was afraid to shake their hand, but fortunately, it didn't hurt as much as I though it would. I suppose after time it'll get to that point, however.

#6 Sheryl

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 06:25 AM

Amberjolie,
Don't be afraid to kindly tell someone you are having issues with pain and or swelling in your hands on the particular day or time you meet them. It is surprising how others sometimes say that they also worry about shaking hands because sometimes people tend to squeeze to hard. A big smile and a kind word is usually enough to get you through introductions while keeping your hands resting at your sides. Sorry to hear that you might also be having other autoimmune symptoms. Hopefully, it will just be regular arthritis and no other things will develop. Keep hoping for the best and worry about it when it becomes necessary. Usually, worrying only gets you upset and doesn't change the outcome anyways. If its a good outcome then great, if it isn't then you just have to deal with it and forge forward. I truly hope it is just Sjorgrens for you but, if it isn't we will all be here and do our best to comfort you and be with you. Just take care of each issue as it arises and you will know you are doing every thing you can to help yourself stay well.
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

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#7 charliehorse

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 09:12 AM

Hi Amberjolie,

I had an interesting experience last year, and am certainly not saying it's a magical cure or anything, but for the symptoms I was experiencing it did wonders.

Our Australian winter is during the US and UK's summer and I find that by the end of the year I am usually feeling a lot of all over body pain: it's in my joints, in my muscles, everything seems to hurt and walking is often painful. So last year I booked in to see a myotherapist remedial masssage therapist, thinking it might help. It was not what you'd call a "skin polishing" session, it was quite deep, and the therapist always asked for an indication of pain tolerance so I could say "ease off" or "more".

I couldn't believe the difference after the session. Whatever she did released the pain. So as I said, I'm not suggesting in anyway that it's the answer to anyone's problems, just letting you know what I experienced.

Hope the pain eases soon. :bye:
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#8 amberjolie

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 02:24 AM

Hi Sheryl,
Unfortunately I do have other symptoms, which is what led to the CREST diagnosis in June. I had Raynaud's over the winter which led to digital ulcers, and then tested positive for ANA (1:640) with a speckled and nucleolar pattern. Then my doctor sent me for more specific tests to antibodies, and not only did all they come back negative but so did the ANA this time! So I was feeling good about that. But then I got another blood test about a month later, and ANA was 1:640 again, only nucleolar this time. But again, no other antibodies. And I started realizing that I've been having more heartburn than usual lately, and chest pains, and a bit of difficulty swallowing from time to time.

So the rheumatologist diagnosed it as CREST, because I had no skin involvement yet, and he said it would've showed up already if it was the diffuse scleroderma. Then, while seeing a pulmonary doctor because I had shortness of breath and heart palpitations (but my lungs look good right now, which I'm happy about), I mentioned dry mouth, so he sent me for a Sjogren's test (lip biopsy). Still waiting on the results from that, but it looks like I might have that.

I also have Hashimoto's thyroiditis (from about 3 years ago after the birth of my son).

But I really can't complain reading what a lot of people on this board are going through. My symptoms are relatively mild right now (I hope they stay that way, of course!).

Charliehorse, I absolutely LOVE deep massages, so I think when my health insurance starts up again next year (I only get so much per year on things other than prescriptions), I'll go again. I've been thinking lately that a massage would feel good. But I'll be sure to check out the kind you're referring to.

#9 chuckleberry

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 07:16 AM

hi joelf,
my worst smptoms are finger contractures and stiff and painful wrists and fingers.
I'm going to The Royal Free Hospital next week and would like to ask to try Prednisolone.
Do you have significant side effects from the drug?
Kind regards Penny

#10 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 11:00 AM

Hello Penny

I'm also a patient at the Royal Free and like yourself enjoy the excellent care they deliver.

Regarding steriods people with scleroderma have to be careful when it comes to steroid use:

Corticosteroids (such as prednisone) strongly increase the short-term risk of developing scleroderma renal crisis (kidney failure).

Have a read of our page about steriods from which the above extract has been taken.

Do discuss the matter with your rheumatologist at your next visit because they can be used in low doses but need to be aware of the risk factors. I have systemic sclerosis and was on a very low dose of prednisilone, 7.5 mg, for a few months last year but weened myself off of them, I found the side effects of even a low dose outweighed the benefits I was getting. I was prescribed them for the unbearable sclero itch and although they did help they effected my mood and not for the better!

As an alternative to steriods you ask your rheumatologist what pain relief is available because scleroderma can cause chronic pain the likes of which you seem to be experiencing.

I hope this helps and keep posting.

Take care.
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