AAAaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggghhhh arthritis !!

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by The Captain, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    OK, so in addition to the tendonitis in my right arm, I have now developed pain in my left index MCP joint. It started a week ago, and at first I thought it was a simple strain because I noticed it after handling a frisky colt, but instead of going away, it has settled in and unpacked it's bags.
    Initially just mild discomfort, it is now painful enough to stop me playing bar chords at all.
    GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR !!
    X-ray tomorrow I think to rule out a fracture.
    I am not impressed !!!! Talk about cramping my playing.
    My only health phobia is rheumatoid arthritis, so I'm actually hoping it is a fracture or something simple like Ross River fever.
     
  2. SvenHock

    SvenHock Member

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    Sorry to hear this and home its something minor. Good luck!!
     
  3. e-z

    e-z Member

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    You are doctor, correct? What are you doing about your tendonitis? I have that also and am interested in your opinion of what is effective treatment.
     
  4. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Yes, I am.
    Unfortunately, there is no great treatment for extensor tendonitis. It is an overuse injury, and the problem is that teh main work the extensors do is to balance the flexors and keep the hand in the right position. So, EVERYTHING you do with your hand stresses the extensors.
    I have found that doing some "eccentric loading exercises" has helped a lot, and in fact it's not bugging me so much now. I am in the middle of doing home renovations, so my hands are doing toomuch at times, and then it flares again.
    There was another small study that showed that using a nitrate (angina) patch on the sore spot significantly improved things. The limiting factor there is the headaches that nitrates cause. I keep meaning to do that, but I keep forgetting. I'm not keen on a nitrate headache though, so I'm not really in a hurry to try that. I had a friend try it who plays for a quyid, and he said it helped a lot.
    The various splints and support devices are useful too. I was on the verge of trying those when I started the eccentric loading exercises, and it seemed to settle, so I didn't bother.
    Just had a big weekend of reno work though, so it was giving me gyp again. The natural history of extensor tendonitis , is that 80% will settel within 1 year, regardless of treatment. I'm kinda relying on that. The reno thing should be over in about a month, so then I'll rest it more.

    I tried a google, but all the info is on treament of Achilles tendonitis. My physio showed me how to do them for my elbow. You might try ringing around and fiding someone who is UTD on eccentric loadong exercsies for the forearm extensors.
     
  5. e-z

    e-z Member

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    Thanks for the detailed information. I do some exercises for my right arm that seem to help a bit but the most relief I've gotten is from not working so much. I use a Wacom tablet and pen with my computer and for some reason last year my arm flared up. Good luck with yours.
     
  6. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I think that using a mouse can be bad news, even though it is low stress, it is prolonged.
    Mine started with using a water blaster for some hours to clean my house.
    I tell you though, every single other thing I do hurts it, from shaking hands to unscrewing the lid on a jar.
     
  7. rh

    rh Robo Sapien Noise Maker Gold Supporting Member

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    I understand from medical nutritionists (i.e., MDs) that a tendency towards tendon inflammation can be lessened somewhat by making sure you get a good balance between the omega-6 and omega-3 fats. Most Americans get plenty of omega-6, and not nearly enough omega-3.

    I've modified my diet pretty heavily over the past two months, and I've noticed that a pronounced tendonitis in my Achilles tendon has now completely cleared up without a reduction in the activity that triggered it (perhaps, of course, this is just hysteria on my part).

    Anyway, just sayin'.
     
  8. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    This could well be true, however rather than hysteria, it might be natural history at work.
    I don't know if I get much omega-3, I'd have to do some reading. I follow a low-carb diet generally for waistline control, and eat a variety of fats, though no junk food, and very little processed food.
    I'm glad your Achilles cleared, that is not a nice thing to have.
    I'll check into the diet thing. Cortisone injections do work to, though I am loathe to go there. I don't break easy, and I want to keep it that way.
     
  9. lutelover

    lutelover Member

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    I am sorry to hear this for you. I had to give up classical guitar -- my second live, after electric guitar -- due to a distonic condition in my right hand. Physical therapy exercises and even botox injections provided only limited relief from symptoms.

    I grieved the loss of playing classical guitar for years. Happily, the technique used for Renaissance lute doesn't involve the parts of my hand with the distonic condition (the ring and little finger), so I've taken that up for "serious study" (For a number of years now I've been pursuing another music love-- choral conducting, and am in the final stages of my studies for a DMA in choral conducting.). I've also been able to continue playing electric guitar with the pick, as I have since I was 12 (38 years now).

    But I really am moved--and sorry--to hear of your difficulty. As a Lutheran clergyman, I'm sensitive to the grief process I had to go through over having to "give up" the classical guitar. It took me several years -- and it was hard, because the guitar has always been the instrument I loved. So if you feel some of those feelings, don't be surprised.

    Best wishes, Doc, in adjusting to these new circumstances. No doubt your love of music is great enough that, like mine, it found new and gratifying ways to express itself.

    Rev. Doug Thompson
    Tucson
     
  10. e-z

    e-z Member

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    Thanks for that tip. I'll try that and see if it works.
     
  11. dverna

    dverna Member

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  12. nsbucky

    nsbucky Member

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    yeah i had a bike accident yesterday and jammed the index finger on my left hand. should be interesting at band practice tonight. wish there was an easy fix for us both.
     
  13. sfarnell

    sfarnell Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm 53. I picked up guitar again about a year and a half ago after a 30 year hiatus from playing and performing. Within three months I had inflammation in my left index finger and I thought it was tendonitis. Unfortunately, it's mild arthritis which I have treated with Omega 3 fish capsules, a baby aspirin every day (I took this anyway), and daily doses of curcumin, an anti-inflammatory herb used in India for centuries. Within three months the inflammation in my finger subsided and I have had only one very slight reoccurrence of arthritis in the year since then.
     
  14. rh

    rh Robo Sapien Noise Maker Gold Supporting Member

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    The book that it came from is "Eat to Live" - Joel Fuhrman, MD.
     

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