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My hands curl up and won't open during over exertion - anyone else?

Discussion in 'General Symptoms' started by Mrs Sowester, May 24, 2016.

  1. Mrs Sowester

    Mrs Sowester Senior Member

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    This is the third time it has happened to me when I'm pushed beyond my limit, my hands slowly curl up with my fingers pointing straight to my wrists and won't open or respond till I've laid flat with my feet higher than my head for a good long while.

    Today I had a medical assessment for my blue parking badge. It went well, the assessor was kind and understanding and because I was showing visible signs of becoming more unwell, mottled hands and breathlessness, she cut the assessment short and didn't make me walk. I wasn't stressed or anxious (my life doesn't depend on getting the parking badge) the lighting in the room was horrible and I had to do a lot of thinking, but the closing hand thing seemed out of proportion to what is going on.
    The last time it happened was about 4 years ago before I'd had an official diagnosis, I'd been to an event in the wheelchair and got the closing hand thing as I was being wheeled away after. My GP thought I'd had a panic attack - it wasn't.

    Does this happen to anyone else? What is driving it?
     
  2. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    Muscles flexing to try to help blood pressure?
     
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  3. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Revolting Peasant

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    I get something similar when I've exceeded my cognitive limits but it isn't my hands that are affected. Instead, my gait becomes stilted because I can't roll my ankle while walking, although I can still flex it if I'm stationary. Recovery after resting only takes a few hours.

    It seems to be some kind of overload phenomenon.
     
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  4. Mrs Sowester

    Mrs Sowester Senior Member

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    My hunch is that its blood pressure related because my finger tips get very cold, once they went purple, sometimes they tingle.
    But I'm just guessing.
     
  5. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    something similar but must be nerves
    the fingers most strongly pink then ring and slightly index finger spasm
    not total curl but can't control 'em
    rare only when have real bad episode, kinda scary
     
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  6. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Revolting Peasant

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  7. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    Kind of worrisome symptoms. Three times in how long a period and did you experience anything like this before?

    Hope you find out soon what's going on.:hug:
     
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  8. Mrs Sowester

    Mrs Sowester Senior Member

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    @Scarecrow that is what it looks like, but all 4 fingers go towards the wrist - in the video his index and middle finger stay less curled than mine. A locum doctor did run a calcium blood test a few years back but no-one called me back so I assume they were ok.
     
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  9. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    I had one extreme episode of the hands clenched tight in my severe years. Every time I tried to open them they would curl back into a tight clench. I was scary sick at the time.

    Now I just get stiffness in my hands and they turn inwards a bit from the stiffness. I think it might be the tendons in this last case - not sure.
     
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  10. Mrs Sowester

    Mrs Sowester Senior Member

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    @SilverbladeTE, it is scary, isn't it?

    @barbc56 It's happened 3 times in 5years, once after my daughter's graduation, once after a concert in a marquee and again today. The only common factor is that it's when I'm leaving an intense situation.

    @rosie26 Do you get pain in your wrists sometimes? Mine is like someone's pressing on them.

    I think a visit to the GP is on the cards, again!
     
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  11. Sea

    Sea Senior Member

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    I'd get retested if I were you. Test results do go missing or someone in the chain of communication between the doctor and the patient fails to do their bit. Never assume no response = nothing wrong.
     
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  12. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    Three times in five years is somewhat reassuring but only relatively speaking. Glad you are going to get this checked out.

    With this DD it's often hard to sort out if its mecfs or something else and when it's a good idea to go to the doctor without it being seen that you're a hypochondriac I have had this happen to me three times, thinking it was FM and initially ignored the symptons. Fortunately, the doctors were able to find what was going on, but that's more likely because what I had was easily diagnosed with blood tests. Even doctors find it difficult when it's something more nebulous.

    Take care and keep us updated.
     
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  13. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    I forgot to mention that I get some pain in my hands. It comes and goes and is not unbearable pain. It's enough pain to not be able to use my hands as in typing on the computer. I get slight discomfort in the wrists.

    I found D-Ribose eased the hand pain very quickly (in a hour of taking). But I haven't been taking ribose for over a year now because I got really sick with lung problems and I wondered whether ribose may have contributed to that - it may be completely unrelated, but I don't want to take the chance again after being so seriously sick last year.
     
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  14. Research 1st

    Research 1st Severe ME, POTS & MCAS.

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    Hello. I noticed you said when you over do it, well in my view there's half your answer. You're pushing your brain beyond it's limits. We know ME is a neurological condition, and thus you're neuro symptoms will be exacerbated by using your brain, especially when 'doing too much'.

    I'll cut to the chase...

    I wonder if you're describing what doctors would call a 'focal dystonia', affecting the hands?
    I've heard of very severe ME sufferers describing then fingers going into a 'claw' shape for long periods of time. (Not a momentary muscle spasm, actual grip like stance as if holding bicycle handlebars).

    Personally speaking, I've also experienced involuntary hand curling up (temporary), during usage of a what is fine motor skill (well for PWME!) such as using a knife and fork at the dinner table and writing with a pen (never use a pen now as I lose grip too rapidly). Others might get it sewing for extended periods (repetitive use of the fingers and brain working in unison) or anything that is using fingers in a careful and precise manner, repeatedly, such as a plucking violin strings or playing the piano.(A good piano's keys require quite of lot of effort to push down when your're ill).

