Multiple arthritis conditions (Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis) can cause pain and swelling in the small joints like fingers. Moreover, you can get specifically arthritis in the joints of the fingers. In all cases, the more discomfort and symptoms you have, the less likely you are to exercise your hands and fingers. However, finger exercises can reduce redness, pain and swelling of the osteoarthritis. Regular exercise is an important part of any management program for arthritis.

Instructions

Do pushups on toes (curly) and extensions (opening). Open a gentle hand. Then slowly lift your fingers into the palm of your hand making a fist with the thumb on the outside. Then slowly open your hand up. When performing finger flexion and extension, finger experiencing negative and positive spin. Switch hands and do the same exercise. Try completing each exercise five times.

Make finger abduction (separating the fingers) and adduction (touch your toes). With an open hand, gently spread your fingers, so you can see the space between each. Hold for three to five seconds. Then, put your fingers back together, so you will not see the space between them. Complete the exercise five times on each hand.

Turn each finger in a circular motion. Gently hold the little finger of his right hand with his left hand. Make small as needles rotations clockwise and counterclockwise several times with the little finger. Move the index finger and repeat. Do these same movements for each finger on both hands. You can ask a friend or a physical therapist to perform these exercises with you, not to have overworked hands.

Gently pull each finger. Rely on the little finger of the right with the left hand. Hold your finger on the joint closest to the hand.

Gently pull up and away from his hand as if lengthen the finger. Repeat this exercise for each finger on both hands.

You can ask someone to help you with these exercises to minimize overuse of the hand.

Tips

* Exercising at a slow, steady and controlled.

* Try fewer repetitions to see how you tolerate the exercise before increasing the repetitions.

* Ask a friend, family member or medical professional for massaging the fingers and pull you to not have too much work with their hands.

* If you experience joint pain more than a total of two hours after any exercise, then you must have done too much effort. Do less rep the next time.

About the author:

Source: http://www.sooperarticles.com/health-fitness-articles/arthritis-articles/osteoarthritis-hands-how-relieve-arthritis-pain-1076352.html


signs of rheumatoid arthritis in hands

39 thoughts on “Signs Of Rheumatoid Arthritis In Hands

  1. Sarah G

    Can anyone tell me more about Repetitive Strain Injury?
    I’ve had achey wrists that click and creak loudly every time i move them and it’s becoming quite uncomfortable. I type lots and have had to write pages and pages for exams at school as well as texting and guitar hero. Would you say this is RSI and if it is, any tips or advice?

    1. Spider

      I think it is entirely possible that it is RSI but I also think that because of the creaking and clicking that some joint problems could be occurring.

      My advice, as someone with RSI and who developed osteoarthritis in their knees at 18, would be to ask your doctor for an x-ray, and if there are ANY changes to the joints that shouldn’t be there and could point to arthritis ask for an MRI to be done.

      When I had an x-ray in my 30’s I was told that there was ‘minimal’ arthritis damage, but the pain was over the top so I kept going back until they ordered an MRI which told the real story and they said I would need a knee replacement in 5 years.

      Also ask to be tested for signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

      Unfortunately with RSI the only thing that helps is complete rest of the injured muscles and tissues or it just gets worse. Think of it as a sports injury. Don’t fall into the trap of wearing wrist braces and/or taking pain killers to mask the pain. Pain is there for a reason – it is telling you that there is something wrong.

      As soon as you get a break from school next – rest your hands completely, no writing, texting, computers or guitar hero. If it hurts – don’t do it. Get physio or if possible find someone who does myofascial release. Educate yourself – go to the library and find books about RSI and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and if you find a good one order yourself a copy. The internet is not the only way to get info!

      My RSI is in my neck is from bad ergonomics at work. I may have almost completely recovered if it had been managed properly, but instead I was pushed to work on painkillers and ended up on disability. Years later, I still can’t hang out my own washing among other things and still have to really pace myself on computers.

      If writing by hand causes more problems than using a computer, then tell your school that you you must use a computer. They have a duty of care.

      Keep a diary of all your dealings with the school on the issue (this could be helpful legally if it ever comes to that), and keep a pain diary too, so you can see what activities are causing you the most problems.

      After a complete break, cut way back on how long you spend on computers and take a break and do stretches every 30 minutes (set an alarm) and make sure the ergonomics are right. With a laptop – connect it to a normal keyboard and raise the laptop higher so that you’re not looking down either. If possible use voice activated software.

      Take it seriously and don’t let people bully you to not take care of yourself. Good luck.

  2. ☮Lola.

    I might have rheumatoid arthritis, what are some sure signs of it?
    I’m 17 and have been having really sore knees and neck when I wake up, but just figured I slept funny. Today I woke up and I literally couldn’t stand. Both of my knees were in a lot of pain, as well as my upper leg area and neck. I read some stuff about fingers and feet hurting, but never experienced neither.

    I’m really scared, and I’m going to make a doctors appointment. What else could this be and does it sound like RA? I just learned it today but it unfortunately sounds right. Any info is helpful– thanks.

    1. Heather

      Try not to worry about it too much until you actually talk to a doctor. Your symptoms don’t sound like RA.

