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Thread: Arthritis pain relief

  1. #1

    Default Arthritis pain relief

    As a 65 year old mandolin player, I have recently developed pain in middle knuckle of the ring finger of my left hand. I've booked an appointment with a Rheumatologist but wondered if any one had any wisdom or experience to share.

    I can play slowly, but can only put slight pressure with that ring finger. If all else fails am thinking about taking up the Dobro.
    Clayton

  2. #2
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    Don't you love getting old? As my dad used to say, getting old is hard but it beats the alternative.
    You could try experimenting with over-the-counter lotions. I use arnica gel, Voltaren (I'm not sure if you can get this outside Canada), and when things are really bad, Tiger's Balm (available in Chinese stores and in drugstores, usually for much higher prices). In the past I've found the house-brand arthritis lotion from US Wal-Mart to be good, but I haven't bought it for years. There seem to be no miracle cures, and everyone reacts differently. However, I've found these lotions provide some relief for me. Good luck.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    Well.....gettin' old ain't for the sissy type, either.....
    I was on Meloxican for about 4 months while waiting to have a hip replacement...bone on bone.....and the stuff is also prescribed for my arthritic friends.
    A good friend suggested legal (<.3% THC) CBD oil, and it worked, at least for me, taken orally in the morning and before bed. I got off of the high test stuff for about 3 weeks before the surgery, and only took 2 more of those awful pills; I just wished I had tried it earlier. My PCP tells me that CBD is a lot like over the counter drugs.....works for some folks and not for others. I am 71 with the aches and pains that comes with the territory, and it is my GO TO when any inflammation occurs. Some call it voodoo, but it works for me.
    Best of luck.

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    Registered User Roger Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilO View Post
    Well.....gettin' old ain't for the sissy type, either.....
    I was on Meloxican for about 4 months while waiting to have a hip replacement...bone on bone.....and the stuff is also prescribed for my arthritic friends.
    A good friend suggested legal (<.3% THC) CBD oil, and it worked, at least for me, taken orally in the morning and before bed. I got off of the high test stuff for about 3 weeks before the surgery, and only took 2 more of those awful pills; I just wished I had tried it earlier. My PCP tells me that CBD is a lot like over the counter drugs.....works for some folks and not for others. I am 71 with the aches and pains that comes with the territory, and it is my GO TO when any inflammation occurs. Some call it voodoo, but it works for me.
    Best of luck.
    I have also found (<.3% THC) CBD oil and creams to be effective. The oil taken orally is best. Note that it is available in different strengths.
    If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a vet.

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Adams View Post
    I have also found (<.3% THC) CBD oil and creams to be effective. The oil taken orally is best. Note that it is available in different strengths.
    Me too, but you can see by my comment in post #2 (above) that it's far from perfect. And don't get me onto those low-air-pressure days. As a massage therapist told me, I can predict the weather by you guys.
    Last edited by Ranald; Aug-07-2019 at 8:35pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    Salonpas with lidocaine works wonders for me.
    David Hopkins

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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    Many folks have had great results for arthritis, muscle pain, etc with Ridiculous Paste. It's made of plants, and is completely free of synthetics. You rub it into your skin in the area that's bothering you.

    It's not a masking agent (like Tiger Balm, for instance). There's no menthol or eucalyptus, for instance. You won't feel a fake cold or hot sensation. It increases circulation, reduces inflammation, and reduces pain. It was developed (by my wife) for legendary rock climber Tommy Caldwell, who mentions Ridiculous Paste in his book The Push. https://skinourishment.com/collectio...alm-paste-2-oz
    Paul Glasse
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    http://paulglasse.com

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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    Hmmmm. This is the second homeopathic/snake oil/medical arthritis thread in a couple of weeks. Is this a trend?
    David Hopkins

    Breedlove Legacy FF; Breedlove Quartz FF
    Gibson F-4, (1916); Blevins Octave Mandolin, 2018
    McCormick Oval Sound Hole "Reinhardt"
    McCormick Solid Body F-Style Electric;
    Recording King Resophonic Mandolin; Slingerland Songbird Guitar (c. 1939)

    The older I get, the less tolerant I am of political correctness, incompetence and stupidity.

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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    I rely on naproxen sodium (Aleve) to cut the inflammation in my hands. I know it works for me because every time I try to quit, it takes only two or three days for my hands to be on fire again. Also, I do gentle, no-pain stretching to lube my joints before playing.

    Good luck with it. Aging isn't for wimps.

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    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    Make sure you find out a definitive diagnosis of which overall type of arthritis you are dealing with. Rheumatoid there is still some interesting lotions and potions experimenting that can be done. Osteoarthritis and youíre really looking at ways to prevent exacerbating it and controlling the pain if you do. I used to get rheumatoid symptoms from an old injury to my knees, but that was seasonal and could be controlled by avoiding the trigger factors (going out training in very cold or damp conditions etc.) you may have a combination of both, which I do. Rheumatoid in a couple of knuckles of the left hand and the little finger of the right hand, plus osteoarthritis in the middle and tip knuckles of both hands. (Iíve had it for about 5 years now since I was 49)

    Nowadays the real bother is the osteoarthritis in both hands and a resulting constant companionship of Mr Pain and Mrs Ache. Knobbly knuckles and mis-aligned finger joints are becoming a bit of a nuisance, especially in the left hand where my ring finger plays a bit flat on the fiddle fingerboard if I donít constantly overreach and barge into the next finger. Not so noticeable on the fretboards though so no real complaints there.

