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Arthritis

layoutshooter

Veteran Expediter
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Anyone know what arthritis in the hands feels like? Symptoms or first warning signs?

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What kind?

I have osteoarthritis in both hands, shoulders and knees. It is the most common type. Caused mainly by just wear and tear and injury. The pain and stiffness is worst when you first wake up. The knuckles are often misshapen and swollen. Normally the distal knuckles.

There are several other kinds.

Rumitoid, (SP?) is an autoimmune disease. It causes the fingers to "bend", almost all fingers on the same hand in the same direction. It tends to settle in the knuckles at the base of the fingers. It is a very bad disease. It can disable. Many of my family, my Dad included, have that.
 

spongebox1

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Left hand locked up and I could not grip anything earlier today, it came and went but was a pain like I've never had, we were coming through the mountains and it just came on and has faded some with ibuprofen but still can't grip anything

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danthewolf00

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Msm with glucosamine helps me I get a bottle from costco... being a former carpet installer my body is a bit beat up!
 

spongebox1

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Msm with glucosamine helps me I get a bottle from costco... being a former carpet installer my body is a bit beat up!

I recall when I was young my grandmother telling me all the falls, jumps and broken bones would come back to haunt me!

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cheri1122

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Left hand locked up and I could not grip anything earlier today, it came and went but was a pain like I've never had, we were coming through the mountains and it just came on and has faded some with ibuprofen but still can't grip anything

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I don't believe arthritis would happen suddenly [acute] like you describe, it's more a gradual [chronic] pain that never goes away completely, and gets worse with time.
It sounds to me like a repetitive motion type of pain, either temporary [like the leg cramps I get sometimes] or permanent [like carpal tunnel].
Getting old bites, lol.
 

layoutshooter

Veteran Expediter
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Left hand locked up and I could not grip anything earlier today, it came and went but was a pain like I've never had, we were coming through the mountains and it just came on and has faded some with ibuprofen but still can't grip anything

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I believe that if I had an episode like that I would be visiting my DR.
 

spongebox1

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I don't believe arthritis would happen suddenly [acute] like you describe, it's more a gradual [chronic] pain that never goes away completely, and gets worse with time.
It sounds to me like a repetitive motion type of pain, either temporary [like the leg cramps I get sometimes] or permanent [like carpal tunnel].
Getting old bites, lol.

My hands have hurt for some years now, I spent the better part of my adult life as a mechanic running air tools daily but this recent hand pain is without a doubt a new kind of pain and let me tell ya its something I could go with out

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Humble2drive

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I don't believe arthritis would happen suddenly [acute] like you describe, it's more a gradual [chronic] pain that never goes away completely, and gets worse with time.
It sounds to me like a repetitive motion type of pain, either temporary [like the leg cramps I get sometimes] or permanent [like carpal tunnel].
Getting old bites, lol.


I concur with Cheri's assessment. :D
Your description of pain with "locking up" of the joints is NOT indicative of arthritis. Especially if this is a new event with no prior history of burning and/or soreness of the hand joints.
The "locking" term is a strong indicator that this is related to the soft tissue structures in the hand such as the muscles, tendons or ligaments.
The complicated pulley system in the hands relies on tendons gliding freely through synovial sheaths. Imagine a wire being pulled through a pipe.
Inflammation can cause a thickening of the sheaths (pipe) causing the tendons (wire) to become caught up and "lock". This condition is referred to as "trigger finger" and can effect any or all fingers.
Snapping, clicking, locking, stiffness, and difficulty extending a flexed digit, often with discomfort or pain, are the most prominent symptom qualities.

This inflammation can be caused by an acute trauma (a blow to the hand) or repetitive contractions of the hand. For truck drivers, the cause could be long term contracting of the hand muscles as with holding a coffee cup or cigerettes for long periods of time or a recent over use episode such as tightly gripping a tool while making a repair.
Have you ever had to use a screwdriver so intensely that your hand kind of freezes up and you need to rest it for a bit?
Anyway. Anti-inflammatories help to reduce swelling and improve the condition. I have had good success with conservative treatments. Ice during the first 48 hours then heat thereafter. Massage by someone trained in myofascial release or Graston Technique is helpful. Active Release Technique is very effective in reducing fibrotic adhesions that can develop during an episode and will help in avoiding future recurrences.
Otherwise, avoid constant finger flexion while driving and perform your own therapy by extending and stretching the fingers on a regular basis.

Try Active Release Techniques: A.R.T. and use the provider locator to get an assessment and treatment anywhere in the U.S.
Also:
Check this link:Flexibility Stretches - Wrist Extension
And modify this stretch to do while driving.

Note: It is an excellent idea for ALL drivers to perform finger and hand extension exercises safely while driving. It can help to prevent any future contracture or cramping problems and relieve carpal tunnel related symptoms during early stages.