    A potential cause in some may be a partial seizure (sensory changes as well as muscles affected) and/or brain hypoperfusion. I find maintaining gripping cutlery pretty intolerable during the meal by the end of it, my fingers would feel all odd and begin to curl up as a natural position and having them out flat felt strained and odd. This is when feeling 'wired' as if I feel a fit like feeling coming on - all from overdoing it, such as tolerating family guests coming over in their annual pilgrimage when 23232 people talk at once (OK, 3), total nightmare for PWME.

    By leaving the room, laying down as much as possible, resting my brain in a quiet dark room and hours passing, my curled up fingers would 'unstick' and return to normal. Also the normal strength would return. Consequently, I learnt to eat like a wild animal and etiquette goes out the window since then (when I was a teenager this is). The few times anyone ever visits us, they sit and the dinner table and I lay on the sofa sideways and don't care about being seen as antisocial. It makes a difference to the fingers curling and the faintness as your brain is much closer to your heart laying on the sofa, also your blood isn't pooling if you legs are tucked up also.

    See if that helps maybe, by saving your brain, by getting more blood to your head? Circulation impairment is a cardinal feature of ME, and if your brain circulation is impaired, it will affect your motor function for sure as your neurons will work even worse than normal even if it's 'just' episodically when more demand for blood is made by the brain, but you can't get the blood as it's pooling in your feet as you're sitting upright. My theory anyway. I have POTS + ME though, double curse. Also to be honest I don't think this will do much, as it's the neurons that are probably burning out their neurotransmitters far too quickly and that's why 'resting' in silence with no input, helps.

    What's probably comforting (wrong word) is that other people have replied here, including me, saying we get similar things to you. So in a way, it's probably the pathogenesis of the condition to mash up your brain function and your fellow sufferers maybe have similar brain pathology/phenomena, in the region of the brain doing this to you.

    Sorry if that's a useless reply and no doubt I'm totally incorrect but just sharing some thoughts.

    P.S My fingers are doing it now from typing, and yes I over did it, by typing too much the other day! Same as you've found. Hit the wall = nervous system payback increases with more symptoms, what psychiatrists call ''fear of activity'' and ''simulated weakness''. :woot::rofl:
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
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  15. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    Hi @Mrs Sowester i am sorry this is happening to you. Have you considered dystonia, because this sometimes happens with people like us?

    Rest, and rest some more. Make sure to avoid these situations that you know will tip you over.

    Sending best wishes.
     
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  16. RUkiddingME

    RUkiddingME Senior Member

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    Every time I crash my hands turn inwards at the wrists like a severe handicap. It's the weirdest thing. I know on the days when I automatically do this that I won't be leaving my bed.
     
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  17. Mrs Sowester

    Mrs Sowester Senior Member

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    Well I'm glad it's not just me, but sorry it happens to you too. Scary being out of control, isn't it?
     
  18. erin

    erin Senior Member

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    This happened to me only once. It was during a very stressful moment, I was very worried about a particular situation. Kind of a spasm I guess.
    It must be due to exhaustion. You might think you are not stressed or exhausted but your body has its own mind.
    I hope it won't happen to you again.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
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  19. Hell...Hath...No...Fury..

    Hell...Hath...No...Fury.. Senior Member

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    Sorry to hear you suffer with this too. Its the strangest thing!

    I've had the tight clench fisty thing going on and also the one where my fingers are straight and bent at first knuckle but they all join into a point as if doing an Emu/bird shadow on a wall then the tip of the joined fingers points towards my arm in a severe wrist bend.

    I used to have it regularly when i was very severe.

    The last time i had it was last week when my arms and legs were near paralysed and i do my usual snake slither at the hips to propel myself forward off the bed/onto the bed. I look like a caterpillar, the writhing at the hips catapults me forward an inch or so at a time, resting between each movement while my arms and legs are like slabs of meat wherever they land. The whole time this is happening, the hands are bent in the above position.

    I had claw hands and jerking after i had my tilt test done in hospital and during a three hour interrogation afterwards by a numbskull.

    While it was happening he literally smirked in my face and tried to make out it was psychological. While forcing the interrogation to keep going. After three hours we walked/wheeled out of there even though they were going to force me to keep answering ridiculous questions. We literally put a stop to it and walked out before he could do me serious damage.

    Is there any polls on here about the clenchy hand thing? (Thats the scientific term for it :nerd:)
     
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  20. Mrs Sowester

    Mrs Sowester Senior Member

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    The link Scarecrow posted calls it Trousseau Sign and it refers to low calcium, but I saw something yesterday (that I can't find today) that suggested it can also be a affected by carbon dioxide levels in the blood. I think it can be induced during a panic attack, so I guess that our bodies are reacting as if we're having a panic attack in times of over exertion. And that is why we're responded by medical types to as if we're emotionally stressed.

    I haven't seen a poll here about this yet, it would be interesting though, wouldn't it?

    I've got an appointment with the nurse tomorrow so I'll ask questions and make an appointment to see the doctor when I'm there. I think it's important to get it written in my notes in case I have to go for another medical assessment.

    I'm worried picturing you in that state Hell Hath, did you have someone with you? I hope you weren't alone.
     

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