Living With Arthritis in the Hands

Flute Maker

Mike
User
I haven't been officially diagnosed with arthritis in my hands but my ortho dr feels pretty sure it is. I have overused my hands like a lot of us have for many yrs and I am feeling it.Im 63 and still work full time plus overtime....I just need to hang in there a little bit more.But the hands are really bothering me.It is my right hand at the thumb/grip area.Dr. says a lot of people have the same thing.I cant do no where near what I used to in the shop but am still trucking on along. All I use is Voltaren Gel on the painful area. Dont want to use celebrex,advil etc. because of liver and kidneys. Voltaren helps some but still not good. I wonder about the future use being affected.What do some of you do that may have similar symptoms?
 

bandaideman

Dan
Corporate Member
Mike I know and feel your pain. I am a scroller and have pain in the thumb base and both hands and used splints.. These helped I figured out it was coming from the tensioning of the scroll saw. Also I have used Asper cream with some relief. I have had one knee replaced and the other is needed. The left shoulder required Rotator cuff surgery 15 years ago now arthritis is decreasing range of motion and increasing pain. I pretty much have arthritis in all the joints of to some extent. As mentioned I use asper cream, another product is Deep blue which comes from a essential oil company issue with that is it smells like ben gay or liniment but seems to help. Asper cream and Deep blue seem equal in effectiveness. I do take ibuprofen twice a day which helps. I also go to local Y and work out on the weight machines, bike 3-4 times a week, and keep up with the yard so that the old body keeps moving. All I can say is see your doctor for suggestions about how to best care for your arthritis, appropriate medication a possible Physical Therapy to help with exercise you can do at home. May help to know what type of arthritis which may change how it is treated.
 

Flute Maker

Mike
User
Mike I know and feel your pain. I am a scroller and have pain in the thumb base and both hands and used splints.. These helped I figured out it was coming from the tensioning of the scroll saw. Also I have used Asper cream with some relief. I have had one knee replaced and the other is needed. The left shoulder required Rotator cuff surgery 15 years ago now arthritis is decreasing range of motion and increasing pain. I pretty much have arthritis in all the joints of to some extent. As mentioned I use asper cream, another product is Deep blue which comes from a essential oil company issue with that is it smells like ben gay or liniment but seems to help. Asper cream and Deep blue seem equal in effectiveness. I do take ibuprofen twice a day which helps. I also go to local Y and work out on the weight machines, bike 3-4 times a week, and keep up with the yard so that the old body keeps moving. All I can say is see your doctor for suggestions about how to best care for your arthritis, appropriate medication a possible Physical Therapy to help with exercise you can do at home. May help to know what type of arthritis which may change how it is treated.
Thanks Dan, I know I need to see the Dr again cause it has progressed since last visit Is a back or orthopedic dr the right kind. My dr Ive gone to yrs on my hands, carpal tunnel and other stuff prescribed celebrex but my primary dr. really doesnt want me taking that unless I have which I have tried to stay away from it all except the cream but think I will try the aspercream...and I think I have some of the Deep Blue my Mil had.If stuff works I dont care about the smell!..Thansk !
 

DSWalker

David
Corporate Member
I'm 54 and have arthritis in most joints. I take a RX (Mobic) 1x daily. It definately helps. A few months back I thought I'd just stop taking it. A few weeks in my hands and elbows hurt so bad I was shocked. Never again.

It took another week to get back to "normal".

I did recently run out of my RX again and am using the OTC version of Aleve. 2xs daily seems to be keeping it at bay. The RX is cheaper, so will be calling for a refill when this bottle runs out.
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
I have pain and stiffness in my right hand. Especially the thumb. Of course I am right handed. I have had reasonable relief with a topical cdb cream a couple times a day. When really bad I pop a couple generic Advil.
 

gator

George
Corporate Member
My wife has it in one of her wrists. Every six to nine months (when ever the pain returns) the Orthopod gives her a shot of cortisone (sp) in the wrist and it lasts until the next time.

George
 

gmakra

George
Senior User
Meloxicam worked wonders for me,
I don't know how or why but less than a week after I started taking it I felt loose and lubricated,
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
Me too, although mine is not bad unless I really do a lot with my hands and then it is just bothersome. I normally take nothing but occasionally take a few aspirin. I am trying to find ways to stress my hands less because that seems to trigger more discomfort. My other joints are fine for now. I'm 63.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Is a back or orthopedic dr the right kind.
An orthopedic doc is the correct specialty if that's what your primary care doc recommended (referred you to). It's symptomatic of osteoarthritis and not rheumatoid arthritis. Most of the medications mentioned so far are non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and all of them can come with an assortment of side effects but it's a risk/benefit decision. The topically applied agents are the least risky but as arthritis progresses you may have no other choice but to take an oral med (over the counter or Rx).

PT is a good option to explore.
 

