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Hand Hurt So Much in the Cold

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  • Hand Hurt So Much in the Cold

    Hi. Maybe I'm just looking for a bit of sympathy here, because I've tried everything (aside from moving south) that I can think of. In cold weather (I'm talking Canadian cold, below 0 F), my hands just HURT.SO.MUCH!

    I have an unusual form of arthritis called Polymyalgia Rheumatica. My circulation doesn't seem to be very good. I have Reynauds sometimes, but right now it is mostly controlled through medication. Even so, my hands just get so horribly, painfully cold, especially in the morning. I've got drawers full of all sorts of gloves and mittens that I've tried. Even those Hot Shot warmer things don't help. The best thing is if I put my bare hands around the back of my neck under my hair for a minute or so. But then standing still makes the rest of me get colder and colder, until by the time I've finished the feeding (and have done the hands in the hair thing a dozen or more times), I'm just miserable.

    I'm not the type of person who generates heat easily, and what little I do generate doesn't get to my hands. I'm even cold in the summer, and sometimes will wear gloves at temperatures below 60 F.

    Suggestions? Cheese to go with my whine?
    My Equestrian Art Photography page

  • #2
    No suggestions, just commiseration. IT SUCKS!

    The last couple days have been sub-arctic here. Temps either below zero or single digits above, windchills in the 20s below.

    I actually decided two nights ago just to think of it as PAIN rather than cold. Because that's really what it is. 15-20 minutes of AGONY, and then they start working again and feeling ok... sometimes start feeling hot. But MAN those first 15 minutes are just torture.

    I too have tried every thing. The best so far is glove-mittens, so I don't have to take them off, but even then, not enough circulation to warm the mitten part usually. The hand warmers don't help for regular chores. They are a godsend for things like clinics where I'm sitting auditing (when the 'cold' becomes an issue at 40-45 degrees... )

    I am eyeballing the ceramic gloves at Big D's. Wondering if anyone's tried them? Heated gloves/mittens like heated socks? I've tried layering silk liners, themal liners, just about everything out there.

    I don't quite have insurance yet (just catastrophic) but will soon, and I really need to get to the Dr. and bring this up. Last two years I was blaming an Rx I've been off now since July. Guess that wasn't it. I am diabetic, and it could be the start of neuropathy I guess.

    It starts in the fall, when the nights get chilly, even before you need a jacket, my hands will hurt from turning on the spigot, or opening a stuck door or something. I have to start wearing gloves long before I have to start wearing other layers.

    All I know it is really brutal. I hope someone has some new suggestions I haven't tried!

    Misery DOES love company though. I'm glad I'm not alone!
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


    • #3
      Try the following. Wear a muff hung from your neck and
      pinned to your coat at the chest (to keep it out of the
      way while doing chores). I make my muff from polarfleece
      with a quilted layer of styrafoam beads towards the
      center. Then I put a bag of corn (about 3/4 lb of corn
      in a cotton bag) which I have heated in the microwave
      for around 3 minutes into the muff. When my hands
      start to feel cold, I stick one hand into the muff while
      I use the other to complete some task (or both hands
      into the muff if I am just monitoring something). This
      is good for around 20-30 minutes before I have to
      reheat the corn bag. I'm told one can use rice or
      beans or special beads filled with jell rather than corn,
      but my experience is with corn.
      Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
      Elmwood, Wisconsin


      • #4
        Draftdriver, I know you said the heating packs don't help, but have you tried heated gloves? They run off batteries and the heat is distributed evenly over your hands. I don't use mine outside (I have RA but no Raynaud's, and do OK in polar fleece) but I do use them indoors when my hands are screaming and I need some relief.

        Hope you find something that works.



        • #5
          Tried these?
          They also have electric, battery warmed mitts:



          • Original Poster

            Some good suggestions here. Robin, I've got some spare gel-filled microwave bags. I think I will try to ship up a muff using one. Bluey, I had battery socks a couple of decades ago -- the battery case was so bulky! They took 2 D batteries per sock. I see that these gloves use only 2 AA batteries, so perhaps this might be workable. I'll see if one of my local stores has them, how much they cost, and how bulky the battery case is.

            PP, I bought ceramic gloves about 10 years ago. Didn't help one bit, and cost a fortune. Maybe the technology has improved since then.
            My Equestrian Art Photography page


            • #7
              These are what I used when I lived in the frozen tundra, and had the same problem:

              Battery heated gloves.

              Especially good for doing chores. Yes, a bit on the bulky side, but better than frostbite.
              There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


              • #8
                Maybe a silly question, but do your feet also get cold?

                The reason that I ask is that last year I bought Sorel boots rated to something ridiculous like -70 degrees F and it has made such a big difference in keeping the rest of me warm!! I wear sock liners and wool socks and the boots and I noticed this year my hands have also stayed warmer longer. I'm using the SSG Rancher gloves and they are pretty warm. I don't have Reynards so I'm not sure if it would work in that case.

                I am a big fan of the Back on Track line but oddly enough, I only use the gloves for when I have random aches in my hands. Apparently they are supposed to work for people with circulatory problems but I don't know of anyone using them that I could ask. My friend knows of someone with fibromyalgia that swears by it. I know I feel a difference when I use those products. May be worth a try if you could borrow some?


                • #9
                  Try slipping on a pair of latex exam gloves before putting on your regular gloves. They will trap any heat trying to escape from your hand, and yes - your hands will sweat after a considerable amount of time but they won't get cold unless the sweat meets the air. I've been doing this since last winter, and it makes a HUGE difference in keeping my fingers warm. Nice bonus, any wetness on your gloves will not transfer to your skin, keeping your hands not only warm, but dry as well!


