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johntrem

Guitar and Arthritis

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Hello All,

Just a post to inquire if anyone has any suggestions or can relate to my particular dilemma, that being, arthritis in the hands. As has been previously mentioned, I'm a geezer (56) and have had Arthur for some years now (actually, it started about 18 years ago). The cartilage at the base of my thumbs is pretty well gone. Now it's creeping into my fingers. At first, it didn't affect my guitar playing, but in the last couple years, I've noticed it's effects. My playing is not as smooth as in the past. Ironically, it sometimes feels like when one is first playing and your fingers don't move as fast as you want them to. There have been times I've had to put the guitar down due to pain and stiffness. I've been taking Glucosamin and Chondroitin for some years now. I used to take Ibuprofen or Naprosin every day but have gotten off them due to the long term effects of daily use. I try stretching exercises and use a squeeze ball to exercise. I've yet to visit a physician other than for my initial diagnosis. I have arthritis in other places, neck, knees feet, (the price of getting up there) but the only spot I'm really concerned about is my hands because of what it's done to my guitar playing. I'm no pro. I only play for my own enjoyment and off and on with friends. I'll probably end up going to a Doc. What I want to do is stop or slow it's progress. I'm just afraid that down the road I'll have to stop playing. Anyone have any experience or suggestions I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks,

John

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Wouldn't that be "guitarthritis"?

 

Seriously, maybe one of those newfangled prescription drugs on TV might actually work. I'm not particularly fond of doctors, but autoimmune diseases like arthritis continue to damage tissue unless slowed down. Good luck.

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DO go see a Doctor...NOW! It will only get worse, I can assure you of that!

And, if it's been 18 years, since you've been...there are (most likely) newer

treatments available. But, by all means, consult a doctor, or bone specialist,

and they may be able to help "slow it down," at least? Hope it's not too late,

for that?![-X

 

CB

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See a doctor ASAP.

There are new treatments around these days.

I've got arthritis, so far just in my knees (its been so bad at times that its woken me up in the middle of the night).

And I think I'm starting to get it in my right hand. Fingers feel kinda stiff at times. My left hand is fine though, thank god (who but a guitarist would feel that way, being right handed).

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A friend of mine had quite bad arther and he was an electrician ans was becoming unable to work. He started reading about chinese medicene and started drinking these home made herbal soups with all sorts of stuff in them he got from the chinese herb shop (Tree bark etc)

 

Anyway after 2 years he now has no arther in his hands and has full usability in them.

 

He is now a practacing acupuncturist after going to uni for 3 years after his results. He explain some of it to me about being able to read your tounge to tell how your body is at certain times and how much you can tell by your pulse alone.

 

In chinese medicine you treat the cause of the problem which can take time and a lot of folk give up and in western medicines they treat the pain etc.

 

So i belive western med works, well it stops discomfort and pain but overall after witnessing my friends transformation i would say give chinese med a go. They aint nice the soups but they were the best thing he done.

 

Hope this can be of some help to you.

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This is true. My best friend is a Chiropractor, Herbalist, and Acupuncturist, and treats

All his patients (some of which are MD's), with all herbs, accupuncture, and/or Chiro.

He has had amazing results (in all kinds of "illnesses"), with each, but even better, when combined. So...might

be a good idea, to at least check into it.

 

CB

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Sorry to hear about arthur, John. The bugger's in just about all my joints and it's going into winter here now so things are going to get worse for a while.

 

I've only started guitar recently but was told on several forums that the fretting might improve my arthritis so your post is not good news.

 

I've been taking Glucosamine for several years now but last week it was reported in the Sydney press that it's useless:

 

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/05/11/1210444244300.html

 

There were several interviews on the radio with doctors over the next few days which confirmed there is all the evidence so far confirms that article.

 

I can't take any of those prescription drugs due to stomach & other problems so I'm really disappointed about the glucosamine not that I had the slightest evidence that it was doing any good. Having had some serious illnesses such as cancer, I have no faith in 'alternative medicine'.

 

Hope you find something that will help you as having to stop playing would be awful.

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G'day Johmtrem,

 

I'm 62 and have some arthritis in my hands and so I sympathise with you mate. A worse problem for me has been that I have a serious back problem and if I was relying on the usual anti-inflams I wouldn't be able to do any physical work nor sleep. A couple years ago my doctor put me on "Mobic" (Meloxicam 15 mg). He said it was the "Queen" of anti inflammatory drugs, and so far for me it has been terrific and I can still do most things (carefully).

 

Might be worth a try??

 

Good luck.

 

Dig

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Dr. John McDougall has published the results of extensive research as well as his success in treating a number of conditions. He concluded that arthritis is often related to mineral deposits in the joints which stem from the high-fat, high-protein Western diet, and found that people who eat a low-fat vegetarian or vegan diet can reverse the effects of arthritis. If you look up his name in your favorite search engine, you'll find articles and where to find his books.

