Stiffness And Swollen Hands Increase After Sitting At Desk Job For 8 Hrs


Asked by Chris

Stiffness And Swollen Hands Increase After Sitting At Desk Job For 8 Hrs

I was recently diagnosed with RA in October 2009. I am not at the point yet where my medications are helping me, but I am working on that. My question is that I work full time at a desk job. I find that after sitting at my computer for 8 hrs., every muscle in my body hurts and I feel so stiff. Even my hands which may be not too bad in the morning, are puffy and swollen by the end of the day. I seem to feel better when I move around more. Can anyone explain why this happens? Will this subside somewhat once I find the right combination of medications?


When you have a condition like RA, switching positions and moving around can help keep you from sort of "freezing up". It can take a couple of months for the medications you're on to kick in, so hopefully your pain levels will decrease. In the meantime, ask your doctor for some anti-inflammatory's or other painkillers, as well as possibly some prednisone to help bridge the gap between now and when your meds start working. However, even when you meds are working, changing positions on a regular basis, getting up and doing a stretch, take a walk around the office, make a cup of tea, etc. can help you get through the day with less impact on your energy and pain levels.

You are legally entitled to accommodations at work, ie., various ways of making your job easier on your body. Check out my post on [working with RA]( this is just to have him used to) for links to resources like the Job Accommodation Network for examples of accommodations for people living with RA, as well as help from JAN representatives in identifying accommodations that may work for you and suggestions on how to negotiate this with your employer.

Answered by Lene Andersen, MSW