So totally out of the blue, I am HAMMERED with arthritis in my fingers.

Tag

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5-6 weeks ago I had nothing. I meet with one of my customers and he shakes my hand, and a bolt of lightning goes through my right hand. I almost had to scream out, but I held it in. My right pinky 2cd knuckle I can barely touch. Now my left thumb and ring and middle finger on my left hand. 2 nights ago I could not even play an open D minor chord. Saw a specialist last week, and he said its just "normal" arthritis for my age, and at 55, I am lucky I did not have some 10 years ago. (I have had it in my back since my 30s from racing motorcycles and volleyball, but no where else) I have to get an x ray for a "base test", but it does not seem normal to me. From zero to this in 6 weeks???? I was tested for lime, negative. Full physical with extra blood work. Everything normal. Am I done playing guitar? Advil does nothing. Right now it hurts BAD to close my left hand. I am seriously bummed and worried. 5 weeks ago when it was just my right pinky, I figured if the pain did not go away and it stayed that bad, I could just have it cut off. Its just a pinky. But now its both hands and I want to play guitar. Any thoughts, suggestions, others experience anything even remotely similar? Thanks in advance for any help. Tonight I played for about an hour pretty much pain free, taking care to press as lightly as I could with my left hand, but an hour later it would really hurt to bend with my 3rd finger. :( I do not need any additional worries in my life right now. I have plenty of them already. Can this go away as fast as it came, or am I now somewhat handicapped? I cant carry plants across a large property without putting them down for a rest now, and even trying to loosen a tight cap hurts like hell. I really hope this is not the beginning of the end for me. Again, 6 weeks ago I had zero pain. I do not get it at all.
 

xjbebop

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I feel your pain, so to speak. Just turned 53, and I've had some unexplained joint/muscle pains creeping up on me the last year or so. Kinda wrote it off to old man pains, but still secretly concerned.
My wife and I finished a 3-4 week project rebuilding a covered patio on the house a few days ago, and for the last couple of weeks I've been having serious pains in my hands & knuckles. Quite scary, as you mentioned.
I've finally got a doctor appointment Monday to hopefully find out what's causing it...
 

WEDGE

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I did not get it as bad as you but yeah my hands fight me sometimes. I take an Alieve very day and when I know I have to really play a lot I take two an hour or so before to help. It ain't perfect but it does help me. It bites but playing at less capacity is still better than not at all.........I know this doesn't help, sorry for your pain.
 

NomadMike

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Have it my right index and little finger from doing martial arts. Mine showed up last year at 54.
 

veinbuster

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I don't think it is that unusual for it to seem to appear suddenly. It sneaks up, but there are a number of variables that can make it seem suddenly much worse. I've done things like soak my hands in hot wax - also makes your skin silky. I mostly had problems with my wrist and exercises helped a lot.
 

LSchefman

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Sorry to hear it, Tag. From what I've heard it can flare up like that.

I have a pinched nerve in my cervical spine that causes pain and weakness in my right hand; that comes and goes out of the blue as well. Might be worth investigating that as a possible cause.
 

Audie

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Tag, my arthritis came out of nowhere with a vengeance about seven years ago. I was put on a drug called humira and all is good again. If i get off of it for any length of time it is right back. Problem with arthritis is that it does not heal. You can only stop the pain, flare ups, and from getting worse. So if you get on the right meds now and early you will be playing guitar without missing a beat ( pun intended).
 

JMintzer

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What kind of "specialist" did you see? I can't say it's "normal' to have such a sudden onset of that much pain...
 

Tag

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What kind of "specialist" did you see? I can't say it's "normal' to have such a sudden onset of that much pain...


Jamie and everyone, thanks for the responses. Misery loves company for sure. I saw a rheumatologist (sp) that my regular dr recommended. Its only in the middle and small knuckles, which he said is a good sign.

Today I am a bit better, and was able to play without much pain. First time in weeks! But if I push on the joints with any strong pressure, holy smokes! :eek: One thing I have been doing a lot of is skipping stones when I am swimming my dogs, and throwing rocks. A lot of them. Probably about 50-100 a day, and I throw them pretty much as hard as I can. I am becoming quite the stone skipper. :D That does not seem to put much pressure on my fingers, but my shoulder really hurts, so maybe it has SOMETHING to do with it, although I am probably reaching for straws. He said he can give me injectiohns in the bad fingers which may stop the "flare up" and then maybe try celebrex, which I was on years ago for my back.