 

I've been vegetarian for well over 30 years now, and so far it's working!

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See a doctor, please. Also be very open minded of the practice of acupuncture. It works. That's really all there is to it. I had tennis elbow and 2 cortisone injections did nada, 3 acupuncture treatments and I was good to go. They've been doing it for a few thousand years, us western folk need to give that some creedence.

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Of course, see a doctor.

 

Go to http://www.lef.org and put arthritis into their search box. Out of all the places I visited, that was one of the most informative.

 

I have bursitis in the hip from an injury in high school, and the treatment for bursitis and arthritis is the same...

 

1) No organ meats

2) No egg yolks

3) No red meat fat (lean red meat is OK)

4) No high glycemic foods (white bread, sugar, aspertame/saccharin, see www.mendosa.com for a list of glycemic index and glycemic load foods)

5) No deadly nighshades (tomato, green peppers, etc.)

 

Also get your body alkaline. There are plenty of sites on the web to help with that, including acidic/alkaline foods.

 

Also, although it is not FDA approved for humans (vets use it all the time, including on expensive race horses), DMSO can help. Don't get the kind at a paint store (it's also a solvent) as it may contain impurities, get it from a health food store or a feed store.

 

The last time I was on the cruise ships my bursitis was so bad I couldn't walk two blocks without resting. I didn't like the food they served the crew, so I ate a lot of eggs (didn't know about the diet at the time). When I got back, I researched it, I changed my diet, starting using DMSO and now it has gone from a crippling ailment to a slight discomfort, most days I don't feel it at all, and when I do, I wouldn't even classify it as a pain.

 

I am not a doctor, I don't play one on TV, I don't dress that way to look good, and am not qualified to give medical advice. However, these changes worked miracles for me.

 

It was difficult to give up favorite foods at first, but it's my only body, and to be pain-free it is worth it. I found substitute foods to replace them.

 

The above worked on my better than all the medical advice I got, and I no longer have to take any pain relievers or other drugs and put up with their side effects.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

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Minimize your salt intake. I get occasional pain, stiffness, and swelling in a couple of my fingers. I have noticed that my fingers feel like sausages the day after a salty meal, like a steak dinner at Longhorn.

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Dr. John McDougall has published the results of extensive research as well as his success in treating a number of conditions. He concluded that arthritis is often related to mineral deposits in the joints which stem from the high-fat' date=' high-protein Western diet, and found that people who eat a low-fat vegetarian or vegan diet can reverse the effects of arthritis. If you look up his name in your favorite search engine, you'll find articles and where to find his books.

 

I've been vegetarian for well over 30 years now, and so far it's working![/quote']

 

I've been a vege for several years now and vegan for the last four. I hope the 'reversing' bit works for me.

 

Thanks for the info.

 

Cheers,

 

Ron ...

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If you go the Chinese herbal/acupuncture route try looking into some Taiji Chuan or Qi Gong classes as well. Both promote healing and circulation throughout the body and act on the same principles as acupuncture. The basic movements are fairly easy to execute and don't put a lot of stress on the joints. Not sure where you live but there are a few forms recommended by both the Australian and American Arthritis Foundations.

 

I'd also look into diet and lifestyle changes before ingesting drugs. Some good ideas have already been menitoned. Be pro-active.

 

Wishing you good health.

 

N

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Ive heard of ppl playing with their toes . Seriously there is not much you can do slow down the process, maybe its time to find another hobby even though you love playing.Sorry i have to be honest !

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I feel your pain,Very bad ,But as most have said go see the doc..

Not that they can cure it ,but they can help slow it down...

I had to quit playing seven years ago .starting again .

But mine was caused by a stroke,no fun lose a lot after that happened.

Back to playing again like having to learn everything all over again ...

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Epiphone Player Ailments & Cures --- johntrem may have inadvertently hit on the hottest idea for expanding EPI’s topics forum. (A quick glance at the median ages in the “How old are you?” thread reveals why this one will be a smashing success!) :-k

 

If you go the Chinese herbal/acupuncture route try looking into some Taiji Chuan or Qi Gong. Both promote healing and circulation throughout the body and act on the same principles as acupuncture. The basic movements are fairly easy to execute and don't put a lot of stress on the joints.

 

Tai Chi --- is a terrific path to improved overall health for all ages --- really improves mental and physical agility. Applying the same techiques used in the 6 basic Tai Chi forms/movements to other activities that require coordinated physical and mental components (e.g. playing guitar/instruments) results in significant improvement as well as less body stress (i.e. less pain).

 

ADVANCE HEADS UP NOTE: Most "holistic" approaches like Tai Chi do not have immediate effects (pills usually do). BUT' date=' the lasting effects of holistic [/u'](should be spelled "whole-istic" as in whole body/mind approach because unfortunately too many people see "holistic" and wrongly think it's some kind of say 3 holy, holy, holys and you will be healed gobbleygook) methods are more significant and more permanent (whereas pills usually become less and less effective over time!).

