Stiffness and pain in finger joints upon waking?

Peachy

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Hello everyone, I was wondering if anyone has feedback. I have read all the other threads about hand pain. I have a formal fibromyalgia diagnosis. In the past three months, I have started to wake up to fingers that are very stiff and painful. It hurts to bend the small finger joints in both hands. Once I get them moving (which only takes a minute or two), they are fine for the rest of the day. When I touch the joints, they don’t hurt. There is no inflammation, discolouration, heat, or bumps. Just difficulty moving them initially and pain in the soft tissue surrounding the joints. My doctor has run blood tests to check for inflammation and rheumatological factors and bloodwork came back healthy. Because of Covid, I can’t have any access to a rheumatologist to rule out arthritis though the fact that the bloodwork is clear is positive though not diagnostic. My question is, is this a symptom of fibromyalgia? I have never had this particular symptoms before though I do have chronic pain in much of the rest of my body. I’m feeling anxious because I can’t have this followed because of medical restrictions today. I would find it somewhat reassuring to know that this is a fibromyalgia symptoms as I could deal with it then rather than worry that it’s some new disease that might be developing (I have other autoimmune conditions). The grip on my hands is also okay once I get them moving. Does anyone else have this stiffness and pain bending the small finger joints upon waking in the morning or after sleeping?
Many thanks in advance for any input or thoughts. Though I wouldn’t wish this condition on anyone, there can be strength and comfort in knowing we are not alone. It’s strange when our body betrays us and new symptoms pop up out of nowhere leaving you feeling confused and anxious.
Thank you. 🙏🏻
 

sunkacola

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Hi Peachy and welcome to the forum.

Personally I have a lot of difficulty with my hands. Often stiff and "trigger fingers" when I wake up, along with serious daily pain in my thumbs, which sometimes reaches the level of my not being able to pick anything up with one hand.

I saw a hand specialist a few years ago and he did not detect arthritis, and said there was nothing to be done, so I have assumed since then that it is part of FM. But don't take my word for it because your body is not mine and I am no doctor. :) No one here can tell you whether it's part of FM or not!

I don't think it would be unreasonable to think that it's part of FM. On the other hand, just because you have FM doesn't mean that every single pain or difficulty you have is part of FM, especially if it is a new one, so it should get checked out.

But here's the most important thing: Don't allow yourself to stress and be anxious and worry about it. Do whatever you need to do to relax and just let it go for now until you can get in to see a doctor to get checked out. Your worrying and anxiety are guaranteed to be making it worse, and there is not one single good thing that can come from worrying. It won't help the present, won't change the facts whatever they are and won't change the future. You are only hurting yourself by stressing out about it.

My advice is to deal with it for now as if it were another fibro symptom. Do all the things that are helpful in dealing with fibromyalgia, and be calm while you wait to find out for sure what it is with your hands. Once you feel safe enough to see a doctor, see one. Maybe make the appointment now, for a few months in the future if you can, so that you know it's on the schedule.
 

Forgetmenot

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Hi,I have very stiff hands in the mornings.I had blood tests all fine.but they sent me for electronic test.and I have carpal tunnel.so I also get pins and needles a lot.so maybe worth getting that test.
 

sunkacola

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Hi,I have very stiff hands in the mornings.I had blood tests all fine.but they sent me for electronic test.and I have carpal tunnel.so I also get pins and needles a lot.so maybe worth getting that test.
If you have carpal tunnel and wake up with hands asleep or tingling, I recommend you do what I did, which almost completely eliminated that problem for me. You are probably sleeping with your hands curled in toward your wrists - about 80% of people sleep that way for at least part of the night. Train yourself to sleep with your hands flat, and the problem disappears.

I told this to a pain doctor who, before I even finished my sentence, was laughing and shaking his head because he didn't believe anyone could train themselves to sleep differently. He stopped laughing when I told him how I did it, and that I have not had that problem now for over two years as a result. Now he is telling other people how to do it.

It's simple. When you go to bed make a show or almost a ritual of placing your hands flat against the bed, and repeat to yourself over and over "hands flat" as if it were a mantra or a prayer. Say it over and over as you fall asleep. If you wake in the night, check your hands and repeat it again. It may take days or it may take weeks, but your habit will change if you are diligent about it.

I did it because wearing wrist braces helped by keeping my hands from curling, but I hated wearing them at night, so I devised this as a way to avoid having to use them at night.

The added benefit is that the carpal tunnel pain I felt during the day also diminished to about 20% of what it was before.
 

Peachy

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Thank you sunkakola for such a kind and thoughtful reply. Just being listened to and heard and shown some kindness helps a lot. It helps to calm the anxiety and fear that can accompany your body doing strange things that you have no control over. Everything you said is true and a very helpful reminder. Our imaginations can torment us if we let them. I will try to practice mindfulness and being in the moment to keep the anxiety under control and also reach out to my family doctor this week to perhaps get on some kind of waitlist for a rheumatologist. At least then I will know that I have done everything I can. A big part of my anxiety is that it took so long for my existing chronic pain condition to be diagnosed that it became much worse than it ever had to. That’s why, ideally, I want to get this figured out as soon as possible if possible. Even if I knew that it isn’t something new and is only a new symptom of fibromyalgia, I could then cope much better.
Again, many thanks to you and I’m sorry that you suffer in this way too. May you be well and thank you for putting kindness and compassion out into the world.
 