One thing that gives me hope is that 25 years ago my back was so bad, my x wife would have to help me put my shoes on some mornings until I warmed up. I thought by the time i was my age now, I would be in a wheel chair. I stopped playing volleyball (I was semi pro and played several times a week) and cut back on my workouts, and at 55, my back is WAY better than in my 30s!!

I will get the xray and follow up with the doctor in about 6 weeks. Hopefully it will not continue to get worse at this rate. Any other suggestions or thoughts are appreciated. hearing from you guys really helped. Trust me when I say i really appreciate it. :)
 

terickson

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Lay off the rocks,Tag. Mine (mostly wrists, but fingers sometimes) flares up usually following repetitive motion stuff, impacts, sawzall, etc. It is scary and it sucks. Think about switching to pedal steel sometimes, but swore long ago that I needed to master guitar before I would diversify. Still got a long ways to go.
I have friends who swear by herbalists, but I don't follow instructions well.....
Truth is I believed it when I sang "hope I die before I get old", so probably should be happy I can still play at 58, let alone hear!
 

HANGAR18

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Thank you for bringing up this subject Tag. I'm going to follow this subject with keen interest as I am approaching the 50 mark and it seems that I am starting to experience a few symptoms that are quite new and unusual to me. I hope things work out for you favorably.
 

NomadMike

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50 is fine, it's those years after where you find yourself saying "what the hell?" as your body springs a new and exciting surprise on you. :)
 

JMintzer

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A Rheumatologist is definitely the guy to see. I assume he did blood work to rule out any auto immune diseases?

And yes, the new activity of skipping stones may be playing a role. At your advanced age ;), any new, repetitive activity can cause issues.

Celebrex is great, buy just be careful taking it long term, as it can have some cardiac issues...
 

vchizzle

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Hope you're able to find something/way to lessen or stop the effects Tag. That's tough. Wishing you the best!
 

FrankiePRS

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I feel for you. That's always been my biggest fear. It scares me having a significant portion of my income so dependent on physical well-being. Please keep updating.
 

Tag

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A Rheumatologist is definitely the guy to see. I assume he did blood work to rule out any auto immune diseases?

And yes, the new activity of skipping stones may be playing a role. At your advanced age ;), any new, repetitive activity can cause issues.

Celebrex is great, buy just be careful taking it long term, as it can have some cardiac issues...


Thanks Jamie. I had just had a full physical with my internest who did extensive blood work, including checking for lyme, Hepititis C (SP) and other things I have never heard of. Everything was normal, and he (Rheumatologist) looked at those results. I am going to try and lay off the stones, as that is having an effect on my neck and shoulder for SURE. Thinking back, this could have started up after I played about 90 minutes of tennis for the first time in years. I was playing like a wild man and covering the court like a blanket. I felt 20 years old again. Not sure if I could have beaten Nadal or Federer, but it would have been CLOSE. :D I wonder if that is what started the flare up? The right pinky middle knuckle is by far the worst. Just brushing it against something causes a jolt. If that does not calm down, that baby is going to have to go. :rock:
 

Tag

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Thank you for bringing up this subject Tag. I'm going to follow this subject with keen interest as I am approaching the 50 mark and it seems that I am starting to experience a few symptoms that are quite new and unusual to me. I hope things work out for you favorably.


Enjoy what you have now, because things are going to get MUCH worse in a hurry from that point on. As someone else said, 50 does seem to be a real turning point. Uggh. :mad:
 

NomadMike

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But then again, after 50 isn't the end of the world. :D
Stay active, stay engaged, stay fit, stay in love and enjoy life. :dancing:
 

alantig

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Tag, if you're even 10% serious about the pinky, read Ronnie Lott's story. He actually went through with something similar - he crushed the tip of his finger when it got jammed in a set of shoulder blades. He was going to be out for about six weeks, but he asked how long if they cut it off, and it was more like two, so he did. He said almost exactly what you said - "I figured it was just a pinky", but he grew to regret it fairly quickly.
 
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