What to do about arthritis?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Jelly Roll Horton, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. section2

    section2 Synchromatic

    517
    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    You might also consider acupuncture. I was an acupuncture skeptic until my wife, an MD, told me that Harvard Medical School was offering a science-based program in medical acupuncture. She took the course, brought the practice back to her chronic pain patients, and saw amazing results. It's starting to gain more acceptance in mainstream medicine now. If you do try it, I'd suggest looking for an MD with training in medical acupuncture—though who knows; you might find good results with a traditional practitioner.

    I'd also second @drmilktruck's recommendation to see a physiotherapist. They may be able to suggest stretches, strengthening exercises, and different hand positions or neck shapes to minimize the problem. My mom is a retired physiotherapist; she gave me some good advice on playing through a chronic wrist injury.

    As @RG7X suggested, a smaller fretboard radius is also worth considering. When my wrist flares up, I put down my 15" radius Hagstrom and pick up my 10" radius PRS SE 245. The wrist has been pretty good lately, but if it ever gets really bad, I'll be shopping for a 7.25" radius Tele.
     
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  2. nickurso

    nickurso Friend of Fred

    Age:
    52
    Dec 24, 2012
    New Orleans la.
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  3. nickurso

    nickurso Friend of Fred

    Age:
    52
    Dec 24, 2012
    New Orleans la.
    Cramping could be signs of other things like dehydration
     
  4. tdtom

    tdtom Electromatic

    80
    Oct 26, 2018
    new zealand
    don't give up. if you get to where you can't clamp anymore, tune it down and play slide
     
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  5. Yukimajo

    Yukimajo Electromatic

    Age:
    48
    71
    Nov 4, 2018
    Exeter UK
    I can also recommend the method this guy teaches. Skip to 3:15 to get points 4 & 5 and he shows you how to play barre chords without even having your thumb on the back of the neck! It will take a little practise, but if it alleviates the pain, it's gotta be worth it.

     
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  6. thunder58

    thunder58 Gretschified

    Age:
    60
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Oh the cramping .... Dehydration has been brought to my attention a few years back and not for my hands either . For well over 20 years now I get muscle cramps in my calfs aka " night cramps " . Mostly my right leg . Puts me right on the floor sometimes while in a sound sleep . I also have tingleing nerve pain especially in my right leg also . But both legs are effected . I have been through every possible test my doctor could think of and have been tested for a variety of things like , MS , ALS , Lyme Desease , to name a few , even this subject of Arthritis . I take Gabapentin twice a day and yet it only eases the pain . Other than my legs I'm lucky to have my health at 60 yrs old . Everything else is fine . Thanks for the advice Nick , time for a glass of water .
     
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  7. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Age:
    65
    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    +1. I think this gets overlooked a lot
     
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  8. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Age:
    65
    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Athletic endeavors when I was younger left me with osteoarthritis issues in my hands, wrists, elbows and essentially most joints. As well, I believe it's part of the aging process which just plain sucks. I can't offer anything that hasn't already been suggested but as Nick pointed out, don't overlook the dehydration factor and FWIW, drinking beer while you're playing isn't keeping hydrated. Understanding there comes a point when there isn't much that can be done personally, I stretch, ice, warm my hands before I play (when I remember) and if it hurts to do something I find a different way to do it. For the most part, it's another challenge you have to learn to overcome. I sincerely wish you the best with this issue.
     
  9. somebodyelseuk

    somebodyelseuk Synchromatic

    952
    Jan 22, 2013
    Birmingham, UK
    1 - See a doctor.
    2 - Follow HIS advice.
    3 - Adapt your playing. Barre chords may have to become a thing of the past, perhaps, or if that's not practical - band requirements - then perhaps open tuning and/or a capo may be the way to go.
    Other than that, cod liver oil pills.
     
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  10. Penguin

    Penguin Country Gent

    Nov 20, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Just sayin'.
     
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  11. Penguin

    Penguin Country Gent

    Nov 20, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Two bits of advice for arthritis.
    1. For me, warm works. I put my thumb under warm-hot water for 2-3 minutes before playing and that helps me.
    2. For young folks, ~don't break stuff~. The two joints I have broken - toe playing football, strumming thumb working loading a truck - have developed arthritis. Look after yourself, young people!
    For the rest of you oldies, best of luck with your flexibility and pain management.
    Peng
     
  12. benjwri

    benjwri Country Gent

    Age:
    80
    Oct 27, 2011
    Central ON Can
    Don't have arthritis too bad, but yeah, I've broken my thumb and ringer on my LH. My advice...try to avoid barre chords. Small chords work just as well esp if you're playing with others.
     
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  13. johnny g

    johnny g Synchromatic

    533
    Sep 2, 2017
    union, ms
    Warm up your hands before playing. Play a fast song with plenty of chord changes. Don't give up. Wish we, at GT, had a cure for arthritis,
    we could make a pile of money.
     
  14. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Country Gent

    Age:
    50
    Dec 19, 2011
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    I don't have too many issues yet but there are signs of what's coming. Enough that I've given it some thought anyway. Things I've considered include lighter gauge strings, detune and use a capo to reduce tension or play a nylon string and learn some Willie Nelson tunes.
     
  15. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    They are under used for most hand problems. Most are actually occupational therapists not physical therapists. Your primary care person should be able to refer you if needed.
     
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  16. larryb

    larryb Gretschified

    Age:
    49
    Oct 29, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    Rich,
    Keep some dill pickle juice nearby for those leg cramps....absolutely works!
     
  17. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    CBD oil is made from hemp, which contains some of the active ingredients found in marijuana (without the hallucinogenic THC.) While there is medical grade CBD in various forms, most is sold as a supplement so its specific ingredients and potency can vary widely. There's some evidence it can help with pain and other medical conditions, but little research has been done. (Mostly due to being illegal for a long time. Still is in some states.) I do prescribe medical cannabis for some of my patients, mostly for pain. Like most things, it helps some and doesn't help others. Probably is safer than many other options, but still the hype is greater than the proof at this point.
     
  18. johnny g

    johnny g Synchromatic

    533
    Sep 2, 2017
    union, ms
    Now I know why Willy Nelson smokes weed. Never heard him talk about arthritis.
     
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  19. Setzerhotrod

    Setzerhotrod Country Gent

    Age:
    58
    Oct 26, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    Smash your big toe (right foot) with a hammer. Your left thumb will feel MUCH better!
     
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  20. dak55

    dak55 Gretschie

    343
    May 31, 2018
    Mills River NC
    Found a facility near by after your post yesterday, thank you. BTW, I changed my primary care doc to you. Was that wrong? You write better GAS prescriptions. Used another refill last night.
     
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