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02/12/2012 04:09 AM

wonder if using arthritic makes it worse

barelymanic
barelymanic  
Posts: 3253
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Back in early 2004 I had a job (temporary) where I used my thumb a great deal flipping envelopes.

The thumb starting hurting immensely and it swelled. Went to a worker's comp doc and all he said was that i had arthritis and shouldn't continue to use the thumb so much. He also wanted to know if that advise was putting me out of a job. I told him the job was only temporary any way.

He really didn't explain much to me so I was confused. Many docs say there is nothing you can do about arthritis, which isn't exactly true. No there is no cure but there are things that help.

But what I am wondering now is if you keep using the part (for me the thumbs) that are severely affected are you only making the damage worse?

Yes I know everyone wants to work but it seems that depending on what you do, working can just make things even worse.

Or am I assuming something that isn't true? Does anyone know?

I did get temporary medicaid and a hand specialist gave me a prescription for a custom made splint that would give my thumbs rest and said they might heal themselves with the rest. Sure enough my thumbs are much better after less than 3 weeks. So I think it worked.

Thank you all for reading and any sharing you can do.

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02/12/2012 06:37 AM
DonnaEvans77
DonnaEvans77  
Posts: 3035
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Some of it is true, some of it isn't. Even though my neck hurts as bad as it does, same for my hips, and right knee, I continue with the workouts. I'm afraid if I don't it'll get worst, due to lack of use. The main thing is, don't over do it. I have worked out 11 days straight, taking today off, due to every once in a while, there's a need to. I play Virtua 4 Tennis. It's a Wii game, and I get a great workout with it. My neck does get mad at me, as well as my hips and knee does, but I continue to workout, which is about an hour to an hour and a half a day. It's a pretty tense workout, even though I'm in pain toward the end, to me it's worth it. The old saying, "No pain, no gain" That's me anyways. Have you had physical therapy with the thumb? I know it's not good with the swelling. Arthritis sure can take it's toll on us.

02/12/2012 07:08 AM
barelymanic
barelymanic  
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My doc ordered a custom made splint for me. It seems to have worked. As far as no pain no gain goes, it seems to depend both on what the problem is and who you speak to. The therapist who did my custom made splint said respect the pain. I think it depends on the level of the pain.

Some do the scale of 1 to 10 thing, me I say it's okay until you get to the God please stop doing that pain level. Well if it's loud you are most likely going to stop.

Big problem though is that we all have a different sensitivity to pain. Some have such a high tolerance for pain that they actually damage themselves more because they cannot feel the pain. Not to mention the fact that we are all different.

It's the find your own balance thing I think. You don't want to not use it at all but then you don't want to overuse it and pay for it later in more intense and longer lasting pain.

Nothing about human beings is that simple. ARRGGG


02/12/2012 09:57 AM
alice123
 
Posts: 40
Member

do the splints rlly help?? cuz like my ot just made like braces for me so my thumb and wrists cld rest. idk if its helping. i rlly hope it does though. plus are they supp to hurt a bit?? like theyre rlly uncomfy!?

02/12/2012 10:15 AM
barelymanic
barelymanic  
Posts: 3253
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well my splints did take a bit of time to get used to. At first I had to wear them 24/7 and yes for some of us splints and other physical therapies do work. I know people who had their carpal tunnel symptoms go away with the braces but mine didn't. One person told me that she had to have special ones made just for her and they worked, but the over the counter ones didn't.

But yes my splints have given me a great deal of relief. My thumbs were in terrible pain. Usually pain means something is wrong, it's just a matter of what. My joints were rubbing and that was causing my pain.

Lastly I was very happy when I was able to switch from all day to just at night because I did find them uncomfy. You should wear a cotton sock that has been cut underneath them because they make you sweat. But you can still function pretty much with them on.

I hope they work for you as well. I only wonder if I am going to be in the same spot a little down the road. Well I am definitely going to save those splints just in case.


02/13/2012 08:38 AM
barelymanic
barelymanic  
Posts: 3253
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Well just like your illness or any illness, it's not whether you have it or not but more like how severe is it.

the doc gave me some exercises to start doing some that are stretching and some that are worked but only one that is strengthening. He did say it was important to use your muscles to avoid having the tendons shorten which apparently causes even more issues.

Basically it boils down to how bad the pain is. The level of pain should tell you whether or not you need to stop. Mild to maybe even moderate but short term pain is okay but if the pain is almost unbearable or actually unbearable than the pain should be respected and you should stop what you are doing and either do something less strenuous of for a lesser time.

It's individual because we aren't all the same plus even the stitches were different (some tighter than others). The nurse says that is true for everyone that both hands aren't the same for whatever reason.

Our uniqueness really fascinates me.


02/15/2012 06:40 AM
DonnaEvans77
DonnaEvans77  
Posts: 3035
Senior Member

I take breaks from my workouts when I'm hurting a lot. Which I did on Sunday. When I worked out on Monday, the pain wasn't as bad. I could've worked out yesterday, but it was a special day for me and my husband, so took the day off, but back to working out again today and the rest of the week. I agree, we're all different. What may work for one person, may not work for others.

02/15/2012 06:54 AM
barelymanic
barelymanic  
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Some people say it's wonderful that we are all different, but there are times when it seems to make life too complicated. For example we may not know how to adjust things or who is right or wrong about any kind of information. Including medications and alternative therapies.

I was told to only call the doc if rest or medication and one other thing didn't make the pain subside.


02/16/2012 05:17 AM
DonnaEvans77
DonnaEvans77  
Posts: 3035
Senior Member

That is so true. It is a bit confusing at times. We just have to do what helps us the most through trial and error. I get so frustrated at times. MY OA in my neck has been flaring up bad for the last two weeks, and I have to do different things to see what calms it down, so far no luck, but sure can't afford any more doctor bills, not for a while any ways.

02/16/2012 06:23 AM
barelymanic
barelymanic  
Posts: 3253
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I hope you find something to help relieve the pain in your neck and soon. Maybe it will happen by accident, that's my idea of luck.
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