      RA symptoms are:

      Joint pain
      Joint swelling
      Joints that are tender to the touch
      Red and puffy hands
      Firm bumps of tissue under the skin on your arms (rheumatoid nodules)
      Fatigue
      Morning stiffness that lasts at least 30 minutes
      Fever
      Weight loss
      Signs and symptoms appear in smaller joints first
      Rheumatoid arthritis usually causes problems in several joints at the same time. Early rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect your smaller joints first — the joints in your wrists, hands, ankles and feet. As the disease progresses, your shoulders, elbows, knees, hips, jaw and neck can also become involved.

      Since RA is an autoimmune disease, a blood test can determine if you may have it, so make sure to ask your doctor about that.

  3. Heralda

    How does social class affect access to health services?
    You would think in a place like the UK, with free health care at the piont of need, that access to health care wouldn’t be affected by social class, but apparently, according to the Black Report it is. Why?

    1. gillianprowe

      You first have to define Social Class? People having the same social, economic, or educational status. So if for example you have a child, who attends education up to the age of ten and then dodges school, finds a male and ends up pregnant, would the teenager have the education to realize that the weight gain is due to being pregnant? While many adults attend Doctors to have the pregnancy monitored, if you do not know how babies are made, how would you know you are pregnant and why would you think you should see a Doctor? Likewise, a cold is just a cold, could be flu, but unless you are aware that the same symptoms can be linked to other more serious conditions, you will just think it is a cold. Then you have the fear of the Social Services! A bruise can be just a bruise, but it can also be a sign of child abuse! Their are many reasons why people do not see a Doctor. We have a case here, sad, but true. A Mother with MS, who was living with her Partner. The Partner died and the Mother went into depression, returned to live with her daughter and her Partner, plus children. The Mother with MS, refused food, refused to allow her daughter to call a Doctor and when she went into a Coma and the daughter called an Ambulance, the Mother with MS weighed six stone and died in hospital. What happened next? Well the Health Services had a big investigation, this person had MS, so who was her Community Nurse, Social Worker, who gave her medical support? Then they charged the daughter and her partner will ‘Neglect!’ They have been taken to Court and their Lawyer has demanded the documentation from the Health Service investigation! Some one or some system had a serious system failure, so they are trying to pin the blame on the daughter! I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, have a community nurse, social welfare officer, occupational therapist, all who visit me, just to make sure I am able to look after myself. If I cannot for example cook my meals, then they can arrange for someone to do it for me. However, this lady with MS, seems to have slipped through the system, but rather than the system hold its hand up, they are trying to shift the blame onto the daughter!
      Trying to access HELP, be it Community Nurse, Social Welfare Office, Home Help, is a minefield and I have a University education. I ponder how those who cannot read or write, let alone those who do not know of service available, manage this mine field? The simple answer, they cannot! You have a health problem, you see your Physician and the Physician does not know what services are available. You go to Citizens Advice and they point you in the right direction, on arrival you are given so many forms to fill in, it takes you days to fill them in! The system needs to be simplified, your Physician knows your health problem so they should be able to contact Community Nurse and get the ball rolling? However that would be in breach of confidentiality let alone several other laws. So while the law is their to protect you, it also means it is a mine field to negotiate! Best of Luck

  4. Borgy

    What is the english medical term for the filipino tagalog folklore word “Pasma”?
    Sufferrers tend to have this shaking hand sensation (later in life) and they get that from hitting the showers immediately (and not resting a considerable amount of time) after a strenuous activity…Many athletes do this and i have been told that there are cases prevalent and most old people in the Philippines will tell you it exists…..do you know the english medical term for this?

    1. 1x1 pic

      there’s no exact medical term for “pasma” although you can sort out separate illnesses that may contribute to the signs and symptoms associated with pasma.

      hand tremors- rheumatoid arthritis, parkinson’s disease, old age, other forms of neuropathy

      sweaty palms- hyperhydrosis

      numbness and pains- neuropathy associated with diabetes, vitamin B6 and B12, and other forms of neuropathy.

      (notice that almost all of them are associated with all age that they try to teach these things to the young ones)

      and some of these conditions may have been observed by the old folks being aggravated by immediate “hot”+”cold”. this phenomenon may be associated by the medical term “rebound effect” in which a preconditioned state of the body, when subjected with sudden change in conditions, will tend to overadapt to the sudden change; and aggravation of underlying symptoms may soon follow.

  5. dingdong

    Why do my finger nails have ridges in them?
    Every single one of my nails has tiny ridges going straight down the face of the nail. anybody know why and how to cure it?

    1. periwinkle

      From Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Balch & Balch

      The nails protect the nerve-rich fingertips and tips of the toes from injury. Nails are a substructure of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) and are composed mainly of keratin, a type of protein. the nail bed is the skin on tip of which the nails grow. Nails grow from .05 to 1.2 millimeters (approximately 1/500 to 1/20 inch) a week. If a nail is lost, it takes about seven months to grow out fully.

      Healthy nail beds are pink, indicating a rich blood supply. changes or abnormalities in the nails are often the result of nutritional deficiencies or other underlying conditions. The nails can reveal a great deal about the body’s internal health. nail abnormalities on either the fingers or the toes can indication underlying disorder.

      The following are some of the changes that nutritional deficiencies can produce in the nails:

      A lack of protein, folic acid, and vitamin C causes hang nails. White bands across the nails are also an indication of protein deficiency.

      A lack of vitamin A and calcium causes dryness and brittleness.

      A deficiency of the B vitamins causes fragility, with horizontal and vertical ridges.

