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What eases arthritis pain in fingers?

(40 Posts)
AmblingAlong Thu 23-Jan-14 16:31:37

I have arthritis in 3 fingers and today the pain is really bad in one of them even when I'm not doing anything and if I knock it slightly I suffer for ages until it stops throbbing. It must be hell to have it in all your joints.

My GP gave me some strong ibuprofen that I've been taking today but they also knock me out and make me feel groggy. What helps to ease arthritis pain? Should I try warmth (hands are cold all the time too) or ask for different pain killers? Has any one found anything that helps?

loismustdieatyahoodotcom Thu 23-Jan-14 17:55:24

Have you tried an ibuprofen gel like deep heat, this sometimes works better for me than tablets. obviously take advice on using this along the tablets. <Disclaimer I don't have arthritis I just have stiff joints>

AmblingAlong Thu 23-Jan-14 18:10:18

loismustdieatyahoodotcom good idea, thanks. I'm going to see my GP tomorrow so I'll ask him about it and see if there's anything I can try that doesn't knock me out for half the day.

SageMist Thu 23-Jan-14 18:14:19

Soaking your hands in warm water may also help temporarily.

Also in winter I wear fingerless gloves all the time indoors. And gloves when outside and when food shopping in the cool aisles.

I also occasionally use one of those piezo electric byte/sting zappers on very sore spots.

AmblingAlong Thu 23-Jan-14 18:22:12

SageMist I've got some fingerless gloves somewhere so I'll try that tonight. I've just been sitting with a hot water bottle on the worst hand and it kind of helps.
I'll be getting a good nights sleep atleast as I've got one more tablet to take and it'll knock me out!

AmblingAlong Fri 24-Jan-14 11:52:34

Just been to see my GP and he told me to try cooling the joint and when I told him that my hands are always freezing cold he said to try Voltarol/voltaren gel and he's referred me to a rheumatologist.
I forgot to buy the gel but I'll try and get some at the weekend then wait and see what the rheumatologist says.
It definately helped to sit with gloves on last night.

Badmumof3 Fri 24-Jan-14 12:08:02

I have the same, and also on one of my knees. I was out on Naxproxen, which works brilliantly for me. I don't find heat or cold particularly helpful although damp days seem to make it worse. Go back the the gp and say that you can't function properly with the pain.

AmblingAlong Fri 24-Jan-14 12:27:02

Badmumof3 are your Naproxen tablets the 250mg ones? I've seen 200 and 250 looking online. Never tried those so I'll put them on my shopping list!

I kind of did tell the GP that I'm having to do things really slowly and am fed up and I also told him I can't imagine how you cope when/if it spreads to all my fingers and I think that's why he referred me to the specialist.
I'm abroad and here the GPs just do the basics and send you to specialists for most things which is good and bad. Great to be seen by a specialist but waiting times to get an appointment can be long so in that time you're just stuck.

I am the same. Dreadful pain in one particular finger today. I think it is growing and the pain will subside when I have another witch's finger sad

loismustdieatyahoodotcom Fri 24-Jan-14 14:03:47

I'm also on naproxen. I chose the two a day at 500 mg as I'm pretty bad at taking meds. I've found it great, I'm not drowsy or in pain. You can also take a paracetamol based pain killer along side it if needed. ANSI always say check this with your gp. smile

ginmakesitallok Fri 24-Jan-14 14:08:46

Omega 3 oil, high strength I.e. not Holland and Barratt nonsense. try here

LostInWales Fri 24-Jan-14 14:10:17

These are lush for giving your hand a little hug (make sure you buy a small enough size that they give a gentle squeeze whilst still allowing blood to flow) they also keep them warm when you go out. Ibuprofen gel is great but please be careful buying stuff like naproxen over the internet, you can really mess up your stomach taking that stuff without supervision. Wheat bags are lovely because you can smoosh them into shape and sit your hand on them.

LostInWales Fri 24-Jan-14 14:14:54

My thumb joint has swollen so much over the last 24 hours that the skin has cracked along the 'crease' at the middle joint. I just thought I would share that with you because it is making me a bit sad wink.

Badmumof3 Fri 24-Jan-14 14:29:47

I take the 500's. i have them on prescription. I didn't realise you could get them over the counter. The only drawback with them, for me, is I tend to get heartburn after taking them, but is easily resolved with a Rennie. I would also say that I don't take them every day, just when I get a flare up, or if I am likely to be on my feet a lot.

