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Living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Hand pain update


#1

So what I assumed to be dactylitis has been diagnosed by my rheumatologist as tendonitis. That seems to make sense when looking at the swelling in my palm that extends up into the finger. Presumably its PSA related but I have made some adjustments to my computer set up in case that is a factor. Two weeks of steroids helped considerably but I am off those now and wondering how to best manage the problem.

Thanks all


#2

I had an appointment with a rheumatology Occupational Therapist who just does hands a few months back. I think the title is ‘Hand OT’. It was actually quite helpful - I was given exercises to do (which I don’t do, I am stupid), some supportive gloves - no fingers, could be good for typing and I also got to try out a wax bath for hands about which I was highly sceptical but oh boy, it really soothes the hands & I hear they stay soothed for some time afterwards. Why didn’t your rheumy arrange such an appointment for you? You have got to manage this after all.


#3

Good question - why no help beyond discussions around medication? I will have to think further about that but my initial response is to conclude that I must be conditioned not to expect an holistic approach.


#4

Please resist being so conditioned @saxophonics. Just keep asking. When I first got PsA it affected my right hand. Then I didn’t believe it was PsA and got myself seen by a hand surgeon, who passed me on to his ‘hand OT’ and she was fabulous. She stopped Dupretryns doing its stuff. So instead of fingers curling into my palm I’ve merely got a couple of lumps in my palm which aren’t an issue at all. I’ve no doubt now the inflammation of my tendons in my hands due to PsA was setting off Dupretryns. Food for thought maybe?


#5

You’re absolutely right of course. I am open to any treatment that is going to offer potential benefit but it only occurred to me when writing my last message that I haven’t been asking enough questions. That is going to change, have no fear!


#6

You could contact the rheumy department and say that after some reflection you think you would very likely benefit from seeing a hand OT. Followed by a firm, ‘so I would like that to happen, I really need some help with this NOW, please, thank you, Happy Christmas etc.’.


#7

Agreed. OT and PT should never be an imposition and can often help. I’ve got an incredible hand therapist. It hasn’t stopped me from having some surgeries, but the process was all much smoother as was my recovery.


#8

Try a vertical mouse.


#9

I have one of those but find a trackball better. As it happens, the problem is in left hand.


#10

I have been gradually losing the use of my hands. I am very limited in what I can do with my hands. My new Osteopathic doctor referred me to a hand clinic. Now I am doing several hours a day of hand exercises. It is tedious and somewhat discouraging, since some of my joints are so frozen that I can barely bend them at all --even using the opposite hand to flex them. I am warming my hands with a moist heat pad, doing ten sets of passive exercises on each knuckle, ten sets of passive exercises on each knuckle, some hand exercises, and massaging the palm and fingers with a mini vibrator to break up scar tissue. The whole set takes me about an hour, and I am supposed to do it four to six times a day! I have been dong that for over a week, and my progress is measured in very few millimeters. I hope I see some long term benefits to this.