      Insufficient intake of vitamin B12 leads to excessive dryness, very rounded and curved nail ends, and darkened nails.

      Iron deficiency may result in ‘spoon’ nails (nails that develop a concave shape) and/or vertical ridges.

      Zinc deficiency may cause the development of white spots on the nails.

      A lack of sufficient ‘friendly’ bacteria (lactobacilli) in the body can result in the growth of fungus under and around nails.

      A lack of sufficient hydrochloric acid (HCI) contributes to splitting nails.

      DISORDERS THAT SHOW UP IN THE NAILS

      Nail changes may signify a number of disorders elsewhere in the body. These changes may indicate illness before any othersymptoms do. Seek medical attention if any of the following symptoms are suspected.

      BLACK, SPLINTER LIKE BITS UNDER THE NAILS can be a sign of infectious endocarditis, a serious heart infection; other heart disease; or a bleeding disorder.

      BLACK BANDS from the cuticle outward to the end of the nail can be an early sign of melanoma.

      BRITTLE, SOFT, SHINY NAILS WITHOUT A MOON may indicate an overactive thyroid.

      BRITTLE NAILS signify possible iron deficiency, thyroid problems, impaired kidney function, and circulation problems.

      CRUMBLY, WHITE NAILS near the cuticle are sometimes an indication of AIDS.

      DAR NAILS AND/OR THIN, FLAT, SPOON-SHAPED NAILS are a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency or anemia. Nails can also turn gray or dark if the hands are placed in chemicals such as cleaning supplies (most often bleach) or a substance to which one is allergic.

      DEEP BLUE NAIL BEDS show a pulmonary obstructive disorder such as asthma or emphysema.

      DOWNWARD-CURVED nail ends may denote heart, liver, or respiratory problems.

      FLAT NAILS can denote Raynaud’s disease.

      GREENISH NAILS, if not a result of a localized fungal infection, may indicate an internal bacterial infection.

      A HALF-WHITE NAIL WITH DARK SPOTS AT THE TIP points to possible kidney disease.

      AN ISOLATED DARK-BLUE BAND IN THE NAIL BED, especially in light-skinned people, can be a sign of skin cancer.

      LINDSAY’S NAILS (sometimes known as ‘half-and-half’ nails), nails in which half of the top of the nail is white and the other half is pink, may be a sign of chronic kidney disease.

      NAIL BEADING (the development of bumps on the surface of the nail) is a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.

      NAILS RAISED AT THE BASE WITH SMALL WHITE ENDS, show a respiratory disorder such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis. This type of nails may also simply be inherited.

      NAILS SEPARATED FROM THE NAIL BED may signify a thyroid disorder (this condition is known as onyholysis) or a local infection.

      NAILS THAT BROADEN TOWARD THE TIP AND CURVE DOWNWARD are a sing of lung damage, such as from emphysema or exposure to asbestos.

      NAILS THAT CHIP, PEEL, CRACK ,OR BREAK EASILY show a general nutritional deficiency and insufficient hydrochloric acid and protein. Minerals are also needed.

      NAILS THAT HAVE PITTING RESEMBLING HAMMERED BRASS indicate a tendency toward partial or total hair loss.

      PITTED RED-BROWN SPOTS AND FRAYED SPLIT ENDS indicate psoriasis; vitamin C, folic acid, and protein are needed.

      RED SKIN AROUND THE CUTICLES can be indicative of poor metabolism of essential fatty acids or of a connective tissue disorder such as lupus.

      RIDGES can appear in the nails either vertically or horizontally. Vertical ridges indicate poor general health, poor nutrient absorption, and/or iron deficiency; they may also indicate a kidney disorder. Horizontal ridges can occur as a result of severe stress, either psychological or physical, such as from infection and/or disease. A horizontal indention in the nails (Beau’s line) can occur as a result of a heart attack, major illness, or surgery. Ridges running up and down the nails also indicate a tendency to develop arthritis.

      SPOONING (upward-curling) OR PITTING NAILS can be caused by disorders such as anemia or problems with iron absorption.

      THICK NAILS may indicate that the vascular system is weakening and the blood is not circulating properly. THis may also be a sign of thyroid disease.

      THICK TOENAILS can be a result of fungal infection.

      THINNING NAILS may signal lichen planus, an itchy skin disorder.

      TWO WHITE HORIZONTAL BANDS THAT DO NOT MOVE AS THE NAIL GROWS are a sign of hypoalbuminemia, a protein deficiency in the blood.

      UNUSUALLY WIDE, SQUARE NAILS can suggest a hormonal disorder.

      WHITE LINES show possible heart disease, high fever, or arsenic poisoning.

      WHITE LINES ACROSS THE NAIL may indicate a liver disease.

      IF THE WHITE MOON AREA OF THE NAIL TURNS RED, it may indicate heart problems; IF IT TURNS SLATE BLUE, then it can indicate either heavy metal poisoning (such as silver poisoning) or lung trouble.

      WHITE NAILS indicate possible liver or kidney disorders and/or anemia.

      WHITE NAILS with pink near the tips are a sign of cirrhosis.

      YELLOW NAILS OR AN ELEVATION OF THE NAIL TIPS can indicate internal disorders long before other symptoms appear. Some of these are problems wit the lymphatic system, respiratory disorders, diabetes, and liver disorders.

      So, there it is. More than you ever wanted to know about nails, and then some!