Peachy

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Thank you forgetmenot for your kind reply. I’m sorry you’re experiencing this kind of pain in your hands too. I do actually also suffer from chronic myofascisl pain syndrome as well as neuropathy and I did have lateral epicondylitis too as well as ulnar neuropathy so I’m familiar with the slight differences in the kinds of pain these result in. So strange how we become verse in a whole subtle language of pain when we live with it every day for years. My hands don’t have any tingling but more of a swollen throbbing sensation as well as stiffness and pain when I try to bend the fingers. It feels inflammatory and rheumatological rather than neurological if that makes sense. I’m also very conscious of my sleep position as sunkakola pointed out. I even put a camera on myself last night to see if I’m doing anything strange while asleep. I mainly noticed that I sleep on my back as I can’t sleep on any other side or front due to pain. I am bending my elbows up and clenching my fists up under my chin during the night which I find to be interesting feedback. This subconscious sleep bracing is in response to the pain while I sleep and could actually be contributing to it by cutting off circulation leading to numbness and slight oedema. I’m going to try to sleep with my arms straighter and my wrists unlocked. I might start with some kind of sensorineural feedback like putting a towel or K tape on my elbows and wrists and train my brain from then on to not clench and bend the joints in my arms and wrists and hands. That could be a good place to start to see if it makes any difference. I will certainly give a follow-up in a few days.
 

Forgetmenot

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Thankyou peachy
I do also get swollen stiff fingers .sometimes they feel like sausage.but to look at them u wouldn’t see it.
At times they to pump away and hurt. You know I even wish they had found something more then they did.fibromyalgia is so poorly understood and were so badly let down health wise anything that treatable would be better then fibromyalgia.
you may find after a while it stops and move somewhere else .my fibromyalgia loves to move xx
 

Peachy

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DX FIBRO
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06/2017
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sometimes they feel like sausage.but to look at them u wouldn’t see it.
At times they to pump away and hurt.
Your words describe it perfectly! That’s exactly what I’m experiencing. I feel like a stuffed sausages but don’t look abnormal. They kind of throb and pump and don’t bend. Kind of like you’re wearing jeans are much too tight and he tried to bend your knees. That kind of sensation in the joints. Again, thank you for the kind words and sending you healing hugs.
 

HappyGirl

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Hello everyone, I was wondering if anyone has feedback. I have read all the other threads about hand pain. I have a formal fibromyalgia diagnosis. In the past three months, I have started to wake up to fingers that are very stiff and painful. It hurts to bend the small finger joints in both hands. Once I get them moving (which only takes a minute or two), they are fine for the rest of the day. When I touch the joints, they don’t hurt. There is no inflammation, discolouration, heat, or bumps. Just difficulty moving them initially and pain in the soft tissue surrounding the joints. My doctor has run blood tests to check for inflammation and rheumatological factors and bloodwork came back healthy. Because of Covid, I can’t have any access to a rheumatologist to rule out arthritis though the fact that the bloodwork is clear is positive though not diagnostic. My question is, is this a symptom of fibromyalgia? I have never had this particular symptoms before though I do have chronic pain in much of the rest of my body. I’m feeling anxious because I can’t have this followed because of medical restrictions today. I would find it somewhat reassuring to know that this is a fibromyalgia symptoms as I could deal with it then rather than worry that it’s some new disease that might be developing (I have other autoimmune conditions). The grip on my hands is also okay once I get them moving. Does anyone else have this stiffness and pain bending the small finger joints upon waking in the morning or after sleeping?
Many thanks in advance for any input or thoughts. Though I wouldn’t wish this condition on anyone, there can be strength and comfort in knowing we are not alone. It’s strange when our body betrays us and new symptoms pop up out of nowhere leaving you feeling confused and anxious.
Thank you. 🙏🏻
Yes!!!! I received a Fibro diagnosis and a few months later have been eaking up to significant finger and toe pain and knees too! AND also perfect bloodwork! Fortunately I have an appointment with a Rheumatologist in early March
Even Suboxone doesn't help the pain. I hope you get answers but I also believe it could be the Fibromyalgia. I hope you feel better and I'll share you what I learn. Take care.
 

JayCS

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Upon waking (not as much after resting) the tendons - I think - above and below all my big joints, my neck, but also fingers are stiff and in pain, as a lot of fibromites have. The main other time where my wrist and fingers hurt is when cycling, so I do hand exercises immediately then (but not the ones with the qi gong balls of course :ROFLMAO:).
 

JayCS

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For stiffness I've now found a new quick hack, realizing that it's the tendons: I twist both legs (and arms) outwards, then inwards, as far as they'll go, 2x4x. If I do this before getting up/moving from whatever, my stiffness is almost gone. If I do it regularly in between, I can move more smoothly. I'm hoping it will prove to increase my energy, by depleting it less. My wrists are involved in this, but I spose we can't twist our fingers, so stretching & clenching them will have to do... :cool:
 

Forgetmenot

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Hay jay ,yes I do that .I stretch my legs which helps somewhat .
 

JayCS

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Hay - like it... ;-) - Yeah, normal leg stretching helps 'somewhat' - have you tried this way, tho? In 10 seconds it gets my stiffness down to 5-20%, bc it focuses on exactly the tendons that are the problem for me... Don't know any other stretches that work that quickly that well.
 

Forgetmenot

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Not quite sure what it is your do .can u explain it again.don’t wanna hurt myself.
 

Susan Hopps

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I have had lots of issues with my hands for a long time. My fingers and thumbs are swollen and stiff in the morning and often throughout the day. I saw a rheumatologist in Oct/20 before the serious Covid restrictions began here. She diagnosed an exacerbation of FM and OA in my hands and feet. I was to be fitted for custom thumb splints but never reached the appointment due to Covid. So in the meantime I’m wearing carpal tunnel splints which also support the thumbs. They help somewhat as do topical anti inflammatory drug. My big toe is worst. Some days I would get the axe and chop it off.
 
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