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Hand problem - fingers swelling?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Mr_Ignorant, May 19, 2009.

  1. For starters I ride eveyday. 250km Mon-Fri to/from work and around 250km on the weekends.

    Over the past 3 weeks i have started developing some problems with my left hand, my index finger mainly. When i wake in the morning it feels like my index finger is full of air. I can bend it maybe 30% upon waking. A few hours later i can get full movement back.

    This morning it's actually quite painful. My whole left index finger from base to tip is visually swollen compared to my right index finger. It's also sore from base knuckle to top knuckle and hurts to bend.

    The only change i made to the bike was removing the stock weighted bar ends and putting on the bar end mirrors. That was about 3 weeks ago. I am not sure if that is solely the cause as the bike is only 5-6 weeks old. I initially thought it was related to another activity so i stopped that but continued to ride and it's gotten much, much worse.

    Has anyone else experienced this? I had some vibration related pain with my MV F4 but no where near this bad. I will put the stock end weights & mirrors back on and see if it helps. Are there any suggestions to help with this problem? I am a little worried it's bike related with no fix possible :shock:

    BTW I have been 'manning it up' for the past 3 weeks riding in pain but this morning it's really bad and at the point where i am concerned about causing some serious damage.

    I did not ride today and will stay off the bike until it feels 100% again :cry:
  2. I'd say see a doctor.
  3. Sounds like chilblains


    Keep the area as warm as possible.
    Apparently drinking a shot of vinegar helps prevent/cure... sorta an old-country method, I think, but hey placebos work so give it a shot.

    Anti-inflammatory and soothing creams can mitigate symptoms.

    See a doctor just in case - if it's really severe, compromises your ability to ride safely etc, there are prescription inhibitors available to combat them.

    Main thing is keep your hands warm though: fingerless gloves at work ftw! I used to get these back in high-school... I always looked like one of the crooks from Home Alone in my fingerless gloves.
  4. Heated grips could help, then you can wear thinner gloves.
  5. I have thick Winter gloves which i started wearing a few weeks back around the same time my hand problems started. So I went back to wearing the SP1's which i've worn for nearly a year without any issues but that hasn't made any difference. Hands are still busted :cry: My finger swelling/pain have just about gone and i have full movement at the moment.

    Any idea on why the issue only seems to come up when i wake in the morning? I don't have issues during the day which seems odd as that is when i am riding :?:
  6. I used to get this with my toes during winter. 05 was the first year it happened to me, and deciding to ignore it I ploughed on with the soccer season. Rookie mistake, 2-3 toes on each foot had the swelling burst and walking was a biatch for the next month or so.

    If its just for mornings like you say, your best bet is to wear gloves to sleep and hope that they don't come off. I got rid of the problem by sleeping with the heater on. I doubt continuing to ride would give you the same grief I had, but if it was me I'd be more worried about it distracting me during riding.

  7. I never had chilblains prior to coming to Melbourne. I got them for a few weeks two years ago. Apart from the painful swelling, has the skin in the area become hard as well? I went to see the doc, he told me what to do and prescribed a cream (I don't know about Bonk's home remedies) and it got sorted fairly quickly after that. The key is to keep that spot warm but I guess you already knew that.

    Go to the doc and get it sorted. :)
  8. If it is chillblains, my ex used to rub some grease like stuff into her skin at night. Kept fingers warm enough. Makes sense, the inuit's used to do the same thing will seal fat :)
  9. Chilblains are related to circulation - your body slows down when you sleep.
    That could play a part. It's also colder in the morning.
    OR sometimes, if you lie on your side or sleep in a particular way (maybe with that hand dangling down over the side of the bed?) circulation to that area will be affected.

    Yeah, I'm not sure where I heard the vinegar thing. See a doctor and get some cream for it.
  10. Vinegar works by improving circulation. A little brandy or whisky before bed also works and is a lot tastier. :wink:

    It's the reason you feel warmer after a drink. The blood flows back into your extremities. Mythbusters looked at this a while back - alcohol warms your extremities by restoring the circulation but cools your core body temperature so they concluded it wasn't a lot of use in warming.

    What they didn't mention is that it has a very definite use for treating chilblains and frostbite by increasing circulation to the extremities (providing you don't need to worry about keeping the core body temperature up).

    Having said that, I would still see a doctor - there's other things that can cause it. I've had a similar recurrent problem caused by an insect bite and there's also some infections that can cause similar problems but they are difficult to diagnose.
  11. Thanks for all the responses guys, it's much appreciated.

    The strange part is i rode all through Winter last year with the same gloves on my Firestorm / MV F4 and never had this issue. It's not even very cold yet, the only thing that has changed is the bike i ride? Maybe i'm just getting old :shock:

    I'll try a few of the suggestions first and see how things progress. If they don't improve i will see a Doc :wink:
  12. Hmm, I dont know if recommending reducing your blood pressure every night is the best advice.

    And mr_i, your not getting any younger :p A years a fair while.
  13. It sounds Arthritic or rheumatic not chilblains.
    Symptoms are typical of this condition where you wake up stiff in the morning then loosen up as the day progresses.
    You really should see a doctor to get an assessment.
  14. Yep. See a Doctor.
  15. Your right there mate. Isn't the saying 'as you get older you get colder?' LOL.

    smee - I thought about that possibility although with the changes recently - weather, bike, gloves - i believe one of these has been a trigger.

    I have had something similar happen in the past albeit with a piece of equipment not a bike. Stopped using the equipment, problem stopped. My worry is if this is the same kind of thing, how the hell do i buy a bike without knowing the same thing won't happen?

    I'll give an update in the morning. It's now 4hrs or so since i posted this morning. Swelling is gone. Movement is back. Space between 2nd/3rd knuckle is sore to touch. Middle knuckle on index finger still sore :cry:
  16. Chilblains itch like hell when they are warmed up.

    eg. getting in a hot shower first feels like the water is scalding hot, then as the area gets accustomed to the heat, the chillblains start itching.

    So doesn't really sound like chillblains from the OP's description.
  17. rabbit - i don't get any itchiness or any effects to water. Perhaps some slight numbness compared to my other fingers but i can still feel it ok.

    I'm getting the swelling in the morning which is limiting movement. Plus the aches. Now at 2pm the aching has pretty much gone but it still feels a bit swollen and 'not normal'.
  18. It is typical of an inflammatory situation like you describe.
    Periods of inactivity ie sleep means the limb is not used hence it stiffens up, as the limb etc warms up then it gets better but the underlying problem is still there.
    You mention that something similar has occurred before with some form of repetition which indicates you are prone to inflammatory responses due to repetitive activity on the joints etc.
    IT CAN be a precursor to arthritic conditions but more a case of tendinitis.
    Stretching and massaging the area along with anti inflammtories in the evening can bring relief.
    If the condition worsens then they will inject the area with cortisone or worst case scenario, surgery but that seems unlikely.
    You may undergo physio if the doctor seems to think it may be necessary.
    For your bike try changing the grips to more padded types.
  19. just chop the bastard off, no issues with riding then :grin:
  20. Nothing wrong with a bit of morning glory