Wrists and Hands

Has anyone been able to find relief for hand and wrist pain? Is there a way to strengthen without causing further damage? The PT exercises I have done have only made my condition worse. Thank you for your support.

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I have had hand and wrist pain for over the last 10 years. I'm sorry to say that over this time, I have found little that helps. In the past I have tried exercise, physical therapy, braces, surgery, etc. None of these options worked for me and they all left my wrists and hands weaker and in more pain.

One thing that helped was using the computer mouse with my opposite hand (if you are a righty try your left hand and vice versa). It only took me about a day to adjust. This way whichever wrist is experiencing more pain that day, I use my stronger wrist. I also find this true for many other tasks. I would suggest learning to use your non-dominant hand for everyday tasks. Also, I have recently purchased the bauerfeind wrist braces (for both hands). These were the first wrist braces that actually support me where I need it.

Good luck

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Thank you so much for the advice. I have been feeling so alone in this and any words from someone who understands is much appreciated.

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by the way, do you need an rx to get the bauerfeind wrist braces?

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If you would like the cost to be covered my your insurance than you should get a prescription. I met with my primary care physician and gave him all the details for the script (manufacturer, name, model, siz e, etc). You can find this info on their website

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You might try an OT. My husband does fine with exercises from the PT. My daughter needed to work with an OT to come up with strategies that allowed her to use her hands again.

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Vertical mouse helped my right wrist pain. I also use Powerball about 6 minutes per day on slow speed, but not sure that it will work for everyone.

Wrists has become way better for the last year, but fingers I damaged before are still aching like there was a sprain recently. If you tried silver splints, did they help with knuckles pain?

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I found that most PT exercises for my wrists and fingers only gave me more pain. Bracing was the only thing that was helpful. I used them intermittently, basically when I had what I called a "flare." If the R wrist was acting up, (I would splint it) and would then start doing more with my L. Unfortunately, the L wrist would then get bad, often worse than the R!! A lot of the time I ended up wearing both thumb spica splints. Eventually, I had surgery bilateral dorsal capsulodeses, First the R and then 10 yrs later, the Left. These two surgeries were greatly helpful and I find that I don't often need my baces much anymore. I too really liked the Bauerfeind (sp) braces. Good luck to you. Oh... you will probably find the silver ring splints helpfull as well.

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No real advice but just wanted to let you know you're not alone. I got some silver ring splints for the worst finger joints and will splint the other bad ones when I can afford to. I recently learned that my wrists and arms are probably tired because I don't have carpal tunnel as I was diagnosed with in 1998 - I have thoracic outlet syndrome. Fantasic. *eye roll* When my wrists and hands get too sore I still sleep in my Ace wrist braces at night because it seems to help and I avoid hand writing things as much as possible. Other than that it is much like others have said - do as much with one hand until it hurts and then switch to the other. Apparently I am pretty ambidextrous for a reason. Who knew?

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I went to the local highly thought of 'hand PT' with credentialing of the highest caliber in the state - blah, blah, blah (you know where I'm going with this right?) Just as you I got waaay worse doing those darn exercises. I got such painful hands -- set off a whole chain reaction it seemed - suddenly my fingers were 'triggering' and then that meant my hand ortho had to inject yet another site with cortisone to quiet it down - I never had that happen in my life! I mean I know it can't happen overnite - the inflammation that puts down the extra bone etc. at the base of the fingers happens over years - but the snapping down of the fingers - the pain - that was purely from doing 'as I was told' - I had even brought in my EDS books and shared with the PT assistants what I knew etc... As the 'big PT' wouldn't be bothered.

What did feel good was the warm/hot parrafin bath for the hands - you can get a home one for cheap.... Medicine wise an anti-inflammatory if you don't have GERD - and some use Voltaren Gel a topical NSAID... Sometimes you can try those lidocaine patches for certain areas too.

Do you or does anyone wake up with their hands super stiff and you cannot make a fist at all - because they won't close? Sometimes at the end of the day it's a little like that - but after sleeping at night I'm so stiff - and my hands can't work normally for maybe 1/2 hour - by the time I get dressed, make coffee - they start to work normally again... But that little palmer side area at the bottom of each finger is responsible for those triggering fingers - makes me upset I ever went to hand therapy!

Splinting - I've heard the ring splints do wonders - and the Bauer___ whatever splints are cool - my splints are for carpel tunnel and quite bulky so I quit using them - carpel tunnel is the least of my worries!