    In in terms of control of the pain I go for prevention first and only use (topical) pain relief in extremis.
    Prevention includes wearing good quality gel padded cycling gloves when working with any power tools.
    I bought a weed-whacker with a transverse handle which has massively reduced the impact of grass cutting etc., likewise with power tools, always use the double handles to share the burden.
    I avoid lifting any heavy weights with my hands and will use a strap around the handles and hoisted over the shoulder if very heavy, otherwise tethered to a Velcro wrist strap to bypass the hands for stuff like heavy shopping bags or boxes.
    These are just to avoid triggering the pain as if I am not careful it lasts the best part of the week.

    in terms of playing Iíve always had a light touch when fretting, but on fast jigs and reels etc. I need to back off even more, to avoid the repetitive hammering effect on the joints. So the faster and more enthusiasm I play with, I need to keep reminding myself to fret lighter and lighter. Iíll probably end up using the same force to fret, but my impression is that Iím fretting much more lightly and that hopefully will compensate for the tendency to play harder when playing faster.

    When I do have a bad week I will use 10% Ibuprofen gel on the fingers. I apply it and rub it in, then when it appears to be rubbed in, I lightly damp the fingers with a sprinkle of warm water and do it again, and again; until Iím bored out of my tree, about which time enough has gone through the skin to take effect. When I do it like that it usually sorts things out for days. If I just apply it and rub it in once itís very little use.

    Good luck with yours, and remember to critically analyse everything you do with your hands so you can develop mitigating strategies for your particular situation.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    Don't you love getting old? As my dad used to say, getting old is hard but it beats the alternative.
    You could try experimenting with over-the-counter lotions. I use arnica gel, Voltaren (I'm not sure if you can get this outside Canada) . . .
    You can get Voltaren in the U.S. with a prescription. I've found it helpful.
    "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations, and often lose themselves in error and darkness!"
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    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    More than arthritis pain, I tend to get bad cramping/super tight muscles in the 3rd and 4th finger back of the hand area.
    As much as I think it's silly, I have started trying some yoga poses centered around the hands and that actually seems to really help. I've heard some pros talk about it helping keep the fluids and whatnot going as well which I think is good for arthritis. It's free to try anyway.
    Drew
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    Registered User O. Apitius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    (<.3% THC) CBD oil worked wonders for my lower back pain by reducing inflammation with zero negative side effects. This is the product I used. http://truorganicsco.com/ I say used because although cannabis is legal in Canada my government stopped my ability to purchase this product legally and has forced me to go to inferior Canadian products.

    If you are in a legal jurisdiction and would like to try CBD oil, I highly recommend getting a "full spectrum" certified organic oil. Full spectrum because of the cascade effect and certified organic because the hemp plant and all forms of cannabis are very good at taking up toxins in the soil, especially heavy metals. In fact, hemp plants are sometimes used to detoxify contaminated soil sites. It takes a lot of plant material to produce the CBD oil and so any toxins in the plant will be concentrated.

    I'm in the process of making my own, legal, full spectrum, organic CBD oil in an organic hemp seed oil base. It's the only way I have here in Ontario to get a quality product. It's a lot of bother but for me, it has worked wonders for my overall health and so it's worth it. (At least I think it will be worth it as I have not yet actually produced any oil)
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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    Hot paraffin can be useful for arthritic hands. Basically your hands are coated with (reasonably) hot wax, which remains in place and continues to apply heat to the area; when it cools off, peel it off ans retain for re-use. The heat encourages blood and lymphatic flow to the affected areas. It's an old remedy that continues to work well.

  20. #15
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    The trend is due to a great many baby boomers getting old at the same time.

    By the way, having suffered chronic pain since being hit by a car over thirty years ago, and knowing that there's no cure (believe me, I've tried it all: conventional medicine, alternative medicine, mindfulness, out and out quackery...), I'm quite happy with hiding the pain, treating the symptoms, or doing whatever gives relief for a few hours.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    I've been taking Glucosamine and Turmeric capsules for several years now, and I have no pain anymore from the arthritis in my right wrist and index knuckle. These areas used to bother me quite a bit, but now are basically pain free. I take 1000mg of Glucosamine twice a day, and 450mg of Turmeric twice a day, at lunch time and dinner time (although you don't have to take it with food). This was suggested to me by a physical therapist back in 2013. It takes a few months for you to notice the effect, but it works for me. Just like with other things it will affect different people different ways, or to different degrees. It's all over the counter and there are no side effects that I know of, but Glucosamine can interact with diabetes drugs, so do your research about it. An alternative to Glucosamine is Glucosamine/Chondroitin, which I used to take. But I read that the Chondroitin doesn't do much while the Glucosamine has most of the benefit. If you already have severe arthritis these supplements may not do the trick, but again, it may be different for different people.

