Stone hands with a string game hanging loosely between the fingers

Dealing With Stiff Fingers from Psoriatic Arthritis

Last updated: August 2022

I have been living with psoriatic disease for several decades. You would think by now that I had experienced it all. There is always something new to be learned in managing this painful and debilitating condition.

I woke up one morning, as I usually do, with stiff joints and painful movements. But on this particular morning, something new was going on. My hands felt weird. Why can't I move them as easily? More than ever, my hands felt stiffer, tense, and more painful.

Things most people don't even give a second thought...

This is what my life has come to after 6 decades. That's okay; I'm a fighter. I am continuously learning how to take care of my body in better ways. When I say PsA, it is just not about the big muscular movements; I mean it. We have to exercise fine motor movements.

As somebody who has been suffering from this disease for many years, I must lead with caution in many different ways. I have to consider things most people do not even consider.

How much movement is involved in my daily routine? How far I can take my body to do physical work? Most of us don't even think about external factors like temperature and how it suits our body's functionality. It's a lot to keep track of.

How I deal with my stiff fingers and sore hands...

I frequently have hand pain and stiffness, back pain, foot pain, and all-over joint swelling. Unfortunately, I had to invest in a voice-activated computer. That's how bad things are at the moment. I still love myself and would do anything to keep my body healthy and happy.

Trust me; I know that loving yourself is not enough on some days. We need to take proper actions to prove it. So, let's talk about how I deal with my stiff fingers and sore hands.

Keeping your hands relaxed.

I don't want to involve myself in things that tire up my hands. The top of my list is cleaning, gardening, or holding heavy shopping bags for too long. I try to cook simple food, which takes less time and effort. Overall, I do not use my hands unnecessarily.

I conserve my energy wisely and do daily chores accordingly. I keep my home's temperature more on the warmer side. This suits my body more. I feel less stiffness in my muscles, and my body feels relaxed overall.

Hand yoga! Yes, it's a thing!

I do yoga. I do simple hand and finger stretches. Then I do some grip exercises with a plush toy ball. I simply stretch my arm on a table and stretch my fingers in and out. These are very basic exercises that help in blood flow. They can give relief when I am having a low frequency of pain.

Some of these hacks work when the pain is low or managed. Right now, I take alternative solutions on my worst days. These are days I can't move my fingers or my hands.

A few alternative treatments...

The sad part is that I took pain relievers and used some muscle relaxant ointment. My doctor told me to cover my hands with a warm cloth to trap the heat. Of course, these things don't work for everyone. 

These things will work best when you know yourself and what your body needs. Don't forget to stay in touch with your doctors, my fellow warriors.

This or That

What have you found to be more helpful when coping with the emotional impact of a new PsA diagnosis?

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