Feel better ;-)

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My fingers are so stiff in am that I was wrongly diagnosed with RA for YEARS. The go snap cracle pop. My thumbs seem to be the worst. I have to use a laptop and blackberry for work which kills my fingers by the end of the day. Thanks for the hot wax idea anything else for my painful thumbs?

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My wrists are my biggest aggravation. I have the Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000. It has made the biggest difference. I tried another one that was more vertical than the 6000 and the pain came back. I have a travel mouse for my laptop but if I use it more than a few minutes my wrist starts hurting so I carry this one with me when I travel too. Here's the amazon link. I shortened it since it was too long: http://bit.ly/nTFaMv
Other than that my wrists still hurt. Braces make it worse too. Something in my wrists slips out of place all the time. Hand writing makes it worse. Typing a lot will irritate it too. My thumb was dislocated for a while this summer and I couldn't brace it except with an ace bandage or my wrist would get worse.
I heard one person said she played with playdough each day and her fingers were much better. I do work out with weights and it seems that may have helped strengthen my hands. My thumb had an injury from skiing many years ago so it will likely keep giving problems. I think my wrists were injured too by the keyboard.

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Well, I'm headed to a new OT this afternoon who thankfully knows how to fit the silver ring splints. I'll start with a few of those to keep my fingers "together".
I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right wrist, only after I saw the results of the EMG getting worse each year. Sadly, the surgery was a failure. SURPRISE!! I now have more pain than ever and it feels like the bones are shifting all over the place. I'm not feeling very encouraged by these posts about having the OT fit me with a brace though. The one I have is ineffective, but I bought it in CVS.
Wish me luck...
Jan

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My right wrist was the first joint to "go," back when I was 7 or so. A trackpad is really helpful; I find that I can't tolerate a mouse in either hand. You can get USB trackpads.

I'm to the point where I don't shake hands with people, as it subluxes my wrist and causes pain for days. I haven't found a good way to deal with that yet, but I'm working on it.

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Just had surgery on my right due to symptoms post 'sew up' after lacerating it. My left hand and wrist is starting to bother me from abrupt increase in work load. Right wrist is just killing me by the end of the day due to just being immobilized in a splint...... And I've got one more week in it before they take it off. I'm ready to take the damn thing off, against orders, to move my wrist and avoid issues.

I'm not looking forward to the hand therapy part. However, I've had so much success with my feet at my chiro that I will bring my case to him. He's very good at making things slide better in places like the feet (and I assume the hands). I'm expecting the PT/OT therapy to be all wrong (sry 2B negative). I've been to the best and had a terrible time with problems (y'all know the story). I'm ready to ve the difficult patient and not allow them to 'prove' it to them.... And then have nothing they can do.

As a poster has mentioned, I find splinting helps... But only if there is a probable strain or potential for strain upon movement. If there is a tightening or 'stickiness' of tendons or fascia somewhere... and that can be anywhere up and thru the elbow.... I need to treat that first. Hence, I rely on splinting because movement can modify what the fingers/hand is trying to do and cause more local injury. I sort of figured this out when I kept re-injuring myself after feeling a building tension and subsequent pain in my index finger when I was in a 'phase' with my hands. Swelling and inflammation came after the initial events just got worse until I minimally splinted my finger (meaning rest and healing) and focused on removing trigger points from the elbow down to my palm. Then, I slowly took the finger out of the splint for progressively longer periods of time.

So I don't know if my experience with the recovery of my right hand this time around will work the same way. We shall see.

Could someone direct me to a web site where there are pictures of the support devices mentioned on this thread? Thx.

(sry to not edit this post... Only have use of middle right finger)

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I was diagnosed with deQuarvains (sp?) twice and steroid injections and splints (the expensive kind, not the ones at CVS) are very good. Last year after alot of medical disasters I ended up with ulnar nerve entrapment in both elbows from changing the way I slept. Custom made arm splints for sleeping, elbow pads for days, and from Feb to May the EMG? nerve response painful test was so much better I avoided surgery - do that at all costs. Now my neuro thinks my painful hands are coming from my unstable cervical spine (long story) but voltaren gel is a mirace get an RX when I did not have it I used lidoderm patches.

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I was diagnosed with deQuarvains (sp?) twice and steroid injections and splints (the expensive kind, not the ones at CVS) are very good. Last year after alot of medical disasters I ended up with ulnar nerve entrapment in both elbows from changing the way I slept. Custom made arm splints for sleeping, elbow pads for days, and from Feb to May the EMG? nerve response painful test was so much better I avoided surgery - do that at all costs. Now my neuro thinks my painful hands are coming from my unstable cervical spine (long story) but voltaren gel is a mirace get an RX when I did not have it I used lidoderm patches.