LostInWales Fri 24-Jan-14 14:42:56

Please, please, please be careful with them Badmum, I can never ever take another NASID again after doing what you do and ending up making the lining of my stomach bleed really badly. And I could really do with taking them as I have uncontrolled arthritis and have to get by without the medicine that could help me the most. You can get a prescription for another drug to take at the same time that will protect your stomach. Sorry, I am a bit obsessed with bouncing round the internet making sure no one else starts seeing old blood in, ummm, the loo, and having to take omeprazole every day for ever to protect my sad old tummy. I can't even eat spicy food much and that is just SAD.

Why do joints randomly swell? It is so painful then it settles down into a big joint (those were the days!)

Never had my skin crack though.

Poor you.

LostInWales Fri 24-Jan-14 16:45:52

I don't know Exit, why DO they swell, it all seems a bit unnecessary and attention seeking IMHO.

My thumb was a bit like one of those horrible cracks you get in the corner of your lip and then it kind of went longer with the swelling, bodies are amazing but sometimes I wish they would just get on an do the job they were designed for without adding little flourishes.

<continues her campaign to get it officially called Stupid Arthritis>

My hands look unnervingly like my mother's. I can point round corners confused

LostInWales Fri 24-Jan-14 16:53:02

Stupid bloody bodies.

Apparently cannabis is a great pain reliever, although sadly they have made medicinal cannabis with the fun bit taken out.

loismustdieatyahoodotcom Fri 24-Jan-14 16:53:39

The skin is drying out around the swelling. Try hemp hand cream from the body shop, it's a tenner but the tube is huge and last ages. It also good for scars and as a nappy cream. It's amazing wink

AmblingAlong Fri 24-Jan-14 17:15:00

ExitPursuedTheRoyalPrude I know what you mean, mine is starting to look like a witches finger too.

I keep asking my dh (who is a researcher) to go and see the rheumatologist research group next door to his office and tell them to get a move on with their research. I'd really like to know why this has hit me and why there isn't a cure, honestly there's hundreds of them researching it non stop for years and years now.

loismustdieatyahoodotcom that's maybe why the ones I saw online were available as they were just 200 or 250mg. I didn't see the 500mg at all. The info said they were for mild to medium pain such as headaches or period pain, no mention of arthritis even.

LostInWales yes, I forgot to say when I was given the ibuprofen 600 I was given another tablet for my stomach to take in the morning before breakfast and wait an hour before taking the first pain killer. Kind of put me off the treatment if the pain killers are so dangerous for your stomach.
Hope your thumb settles down abit and the skin recovers quickly. Do you think it's weather related? It's been really mild here for ages and just the last few days it's gone down to minus degrees and snow and my symptoms got worse.

ginmakesitallok thanks for the tip about the Omega3 Oil, I'll have a look around if there's something similar available over here.

loismustdieatyahoodotcom Fri 24-Jan-14 20:45:28

Mine are prescribed and help with stiffness. As I said above I've no actually got arthritis just stiffness and pain. I've been tested for rheumatoid arthritis but it has come back negative so I'm not sure what it is confused

Piscivorus Fri 24-Jan-14 20:54:31

Remember you can't take ibuprofen and naproxen at the same time but you could take paracetamol with either one of them to increase pain relief.

Apparently this can help

LostInWales Fri 24-Jan-14 21:35:39

Piscivorus has a good point, do NOT double up on NASIDs but paracetamol at the same time gives good pain relief.

lois just because you tested negative for rheumatiod factor does NOT mean you don't have RA. The blood tests are a bugger and I quote;

"blood test. The common test is to check for a protein in the blood, called rheumatoid factor. This is present in about 2 in 3 people with RA. However, about 1 in 20 of the normal population has rheumatoid factor. Also, some people with RA do not have rheumatoid factor, So, a positive rheumatoid factor is suggestive of RA, but not conclusive."

That's a really useful blood test wink. If you have symptoms then it is worth pursuing through a rheumatologist. Have a look at the Arthritis Research website they are pretty good.

Ambling when I was given the ibuprofen 600 I was not given anything to take with it. Nor with the Arcoxia that followed. My poor tummy! It is so frustrating with the research isn't it, one of my friends has just started working for one research team and I am constantly trying to get her to put me on a trial! Sorry if I am posting all over your thread too, I have spent nearly 20 years trying to get help for my stupid body and it would be nice to help other people get sorted quicker.

LoveSewingBee Fri 24-Jan-14 23:26:02

I read on the BBC news website in the health section that there is now evidence that eating a good handful of cherries daily could help, especially together with usual medication. If you google BBC website it is probably still there.

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