General Question

longgone's avatar

Any guesses as to why my hands hurt every night?

Asked by longgone (18468points) January 13th, 2021

It starts late at night, as I’m falling asleep. In the morning, it’s really bad. No pain during the day.

I don’t do excessive writing/typing/etc. I don’t knead tons of dough. There’s nothing that I do differently, but this has only been a problem for the last month or so.

It’s both hands, and the pain feels like my muscles might be inflamed. Palms and fingers. It makes me want to flex them constantly, though that doesn’t really provide relief.

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21 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Thinning of your discs between vertebrae number 6 and 7.

I’ll tell you why if ya need to know why I know!

JLeslie's avatar

She’s very young for thinning discs. Hopefully, that’s not the case. I’m not saying it isn’t, I have no idea.

Is that the only part of your body it’s happens?

Pandora's avatar

@Tropical_Willie It could also be just inflammation. I would take asprin or tylenol before going to bed to see if it helps. If it does it probably is just inflammation. I was like that for a while some year back then suddenly one day my whole arm felt like it was broken and on fire. Lost feeling in my hand for a few weeks and my fingers got feeling back one by one. Doc told me if was inflammation that was pinching the nerves on my spine. I believe he just gave me tylenol 800 to take for a few days to bring down the swelling, but he said it would take time for the nerves to heal completely and he was right. I think it took about 3 months or so before everything was back to normal.
I would still ask a doctor though to make sure. So many symptoms can mean any number of problems.

raum's avatar

Might be carpal tunnel syndrome. Tends to hurt at night because of the (bent) position of your arm.

Try hanging your arm off the side of the bed when you sleep. It might help stretch out the ligaments in your wrist while you’re sleeping.

Sorry to hear your arm has been bothering you. :(

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

My guess is that you might have diabetes.

Jeruba's avatar


Do you sleep on your side?

JLeslie's avatar

Do you do a lot of physical exercise or activity? Any weight lifting? Hour of aerobics? Lifting things at your job?

Do you knit or sew, anything that you’re using your hands a lot? Typing on your phone?

Is your vitamin D low? If it’s possibly vitamin D deficiency you would feel it in your muscles after using the muscles, so end of day makes sense. The feeling of it in your muscles and needing to stretch is a common feeling with D deficiency. That’s not science I read, that’s based on people I know with D deficiency and myself and my doctor who says she sees it all of the time.

However, if it’s D, you likely would feel it in any of your muscles when you use them a prolonged time. It takes longer for your legs to feel it, because it’s bigger muscles. Meaning you might need to dance or jog an hour or more to start feeling shaky legs or discomfort.

Do your hands get tingly or numb? Are your hands shaky at all after using them? You might only notice the shaking if you’re holding a glass or trying to write.

People can get carpal tunnel from very little use, some people are very sensitive, but I think if it was carpal tunnel it would be more constant throughout the day, but I’m not sure.

longgone's avatar

Thanks, everyone! I really hope it’s my vitamin D deficiency (especially because I now know that there’s a number of scarier things it could also be).

@Tropical_Willie Do you have personal experience there? If so, how would you describe the pain?

@JLeslie No strenuous activity. But actually, I got a test last week, and my vitamin D is pretty low (12). I have some numbness in my hands at times, no shaking. I do sometimes get the same sensation in my feet, and even in my legs if I walk a lot. My doctor didn’t mention I might experience pain, but the timeline makes sense for sure. It’s grey and rainy, and I’ve also been more tired (and a bit down) for the last month or so. Thanks for the additional info about needing to strech being common. So far, nobody I’ve talked to had any idea what I meant.

@Jeruba I do! But I really hope that I don’t have arthritis yet.

@RedDeerGuy1 Another thing I really hope it’s not. Scary.

@raum Hm… I’ve had that in the past. I think this is a different type of pain, much duller. It also doesn’t hurt with any movement – if anything, movement feels a bit better. The arm angle is an interesting point, though, so not ruling that out entirely. I’ll try dangling my arm off the bed. But if the monsters start chomping on it, I’m blaming you.

@Pandora That’s interesting, and probably worth a try for a few days before I get any extensive testing done for all the more serious options.

I think I’ll wait a little while, to see if this goes away with the vitamin D getting up to a healthy level again. Again, thanks for all the ideas to explore!

si3tech's avatar

Sounds like it may/might be pain refered from neck/spine? What does your doctor say?

si3tech's avatar

I wonder if something as simple as a neck support/pillow would give you relief?

JLeslie's avatar

12 is VERY low if your country is using the same measurement as America. Let’s hope that’s all it is.

Were you given a prescription for D? How much are you taking and when is your next test?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@longgone Yes, discs between 6 and 7 and 7 and 8 have thinned. 6 and 7 is where the nerves come out for fingers and hands, I have pins and needles most mornings when I get up on the tips of fingers and thumb.

Try putting your hand on the back top of your head and gently pull your head to your chest, hold for 15 seconds. Push your head back in place using your hand and not your neck muscles.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree with the suggestion that trying a neck pillow or rolled up towel behind your neck when you lay on your back is worth a go. I just use a small towel. It should be very comfortable, it’s just support for your neck. If it is your neck or a disc sliding or inflammation in that are pressing on the nerves it will help with that.

Even if it’s the D it might give you relief to ease your neck.

raum's avatar

Did both of your monster bait…I mean…arms make it through the night?

longgone's avatar

Sorry, meant to respond sooner…I have a mild concussion that kept me away from screens for a few days.

I feel pretty certain it was the vitamin D, because it’s almost completely gone now. I did start using a firmer pillow based on all your advice, so maybe that helped as well. Thanks!

@si3tech I didn’t ask a doctor about the hand pain. It didn’t seem serious enough, until I learned what all it could be in this thread.

@Tropical_Willie Sorry you’re dealing with that. Pins and needles are so uncomfortable.

@JLeslie I take 1800 IU per day right now, but I should check with my doctor if that’s the right amount. I didn’t get a prescription, I was just told to take some “regularly”. I’m not sure when I’ll get tested again – I think last time they called me back after three months or so.

@raum Ugh. They were all chewed and slobbery. I’m not doing that again.

JLeslie's avatar

Three months to retest is common, but in my opinion way too long to wait. If you still have a very low number at 3 months you will have spent 4 months minimum severely deficient, because even if you double or triple your dose it will take another month to get into normal range.

Let’s hope what you are taking is enough, it is for some people.

I’m not recommending taking more, I have no recommendations for dose, I’m not a doctor and it’s too individual, I only have my opinions about how long to wait to retest.

Doctors will let patients be outside of normal for half a year or more because of their reluctance to test cholesterol, thyroid, D, more often when first diagnosed.

longgone's avatar

@JLeslie I can probably get an earlier test if I advocate for myself. Thanks for the idea!

JLeslie's avatar

@longgone Was your number 12 ng/ml or 12 nmol/l? It makes a big difference. One is extremely low, and the other would be right on the border of normal.

longgone's avatar

@JLeslie 12 ng/ml, luckily. They told me that anything under 10 ng/ml would be classified as a severe deficiency, and that the goal is to get over 50.

JLeslie's avatar

Ok, yeah, 12 is crazy low. I don’t know the normal range they use in your country.

Just for additional information, when I get above 35 I start feeling significantly better, but no way to know if that will happen for you.

I’ll be very curious to know if the dose you are taking is sufficient. At that dose I stay around 17. It’s different for everyone.

raum's avatar

Shoot. My bad.

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