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I use the silver ring splints for my fingers...just have two right now, but will eventually need them for all fingers, at least for the PIP joints if not DIPs as well. My insurance has offered to pay for 90% since my deductible is met....SOO fortunate for that, and not looking forward to the day in years to come when I have to get off of my parents' wonderful health insurance plan. I go to an OT that has no prior EDS experience but is an expert of sorts on the ring splints..definitely best to find someone very knowledgeable if you plan to get the splints. She also made thumb spica/wrist splints to sleep in, which help a lot. Unfortunately I've been having moderate tendinitis/overuse pain in both wrists, so I've got to get back in to see what we can do for that. She gave me a handout on some other braces I need to order (it'd be easier if they were covered by insurance!!) that have a thumb spica insert that you pop in the microwave, insert in the little pocket, and mold to shape your thumb. They look great, and also come in an extended version for simultaneous wrist support. I plan on trying exercises next, and fingers crossed that that will help!

The voltaren gel is nice...if you're not already taking an NSAID! Otherwise, if lidocaine patches are a hassle, there is a lidocaine gel on the market for which you can get a prescription. It seems to help me, you just have to be careful about how much you use as it can become toxic.

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my primary pain relief method is putting my hands under running hot water. seriously. several times a day. more often in winter.

or holding an eye pillow or sock filed with rice that has been heated in the microwave.

I would love to see a link to the thumb spica splint with the heatable insert! and yes, voltaren gel works.

I am saving up for more silver ring splints, I've one finger ringed now, need 5 more.

I have the cvs type splints for both wrists and elbows, plastic thumb splints from the OT, I wear cycling gloves for compression as needed. None of these alone is the answer for me, I rotate among them, I depend on all of them and it is a challenge to not lose or misplace them.

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My wrist pain was the cause of identifying my EDS and I am thankfully very blessed with a wonderful OT and a doctor with EDS, but pain still continues. Unfortunately, pain is often connected. I've discovered the best assistance for my pain is honestly to stay as active as I can. Some days are better than others, and some days are impossible, but I do what I can. Now, see if this connects: I'm working on stabilizing my core muscles to help support my body; I have shoulder/isometric arm/wrist exercises from the OT which is helping with my shoulders/core...and all of this connects and helps with my wrist and hand pain. I have theraputty exercises to attempt to strengthen my hand muscles, but sadly there isn't much to be done with the hand muscles :/ I'm hoping to get Silver Ring Splints soon but am unable to financially and am dealing with insurance issues at the moment. I also agree with the paraffin/hot wax. It's only temporary but every little bit helps you know!? Good luck! Hope you're able to find something!

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The OT that we used for my 9YO was part of an integrated pain management program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. I highly recommend considering a short term visit to Chicago to participate in their program (I think you can also get the adult program in some other cities... for children, the only game in the country seems to be here in Chicago). The approach is a combo of psych, OT and PT to help you manage the pain. There is a doctor in charge who can also help with fine tuning meds, but with EDS they prefer to teach you to manage without a lot of pain meds (since they frequently don't work for EDSers anyway).

My husband has wrist problems that he finally found a set of exercises that work to build up strength enough to stabilize the joints. They still hurt and sometimes fall apart; TENS unit and chiropractor (Palmer School graduate) are helpful for getting through crisis. He has done cortisone injection in the past, but the pain of the injection and the shortish duration of the effect have caused him to decide not to ever do those again.

Splinting is fine when needed, but be careful to maintain musculature around the affected joints. If you avoid using them to prevent pain, you weaken the musculature which ultimately will increase your pain.

We had a local PT who my younger daughter did really poorly with. Some of you EDSers just cannot work through the pain, and you need the exercises modified to be even easier to simply establish the habit of doing therapy without pain. The first 2 weeks at RIC, I thought the exercises were kind of useless because they were so easy, but my daughter did not experience pain so she continued to be compliant with the program. Over the next few weeks they increased resistance to a respectable level, and the apparently "too easy" exercises seemed to make the difference between being able to do the exercises with increasing resistance. See if you can find PT/OT who will be willing to work with you to make sure the exercises are not hurting you, even if they seem to be outrageously easy for a person of your size and age.

Good luck!

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