Is hand contracture an RA issue?


Community Answers
  • Richard Faust moderator
    1 year ago

    Thanks for writing Lucy. If you are referring to contraction in the sense that the joints do not bend or muscles stretch like normal (as opposed to muscle contractions that occur with cramping), yes, it is often an RA issue. The hands are actually often one of the first areas attacked by RA. This article from our editorial team looks at hand pain, swelling, and inflammation: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/symptoms/hand-pain-swelling-and-inflammation/.

    My wife, Kelly Mack (a contributor here), was diagnosed at two years old and has considerable hand damage (as well as other joints), but uses multiple mobility/assistive devices to help do tasks and be incredibly productive. Please note that some of the treatment advances in recent years, such as biologics, can considerably reduce the advancement of joint damage.

    Wishing you the best and please know that you are always welcome here for information and support. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • Lucy author
    1 year ago

    Richard,

    Thanks for the reply. I too have had RA for a long time – since I was 14. I am now 59, so … I have tried all the meds that are out there. I am on my third Biologist – Simponi. Enbrel and Humira caused suppression of my bone marrow function. I have been on high doses of prednisone and have recently tapered down to 2 mg. I am also on subq methotrexate. I have recently been feeling the best I have in years, joint-wise. This hand stuff is new. My hands are pulling and fingers crossing and it stays that way for about 30 seconds to a minute and then I am able to massage it out and move my fingers and knuckles. It happens when I am using my hand for fine motor activity. I am thinking it is tendons that are inflamed and cramping or stiffening up. I have been having some cervical epidural injections around C7 to alleviate some compression and pain due to osteophytes and joint inflammation. Not sure if it is all related or just random RA stuff. I have a message in to my rheumatologist.

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