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Jan 12, 2019 - 3:05:05 AM
49 posts since 8/13/2018

Well, my arthritic left hand is kicking up this morning, time for a little ibuprofen.
Normally, after a little playing my hand gets warmed up and it’s not too, too bad. Then there are days like today..

What do you other sufferers do to unstiffen the hands?

It ain’t gonna stop me from playing!

Jan 12, 2019 - 4:37:09 AM
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113 posts since 3/19/2018

hi doc

sauna twice week

steroid injections every 6months plus painkillers and whiskey.

The trick … is not minding that it hurts ~ Lawrence of Arabia


I am still searching for the trick.....

Jan 12, 2019 - 5:01:53 AM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

22143 posts since 8/3/2003
Online Now

During the winter, my fingers tend to stiffen up and it is difficult to pick. I usually try to warm my hands before picking. Sometimes I do dishes if there are dishes to do or if not, just hold my hands under warm water from the tap. If it's too cold to do that, I hold my hands over an electric heater until they are nice and warm. Also, I make sure the room I'm picking in is fairly warm. Other than that, there's not a whole lot you can do. I usually do a few simple, easy exercises to get the fingers moving and by then can usually pick pretty good.... not good enough to go on stage anymore, but good enough to jam with others or just enjoy picking by myself.

Jan 12, 2019 - 5:18:12 AM

113 posts since 3/19/2018

Ahh Yes doing the dishes yes that helps
i also hold my hands over the stove.

Jan 12, 2019 - 5:28:41 AM
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DC5

USA

3708 posts since 6/30/2015

Contrary to everything you read anywhere and all other advice, I've actually had luck with an ice pack. I hold it for awhile, then let the hands warm, then ice again and repeat. Of course no matter what it is a losing battle. Giving up gluten has helped with my hands, but I doubt it is the gluten, probably something else in wheat. Also turmeric seems to help some. Finally learning to play clawhammer made a big difference in self satisfaction as it seems to be less movement of the fingers. I figure if my hand is going to turn into a claw I might as well adapt.

Jan 12, 2019 - 5:38:17 AM
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113 posts since 3/19/2018

Try A sauna it really works in the medium term.

Jan 12, 2019 - 6:03:34 AM
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21 posts since 2/24/2013

Taking CBD oil daily does the trick for me. Also rub CBD ointment on my arthritic hands.

Jan 12, 2019 - 7:14:04 AM
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923 posts since 2/10/2013

I apply a little "biofreeze" before playing. This prevents discomfort.

Jan 12, 2019 - 7:58:12 AM
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349 posts since 9/13/2018

Travis, my brother swears by the oil. He’s in construction work, so I believe him when he says it’s helping

Bruce

Jan 12, 2019 - 8:41:53 AM
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49 posts since 8/13/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo

Sometimes I do dishes if there are dishes to do or if not, just hold my hands under warm water from the tap. 


Funny, you say that.
I do the dished as well under hot, hot water and at times, that's a pretty decent help.

Jan 12, 2019 - 8:43:04 AM

49 posts since 8/13/2018

quote:
Originally posted by DC5

Contrary to everything you read anywhere and all other advice, I've actually had luck with an ice pack. 


That is contrary to what I've heard but on days like today, I'll give it a try. Thanks!

Jan 12, 2019 - 8:45:05 AM

49 posts since 8/13/2018

Been thinking about CBD (??) oil for my hands.
Dunno though, there ared SO many products out there purporting to be miracle pain relievers.
I asked my Primary Care guy and he just looked at me so I'm guessing he's not a big follower of CBD oil.

Jan 12, 2019 - 8:46:25 AM

49 posts since 8/13/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Hauser

I apply a little "biofreeze" before playing. This prevents discomfort.


Been using bio freeze but it's losing it's potency for me.
Switched over to Diclofinac 3% which works but only for about 40 minutes.

Jan 12, 2019 - 10:27:26 AM
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107 posts since 5/27/2008

You might try contrast baths. That's using both hot and cold water, as follows:

Fill one side of your kitchen sink with cold water (assuming you have a double sink), and throw in a tray of ice cubes. Then fill the other side with straight hot water. Dip your hand(s) in the cold water until they feel very cold, then quickly dip into the hot water side. Depending on how hot the water, you might just dip very fast, then quickly back into the cold water for a while. After a while, the hot water side won't be so hot anymore, and you can leave your hand(s) in there longer and longer, as you alternate from hot water to cold. The contrasting heat and cold forces the blood vessels to expand (hot water) and contract (cold), forcing greater blood flow throw the blood vessels. This will help relieve the pain in your hands. Repeat for maybe 10 minutes or so. Worth a try. I've done it in the past, and it really makes your hands feel good.

Jan 12, 2019 - 11:39:30 AM
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Paul R

Canada

10951 posts since 1/28/2010

It hurts more when I'm starting to play on my own at home. At a session the involvement with the musicians tends to mask any pain, and the pain is less after a while, anyway.

