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Old 01-19-2009, 01:51 PM   #1
TrishL1975
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Ow, my hands!
I first started noticing arthritic symptoms in my hands (thumb joints, mostly) at the age of 28, about 6 years ago. It's inherited, I'm afraid, my father's hands are so twisted that he even has trouble feeding himself now at the age of 84. After draaaaaaagging myself to the halfway point on this darn baby blanket,** I regained my momentum yesterday with over 3000 stitches on it. Today, my hands HURT! In the past, I was constantly in a cold environment and I typed a lot. So I'm bundling up. Does anyone have any other suggestions to ease symptoms?

They also react to changes in weather, and I just heard that we have a winter storm/ice storm warning for tonight. The pressure hasn't dropped too far yet (or maybe my barometer needs tweeking) so I don't *think* that's it, although I'm hoping.

**I know, I know, I keep complaining about it, but it's a gift, and needs to get done. I've learned a lot about needles and yarns and what I like with it, so it's worth it.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:57 PM   #2
hwn222
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Can you take an NSAID (such as Aleve or Advil) before you knit? The repetitive motions might be causing some inflammation which is the problem with arthritis anyway. Maybe some fingerless mitts might be in order to keep your hands toasty while you're working?
I hope you find a solution! Good luck.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:41 PM   #3
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There are those special mitts to help support your hands while you do handwork -- they go by various names, usually something like "craft gloves". If you search for "craft gloves" at Joann's website, you get five different brands... i've no idea if they'd help you...but might be worth a try!
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:45 PM   #4
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I was going through a real rough spell with aching hands. Didn't think there was much I could do about it, other than taking aspirin, etc. Went to a craft show, of all places, and picked up a carton of 100% natural African Shea butter. I bought it just for cosmetic reasons~ hands were looking pretty dry. I usually apply it right before bed. One night, my hands were particularly achy. I applied it because my hands were dry and and poof, the next morning, no more ache! It was like a miracle. I read the little description that came with the carton and lo and behold, not only is it for dry skin but for "pain relief from swelling and arthritis; improves muscle relaxation and stiffness."
It is made from the nut of the African Shea Tree. Here is a web site:
http://www.wilsdom.com/store/page7.html
I don't know if this is the best place to get it. I still have mine from the craft show. You might want to google it to see if you can get a better deal. It's WONDERFUL!!!

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Old 01-19-2009, 02:47 PM   #5
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I love shea butter! There's two types though (coming from two different trees in two different countries), and people have their personal preferences as to which they like better.

Shea butter is also terrific as the base for great skin creams. I have one I made with myrhh, shea butter, and coconut oil. Queen Esther and I have the same beautician.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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Sorry to hear of your hand pain, Shea butter is wonderful. I am a massage therapist, I make all my own lotions, using Shea butter as part of my base. It is very healing. I have noticed that diet can have an impact on arthritis pain as well, nIghtshade plants, like peppers, eggplant and tomatoes( to name just a few) contribute greatly to inflammation. I have inflammation issues and find that cutting down or at times, eliminating tomatoes, has really helped. There are essential oils out there that can help with pain and inflammation as well. Two that I commonly use are ginger and Roman Chamomile. When using an essential oil mix it with a carrier oil, and remember a few drops go a long ways. (melted shea butter would be a great carrier, but keep in mind that shea butter will crystalize when heated above 150 degrees. It won't hurt the shea butter, it will just feel gritty until it is rubbed in. Add the essential oil after melting the shea butter.) There are some great books out there about essential oils and the uses they have, one is" Aromatherapy and Essential Oils" by Valerie Wormwood. It has "recipes" for blending oils, how much to use for what etc. You can probably find a used copy on amazon for a reasonable price. You might also want to try a good hot water/epsom salt soak for you hands before and after knitting. Try and give your hands a nice gentle massage each day as well. Hope some of that helps.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:21 PM   #7
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Thanks - I didn't think that shea butter was *that* good at fighting inflammation. I've "made my own lotion" with the kits from the crafts store - lotion base plus cocoa butter, shea butter, and Vitamin E, with almond oil for scent.

Turns out it was the weather - no pain whatsoever today. Argh!
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:52 PM   #8
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Wow! I had no idea that Shea Butter had this property!!! I use a product that has shea butter in it (avon so not 100% shea butter) and it does help. I just thought it was the massaging I do when I put it on. I'm going to check out that website and see about getting some 100% stuff. I'll try anything at this point. Thanks so much for this information!!!
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:48 AM   #9
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Chronic pain bites.
Trish-any chance you could see a rheumatologist? (Or barring that have you just seen a regular MD)? My husband has some pretty severe arthritis and takes prednisone for it and it helps a lot. Although in the interest of full disclosure, predinisone causes issues of its own, mainly bone loss so you HAVE to take calcium supplements with it. But the pain relief for him has been worth it. He also gets a cortisone shot (in the rear, not in a specific location) when he's having a severe flare up of pain.

Hope you're feeling better soon.

Oh yeah--and on the natural remedies side of it--you might try getting some arnica gel. Arnica is a natural herbal pain reliever and I have found it useful for muscle aches. It may help your joints.
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Marria View Post
...Trish-any chance you could see a rheumatologist? (Or barring that have you just seen a regular MD)?...
I agree...you really should see a rheumatologist. From the description you gave of your father's condition, sounds like he has rheumatoid (vs. osteo) arthritis, and it can run in families. My mom has it and so do I. The good news is, if you start treatment early, you can prevent/limit the joint damage that results in the "twisted fingers" syndrome. My mom's fingers no longer lay flat, they overlap each other as they curve to the right. Hence, I started agressive treatment as soon as I was diagnosed. There are several possible treatments that can be customized to the severity of your condition. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention! In the meantime, you might try an over-the-counter product called Thera-gesic. It works well for me. It's a cream you rub in that alleviates the pain. Sometimes it's the only thing that let's me knit. Good luck!
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