  6. Kayleigh Marie

    Who can tell me about the pain in my hands?
    For a few months i have had pain in my muscels and nerves in my hand. What could be causing this and solutions?

    1. angel

      carpal tunnel The median nerve provides feeling and movement to the “thumb side” of the hand (the palm, thumb, index finger, middle finger, and thumb side of the ring finger).

      The area in your wrist where the nerve enters the hand is called the carpal tunnel. This tunnel is normally narrow, so any swelling can pinch the nerve and cause pain, numbness, tingling or weakness. This is called carpal tunnel syndrome.

      Carpal tunnel syndrome is common in people who perform repetitive motions of the hand and wrist. Typing on a computer keyboard is probably the most common cause of carpal tunnel. Other causes include:

      Sewing

      Driving

      Assembly line work

      Painting

      Writing

      Use of tools (especially hand tools or tools that vibrate)

      Sports such as racquetball or handball

      Playing some musical instruments

      The condition occurs most often in people 30 to 60 years old, and is more common in women than men.

      A number of medical problems are associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, including:

      Bone fractures and arthritis of the wrist

      Acromegaly

      Diabetes

      Alcoholism

      Hypothyroidism

      Kidney failure and dialysis

      Menopause, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and pregnancy

      Infections

      Obesity

      Rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and scleroderma

      Symptoms

      Numbness or tingling in the thumb and next two or three fingers of one or both hands

      Numbness or tingling of the palm of the hand

      Pain extending to the elbow

      Pain in wrist or hand in one or both hands

      Problems with fine finger movements (coordination) in one or both hands

      Wasting away of the muscle under the thumb (in advanced or long-term cases)

      Weak grip or difficulty carrying bags (a common complaint)

      Weakness in one or both hands

      Signs and tests

      During a physical examination, the doctor may find:

      Numbness in the palm, thumb, index finger, middle finger, and thumb side of the ring finger

      Weak hand grip

      Tapping over the median nerve at the wrist may cause pain to shoot from the wrist to the hand (this is called Tinel’s sign)

      Bending the wrist forward all the way for 60 seconds will usually result in numbness, tingling, or weakness.

    1. PooPooLaTrash

      Do you mean rheumatoid arthritis? If so, yes both are considered disabilities if you meet certain criteria.

      The SSA uses the following test to determine if a person with rheumatoid arthritis meets the criteria for awarding Disability Insurance Benefits. The person must have each of the following:

      A history of persistent joint pain, swelling and tenderness involving multiple major joints which are defined as hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, or wrist and hand. The person must also have signs of joint inflammation such as swelling and tenderness on a current medical exam despite at least three months of prescribed therapy. The person must have significant restriction of the functioning of the affected joints and it must be expected that this condition will last at least twelve months.

      The diagnosis must also be corroborated by either a blood test that is positive for rheumatoid factor, or positive for antinuclear antibodies, or higher than usual sedimentation rate or characteristic changes in the tissue in a biopsy of the synovial membrane.

      People with a degenerative arthritis such as osteoarthritis qualify if they have significant limitations while using hands or arms, or while standing or walking. People with back (spine osteoarthritis) or neck osteoarthritis must have persistent sensory, reflex, and motor loss as well.

      As with any condition where you are trying to qualify for disability, your medical record can make or break your claim. You must have documented medical records outlining treatment, your response, and how the condition has affected your ability to perform normal activities of daily living.

  7. weasa

    If you have rheumatoid arthritis in both hands and one knee are there any benefits you can claim?
    My mam is 51, not working but signs on. Gets working tax credit because husband works but is there anything else she might be entitled to. She has rheumatoid arthritis in both hands and one knee so there are not many jobs she can do. She used to be a cleaner but can not do this now because of the pain she gets. Any help much appreciated. U.K

  8. anonymous

    What is the difference between immunosuppressive drugs and rituxan?
    is this correct?: rituxan KILLS off the lymphocytes that produce antibodies whereas immunosuppressive drugs merely SUPPRESS lymphocyte activity to prevent production of antibodies.
    also, is the steroid prednisone considered an immunosuppressive drug?

    1. basiliximab1980

      Rituxan is a type of immunosuppressive drug; these drugs have a lot of different ways they suppress the immune system. Rituxan’s specific mechanism of action is to bind to the CD20 receptor on B-lymphocytes which eventually leads to the cell’s death. So Rituxan is targeted to B-cells (a type of lymphocyte)–and yes, it does kill off the lymphocytes that produce antibodies.

      Here is more detailed information from Lexi-comp online:
      Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody directed against the CD20 antigen on B-lymphocytes. CD20 regulates cell cycle initiation; and, possibly, functions as a calcium channel. Rituximab binds to the antigen on the cell surface, activating complement-dependent B-cell cytotoxicity; and to human Fc receptors, mediating cell killing through an antibody-dependent cellular toxicity. B-cells are believed to play a role in the development and progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Signs and symptoms of RA are reduced by targeting B-cells and the progression of structural damage is delayed.

      Prednisone is considered an immunosuppressive drug; it actually belongs to a class of drugs called corticosteroids, and the way these drugs work their many effects is by suppressing the immune system.

      Here is more detailed information on this from Lexi-comp:
      prednisone decreases inflammation by suppression of migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reversal of increased capillary permeability; suppresses the immune system by reducing activity and volume of the lymphatic system; suppresses adrenal function at high doses. Antitumor effects may be related to inhibition of glucose transport, phosphorylation, or induction of cell death in immature lymphocytes.