Roy G

Roy
Senior User
Going outside the box, my dog had arthritis in his shoulders and the vet gave him some laser treatments. It improved his mobility and he didn't seem to favor his front legs as much. Does it work on people? I don't know about that-maybe you could do a internet search. Also, have you looked into acupuncture? Works well for some.

Roy G
 

Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
I'm 79 and have a little problem with my left thumb & index finger. It comes & goes. My doctor suggested hot wax treatment. I have a hot wax tub from Bed & Bath it's electric and comes with wax. You dip your hands 2 or 3 times then cover them with plastic baggies. It works well for me. Ask your Dr.

Pop
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Corporate Member
I'm 54 and have arthritis in most joints. I take a RX (Mobic) 1x daily. It definately helps. A few months back I thought I'd just stop taking it. A few weeks in my hands and elbows hurt so bad I was shocked. Never again.

It took another week to get back to "normal".

I did recently run out of my RX again and am using the OTC version of Aleve. 2xs daily seems to be keeping it at bay. The RX is cheaper, so will be calling for a refill when this bottle runs out.
I used Naproxen (generic for Aleve) for 30 years to help with pain in my thumbs. Lately I've backed off because my doctor said I should. I've had a major back surgery 19 months ago and a knee replacement 8 months ago, so I needed them then. I still take 2 Tylenol in the morning and sometimes before bed, but if Aleve could have killed me I'd be dead by now. Different people's metabolism may dictate otherwise.
 

Hmerkle

Administrator
Hank
not to derail Mike's post, but I get cramps in my hands, specifically my fingers when sharpening a blade or a repetitive motion that requires finger strength. I am not thinking it is arthritis, but... Has anyone else experienced that? solutions?
 

LocoWoodWork

Steve
Corporate Member
not to derail Mike's post, but I get cramps in my hands, specifically my fingers when sharpening a blade or a repetitive motion that requires finger strength. I am not thinking it is arthritis, but... Has anyone else experienced that? solutions?
Try drinking a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar when you get cramps... Pretty strong taste but works for me. It's also good to stay hydrated, so drink plenty of water.
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
not to derail Mike's post, but I get cramps in my hands, specifically my fingers when sharpening a blade or a repetitive motion that requires finger strength. I am not thinking it is arthritis, but... Has anyone else experienced that? solutions?
I share your pain, but don't have much of a solution. Too many years using a pneumatic disc-orbital sander while working aircraft coatings. I have found that wearing gloves helps some. Leather ones for when I have to grip but then slide (using an axe, hatchet, shovel, rake,etc), and the latex "grip" gloves when I just need friction. It helps reduce the amount of pressure I have to exert with my hands. Nitril gloves help some for fine items like chisel sharpeining, etc, but they do make my hands sweat. I have re-handled my most often used hammers so give me a larger diameter to grip, so don't have to use gloves when using them most of the time. Basically, anything that increases the diameter/thickness of what I have to grip, or that decreases the pressure I have to exert to provide the friction I need.

As for blade sharpening, sometimes it just helps to reduce the pressure and make more strokes.

When the cramps hit, soaking them in warm water (yes, men Can do dishes, LOL) helps them to relax.

I also have to watch out for severe leg cramps (thigh muscles) if I get too dehydrated. When they hit (usually an hour or so after I relax, which may be an hour after I go to sleep) the only thing I have found to get them to quit is a tablespoon of salt, followed by enough water to keep it from coming back up. That will calm them down in about 10 minutes. Otherwise its 45 minutes to an hour being too crippled to even walk. (Have not tried mustard. Thanks, Wayne) At that point, calcium pills, fortified water, etc is of no use. However, if I stay hydrated, and drink an additional bottle of Propel or Smart water every couple hours or as soon as I am done working, it usually prevents them from occurring. Home made Switchel (North) or Haymakers' Punch (South and Midwest) also works but takes the time to make it up. Not sure of it replaces the electrolytes or just make you more thirsty so you drink more water. They are both a combination of water, vinegar, ginger, and either maple syrup (Switchel) or molasses (Haymakers' Punch). Some recipes use honey as the sweetener.

For me, just replacing the electrolytes doesn't help cramps in the hands, biceps, etc from overuse.
 
Last edited:

Hmerkle

Administrator
Hank
A tablespoon of yellow mustard is also a go-to for cramps too. Instant relief for me!
maybe a great solution, but I couldn't choke down a tablespoon of yellow mustard if it was wrapped within a 1/2 pound hamburger! :D
 

nn4jw

Jim
Senior User
A tablespoon of yellow mustard is also a go-to for cramps too. Instant relief for me!
When I read that message out of context I really thought for a minute it meant rub mustard into the cramping muscle :) In my defense there are mustard plasters after all.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
My brother in law has arthritis so bad he used to crawl from his car to the Mack truck he drove. He heard about bee stings for RA and tried it. He now takes bee stings once a week and sometimes more. He is able to walk and function normally as long as he gets his bee sting every week.
 

Our Sponsors

LATEST FOR SALE LISTINGS

Top