Arthur Ritus

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by AZBrahma, Sep 20, 2021.

  1. AZBrahma

    AZBrahma Gretschie

    Dec 18, 2020
    The old Greek curmudgeon has finally started to come for me.

    I'm 47 and have spent my adult life doing gobs of things that are physically demanding on my body. Rock climbing and rappelling, spelunking, kayaking, all kinds of cycling, racing, firearms training and practice, longbow, and I'm sure plenty of other stuff I can't remember at the moment.

    I'm starting to get arthritis in my thumbs and index fingers, and I'm sure it won't be long before it starts showing up elsewhere. I don't normally notice with guitar, but I sure did while playing the bass yesterday. I want to make sure I can play long and prosper. My diet is excellent, I have a solid exercise routine, and am a healthy weight. So I think I'm on track to at least avoid inflammation or other related problems.

    For those of you who have it, what do you do to mitigate, minimize, or otherwise manage arthritis? Any good tips?
    Nubs likes this.
  2. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    I have it and RA also. Fortunately my RA is not too bad yet. Base of the thumbs and the big thumb joint is worst. Tried many things but basically Ibuprofen for when you are actually using your fingers a lot. Helps with pain and flexibility. Anti inflammatory. Most other drugs are to minimize the longer term break down.
    Hot baths are great for a little relief if the whole body starts to nag at you.
    Archtops and AZBrahma like this.
  3. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa Cruz
    I have had it off and on in my fretting hand joints. I have kept it under control there by selling all my guitars with thin necks and narrow nuts. 1 11/16” or 1 3/4” nuts for me now along with full, medium chunky of chunky necks.

    This has really helped me because I play thumb over a lot and palm against the neck and thin necks and narrow nuts means my fingers must bend more causing more irritation in the joints.

    I say this knowing full well mine is minor compared to some.

    I wish there was a prevention for my arthritis and deterioration of my hip joints. Hip replacement worked for me. To bad there is no finger joint replacement.

    Getting old ain’t for sissies…

    Good luck.
  4. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Have your doctor send you to a good hand therapist. They can offer a home exercise program and other tips on managing your symptoms and helping to prevent worsening.
  5. wabash slim

    wabash slim I Bleed Orange

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Just wait. It doesn't get better. I've got psoristic arthritis, so killer dandruff on top of the aches. You'll feel every stupid thing you've ever done, every "Hey y'all! Watch this" moment you ever had.
    AZBrahma likes this.
  6. Gretschzilla

    Gretschzilla Gretschie

    Apr 20, 2021
    Saint Paul, MN USA
    Bad accident permanently injured both hands. My PT taught me some really simple, yet helpful, hand exercises. Doing them regularly is keeping the arthritis dogs at bay. Also, CBD oil with eucalyptus for the really bad days. It's super oily, however, so I use it at night; never before playing.
    AZBrahma likes this.
  7. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    Yes, CBD is our friend.
  8. capnhiho

    capnhiho Country Gent

    Feb 16, 2013
    Arthritis in the basal joints of both thumbs here. I just discovered Voltaren (generic is diclofenac sodium gel) last year. It’s a topical NSAID that you rub directly on the affected joint(s). Pain relief begins within a few minutes and lasts me 4-6 hours. The best news: it’s available over-the-counter. Works pretty well for this geezer’s guitar hands.

    When I’m bothered by more generalized pain I prefer naproxen (Aleve) because relief from a single tablet lasts about 12 hours.
    Gregor, wabash slim, AZBrahma and 2 others like this.
  9. Archtops

    Archtops Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2021
    I have OA and somedays I feel like I’ve been christened by a Mac Truck. Arthritis hit me hard in my shoulders so nighttime is the toughest on me as I sleep on my side.
    I take Ibuprofen to help with the pain. Good luck!
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2021
    AZBrahma likes this.
  10. AZBrahma

    AZBrahma Gretschie

    Dec 18, 2020
    Oh I know it, once it starts there is no putting the toothpaste back in the tube. That's why I'm asking for advice now, because I probably have quite a bit of life left and that's a lot of time to deal with it.

    If I could go back and do it again I wouldn't change a thing. I've been places and had experiences that few people ever will. On some level I knew I was wearing out my body and would reap the rewards much earlier than most people, but I didn't care and did it anyway. Of course my answer may change when I'm 80.
    Archtops, radd and wabash slim like this.
  11. Nubs

    Nubs Electromatic

    Sep 10, 2019
    Houston, TX
    46 here, and I'm starting to get it too. I bought a wrist brace yesterday which is helping, but I'm going to the doc's next week to have it looked at.
  12. Lockupyourfatdog

    Lockupyourfatdog Synchromatic

    Aug 8, 2016
    Everett wa
    I use copper fit gloves when I play. They aren’t as bulky as my braces and compress my hands so they don’t hurt so much. I take a turmeric supplement too
  13. Hey i was thinking of getting a set of those to try. In your opinion do you feel they actually offer some relief or not?
    Cheers Mic.
  14. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    You might try playing a short scale bass, and see if that puts less stress on your hands. A number of years ago, I s was playing bass and having all sorts of problems. I actually spoke to a doctor, tried acupuncture, etc. Finally, I went to the orthopedic surgeon that treated me when I had a shoulder injury and he suggested sticking with a short scale bass. Less pressure and less stretching, which translated to less pain.

    Fortunately, we live in a locale where arthritis is less likely to be a problem than just about anywhere in North America, the Desert Southwest. Any degree of arthritis i experience is minor but with just a little bit of caution I am able to relegate it moot.
    Archtops and AZBrahma like this.
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