      Actually, in reading this (last sentence specifically)–it looks like they’re saying predinsone may actually have some cytotoxic (cell-killing) activity–I didn’t know that.

      More than likely, if you’re talking about a immunosuppressive drug, it generally does just suppress the immune system, and doesn’t kill off anything. For example, another monoclonal antibody (like rituximab) is basiliximab; this one works in this way: “Chimeric (murine/human) monoclonal antibody which blocks the alpha-chain of the interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor complex; this receptor is expressed on activated T lymphocytes and is a critical pathway for activating cell-mediated allograft rejection.”

      That’s from Lexi-comp of course because I didn’t quite remember how it worked off-hand. But as you can see, this one blocks interleukin-2 which is part of the pathway that enhances the action of the immune system. By blocking this, the immune system is *suppressed*–thus the term “immunosuppressive drugs”. Cellcept belongs to another class of drugs that are immunosuppressives (and not cytotoxic–just cytostatic). There are a great many ways immunosuppressive drugs work, those are just a few examples. Hope all this helped some!

  9. Lisa G

    I have a sharp shooting pain in my right ring finger. What could it be? Is it a nerve? ?
    It only lasts a few seconds at a time and the pain radiates up my arm, dying out at about my armpit. I have a high pain tolerance and the intensity of this is surprising.

    1. imsety

      See your health care provider as soon as possible (orthopedic surgeon or hand specialist), for consultation. Finger pain is defined as pain in one or more fingers. Nearly everyone has injured a finger at sometime during their life. After an injury, the finger can remain a bit crooked or stiff. However, your hand can still work quite well with minor deformities. Fingers do not need to open or close completely to be functional.

      Numbness or tingling in the fingers may be a sign of a problem with nerves or blood flow.

      Causes

      Blood flow problems
      Injury
      Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
      Nerve problems
      Osteoarthritis
      Raynaud’s phenomenon
      Rheumatoid arthritis

      Entrapment is a condition where the ulnar nerve becomes trapped or pinched due to some physiological abnormalities.
      The ulnar nerve passes through many tunnels and outlets which could cause the nerve to be compressed or “pinched”. Entrapment’s are classified according to the location of the compressed. Some causes or origins noted could be:

      Problems originating at the neck (thoracic outlet syndrome, disease of the cervical spine).

      Brachial plexus abnormalities.

      Elbow abnormalities (fractures, growth plate injuries, cubital tunnel problems, improper use).

      Wrist abnormalities (fractures, Guyon canal problems).

      Artery aneurysms or thrombosis.

      Guyon’s canal syndrome, sometimes called Guyon’s tunnel syndrome, is a common nerve compression affecting the ulnar nerve as it passes through a tunnel in the wrist called Guyon’s canal. This problem is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome but involves a completely different nerve. Symptoms include a feeling of pins-and-needles in the ring and little fingers, and may progress to a burning pain in the wrist and hand followed by decreased sensation in the ring and little fingers. One common cause of this syndrome is from pressure of bicycle handlebars seen with avid cyclists. Another is from hard, repetitive compression against a desk surface while using a computer mouse.

      See a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

      I hope this helps you. And good luck.

  10. never.say.never

    What is the difference between fibromyalgia and polymyagia rheumatica?
    I’ve searched the web, but can’t seem to find what I’m looking for. I didn’t think they were the same thing, but having a hard time differentiating between the two.

    1. parsonsel

      What Is Fibromyalgia?

      Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue (feeling tired). People with fibromyalgia have “tender points” on the body. Tender points are specific places on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs. These points hurt when pressure is put on them.

      People with fibromyalgia may also have other symptoms, such as:

      Trouble sleeping
      Morning stiffness
      Headaches
      Painful menstrual periods
      Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
      Problems with thinking and memory (sometimes called “fibro fog”).

      What Causes Fibromyalgia?

      The causes of fibromyalgia are unknown. There may be a number of factors involved. Fibromyalgia has been linked to:

      Stressful or traumatic events, such as car accidents
      Repetitive injuries
      Illness
      Certain diseases.
      Fibromyalgia can also occur on its own.

      Some scientists think that a gene or genes might be involved in fibromyalgia. The genes could make a person react strongly to things that other people would not find painful.

      Who Is Affected by Fibromyalgia?

      Fibromyalgia affects as many as 1 in 50 Americans. Most people with fibromyalgia are women. However, men and children also can have the disorder. Most people are diagnosed during middle age.

      People with certain other diseases may be more likely to have fibromyalgia. These diseases include:

      Rheumatoid arthritis
      Systemic lupus erythematosus (commonly called lupus)
      Ankylosing spondylitis (spinal arthritis).
      Women who have a family member with fibromyalgia may be more likely to have fibromyalgia themselves.

      How Is Fibromyalgia Treated?

      Fibromyalgia can be hard to treat. It’s important to find a doctor who is familiar with the disorder and its treatment. Many family physicians, general internists, or rheumatologists can treat fibromyalgia. Rheumatologists are doctors who specialize in arthritis and other conditions that affect the joints or soft tissues.

      Fibromyalgia treatment often requires a team approach. The team may include your doctor, a physical therapist, and possibly other health care providers. A pain or rheumatology clinic can be a good place to get treatment.

