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Locking fingers...swollen hand
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Locking fingers...swollen hand

Good Morning All,

My name is Heather and I am the Community Leader of the Multiple Sclerosis Forum on MedHelp.  While I do have MS, I have new problems going on that signal possible Rhuematoid Arthritis, most noticeably in my right hand.  

I have three fingers that lock up and have swollen knuckle joints.  Those that have experienced this, know how painful it is.  Strange how a limb so small can cause such great pain.

I have had a hands-on (excuse the pun) exam by my doctor and have been found to have many swollen knuckles in my right hand.  She did the appropriate blood work.  An RA panel, an ANA Titer and an ESR (sed Rate)  The RA panel came back 9.6, (with a range of 0.0-14.0) the ANA titer came back negative and the ESR came back 11, with the range being (0-30)

I have had a cortisone injection into the middle finger by an orthopedist some time ago and this relieved my symptoms for many months.  I now am set up with an appointment to see a Rheumy in June.  Long time to wait.

My question, after that boring history is this.....  How do you best control the pain, minus any medication?.  I already take pain medication for my MS, but it doesn't touch the pain I feel in my right hand.  I soak the hand in warm water or on a heating pad.  I have my better'half massage the hand.  Painful as the dickens.

I have tried resting the hand, but being a Moderator (Community Leader on a MedHelp Forum) I do not have the luxury of resting for too long.  I have a Forum with needy people needing answers to questions....so I type away, day in and day out.  I have had a carpal tunnel release on both hands many years ago.  What causes the most pain, is using a rake out in the yard or pulling weeds in my flower beds.

Any suggestions from you fine folks would be appreciated.  What works for you?  Oh by the way, I am 54 years old.  "On the back side of life," as they say.

Thanks for your help and all of you have a GREAT DAY!

Heather  
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3 Comments Post a Comment
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422104_tn?1209767504
Hi Heather,

I have spoken with you on the MS forum as I am being tested for that now.  I have Ankoylosing Spondylitis and Reactive Arthritis ( symptoms same as RA).  I take Enbrel, an injection I give myself once a week, my sed rate varies between 50 and 100, today is a very bad day, can barely walk and my hands are very swollen. I was dx 4 years ago with both.  Based on your test numbers you may have osteoarthritis.  If you are able to, talk to your doc about taking an anti inflammatory. Something that worked very well for me when I was first dx is Ketoprofen brand name Oruvail.  They used to make it in 200mg caps but stopped, so now it comes in 50mg, just take 4 a day.  I work for doctors and they are split on the use of Celebrex, personally I stick with the ketoprofen.   If the inflammation can be alleviated the pain usually is too so you dont need the pain meds.  Of course all of this is based on my own experience so take from it what you will.  I hope you get some answers and some relief soon.  See you on the MS forum!

Sue
smittygirl
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195469_tn?1388326488
Hey there girlfriend...I have missed talking with you.

Thank you so much for your advice.  Wow it really helps me to understand more.  I am stomach sensitive so hopefully an anti-inflammatory won't tear it up more.  Lately I have been taking Ecotrin (coated aspirin) trying to alleviate the discomfort, but it's not doing a great job.  I hope I didn't through off my true tests numbers when they took my blood, cause I forgot to tell them I was currently taking aspirin.  No matter the appointment with the Rheumy, I will disclose that.

Thanks again for your help.  PM me with everything that has been going on with you, girl.  Fill me in on everything.

Big Hugs,
Heather  
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422104_tn?1209767504
Just an FYI, I dont think OTC aspirin should have any effect at all on your sed rate, as it measures the amount of inflammation in your body.  If you had been taking something stronger like Celebrex or Ketoprofen it may have altered the # somewhat, but with a rate of just 11 you should be happy that there is no inflammation showing up, which is what leads me to think perhaps it is osteo not rheumatoid.  I would kill for a sed rate of 11!!  At any "rate" no pun intended I hope you find a fix soon.  I am a huge fan of the ketoprofen so if your doc gives you the go ahead I highly recommend it, if not, the cortisone injection is usually an instant relief as you know from experience.  Keep me informed!

Sue
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