UPDATE: I just saw that you have used air tools for many years. Jack hammers and air tools are often culprits with this condition. Since it is chronic I strongly suggest looking into Active Release because you have most likely built up some fibrous thickening that finally combined with inflammation to cause this episode and be careful to avoid any recommendations for surgery as the adhesions that develop after surgery can make it worse in the long run.
 

spongebox1

Expert Expediter
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I concur with Cheri's assessment. :D
Your description of pain with "locking up" of the joints is NOT indicative of arthritis. Especially if this is a new event with no prior history of burning and/or soreness of the hand joints.
The "locking" term is a strong indicator that this is related to the soft tissue structures in the hand such as the muscles, tendons or ligaments.
The complicated pulley system in the hands relies on tendons gliding freely through synovial sheaths. Imagine a wire being pulled through a pipe.
Inflammation can cause a thickening of the sheaths (pipe) causing the tendons (wire) to become caught up and "lock". This condition is referred to as "trigger finger" and can effect any or all fingers.
Snapping, clicking, locking, stiffness, and difficulty extending a flexed digit, often with discomfort or pain, are the most prominent symptom qualities.

This inflammation can be caused by an acute trauma (a blow to the hand) or repetitive contractions of the hand. For truck drivers, the cause could be long term contracting of the hand muscles as with holding a coffee cup or cigerettes for long periods of time or a recent over use episode such as tightly gripping a tool while making a repair.
Have you ever had to use a screwdriver so intensely that your hand kind of freezes up and you need to rest it for a bit?
Anyway. Anti-inflammatories help to reduce swelling and improve the condition. I have had good success with conservative treatments. Ice during the first 48 hours then heat thereafter. Massage by someone trained in myofascial release or Graston Technique is helpful. Active Release Technique is very effective in reducing fibrotic adhesions that can develop during an episode and will help in avoiding future recurrences.
Otherwise, avoid constant finger flexion while driving and perform your own therapy by extending and stretching the fingers on a regular basis.

Try Active Release Techniques: A.R.T. and use the provider locator to get an assessment and treatment anywhere in the U.S.
Also:
Check this link:Flexibility Stretches - Wrist Extension
And modify this stretch to do while driving.

Note: It is an excellent idea for ALL drivers to perform finger and hand extension exercises safely while driving. It can help to prevent any future contracture or cramping problems and relieve carpal tunnel related symptoms during early stages.

UPDATE: I just saw that you have used air tools for many years. Jack hammers and air tools are often culprits with this condition. Since it is chronic I strongly suggest looking into Active Release because you have most likely built up some fibrous thickening that finally combined with inflammation to cause this episode and be careful to avoid any recommendations for surgery as the adhesions that develop after surgery can make it worse in the long run.

I truly appreciate this and will let you know how it goes, thx again sir

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cheri1122

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Spongebox: Humble made a very good point: surgery is not likely to help, as it may seem to fix the problem in the short term, but the scar tissue that it creates [inside] will make it much worse when it recurs - and it usually does.
I have trigger finger on both hands, just the middle fingers. I wouldn't let the docs fix it even if they could, because, really: could there be a better 'malady' for a driver?!
;) Besides, I can blame clumsiness on it, so it serves a purpose.
O - we're not supposed to drive, you know, because the vibrations are bad for the hands. [Duh! that's how they got this way] but we find workarounds because we love driving.
And what the heck else would we do?
 

ATeam

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It could be something minor or major. Do you think you might have had a stroke? Since it could be serious, you should treat it as such and consult a physician now. If it is something serious, no amount of thinking or talking about it will help. I would not mess around. See a doctor.
 

pandora2112

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It could be something minor or major. Do you think you might have had a stroke? Since it could be serious, you should treat it as such and consult a physician now. If it is something serious, no amount of thinking or talking about it will help. I would not mess around. See a doctor.

He didn't exhibit any signs of a stroke. It was pain not numbness in his hand, nor was there any slurred speech, trouble understanding, vision problems or headache.
Cheri I think it's carpal tunnel personally too. Given previous work history with use of hands and symptoms.


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ATeam

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He didn't exhibit any signs of a stroke. It was pain not numbness in his hand, nor was there any slurred speech, trouble understanding, vision problems or headache.

Perhaps not but a visit to the doctor remains advisable.
 

spongebox1

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Perhaps not but a visit to the doctor remains advisable.

Very true, its been a couple days now and still having pain when using that hand, no new pain but still a tad odd IMHO

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cheri1122

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Driver
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Spongebox: I agree that it's time for a real diagnosis, and think the provider locator that Humble linked is a good place to start. If they want to do an EMG [electromyelogram] to determine the amount of nerve damage, don't let the "needles & electricity" description scare you - it's not as bad as it sounds, lol. They can show you specific exercises & techniques that help with the pain & stiffness. [I've found that forcing a locked finger to straighten out is highly inadvisable, but if I straighten just the tip, the rest usually follows.]
Repetitive motion is responsible for a lot of joint pain & injury - the human body simply wasn't intended to function in that manner, and it catches up to us after years of abuse.
Still, it beats something like, say, liver damage, all to pieces, lol.
;)
 

pandora2112

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Now to drug him, hog tie him and get him to the doctor!

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cheri1122

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Pandora: I bet if you take him by the [affected] hand, he'll follow along as docile as a little lamb, lol.
If not, skip the drugs: just duct tape his mouth & then hogtie him. Ask for help toting his carcass on the CB, you'll get plenty of volunteers, lol.

Or just do what wives usually do: nag until he gives up. ;)
 
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