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osteoarthritis in all of my fingers and thumbs

Faith MFFaith M Posts: 287
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Arthritis, Osteoarthritis
On top of everything else I was diagnosed with this yesterday. I was hoping my swollen knuckle was just a bone spur. I noticed a few years ago my fingers were kind of crooked and some were slightly turned. But I had no pain. I thought no more of it. 3 months after c4/5 fusion I got the feeling back in all of my fingers, and my hands and knuckles did not feel good. I am very sad about this. In all the years of not being mobile my hand were my means of escape. I love to make jewelry,crafts,pressed flower pictures etc. I love to garden and my adaptable tools really help(when using the trowel the handle is horizontal causing less strain) My hands are my escape. I am sad and tired of the turns my life continues to take :< I've read fresh pinapple is a good antinflamatory. Does anyone else have any natural remedies to share? I am new to this, any info would be appreciated.

Faith M


  • Do you take an Omega 3 supplement? I have recently switched from one made from salmon to KRILL and find it has helped the stiffness in my hands. You can read about it by running a search on the internet. It is made and sold by a whole slew of companies!

    Also, if you are very ambitious, there are anti-inflammatory diets that some people swear by. I am in the process of trying to convert but my progress is slow. Again you can find this on the internet.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Looking at your history of surgeries here Faith, I'm guessing you have major
    arthritis throughout your body. I have severe OA throughout my body and my
    spine has been affected badly. I've had a few surgeries and like you I will be having more in the near future. My hands are how I make my living but they
    are getting very twisted and I have lost the feeling in my left hand due to permanent nerve damage.
    I have been on 1500 mg daily of Glucosamine/Chondroitin, 1200 mg daily of
    Omega-3 Fish Oil, and when it's cold 30 mg of Nifedipine for Raynauds Disease. I avoid red meats as much as I can and mostly eat fish and poultry for meat substitute. Also try and limit my intake of carbonated sodas as that
    is hard on bones. Hope I could be of some help, take care, and best of luck to you.
  • Thank you gwennie I will try the omega 3 and I'll look up the antinflamatory diet. I don't like taking motrin it messes up my stomach, I appreciate the alternatives you have given me. Ranger, after being diagnosed I also began to think I have it throughout my entire body. I know I have mild hip displasia on one side and arthritis in some toes too. Do you notice a difference taking the omega 3 and glucosamine? What's the deal with red meat? And I never heard that about carbonated sodas before, I don't drink them much though. My heart goes out to you, I'm so sorry about your hand. I've had 6 numb fingers and I know how difficult it can be. I thank you both for your help.

    Faith M
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Hey Faith,
    From reading your post and your previous procedures I would not be surprised either if you have arthritis throughout your body. If you do not see a Rheumatologist I would suggest you get set up with one.
    As for your question whether I see benefits from the supplements I take, I honestly can't say I do for sure but they are good for you with virtually no side effects so I figure what the hey, why not. As for red meat I had read that with it being high in protein it can promote flare-ups with arthritis. Carbonated beverages are high in phosphorus and can damage bones. In my
    younger years I consumed way too much soda, probably wasn't a good thing.
    Good luck to you and take care.
  • I really appreciate your input. I'm wondering if I should have all of my joints looked at. Is it possible to get a full body x-ray? I have to crack my toes many times a day bacause they feel stuck and painful, I've always thought it was due to the nerve damage. My hips are often painful and sometimes my knee too. I also have a shoulder that is still very painful 3 months post op. cervical fusion. I am very fortunate that my neurosurgeons have been able to repair my back many times, but I do understand there is no "fix" or cure for arthritis. I appreciate any info I can get!