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved any medicines to treat fibromyalgia. Doctors treat fibromyalgia with medicines approved for other purposes. Pain medicines and antidepressants are often used in treatment.

      What Can I Do to Try to Feel Better?

      There are many things you can do to feel better, including:

      Taking medicines as prescribed
      Getting enough sleep
      Exercising
      Eating well
      Making work changes if necessary.

      What Research Is Being Done on Fibromyalgia?

      The NIAMS sponsors research to help understand fibromyalgia and find better ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent it. Researchers are studying:

      Why people with fibromyalgia have increased sensitivity to pain
      The role of stress hormones in the body
      Medicines and behavioral treatments
      Whether there is a gene or genes that make a person more likely to have fibromyalgia.

      For More Information on Fibromyalgia and Other Related Conditions:

      National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
      National Institutes of Health
      1 AMS Circle
      Bethesda, MD 20892–3675
      Phone: 301–495–4484 or 877–22–NIAMS (226–4267) (free of charge)
      TTY: 301–565–2966
      Fax: 301–718–6366
      E-mail: NIAMSInfo@mail.nih.gov
      http://www.niams.nih.gov

      Polymyalgia rheumatica

      ARTICLE SECTIONS

      Introduction
      Signs and symptoms
      Causes
      Risk factors
      When to seek medical advice
      Screening and diagnosis
      Complications
      Treatment
      Self-care

      Introduction
      Like most people, you’ve probably experienced stiff and sore muscles occasionally — maybe after a strenuous hike or a weekend of yardwork. Now imagine feeling that way all of the time. That’s what it’s like to live with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), an inflammatory disorder that causes widespread muscle aching and stiffness, primarily in your neck, shoulders, upper arms, thighs and hips.

      Although some people develop these symptoms gradually, polymyalgia rheumatica can literally appear overnight. People with polymyalgia rheumatica may go to bed feeling fine, only to awaken with stiffness and pain the next morning.

      Just what triggers polymyalgia rheumatica isn’t known, but the cause may be a problem with the immune system, perhaps involving both genetic and environmental factors. Aging also appears to play a role — polymyalgia rheumatica almost always develops in people age 50 and older.

      Polymyalgia rheumatica usually goes away on its own in a year or two — often as mysteriously as it came. But you don’t have to endure the pain and disabling effects of polymyalgia rheumatica for months or years. Medications and self-care measures can improve your symptom

  11. teetazsteeler

    dont know yet about whats wrong but, the pain is horrible?
    its seems like rheumatoid arthritis or possible lupus with arthritis.its getting worse with every flare.my neck,shoulders,back,hands and legs are in so much pain.i am waiting on the test results which were taken on jan 8th.doctor took ts4 hormone,cbc with diff,rh factor,ana antibody.my symptoms arent just pain,feels like grinding,cold pains,not feeling well,so on.
    dont know test results yet.yes my pain is in joints bi-lateral on both sides.i do have a rash on my nose and face that showed up and hasnt gone away since aug.my knuckles are getting big.it does seem to me that it could be rheumatoid arthritis more than lupus but,the reddness on my face is fishy.just being patient for the results.my symptoms are getting worse.feels like my muscles are detaching from the bone.im begining to feel weaker.

    1. mgunnycappo

      They took all the tests and what were the results? Is your pain bi-lateral? Is there redness at the site of the joint pain? These would point more towards rheumatoid arthritis. Lupus joint pain usually isn’t bi-lateral and there typically isn’t any reddness at the site. Do you have any other symptoms of Lupus other than joint pain?

      EDIT: The bi-lateral joint pain is a sign of RA. The rash could be unrelated. Was your RA factor positive or negative? How about the ANA? What about complement levels? Why do you not have the test results yet? You had them over a month ago. The longest of these tests only take one week to run. I would be bugging your doctor to find out the results pronto, because without these it is impossible to tell what is really going on.

  12. Pookie

    What are the signs of arthritis?
    My hands have been cramping lately and get stiff when I make a fist. Is this the beginning of a disease?

    1. charly

      when the pain starts?

      Rheumatoid arthritis is generally worse in the morning and associated with stiffness; in the early stages, patients often have no symptoms after a morning shower.

      Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, tends to be worse after exercise. In the aged and children, pain might not be the main presenting feature; the aged patient simply moves less, the infantile patient refuses to use the affected limb.

      you can have just an threatable inflamation… may be a sudden change of temperature in your hands.

  13. Anonymous

    My fingers are swollen and reddish and the middle finger of both hands is sore and hard to bend?
    This has been going on for a few months. Does it sound like osteoarthritis?

    1. Brn_Eye_Grl

      Could either be an infection, possible circulation issue, possible autoimmune disease (including rheumatoid arthritis), or something else.

      Definitely need to go to your doctor. They need to test for infections, check your blood pressure and listen to your heart, and check for any autoimmune problems.

      Do you have problems with your hands and feet turning white, purple, blue or really red when it gets chilly (even at 70 degrees)? Do you have fatigue? Those could be signs of circulatory/heart problem or autoimmune.

      Get to a doctor ASAP!!!! Maybe even see a rheumatologist and a cardiologist if possible.

