Medical Q&As

Rheumatoid arthritis - night pain?

I am suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. I canít sleep at night. When I go to bed the pain in my hands is terrible. Have you any suggestions on how to stop this?

Night pain is a common symptom for sufferers with rheumatoid arthritis. I assume that you have told your GP about your pain and are not suffering on in silence. It may be possible to change your medication or even adjust drug dosages to give you better relief. Some drugs have a long duration of action, which means that the pain relieving effect can last for the duration of an average nightís sleep. Some anti-inflammatory painkillers are also available in suppository form. When taken in this form the drug is slowly released into your system throughout the night and this can give good pain relief as well as reducing morning stiffness, which is another troublesome symptom from rheumatoid arthritis. Some sufferers also get relief from wearing wrist splints in bed, which maintains the hand and wrist in a position of ease during the night. Splints are also very helpful in preventing contractures. Splints can be obtained through medical suppliers. Alternatively you could make contact with the Arthritis Foundation of Ireland, which also has a catalogue of various devices that could be very useful for the arthritis sufferer. The Foundation can be contacted at: