Q. What causes numbness in fingers with swollen joints?

Answered by
Dr. Divya Agarwal
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 12, 2019

Hello doctor,

I have been waiting for over a year to meet with a rheumatologist in my area. I am 39 years old, and a year and a half ago I was in the best shape of my life, having 10 % body fat, working out 4 to 5 days a week. I own my company and work on a computer daily, and my hobbies include tinkering with the computer, building guns, and doing a lot of things with my hands that require fine motor skills. I have lost that ability lately, I have lost the sense of feeling in roughly my thumb and index finger. My thumbs are both swollen at the joint, all of my knuckles get red and warm, nothing I take seems to help (although I have not taken any rheumatoid medication yet).

I am just getting very depressed, frustrated, and just want some sort of help on easing my symptoms and getting back to a normal life. My knees and ankles occasionally give me issues, as well as my toes swell the same as my hands. I do experience dry eyes frequently. I would like a recommendation as to what I need to tell our local rheumatologist if I ever get in to see one. I have a general practitioner that is working overtime trying to help in the meantime, but she is out of her realm on advising any treatments prior to getting into the specialist. Any advice will be greatly welcomed as I am just at a loss for how everything has changed in the last year and a half. I have taken tons of over-the-counter medicines and nothing works. I just want something to help take the inflammation away so I can be normal again.



Welcome to

Yes, the possibility of inflammatory arthritis is definitely there, however that can be confirmed only when a rheumatologist examines you. The other symptoms are prolonged stiffness in your hands lasting more than half an hour, swollen knuckles and tenderness. The pain which is usually worse in the morning and better after rest. This pain usually gets better with anti-inflammatory medicines. This is confirmed by doing a rheumatoid factor, anti-CCP, ESR, CRP done. I suggest do hot fomentation and mild exercises too. Make sure that levels of vitamin D are fine.

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