    Faith M
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Hi again Faith,
    I'm not sure if it is feasable to do a full body x-ray but I'm sure it has been done. I too have hip pain and was sure the problem was a worn out hip or arthritis. My rheumatologist checked out my hip and verified with an x-ray my hip joint was just fine. The source of my problem there is in my lower
    back, the arthritis in my spine. You are correct, arthritis is incurable, we will
    not get better, and for me I'm getting worse and can watch it consume my
    body. But I feel very fortunate to have access to so many fine Dr's and a very good neurosurgeon. Hope I don't sound like a broken record Faith but if you don't have a good rheumatologist please find one. Like you, I want to get good information so I can be educated about what my issues are and be my own advocate so I can retain an active lifestyle as long as I possibly can.
    Thanks for your opinions & views, I appreciate your response.
  • I hate to add one more doctor and more appointments to my life, don't we all? But your advice is good advice. I also like to be well informed so I can be my own advocate, it is the only reason I am able to walk today! I want to be proactive so I can work with this disease rather than have it work against me. I am only 45, I have a long life to live yet. I wonder why my primary Dr. didn't recommend a rheumatologist? I'll make an appt. today, thank you for your advice :)
    Faith M
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Another Dr, more appointments, more stress, etc... But having access to these specialists will speed up your ability to pinpoint and address the source
    of your symptoms.
    You have a great attitude, you will continue to keep this disease under control and be able to maintain an active lifestyle. We are indeed too young to let it take over and limit our abilities.
    Please keep us posted on your success, I hope you get the great care I have
    received in the past.
  • Hi Faith,
    Sorry to hear about the arthritis in your hands. I have it too and it is very, very painful. When you said you were diagnosed with OA in your hands, I assume that your dr did blood work to screen for RA and other auto-immune types of arthritis. But,I do agree with Ranger that a good rheumatologist will help you My rheumy dr did an all-inclusive exam with blood work, x-rays, medical history etc. She didn't take full body x-rays, but took my worst areas: hands, feet and shoulders. (I had taken my cervical MRI and myelogram results with me.)

    It is wonderful that you enjoy crafts, etc, and you won't want to give any of that up. It will help you in the long term. Just consider it as "hand exercise/PT." I sew, quilt and tole paint. These things all help to keep my fingers limber. I just take it easy when I am in a flare and the pain is too bad. My right thumb is my worst, but finger joints are painful too.

    I take fish oil (4000 mg a day), gluchosamine and chondroitin (1500/1200 mg) along with my prescribed arthritis meds: Celebrex, prednisone, tramadol and methotrexate. Hot parafin treatments help with the hand pain. And I also bought compression gloves which I wear at night.

    I hope this helps. But please consider seeing a rheumatologist. My rheumy is the one dr who has put all my problems together and treats me as a "whole." Good luck to you!
  • Thank you Marti. I'm just a little apprehensive to open up this new can of worms. A part of me really doesn't want to know how many places I have osteo. To confront the fact that I have ANOTHER health issue is just too much for me right now 8} In 1 years time I had a 2 level lumbar fusion and my 3rd cervical fusion which I'm still recovering from. I am still a bit emotionally and mentally worn out, but I am feeling better every day. I am going to try some of the supplements everyone has suggested. My primary Dr. diagnosed me just by looking at my hands, no blood tests. But he did give me flector patches which are helping some. I am surprised everyone says to use heat, I assumed with the swelling ice would be used? I was screened for RA a couple of times, the last time was 8 years ago. Can you still get RA after testing negative? I will make that rheumy appointment. I just need some time to feel stronger and more able to accept the results of that appointment. Thank you everyone for your support!
    Faith M
  • Hi Faith, Yes, your screening can be negative and still have RA. All of my early tests for RA were negative. Meaning I was negative for the "rheumatoid factor." Which is what the family drs use as a screening. The rheumatologists dx'ed mine from all of my blood work, symptoms, etc. The swelling is a big indication for RA. Swelling is not normal with OA. Also all of my other blood work pointed toward inflamation. In the beginning, my dr didn't even call mine RA, she called it "inflamatory arthritis." Because I was still neg. for that rheumaoid factor. (Some people call this "sero-negative RA.") Now all of my paper work just says RA.

    I am not familiar with flector patches, But I sure hope you get some relief. The one thing that helped my hands a lot was Voltaren Gel, a gel-cream that just rubs on. But it is fairly new in US and ins won't pay for it. It has been out a long time and is OTC in other countries. But not here, yet.

    I wish you well and hope your fusion continues to heal. I know I will have that to look forward to, just been putting it off as long as the meds hold out. Good luck and God bless you! You can send me a PM anytime you need to talk.

  • Thank you for your support, I did send you a PM and it's nice that you offered. I am fused but my neck/shoulder is still bad. Disc or osteo? THAT is the question.
    Faith M
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