 

The wiser route to wellness then dictates - use pills for temporary relief (NSAIDS like aspirin, ibuprofen & some select herbals) but also start changing diet and lifestyle to bring about lasting results.

 

Tai Chi (& it's ancillary Qi Gong exercises) instruction is often FREE at community sponsored classes. Here is also a link to more info and a great low cost video(s) by Gold Medal winner, doctor, and Tai Chi master, Paul Lam (his instruction is simple and his movements are precisely correct): www.taichiproductions.com

 

DISCLAIMER - I am founder and leading advocate of the international END GROSSLY OVERPAID MEDICAL DOCTOR'S INSANE GRIP ON PEOPLE WHO DESERVE THE SAME QUALITY OF HEALTH CARE AS THE WEALTHY BUGGERS BUT WHO CANNOT AFFORD THE STUPIDLY EXORBITANT COSTS organization (or “EGOMDIGOPWDTSQOHCATWBBWCATSEC” for short – current membership of 1..., but that just means there's lots of room for organizational expansion).

 

--- oh and johntrem..., your bill = $0.00

(any currency is okay here at EGOMDIGOPWDTSQOHCATWBBWCATSEC)

 

 

Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on :-

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Thanks to all who responded to my inquiry. I appreciate your interest and sympathy. I hope I didn't come off as, to use a politically uncorrect term, a cripple. I can play, it's just that some days I can feel it more than others. I can't bound up a flight of steps like I used to either nor get up from the floor without a grunt. It's not that I don't see doctors, I do, I just haven't seen a specialist for the arthritis in the hands since the diagnosis, so I guess I'll check it out. And by the way, Thanks, Mr. Lister, for the free consultation. Thanks again, all.

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G'day Johmtrem' date='

 

I'm 62 and have some arthritis in my hands and so I sympathise with you mate. A worse problem for me has been that I have a serious back problem and if I was relying on the usual anti-inflams I wouldn't be able to do any physical work nor sleep. A couple years ago my doctor put me on "Mobic" (Meloxicam 15 mg). He said it was the "Queen" of anti inflammatory drugs, and so far for me it has been terrific and I can still do most things (carefully).

 

Might be worth a try??

 

Good luck.

 

Dig[/quote']

 

Johntrem, what Digger says is true (and I thought I was the only one of us using Mobic). Yeh, that stuff is great!

Before that I was on various Steroid-type anti-inflams. Did a number on my stomach, so I had to start taking Prilosec

for the Acid Reflux they caused. Because of that the doctor switched me over to Mobic for my arthritis. My main problem is both my ankles; broke them in a fall, but I've got arthritis in other parts of my body, too. I also have Fibromyalgia which can hurt like a MF at times. When I get up out of bed in the morning I can hardly move. I take my Mobic and I begin to move more easily. I also take 10Mg of Doxepin before bed to relieve the pain in my back when

I sleep. As Digger said, it might be worth a try. But as others have advised, you should talk to your doctor, too. BTW, that's the only way you'll get those drugs...unless you want the real heavy stuff like Keith used to use (the big "H"...just kidding[-x )

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About 10 years ago I went to a back specialist who told me "you have arthritis like an 80-year-old man". I've taken just about every arthritis drug out there and none of them seemed to have helped one bit.

 

When I play I usually spend about 20 minutes doing simple scales & such until my hands start to loosen up a bit and have come to terms with the fact that I'll never be able to play like I once did. No solutions here.

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I don't know your personal location or insurence situation.

 

1. I would go to DUKE in NC. They have the most advanced artificial and replacement cartiledge center in the US...followed by Jefferson Hospital, hand and arm clinic in Phila. Dr. Robert Clup.

 

2. Diet does have a LOT to do with it as well as any perscription medications. Not mentioned is to avoid Wheat products. For me asprin works without all the side effects, such as water retention, almost as well as most the prescription meds. Celibrex is great though...have to admitt. I stopped.

 

3. A good overall fitness program helps a lot. Get off your duff and walk two or three times a day at least. If you can afford some PT, then get it from your local hospital. That infared helps for a lot of people as well as the finger and wrist exercises.

 

4. Saunas do help in relieving overall pain developed from the latic acid and toxins....if nothing else, ice your hands after playing and soak you hands in some hot water latter at night. You should see which works best for you or what combination...you may have to ice more than once a day or find that icing then a warm bath hours latter to benifit more.

 

5. Go to a well certified chrioprator. Impingment can cause pain which are symptomatic of other problems.

 

Nerve blocks do no 'solve' a problem...the idea of chi induced at site of problem would be more adantagious I would think. The idea is to create pain continously at the area of the problem, thus releasing healing chi. I've been to a dojo where I seen this theory applied and work...it was a C1-3 problem. Interesting stuff....If your a sadist,you may like this method..LOL!...

 

you do what you love...and what you love hurts, it's a good hurt at least....

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