  14. Lovely

    When should I be worried about my 1 month old possibly having Rheumatoid Arthritis?
    My husbands niece just found out she has Rheumatoid Arthritis & my husbands dad has it also. My father-in-law just told me his dad had some form of Arthritis. When should I be concerned if my son has it? When can they start tests to see if has it? Thanks in advance for your answers!

    1. Glorioso

      I would not start testing your son right now (or in the immediate future.) arthritis can show up at any time, but it’s not detectable ahead of time. Instead be aware of the symptoms of arthritis: pain, redness, swelling, and/or heat concentrated in the joints; stiffness in the morning, or long periods of inactivity; reduced range of motion in the joints; general signs of being unwell (lethargy, reduced appetite, etc.) Joint symptoms with RA are usually symmetrical. It most commonly occurs in the hands, but can occur in other joints as well. If your kids does start showing those symptoms, try to get an appt. with a rheumatologist *quickly.* If necessary, giving your GP a list of symptoms, a family history, and a request for a referral should get you to a rheumy fairly promptly.

  15. James

    Why do i have sharp pains in my finger?
    I keep getting sharp pains in my left hand index finger. Any reasons why? Its been going on since last night and the pain really hurts. Please Help!
    I have been typing alot. I think I will talk to a docter. Any idea on what i should do to try and stop the pain untill then?

    1. Crystal R

      Hand Injuries and Disorders
      Read More
      Osteoarthritis

      Finger pain is defined as pain in one or more fingers.
      Considerations

      Nearly everyone has injured a finger at sometime during their life. After an injury, the finger can remain a bit crooked or stiff. However, your hand can still work quite well with minor deformities. Fingers do not need to open or close completely to be functional.

      Numbness or tingling in the fingers may be a sign of a problem with nerves or blood flow.
      Causes

      * Blood flow problems
      * Injury
      * Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
      * Nerve problems
      * Osteoarthritis
      * Raynaud’s phenomenon
      * Rheumatoid arthritis

      Home Care

      Avoid activities that cause or aggravate pain.

      After injury, rest the finger joints so that they can heal, but use mild stretching exercises to keep them limber and maintain motion. Stretch the joints gently, not forcefully, twice a day. Stretch just to the point of discomfort, but not enough to cause pain.

      Use common sense in thinking of ways to perform activities that are less stressful to the joints. For example, a big handle can be gripped with less strain than a small handle.

      Avoid strong pain medicines that tend to mask the pain and may lead to excessive activity or exercise.

      Anti-inflammatory medication can help. Any prescribed medication for inflammation should be taken only as directed.
      When to Contact a Medical Professional

      Call your doctor if:

      * The finger pain is caused by injury
      * The problem persists after 2 weeks of home treatment
      * There is numbing or tingling in the fingers
      * There is severe pain at rest
      * It is impossible to straighten the fingers

      What to Expect at Your Office Visit

      The doctor will perform a physical examination, which will include looking at hand and finger movement.

      You will be asked questions about your medical history and symptoms, including:

      * Location
      o What part of the finger is affected?
      o Is it on both hands?
      o Is it every finger?
      o Which finger?
      o Is it only a particular joint? Which joint?
      * Time pattern
      o When did the finger pain first start?
      o How long has it lasted?
      o Is the pain continuous or does it come and go?
      * Quality
      o Is the pain burning?
      o Is the pain crushing?
      o Is the pain sharp?
      * Medical history
      o Have you been injured recently?
      o What other symptoms do you have?

      An x-ray of the hand may be recommended.

      Treatment depends on the underlying cause.
      A

  16. Amber

    Is it possible that arthritis of the knee could be mistaken as tendonitis in an mri?
    Just concerned, I always have pain in feet, hands, and out of no where i get this god awful pain in my knees now…. I am not an athlete just your average stay at home soccer mom. They also say I have some acl tearing? I know I did not do anything to my knee!!!! Just woke up one morning with the pain.. I feel i have arthritis and just wondering if i should get a second opinion or if the 2 can possibly be mistaken for one another

    1. gillianprowe

      There are over 100 different types of Arthritis. However the two common ones are Rheumatoid Arthritis, a autoimmune condition and Osteoarthritis, know once as ‘wear and tear’. Having said that, every Human over the age of 30 will have some Osteoarthritis somewhere, as it is part and parcel of the aging process, unless you literally do zero all day since you were born. Personally I would return to your PCP/GP and ask for a FBC or CBC, full/complete blood count and then ask for a auto antibody screening. Pain in hands and feet can be early signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis, so best to be safe than sorry.

  17. anonymous

    what is the difference between immunosuppressive drugs and rituxan?
    is this correct?: rituxan KILLS off the lymphocytes that produce antibodies whereas immunosuppressive drugs merely SUPPRESSES lymphocyte activity to prevent production of antibodies.
    is the steroid prednisone considered an immunosuppressive drug?

    1. basiliximab1980

      Rituxan is a type of immunosuppressive drug; these drugs have a lot of different ways they suppress the immune system. Rituxan’s specific mechanism of action is to bind to the CD20 receptor on B-lymphocytes which eventually leads to the cell’s death. So Rituxan is targeted to B-cells (a type of lymphocyte)–and yes, it does kill off the lymphocytes that produce antibodies.

