For more than 20 years I have suffered from arthritis of the hands. Because I am a journalist, I thought I had carpal tunnel syndrome for much of that time. However, I fell off my bike and broke a bone in my wrist when I was in my 50’s and the doctor, looking at my X-rays, said I had arthritis not CTS. Turns out about half the people in the country suffer from arthritis.
If you aren’t clear on arthritis check out my Page What you should know about arthritis. I have written more than a dozen posts on the subject. For the record, I am talking about osteoarthritis, the most common version, not rheumatoid arthritis. Mine is at the base of each thumb, so I have pain using my hands to button, unbutton, turn a key, etc. Just about anything I use my hands for. Yes, that includes typing this.
When I started doctoring, the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Hand Clinic built me an acrylic splint which I wore for several years. I stopped when I discovered trace minerals. You can read my post on that at the link.
I stumbled upon Naproxin Sodium 200 mg capsules a couple of years ago when I got Popeye Elbow and a doctor prescribed it to reduce the swelling. Turned out the Naproxin also relieved the pain in my hands, too.
When I discussed it with my internist, though, she said that there were some really dangerous side effects to regular use of Naproxin which is an NSAID (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug). So, she prescribed Pennsaid which is also an NSAID ointment. Since you rub it on instead of swallowing it, there is significantly less damage to your system that the ones you swallow.
I didn’t get much relief from Pennsaid and I also didn’t like sitting around for periods with both my hands covered with this drug. So I quit using it.
I picked up some Acetomenaphin (Tylenol) at Costco and started taking two 500 MG tablets every morning after that. I did that for a couple of years, but the pain relief benefits seemed to be tailing off and I didn’t want to up the dose.
So I have moved to the next stage, wait for it … compression gloves. I saw an ad for them on the Internet talking about how they gave relief from arthritis pain. If it’s on the Internet it must be true, right? So I ordered a pair. Small risk, possibly big reward.
I have been wearing them for a week now and can confirm that they do give me some relief from the arthritis. I put them on first thing in the morning and wear them till bedtime.
So far, so good. I feel like I am coming out of a long dark tunnel. I am drug free again.
I believe they make these wraps for the knees, too.
If you suffer from osteoarthritis pain, what do you do to deal with it?