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Circulation / strange muscle activity

Hi there.

I'm suffering a lot of classic RA type symptoms and have been referred to a rheumatologist... I have an appointment in 10days or so.

However yesterday something very unusual occured... Despite my crippling fatigue I pushed myself to play tug of war with my little boys with a piece of rope for a minute or two. After I let go of the rope my fingers stayed curled (like half way to making a fist) and even when I looked at them and 'told' them to straighten up in my brain they didn't move! It took a minute or two before they started responding again.

Has anybody here who's diagnosed with RA suffered anything similar?

Thanks in advance for anything you can contribute ⭐

  1. Hi . Unlike our advocate/moderators, I do not have RA, but I have had a similar experience every time I have played tug-a-war. (I grew up in a neighborhood with 30 kids from just four families, so we played games like that a lot.) It has also happened when I have tried to rope climb and when I clench my hands into fists while getting Novocain at the dentist (I HATE shots in my mouth.). It might be RA-related for you, but I think that for me, it is just an odd position for my hands to hold with that kind of tension for so long. My hand isn't used to it. I hope you get some answers at the rheumatologist. Keep us posted if you feel comfortable doing so. Wishing you the very best! - Lori (Team Member)

    1. People with RA can develop trigger finger, a condition in which the fingers lock into a curled position and have to be manually uncurled, if they can be moved at all. It usually affects one or two fingers at a time though. Hopefully, that is not what you are experiencing. Tug-a-war uses some strange hand and arm muscle combinations. You are gripping, pulling and twisting at the same time. That might explain why it's never happened before. It was an interesting neighborhood to grow up in, for sure! Seven of those kids were my siblings, but one of our neighbors had 13 kids! (two were cousins they were raising). They all became heavily involved in Olympic bobsledding and luging (Their father was an Olympic bobsledder.), so there was never a dull day in our neighborhood. Enjoy the weekend! - Lori (Team Member)

    2. Hello again Lori... I'm on two sections of this site now whilst we figure out what my exact problem is! Interestingly, it may be neither rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis... But I need further tests.

      In terms of trigger finger I know what you mean, I had that once during my first 'flare up' of hand stiffness/pain. My little finger on the right was not happy moving through the range of motion and jerked past the middle part, however my recent issue of all fingers just not responding to commands was very different. Any answers I do get as I move along, for this issue or others I'm having, I will post up as information for others to read. Take care, John

  2. I have experienced it with all my fingers at one time and with just one finger. I have only heard it called trigger finger.

    1. Trigger finger is sometimes associated with RA, but not always. Trigger finger occurs largely because of inflammation around the tendons in the hands. This can happen in both people with and without RA.

      Here is a nice discussion of trigger finger from the Mayo clinic.

  3. I'm suffering a lot of classic RA type symptoms and have been referred to a rheumatologist... My first appointment will be July11. I have experience the finger curling while braiding my grand daughter hair. I

    1. I am sorry you are facing this appointment and have to wait a month or more. I hope things work out the best. Know each of us have had waits like this and we feel for you.

    2. Good luck with your appointment - I hope you get some answers 🤞

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