Jan 12, 2019 - 11:57:01 AM
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islandgirl

Canada

111 posts since 4/30/2009

I’m going to throw something completely different your way. I’ve played banjo for about 45 years, and when arthritis began to impede my playing (not so much the pain, because I can ignore that, but my ability to bend my fingers to make chords), I was pretty devastated. I took up the Dobro because our jam group had too many banjo players and all the women played mandolin, and each of them play only one instrument whereas I play most bluegrass instruments. They were all relative beginners, so I knew I would fit right in learning a new instrument. Fast forward ten years and I have to say the Dobro is the love of my life, although I still play banjo regularly. You’re already halfway there because you are used to fingerpicks, and the tuning is familiar (open G). It turned out to be the perfect progression for a banjo player with arthritis because all your left hand has to do is hold a bar (and learn very complex muting techniques, which is a story for another day). I don’t know about anyone else, but I sure find I have to keep reinventing myself as I get older!

Jan 12, 2019 - 1:58:45 PM

49 posts since 8/13/2018

Thanks Sue!
I play a variety of instruments as well.
Electric guitar which I think got me to my current position.
Violin but only a smattering.
Mandolin pretty good and ukulele, pretty good also.
I really should try Dobro to round things out and give my left hand some rest.

Jan 12, 2019 - 2:11:46 PM
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bluenote23

Canada

1007 posts since 12/4/2012

I don't have any suggestion for relief of your symptoms but I will say that I used to take multi-vitamins, the ones you buy at the pharmacy that have kinds of vitamins in them. One day, in my late 50s I started getting joint pain in my fingers. For some reason I stopped taking the vitamins. The joint pain went away.

I don't know what was in those vitamins that caused those symptoms but since then I have stayed away from multi-vitamins.

Jan 12, 2019 - 2:21:51 PM
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chuckv97

Canada

37430 posts since 10/5/2013

I alternate/combine using apple cider vinegar, collagen, cayenne, turmeric, oils, Novajoint, and Instaflex. And daily finger and hand stretches. Occasionally have trigger finger, but that goes away with massaging.

Jan 14, 2019 - 12:48:05 PM
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1587 posts since 4/5/2006

I'm surprised no one has tried Blue Emu, not that I have, but you see a lot of TV adds for it. I'm not all surprised CBD oil has been found to work. It seems to be all the rage of late. Apple cider vinegar has been used in home cures for ages. You have be careful with vitamins, different ones effect you differently. Not that I'm an authority on vitamins, or anything else for that matter, but you never know about multi vitamins. Are they for real, or are they just snake oil? I figure natural herbs & spices can't hurt you. You can find the pros & cons of all that stuff online. You just have to take everything you read online with a grain of salt. The hot & cold sounds like a good idea. Sit in the hot tub with a cold drink in your hand. Alternate hands. :-)

Jan 14, 2019 - 1:36:05 PM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

3708 posts since 6/30/2015

I take emu oil, both as capsules and topically. Don't know how much a difference it makes on the arthritis, but the capsules did a lot for getting my cholesterol down. Hot Tub with cold drink sounds like a plan.

Jan 14, 2019 - 2:38:33 PM

Eljae83

USA

8 posts since 1/8/2019

I have to wear a wrist brace on my fretting hand sometimes. I found it at Wal-mart for under $4. It just velcro's around the wrist only (not my hand.) Although, I sleep with a more proper wrist brace that stabilizes my entire hand/wrist. Also, Naproxen Sodium (Aleve) gets to pain and swelling faster and helps longer than Ibuprofen. I have de Quarvains Syndrome in my left hand, and it has been bothering me a lot lately. (Started a new job in Oct, that aggravated it) About to get a cortisone injection soon. If you haven't tried that you should see your doc for it. My last injection lasted over 5 years.

Jan 14, 2019 - 6:07:37 PM
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349 posts since 9/13/2018

My dr just informed me I have moderate arthritis. Yay. Everything’s gettin a little tougher lately. Hands are especially painful.

Bruce

Jan 15, 2019 - 9:36:47 AM
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107 posts since 5/27/2008

If you try the contrast baths remedy that I had mentioned above, I want to stress one very important thing. Pay attention, because I had to learn it the hard way. It goes as follows:

Make sure it's your HANDS that go into the water, and not your BANJO! ...yuk yuk...

Jan 15, 2019 - 11:31:18 AM

49 posts since 8/13/2018

I've been trying some extra hand stretches in the mornings and that seems to help a bit.
I had some friends recommend CBD oil but I dunno...

Jan 15, 2019 - 1:30:48 PM
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Players Union Member

DC5

USA

3708 posts since 6/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by yeoldbanjoguy

My dr just informed me I have moderate arthritis. Yay. Everything’s gettin a little tougher lately. Hands are especially painful.

Bruce


My hands, neck, feet, back and jaw are all falling to arthritis.  Lost my falsetto voice due to aging of the vocal cords, Eyes and ears going too, will be acquiring a hearing aid this year.  I've come to a conclusion that we fall apart so that we don't mind death so much when it comes.  With that in mind, I'll deal with the aches and pains and enjoy the fact that I'm still on this side of the dirt and that in the grand scheme of things, it ain't all that bad. 

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