I was diagnosed with SLE in 2002 and have been expericing progressively worse symptoms (fatigue, joint pain, hairloss...). Within the last year, my fingers have been swollen like sausages and I dont' always have mobility with my hands. It has been extremely difficult as I am a Bikram yoga addict, piano and violin player, and student. It is also painful and causes blood vessels to explode right under the skin. My doctor says that this is the effect of vasculitis (skin inflammation) and that he cannot really treat it. Currently I am taking Plaquenil, Medrol, and have recently started Methotrexate (MTX) (3 weeks ago). Does anyone have any suggestions to reduce the swelling and joint pain in my hands? I have tried soaking in hot liquids and on days that I cannot stand it, I take 200 mg. of ibuprofen (*guilty look*). Thanks!