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Sudden onset of severe pain and weakness in right hand?

Hi everyone,

My hands are the area most affected by my RA, but about a week ago I had a very sudden onset of severe pain (much more painful than one of my normal flare ups!) in the knuckle at the base of my right index finger into my hand... As the week's gone on it's gotten so much worse; I can't even put on my bra or write! The pain has now spread to my other finger joints and my my right hand is extremely weak and stiff. I have been to see my GP and then my Rheumy nurse, but neither were able to do anything about it apart from upping my painkiller dose (now Paracetamo 500mg four times a day, Naproxen 250mg three times a day, slow release Oxycodone 60mg twice daily, along with ordinary Oxycodone 10mg at lunch and dinner time).

It doesn't feel like a normal flare up, plus if I do have a bad couple of days the pain is generally in a few of my joints and tends to be symmetrical. Has anyone else experienced something like this? It's limiting what I'm able to do at work and normal daily tasks.

Frustratingly I don't have a proper treatment plan in place and am having to rely solely on pain relief. I was on MTX but it caused me to have a seizure so I had to stop using it, but no alternative was given. I had hoped to be on a DMARD by now but it hasn't happened. An appointment with my consultant was cancelled at the last minute... I was told that I would get a new appointment but i'm yet to hear anything.

I'm really really scared about what's causing this sudden change... Sorry about the rant, any advice you guys could give would be amazing, even if it is just to put my mind at rest!

Thank you in advance

  1. Hi Aimee90, apologies for the delayed reply. So sorry that you are having this severe pain. How is your pain control this week? Pain in the hands is extra hard because we use our hands all day long. I'd encourage you to press and ask your doctor again about your options for treatment. In addition to speaking with your doctor, this article on hand pain may be helpful to you: Hope that you are able to be seen soon. Wishing you some answers and relief soon. Best, Kelly, Team Member

    1. Hey Aimee90, I've had a similar issue in the past. My right hand on the index knuckle swelled up and my movement was very limited. My doctor drained it and I could literally see all the fluid built up inside of my knuckle. She told me if I kept it there it would increase bone lost. It's been about 3 years and it helped out a lot, but I'm starting to notice the same thing happen again. I don't know how often I should get it "drained". It was slightly painful, but having RA you kind of get use to it, well at least I fell like I do. I hope this helps you and your doctor can find a method to ease your pain!

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