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Arthritis is Handy

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My hands will seize up on handlebars and paddles, oftens when fatigue begins to set in. Sometimes require prying open with the opposite set of fingers. A fresh new ailment. Don't know what causes it. Don't like it.
 
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Yes. If I use hand tools too long, paddling, riding a motorcycle, writing, etc. I messed them up pretty good in my teens and early twenties playing guitar for many hours a day.

I find changing hand positions helps tremendously. I usually don’t buy a paddle now without a secondary grip.

When they get real bad I have braces I can wear and different weight putty for exercises.

I suggest seeing a specialist- there could be more to it than arthritis.

Bob
 
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Like Cheeseandbeans said I change my grip a lot, that's one advantage of a single blade. Also, go see a doctor, there may be a fix for what you have. I just had minor surgery on my hand that may have saved me years of pain had I done it sooner.
 
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Saw a doctor. Extensive testing to insure it wasn’t shoulder or neck issues prior to my recent shoulder surgery. Carpel tunnel and arthritis is the diagnosis. CT surgery is a looong recovery and won’t relieve all symptoms. I’m thinking most of the pain and cramped fingers is arthritis, while numbness and stinging is CT. Single blade helps if I don’t switch to my right stroke. Pulling with right hand for long periods is most painful. I’m thinking there may be a glove that will help.
 
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Saw a doctor. Extensive testing to insure it wasn’t shoulder or neck issues prior to my recent shoulder surgery. Carpel tunnel and arthritis is the diagnosis. CT surgery is a looong recovery and won’t relieve all symptoms. I’m thinking most of the pain and cramped fingers is arthritis, while numbness and stinging is CT. Single blade helps if I don’t switch to my right stroke. Pulling with right hand for long periods is most painful. I’m thinking there may be a glove that will help.
Take a lesson . No matter how good you are have an instructor take a look at your biomechanics.. Power ought to come mainly from abs not your hand pulling back.
 
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You can also try a light grip. I don't squeeze the paddle hard unless I'm fighting the wind. I've also recently whipped a paddle and use the gunnel more to relieve pressure on my hands and fingers.
Yeah, fighting wind and fast water obstacles is a trigger for sure. My little river doesn’t have any long peaceful stretches. Lots of sweeping, prying and bracing. Probably be the same on big windy lakes, I imagine.
 
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I have rheumatoid and osteo arthritis in both hands, mainly in my knuckles and my right thumb. Also in my younger days I could not keep sharp objects away from my left hand, so there are traumatic injuries as well as degenerative disease.

Physical therapy is slowly improving my strength and flexibility. I am not a doctor, but I encourage you to try less invasive treatments before surgery.

Wearing neoprene wetsuit gloves provides compression and helps relieve the pain. Yes, they are hot -- but the heat also reduces pain.

I am planning to get a brace for my right thumb, but have not yet decided which one. In the meantime, I wrap my hand for stabilization and compression. You could use the Coflex bandage from the drug store, but I have found that vet wrap from Tractor Supply is less expensive. Plus, it comes in lots of cool colors (including camo), and has pictures of pigs and chickens. The vet wrap is 4 inches wide, so I split it down the middle to make a more manageable size for human hands. Four rolls cost $10, and I get 4 wraps of my hand per roll.

Vet Wrap at Tractor Supply

Medications (I am not a doctor or a pharmacist): NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen) reduce the inflammation that is the source of pain. These drugs can irritate your digestive tract and are best taken with food. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) reduces pain, but has less anti-inflammatory effect. IME, sometimes Tylenol and an NSAID combined are more effective than either one individually. NSAIDs can damage your kidneys and Tylenol can damage your liver, so do not exceed recommended doses.
 
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Some arthritis, believe it or not, can be caused by eating vegetables in the nightshade family, such as tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. It may be worth experimenting with your diet. My brother and my wife both had dramatic reduction in symptoms by cutting way back or eliminating these foods (which they had enjoyed eating for years.
 
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Don't know if there's any scientific basis for this but when I start to feel those symptoms I do a lot of stretches. I extend my fingers as far as I can and open/close my hand and really stretch all the muscles. I also deal with a compressed nerve in my neck so that sometimes causes the same sort of issues that arthritis seems to be doing to your hands.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

snapper
 
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I know what you mean since I have osteoarthritis in both hands and my knees/hips (R hip joint replacemen last December.) I find my hands stiffen up after a day of paddling. I try to keep stretching them and the next day just start paddling again. They seem to loosen up and function well. But for some time after returning home they may ache for awhile.
 
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I suffered a major ACL sprain back in 2019, four months prior to a trip through Killarney that involved some MAJOR portages. While I don't notice it any longer, at the time, it was still very present. I was popping painkillers like candy on that trip.

The next year, it had *mostly* fully healed. We did three weeks in Wabakimi. It only flared up during a couple of big water crossings near the end of the trip, and then only because we had three paddlers and two canoes, so I was soloing against the wind in two foot waves. I wasn't able to kneel.

I hadn't thought about that injury in months - but it came rearing back, like an old highschool football injury. I still do the exercises my chiropractor gave me, and it generally doesn't bother me - until I challenge myself on a trip, when it can pop up at the most unexpected times.
 
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