                  • Original Poster

                    mkevent, my feet don't usually get cold. Like you, I've got -70 boots, boot liners, thermal insoles, and I wear angora socks.

                    mali, I've got some latex gloves. I'll give this a try.

                    I went shopping for battery gloves today, and all I could find was Men's Small. Far too big for me. I'll keep looking. Fortunately, it has warmed up to around 25 F here, with overnights above 0. Still not great, but better than late last week.
                    My Equestrian Art Photography page


                    • #11
                      Mali's idea is the greatest for me. The latex gloves. i put baby powder on my hands first to control sweating and then the gloves


                      • #12
                        hmm... Gloves I GOT! (work at a hospital! ) Will try that.

                        My feet *occasionally* get as bad as my hands, but not USUALLY. The feet did have mild frostbite once, so I know that's the issue.

                        Doc appt today and she thought possibly Reynaud, and I'm going for some test that will measure bloodflow and nerve... something... as I've got tingling and falling asleep now too. <sigh>

                        Honestly, between mentalpause hormones (which can cause this issue), Diabetes, and Fibro--which are all valid 'causes' of the symptom-- I just feel like the world's biggest hypochondriac whiner!

                        But it HURTS. And it's not like you can just 'not go out' when it's double digits below (like tonight, t'mow and t'mow night!) because the ponies still need to eat. And honestly, it's probably a good thing they DO or some days you might not get out of bed.
                        InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                        Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pintopiaffe View Post
                          And it's not like you can just 'not go out' when it's double digits below (like tonight, t'mow and t'mow night!) because the ponies still need to eat. And honestly, it's probably a good thing they DO or some days you might not get out of bed.
                          Ain't this the truth...

                          I use dishwashing gloves inside my regular gloves, take them off and turn them inside out to dry before I need them again. I like the long "arms" on these--if you put them on before you put your coat on, they stay tucked up in your sleeves. And if you need to do something "fine" you can take a glove off and still have some protection.


                          • #14
                            I bought some rabbit fur lined gloves last year. They have kept my hands extremely warm as I did barn chores in 8 degree F temps this past cold spell. I've done the exam glove thing as well and that works too. Best of luck... It's no fun when it feels like someone is pulling your fingernails off. Hope you find something that will work for you.


                            • #15
                              hi pintopiaffe ---
                              My 18yr old daugher just had a(nother) dr appt at hershey med center yesterday with exactly the same symptoms...
                              and again we left with them scratching their heads..
                              going to try some neurology testing ....
                              she has taken all the blood tests possible... all good.
                              they are trying to eliminate what they can..
                              but .......... no clue.
                              shes tried the gloves, the handwarmers, the clothes, all of it... its internal.
                              the blood vessels constrict and when a normal persons warms, they would expand and let blood flow properly....
                              in her case the constriction stays, and hands remain cold.
                              shes not diabetic, and no other health issues.
                              go figure

                              research this:
                              Last edited by brightskyfarm; Feb. 3, 2010, 06:36 PM.
                              IN GOD WE TRUST
                              OTTB's ready to show/event/jumpers. Track ponies for perfect trail partners.


                              • #16
                                I have Raynauds and my hands sting and hurt so bad when it gets below 40. I use those little hand warmer packs that you can get from LL Bean, inside my gloves, but I also keep a small hairdryer down in my barn in case the hose ends or pump freeze, and I sometimes use it just to warm my hands! I blow it inside my gloves, stick my hand in and ahhhhhhhhh!
                                I hate winter!!!!


                                • #17
                                  ouch, after major surgery on my thumb, my hands (always cold) are even worse, my thumb is like a block of ice and uh, I'm south of the Mason-Dixon line. And not just south of it. As a former Great Lakes resident, what I do know is I damn sure don't know your pain (just a distant memory), but i feel for you all the same.

                                  I have these wonderful Mountain horse thinsulate gloves with a "tritten" over it. The gloves are warm and the tritten is wind/waterproof, but very lightweight. That's useful for chores because you can do a lot in a tritten, and take them on/off when they don't get teh job done. Also, keep the Hot Hands in your pockets. If your hands get cold take everything off and put your bare hands over the hot hands for a bit - that way you can get to the finger tips which is really where you need them. Last but not least, I went to an outfitter shop and bought some of their high tech gloves. I figure people who climb mountains and race down them at umpteen bjillionmiles per hour now a bit more about keeping the hands warm. Turns out they do. Much better gloves...
                                  Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Tried the Latex Gloves

                                    Actually, I tried one under one thinsulite glove, and used the other hand a a 'control' (thinsulite glove only). The hand with the latex glove got so much colder than the 'control', that I had to take the latex glove off in less than 5 minutes. Temperature outside this a.m. was 0 F.

                                    Well, one idea tried and failed. Several others yet to go.
                                    My Equestrian Art Photography page


                                    • #19
                                      DD--great minds think alike! I too did one rubber glove on/one off. I found the gloved hand sweated much more, which then made it colder.

                                      Was a balmy 8 or so, but 25mph wind gusts...

                                      Going to try it again...
                                      InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                                      Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                                      • #20
                                        I have a crazy idea..

                                        I have one Back on Track sock (has been used previously but is washed)(DD accidently put its twin in the dryer!) and I'd be happy to send it to someone as a test case to see if this product line really makes a difference for someone with compromised circulation. My daughter is using the gloves now so I can't send them as a test trial but the sock is free for the asking.

                                        Anyone interested to do a very unofficial trial?