Neuropathy in Hands

Posted by sharonanng @sharonanng, Aug 23 9:34am

My rheumatologist states the neuropathy in my hands and feet is not PMR. However, I never had issues previously except for very mild arthritis in my hands. I have been on the same dose of prednisone for over a week and have been feeling really good. Then the pain in my hands wakes me up this morning, and it is hard to use my hands due to the pain. Does anyone else have this kind of issue? The frustration is that it seems like you have not changed your routine, and yet the symptoms change. As someone has so wisely stated previously, this is not a linear condition.

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Hi– I just started a thread about this! I've been getting very severe pain in my hands/wrists as well as swollen veins in those areas. My neurologist said that pain in smaller joints is uncommon with PMR but not unheard of. Prednisone has helped the other PMR symptoms enormously but I'm unable to use my hand when it's acting up–and the bulging veins freak me out. I hope someone is able to shed some light on this. Hope your hands get back to normal soon.

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I don't how worthwhile it is mentioning this but years ago I noticed that I was have tingling and pain in my hands. I started avoiding putting any pressure on my ulnar nerve, (i.e. elbow). We unconsciously lean on our elbows throughout the day and this seem to aggravate that nerve which was felt in the hands. Easy to try and no harm to it.

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Yes, even though my new GP says PMR does not affect the hands. My right hand for months at the end of last year, was like a claw. I could barely move the fingers. I was unable to use the computer mouse, which I need for work. Couldn't do much of anything. Eventually, I had to wear a carpal tunnel brace (for awhile on both hands). It started in the thumb joint and worked its way into the fingers. There was numbness and tingling. I was unable to grip or grasp anything. It did affect the left hand to some degree, but not as much. Prednisone (once diagnosed with PMR) helped this, although I still don't have the use of my middle finger, right hand completely. It still stiffens up. I exercise it with a soft rubber ball. The veins do swell up, but not always. It is a bit freaky. I never had a problem previously. All the best to you.

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@milld835

Yes, even though my new GP says PMR does not affect the hands. My right hand for months at the end of last year, was like a claw. I could barely move the fingers. I was unable to use the computer mouse, which I need for work. Couldn't do much of anything. Eventually, I had to wear a carpal tunnel brace (for awhile on both hands). It started in the thumb joint and worked its way into the fingers. There was numbness and tingling. I was unable to grip or grasp anything. It did affect the left hand to some degree, but not as much. Prednisone (once diagnosed with PMR) helped this, although I still don't have the use of my middle finger, right hand completely. It still stiffens up. I exercise it with a soft rubber ball. The veins do swell up, but not always. It is a bit freaky. I never had a problem previously. All the best to you.

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It does effect the hands in rare cases. Mine neon one of them. I had it and still have in my right hand and wear a carpal tunnel brace at night. Painful.

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I certainly experienced neuropathy and pain in my hands when my PMR was active, and it was very bothersome, especially in the mornings when I was all but unable to use my hands. There was numbness and tingling in my hands throughout the day and I had trouble gripping and picking up objects. Some of the joints in my fingers were swollen as well. When the inflammation decreased and the PMR resolved, my hands returned to normal.

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@milld835

Yes, even though my new GP says PMR does not affect the hands. My right hand for months at the end of last year, was like a claw. I could barely move the fingers. I was unable to use the computer mouse, which I need for work. Couldn't do much of anything. Eventually, I had to wear a carpal tunnel brace (for awhile on both hands). It started in the thumb joint and worked its way into the fingers. There was numbness and tingling. I was unable to grip or grasp anything. It did affect the left hand to some degree, but not as much. Prednisone (once diagnosed with PMR) helped this, although I still don't have the use of my middle finger, right hand completely. It still stiffens up. I exercise it with a soft rubber ball. The veins do swell up, but not always. It is a bit freaky. I never had a problem previously. All the best to you.

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My rheumatologist said PMR does not affect the hands—I never went back to her! —My PMR started in my right hand, with swelling & pain. I lost complete use of my hand—couldn’t hold a knife to chop anything, couldn’t write, hard to get dressed, pain woke me during the night—had no strength in it. My primary doc ordered PT after my PMR diagnosis, found therapist specializing in hands & she was a wonder!! After many months regained strength & use.
Have had PMR since 2019–it had progressed from my hand, to being unable to get out of bed, unable to turn my head—miserable stuff! —Am mobile & functioning—do strength & stretch classes—on anti-inflammatory based eating plan. Currently tapering down Pred—now @ 7.5mg—desperately want off !!—like everyone!!
All the best to you & all who share this journey!!

