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What do pain, swelling and burning sensation in the hands indicate?

Very recently (about 2 months), my hands have started to swell, especially in the morning. The pain is very much like a prickling or burning. Once I get going and start moving, my hands stop swelling, but they still appear a bit red and they get cold easily. It started when the weather in TN turned very cold, but it is 55 degrees today. I m 64, female. I have plenty of arthritis, but this hand swelling thing is new. My physician tested me for vitamin B12 deficiency, but that was OK. Right now we re waiting for the weather to turn warm and see what happens. Any idea of where I can go to and start reading?
Tue, 13 Mar 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response

Thanks for your query on HCM

"As" per your clinical history is concerned please follow like this -

1) Do a clinical examination by your Doctor and do few investigations like [CBC with differential, ESR, TSH, RF and uric acid test to rule out other pathological causes].

2) Use a [Wrist splinting] at bed time and take OTC painkiller like Ibuprfen with Pantoprazole.

3) Discuss with your treating Doctor about [Corticosteroids] for swelling. Do follow lifestyle modifications like this -

1)Try to reduce your force and relax your grip.For prolonged handwriting, use a big pen with an over-sized, soft grip adapter and free-flowing ink. This way you won't have to grip the pen tightly or press as hard on the paper.

2)Take frequent breaks. Give your hands and wrists a break by gently stretching and bending them periodically. Alternate tasks when possible. If you use equipment that vibrates or that requires you to exert a great amount of force, taking breaks is even more important.

3)Avoid bending your wrist all the way up or down. A relaxed middle position is best. If you use a keyboard, keep it at elbow height or slightly lower.

4)Improve your posture. Incorrect posture can cause your shoulders to roll forward. When your shoulders are in this position, your neck and shoulder muscles are shortened, compressing nerves in your neck. This can affect your wrists, fingers and hands.

5)Keep your hands warm. You're more likely to develop hand pain and stiffness if you work in a cold environment. If you can't control the temperature at work, put on fingerless gloves that keep your hands and wrists warm.

Hope that helps

Dr. Uday Nath Sahoo,
General & Family Physician
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