If you have fibromyalgia, you know all about pain. The pain of fibromyalgia is constant and can spread all over the body. But generally, the pain is located in 18 specific tender points around the body. These 18 points are one of the best signs that someone has fibromyalgia. In fact, it’s one of the first things that doctors look for when diagnosing the condition.
But why then do some people with fibromyalgia seem to feel pain in other places? In particular, many people with fibromyalgia seem to suffer from hand pain. So, what sort of hand pain do people with fibromyalgia experience? What’s the link between the conditions? And what can you do about it?
We still don’t know that much about fibromyalgia. So, when it comes to some of the less common symptoms, we have to rely on reports from the people who suffer from the condition. And there are tons of people with fibromyalgia who seem to have trouble with their hands. But in general, people with hand pain and fibromyalgia seem to have a few symptoms in common.
First, the pain seems to get worse when they use the hands, usually when writing. Many people claim that the pain is actually fine while typing, but when trying to write with a pen, it gets much worse. This implies that it might have something to do with applying continuous pressure with the fingers as you would when writing.
Secondly, many people say that they experience twitching in the muscles of the hands. And this actually isn’t that surprising. If you’ve suffered from fibro for a while, you’ve probably noticed that you experience muscle twitches from time to time. These sudden muscle twitches seem to be closely linked to the condition, and may actually be related to the way the condition affects the nerves.
Finally, many people with hand pain say that they also experience stiffness, especially in the fingers and typically after waking up. And this last symptom may actually provide a clue as to what’s causing the condition in some cases.
HAND PAIN AND FIBROMYALGIA
The most obvious explanation for stiff, achy hands is arthritis. And it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between fibromyalgia and arthritis. Not only that, but people with fibromyalgia seem to develop arthritis more frequently than other people.
So, if you’re experiencing pain in your hands, it’s worth taking the time to make sure that it’s not actually arthritis. Arthritis pain usually results in stiffness and pain, usually in the joints and often in the morning after waking up. If those symptoms sound familiar, consult a doctor and they’ll be able to rule out the possibility of arthritis.
But in cases where arthritis isn’t the answer, figuring out what’s going on is much harder. Fibromyalgia does seem to result in symptoms like muscle spasms and weakness for reasons we don’t fully understand. It could be that in this case, these symptoms are just affecting the hands more than other places.
Studies have found that people with fibromyalgia tend to have higher concentrations of nerve fibers in the blood vessels in their hands. And we know that fibromyalgia pain seems to be linked to the nervous system. If true, then it makes sense that people with fibromyalgia would tend to experience more pain in their hands.
The nervous pain of fibromyalgia may be manifesting itself in the hands. But until we know more about the condition, it’s hard to say for sure. The good news is that there are things you can do to treat it.
Many of the medications prescribed for fibromyalgia seem to help with hand pain. In addition, doctors can prescribe painkillers as either pills or injections. And there are also lidocaine patches that can be applied directly to the skin. And of course, if the problem is arthritis, doctors can prescribe corticosteroids to help with the swelling and protect the joints.
Many people also say that using heating pads can help stimulate blood flow in the hands and ease the pain. Heating pads are also a good solution if you’re experiencing stiffness in the fingers. On the opposite side, icing the hands can help dull the pain.
Others say that squeezing a stress ball can help strengthen the fingers and keep them flexible. If writing is a problem, switching to a felt-tip pen can help since you need less pressure to write with it. As always, the best thing to do is consult a doctor if you’re experiencing chronic pain anywhere. They’ll be able to give you a treatment program to try.
Ultimately, the best information comes from the people suffering from the condition. So let us know, do you have problems with your hands? What do you do to treat it? What do you think the connection is with fibromyalgia? Tell us in the comments.