    Jack

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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    Firstly I strongly recommend Tai Chi and before your “hocus pocus” alarm sounds off please continue reading!
    As I am getting older I increase my time doing stretching and rotational exercise. I was fortunate to take the time to learn Tai Chi in my 20’s. The combined rotational and stretching movements inherent in these forms are well thought out and anatomically based.
    Most community centres offer courses. Harvard University medical school did a thorough scientific “objective” study of Tai Chi and published a book explaining it’s benefits. Easily found by a Google search and in most public libraries. The book describes some simple Tai Chi exercises however I highly recommend a good teacher!
    Secondly I recommend making sure your mandolin is set up well. Often lighter strings will help. Try flatwounds or simply lighter gauge strings.
    Thirdly you may want to try a thicker pick which is easier to hold for arthritic hands. Try picks with holes or surfaces which have some texture like primetones, Wegens or simply drill a few holes and/or roughen the surface where four fingers contact the pick.
    Fourthly I have played many mandolins. To me the Phoenix mandolins with Thomastic Strings has been “physically” the easiest mandolin to play.
    Also these are wonderful instruments. Unfortunately the Phoenix shop has closed down but used instruments appear in the Classified Ads.
    Hope some of this helps,
    Barry

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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    I remember several years ago when my arthritis first emerged, someone gave me a magnetic bracelet. They were all the rage at the time. Coincidentally, I had a doctor's appointment a couple of days later and I asked my doctor about it. He said there's no clinical proof but if you think it works, it works.

    I think that applies to a lot of the recommendations in this thread.
    David Hopkins

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    Registered User Roger Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    Quote Originally Posted by DHopkins View Post
    I had a doctor's appointment a couple of days later and I asked my doctor about it. He said there's no clinical proof but if you think it works, it works.

    I think that applies to a lot of the recommendations in this thread.
    Indeed, a positive mental outlook does seem to allow the body to heal itself.
    If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a vet.

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    Years ago a Dr. gave me some meds as I had a bad upper respiratory illness "in 07-told I had a year left to live in 2011 or 12" and well them meds ruined my life! I've had so many health issues because of that antibiotic its mind boggling from serious edema that turned my legs into blood spraying appendages, liver problems, finally about dead on my couch and many ambulance rides they had to open my heart up! I have severe arthritis in most all my joints and have seen so called specialists and cortisone shots don't work! I recently tried the CBD oil 1500 mgs. and believe it or not it does work! I for one could tell the difference, I've stopped taking it as its very expensive here for a little bottle and I just have suffered so long I'm used to the pain I guess. I may have to bite the bullet and start taking it again as it does work and I can't take any anti-inflammatory meds like Aleve etc...because of liver damage! I played a church gig last Sunday and toward the middle I was completely annoyed, limping around and not enjoying the fine music we played!

    Its defiantly not snake oil stuff if you get the right oil! Do your homework as I'm all for anything natural to block out pain! Think about all natural or man-made poison!

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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    I can vouch for tumeric because it does work and has a scientifically proven basis and research for anti-inflammatory properties. I can’t say about CBD oil, but don’t see why it would not work.
    Loar LM-370

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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    I had this exact issue with my left ring finger. I stopped wearing a ring which really helped. Ice and ibuprofen also helped. My finger still gets sore but it doesn't stop me from playing...for now.
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  30. #23

    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    Quote Originally Posted by scotta View Post
    I had this exact issue with my left ring finger. I stopped wearing a ring which really helped. Ice and ibuprofen also helped. My finger still gets sore but it doesn't stop me from playing...for now.
    Accupuncture worked for me.

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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    Quote Originally Posted by DHopkins View Post
    Hmmmm. This is the second homeopathic/snake oil/medical arthritis thread in a couple of weeks. Is this a trend?
    Please don't dismiss people's suggestions.
    I didn't read any descriptions of homeopathic solutions above your post. Snake oil is a worthless medicine someone
    is trying to sell the public. Didn't see any of that either. I use Aleve and a hot water soak before playing. I've been diagnosed
    as having arthritis in my hands and they are generally somewhat stiff. The diagnosis may actually be worn out parts of my hands
    after playing a lot music for about 50 years.

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    Default Re: Arthritis pain relief

    You misunderstood or I "under-explained." Everyone recognizes the standard treatments. It's the others that may be questionable. This is one of those threads we go through every few weeks.

    Just so you know, I'm 75 and I've had arthritis for several years, with much of it in my left hand. Like you, my usual treatment is Aleve. I also use topicals like Salonpas that work well.
    David Hopkins

    Breedlove Legacy FF; Breedlove Quartz FF
    Gibson F-4, (1916); Blevins Octave Mandolin, 2018
    McCormick Oval Sound Hole "Reinhardt"
    McCormick Solid Body F-Style Electric;
    Recording King Resophonic Mandolin; Slingerland Songbird Guitar (c. 1939)

    The older I get, the less tolerant I am of political correctness, incompetence and stupidity.

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