      Here is more detailed information from Lexi-comp online:
      Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody directed against the CD20 antigen on B-lymphocytes. CD20 regulates cell cycle initiation; and, possibly, functions as a calcium channel. Rituximab binds to the antigen on the cell surface, activating complement-dependent B-cell cytotoxicity; and to human Fc receptors, mediating cell killing through an antibody-dependent cellular toxicity. B-cells are believed to play a role in the development and progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Signs and symptoms of RA are reduced by targeting B-cells and the progression of structural damage is delayed.

      Prednisone is considered an immunosuppressive drug; it actually belongs to a class of drugs called corticosteroids, and the way these drugs work their many effects is by suppressing the immune system.

      Here is more detailed information on this from Lexi-comp:
      prednisone decreases inflammation by suppression of migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reversal of increased capillary permeability; suppresses the immune system by reducing activity and volume of the lymphatic system; suppresses adrenal function at high doses. Antitumor effects may be related to inhibition of glucose transport, phosphorylation, or induction of cell death in immature lymphocytes.

      Actually, in reading this (last sentence specifically)–it looks like they’re saying predinsone may actually have some cytotoxic (cell-killing) activity–I didn’t know that.

      More than likely, if you’re talking about a immunosuppressive drug, it generally does just suppress the immune system, and doesn’t kill off anything. For example, another monoclonal antibody (like rituximab) is basiliximab; this one works in this way: “Chimeric (murine/human) monoclonal antibody which blocks the alpha-chain of the interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor complex; this receptor is expressed on activated T lymphocytes and is a critical pathway for activating cell-mediated allograft rejection.”

      That’s from Lexi-comp of course because I didn’t quite remember how it worked off-hand. But as you can see, this one blocks interleukin-2 which is part of the pathway that enhances the action of the immune system. By blocking this, the immune system is *suppressed*–thus the term “immunosuppressive drugs”. Cellcept belongs to another class of drugs that are immunosuppressives (and not cytotoxic–just cytostatic). There are a great many ways immunosuppressive drugs work, those are just a few examples. Hope all this helped some!

  18. Kelly Crays

    Signs of Rheumatoid arthritis in 18 year old?
    the top of my right hand hurts. my fingers ache and everything. today is the only day this has happen but i just want to make sure. i’m also an artist and pianist and i do a lot of things with my hands. my aunt just found out she has Rheumatoid arthritis. The pain will come and go.

    1. Karen

      You should see your family doctor. At 18 years of age, you could definitely have rheumatoid arthritis, however, you could also be suffering from fibromyalgia. Both illnesses will cause pain and stiffness in your joints. Neither disease is curable yet, but both can be managed with medications. I wish you the best of luck, and good health!

  19. palakea

    Social Security Disability and SSI, I have several disabilities have any of you got info that may help?
    I have Degenerative Disc Disease, Fibromyalgia, Post Traumatic Stress DIsorder, Panic and Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Arthritis, Fractures and inversion of the spine, as well as migraines.

    1. womack5501

      The evaluation of disability on the basis of mental disorders requires the documentation of a medically determinable impairment(s) as well as consideration of the degree of limitation such impairment(s) may impose on the individual’s ability to work and whether these limitations have lasted or are expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
      Each diagnostic group, consists of a set of clinical findings, one or more of which must be met, and which, if met, lead to a test of functional restrictions, two or three of which must also be met.
      The listings for mental disorders are so constructed that an individual meeting or equaling the criteria could not reasonably be expected to engage in gainful work activity.
      Individuals who have an impairment with a level of severity which does not meet the criteria of the listings for mental disorders may or may not have the residual functional capacity (RFC) which would enable them to engage in substantial gainful work activity.
      The determination of mental RFC is crucial to the evaluation of an individual’s capacity to engage in substantial gainful work activity when the criteria of the
      listings for mental disorders are not met or equaled but the impairment is nevertheless severe.
      RFC may be defined as a multidimensional description of the work-related abilities which an individual retains in spite of medical impairments. The existence of a medically determinable impairment of the required duration must be established by medical evidence consisting of clinical signs, symptoms and/or laboratory or psychological test findings.
      Clinical signs are medically demonstrable phenomena which reflect specific abnormalities of behavior, affect, thought, memory, orientation, or contact with reality.
      These signs are typically assessed by a psychiatrist or psychologist and/or documented by psychological tests. Symptoms are complaints presented by the individual. Signs and symptoms generally cluster together to constitute recognizable clinical syndromes (mental disorders).

      The SSA maintains a master list of medical conditions that affect the major systems of the body. These medical conditions are so severe that they are automatically considered to be disabilities by the SSA. If your condition is not on the list, the SSA must find that your condition is of equivalent severity as those conditions found on the list in order for you to be considered disabled. The following list includes just a few of the conditions that may qualify as a disability. However, even if your condition is not on the list you may still qualify for benefits……………….
      Rheumatoid Arthritis
      Blindness
      Severe Back Pain
      Chronic Heart Disease
      Cancer
      Extreme Psoriasis involving Hands & Feet
      Obesity
      Seizures despite the use of Medications
      Multiple Sclerosis
      Various Mental Disorders

      Maybe one of the sites listed on my sources will give you more information as well as the how to of applying for SSD and SSI. Hope that this has been of some help to you.
      I have disabilities as well. Degenerative Disc Disease, Fibromyalgia, Severe manic depression/ anxiety, blindness in one eye, and more. I understand the pain and anxiety you must be feeling. Don’t be surprised if they deny you the 1st time you apply. It is standard procedure. Be patient because it takes many months to get through the process and get approved.

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