What Is Happening to My Hands?
We use our hands for so much. We write, drive, cook and create. Our hands connect us to the ones we love. We use our hands to wipe the tears and pick our children up.
Our hands are used as joyous conductors in conversation, they help give directions, and welcome strangers as friends. So, what happens when your hands no longer work like they used to?
Same hands, new pain
You wake up one morning and your hands just don’t feel the same. They feel tight, slightly stiff and if you are not mistaken, they are not moving like they used to. It feels like these changes came overnight. While if we're being honest, the gradual build-up is oftentimes there, we just adapt.
Please, when you notice the changes, chat with your doctor as soon as you can. Do not just leave it. The damage that psoriatic arthritis can cause to your body could be irreparable.
What is happening to my hands?
The symptoms above can be just a few of the signs that your hands are developing psoriatic arthritis. It is good to be aware and check in with your doctor when you need to.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for as they could be indications that you, should have this checked out. I have experienced and continue to experience most of these in various degrees of severity.
- Pitted fingernails. This is when you develop tiny dents in your nails. I have chosen over the years to have my nails done professionally so that I feel better about how they look. With the right products, your nails cane be protected.
- Abnormal finger shape. Fingers leaning slightly to one side, seemingly knobbly.
- Range of motion.Flexing your finger might become hard to do.
- Pain in your joints. Or pain even where the tendon connects to the joint. Did you know that there are 27 bones and 27 joints in your hand? Yet there are over 100 ligaments and tendons.
- Swelling in one spot. For instance, your middle fingers or even down the length of your finger on one side.
- Sausage fingers. Also known as dactylitis is where your fingers swell up and look like sausages. This is usually very uncomfortable too and easily noticed.
Due to my hands flaring whenever they want to, I have taken to treating them at home for quick relief. Icing your hands can bring a substantial amount of pain relief, even if it is only short-term. You can also use an ice pack compress. Expose your hands for 10 minutes and then stop. You can repeat this as needed.
In terms of the prescription treatment, your doctor will advise you as to what treatment is best for you. Pain management and medication are methods to try and slow or stop the progression. Over the years more options have become available, which means the right treatment option is simply, in your own hands.
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?