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@scpartain

I certainly experienced neuropathy and pain in my hands when my PMR was active, and it was very bothersome, especially in the mornings when I was all but unable to use my hands. There was numbness and tingling in my hands throughout the day and I had trouble gripping and picking up objects. Some of the joints in my fingers were swollen as well. When the inflammation decreased and the PMR resolved, my hands returned to normal.

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Encouraging to know your hands returned to normal. I am hopeful.
I have found that using hand exercising putty in the evenings has helped reduce the neuropathy in my hands in the mornings.

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@mimik211

My rheumatologist said PMR does not affect the hands—I never went back to her! —My PMR started in my right hand, with swelling & pain. I lost complete use of my hand—couldn’t hold a knife to chop anything, couldn’t write, hard to get dressed, pain woke me during the night—had no strength in it. My primary doc ordered PT after my PMR diagnosis, found therapist specializing in hands & she was a wonder!! After many months regained strength & use.
Have had PMR since 2019–it had progressed from my hand, to being unable to get out of bed, unable to turn my head—miserable stuff! —Am mobile & functioning—do strength & stretch classes—on anti-inflammatory based eating plan. Currently tapering down Pred—now @ 7.5mg—desperately want off !!—like everyone!!
All the best to you & all who share this journey!!

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All the way…same thing. I'm hovering between 11, 11.5 and 12. Quality of life counts more than they seem to realize. Pretty sure I've had this since June of 2021, but not diagnosed until Jan. 2022. All I know is, it could be worse and it was for way too long. I wish the best as well. Cheers!

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PMR since November 2021. Commenced Prednisolone at 15mg daily, now down to 7mg. PMR, which began conventionally with the girdle joints of shoulders and hips has in the past month descended to my wrists and hands. My symptoms have always been completely symmetrical. I now feel the beginnings of a similar descent of PMR to knees and lower legs. No apparent swelling of hands or wrists. My hands seem to have the same mobility as ever (they were never particularly nimble: I’ve always been a crack-handed typist) and, probably, no reduction in my above average grip strength. The primary manifestation of PMR in my variant of the disease is just pain in tendons and joints. Worst in the morning, declining after a 5am breakfast with Pred and vigorous exercise from 8am. I am male, 82 and before PMR was in excellent physical shape. I manage without painkillers – varied diet, wine with my evening meal. No weight gain with Prednisolone – but slight facial mooning apparent, which is annoying.

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@connelly

PMR since November 2021. Commenced Prednisolone at 15mg daily, now down to 7mg. PMR, which began conventionally with the girdle joints of shoulders and hips has in the past month descended to my wrists and hands. My symptoms have always been completely symmetrical. I now feel the beginnings of a similar descent of PMR to knees and lower legs. No apparent swelling of hands or wrists. My hands seem to have the same mobility as ever (they were never particularly nimble: I’ve always been a crack-handed typist) and, probably, no reduction in my above average grip strength. The primary manifestation of PMR in my variant of the disease is just pain in tendons and joints. Worst in the morning, declining after a 5am breakfast with Pred and vigorous exercise from 8am. I am male, 82 and before PMR was in excellent physical shape. I manage without painkillers – varied diet, wine with my evening meal. No weight gain with Prednisolone – but slight facial mooning apparent, which is annoying.

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Welcome @connelly, It sounds like you are doing fairly well with your lifestyle and tapering plan. Mild exercise helped me in the morning when my PMR was active but my body would tell me if I overdid it with the exercise. I had to change my eating habits some after my first bout with PMR so it's good to hear you are already doing OK if you are not gaining any weight.

Do you keep a daily pain log along with the amount of prednisolone you are taking?

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Helpful response. Thanks, John. No – I don’t keep a pain log. Pain is round the 3+ level in the early morning. Maybe a little more intense now as Prednisolone dosage reduces. The more troubling thing is the extension of pain to other joint/tendon locations. A strange condition, PMR. This morning pain was in the same 3+ region but at 8am I was able to participate in a 5k Community Run which I completed in just over the half hour. In general I keep stats of performance levels rather than pain levels.

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