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Arthritis and Rheumatism

What Could Cause Pain and Soreness in Hands?

01/14/2008

Question:

I had this problem last year in February. It started with pain in the knuckles of one hand then then pain started to go up the outer arm from the wrist. It is sore to the touch. It went away in May and now it is back, started again in November. I had all the blood work done last year and my Doctor could not figure it out. There is swelling in my hands and at night it even hurts to pull up the covers. The pain wakes me up and it is severe in the morning. Can you help me? What type of specialist should I see? Thank you!

Answer:

Two potential causes of your symptoms are an ulnar neuropathy (ulnar nerve is the funny bone nerve) or cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve in the neck accounting for your shooting pain in the upper part of the arm). The swelling of the hands may be due to systemic inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis which may cause a neuropathy due to vasculitis. Neurology and Rheumatology evaluation would be appropriate.

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Response by:

Johnny  Su, MD Johnny Su, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University