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ichadwick
09-16-2009, 03:26 AM
Looking for some medical advice re playing the uke. I've just been diagnosed with arthritis and I'm wondering what the current medical opinion is re that sort of activity: do I continue playing, do I play more to exercise the joints? Do I stop?

And what sort of remedial medication (prescription and over-the-counter)/physiotherapy/surgery is recommended?

upskydowncloud
09-16-2009, 03:29 AM
Looking for some medical advice re playing the uke. I've just been diagnosed with arthritis and I'm wondering what the current medical opinion is re that sort of activity: do I continue playing, do I play more to exercise the joints? Do I stop?

And what sort of remedial medication (prescription and over-the-counter)/physiotherapy/surgery is recommended?

I'll ask my sister and get back to you.

buddhuu
09-16-2009, 03:34 AM
Harsh. :( I hope it doesn't interfere with your playing, Ian.

ukantor
09-16-2009, 03:34 AM
Would you rather ask a ukulele forum than your doctor?

Ukantor.

wfwhitson
09-16-2009, 04:11 AM
Looking for some medical advice re playing the uke. I've just been diagnosed with arthritis and I'm wondering what the current medical opinion is re that sort of activity: do I continue playing, do I play more to exercise the joints? Do I stop?

And what sort of remedial medication (prescription and over-the-counter)/physiotherapy/surgery is recommended?

Had it for years, I take medication works fine for me. When it dose flar up I just suffer through it. I won't let it win. As for med's Talk to your doctor, I use Celabrex 200mg once a day.

NO DON"T STOP PLAYING THE UKE.:shaka:

ukerazy
09-16-2009, 04:18 AM
I suffer from chronic Psoriatic Arthritis, at the moment I am quite immobile I walk with a crutch and the past few weeks I havn't really left the house (I did today though to go get my ukulele from the parcel depot! lol) I have had it since I was 4 years old and started playing the ukulele this year because the guitar got too difficult to hold.

The ukulele is pretty much all I do now and it is my main hobby, my advice is keep playing 'till you can't play it anymore... Don't let it beat you!

flyingace
09-16-2009, 04:24 AM
My wife is a doctor and I talk to her about this from time to time as my knuckles tighten with age. She says that anti-inflams are about it other than direct cortisone shots, otherwise the best thing we can do is to NOT stop playing. Playing instruments are proven to help keep flexibility and strength. I usually warm up first with a rubbing of my tight knuckles, then some scales and chord progressions, once I feel it loosen up, then I really get into playing. I'm only 38 but it's coming on and runs in the family.

Unofficially, against my wife/doc's wishes, I believe a little snog of tequila or such libation really helps me as well! :)

P.S. my hot tub really helps as well!

RevWill
09-16-2009, 04:27 AM
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications) like Ibuprofen or Aleve are the most common OTC treatment.

I would ask the doc for a referral to a physical therapist at least for a consult in order to learn some exercises that would be helpful for pain management, and to avoid exercises that may exacerbate the arthritis.

buddhuu
09-16-2009, 04:32 AM
It's looking good for an informed consensus of "keep playing"! :)

Tsani
09-16-2009, 05:03 AM
Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. - Winston Churchill's address to Harrow School, 1941.

I am so sorry to hear of your struggle with arthritis, but I really commend your attitude. I have been reading your posts for quite awhile and I never had any idea that you were struggling with this debilitating disease. Hang in there and keep playing!

keithy351
09-16-2009, 05:18 AM
if its your wrist, i really suggest wearing a copper bracelet, they work very well and help alot. Sorry to hear about the diognosis, how someone here can give some real decent advice

wheelgunner
09-16-2009, 08:52 AM
My whole family seems to have arthritus of one kind or another. NSAIDs and keep moving are the best things you can do. If you ever give up it's got you. Keep playing.

sukie
09-16-2009, 09:30 AM
Keep playing for as long as you can. I also buy into the keep playing to remain flexible theory. Check with your doctor about meds or shots. I like cortisone myself. It helps keep me pain-free.

ukerazy
09-16-2009, 09:52 AM
Keep playing for as long as you can. I also buy into the keep playing to remain flexible theory. Check with your doctor about meds or shots. I like cortisone myself. It helps keep me pain-free.

I had the cortisone injections, I had to have one big shot as most of my joints are affected... It helped but boy did it make me eat!! LOL I told them I wouldn't have them again 'cause I couldn't stop eating!

I'm due to start injectable Methotrexate this month, any of you had any experience with this?

Brewerpaul
09-16-2009, 09:56 AM
I'm a retired podiatrist, currently working as an OR nurse: close enough?

I'd say that as long as it doesn't make your arthritis worse, go for it. It's probably not a bad form of physical therapy-- in some forms of arthritis the less you use the joints, the stiffer and more painful they get.

A word of caution-- by all means get worked up by a rheumatologist and find out exactly what kind of arthritis you have and how it can best be treated. Arthritis can range from a very mild osteoarthritis to really severe and deforming rheumatoid. Any advice that any of us here give you should be taken with a grain of salt until you check with an expert.

One other music board that I follow actually specifically prohibits the requesting and giving of medical advice on the board which liability-wise may not be a bad policy.

ukantor
09-16-2009, 12:11 PM
Quite so, Brewer Paul, I agree completely.

Ukantor.

sukie
09-16-2009, 12:17 PM
Quite so, Brewer Paul, I agree completely.

Ukantor.

I certainly see your point and that of Brewer Paul. But I don't agree completely. If the post police get too prohibitive, there won't be anything left to talk about. I would certainly hope that nobody here takes any advice as the rules of God. I ask people about medical stuff in real life and I never take any of it as the rules of God. I leave that for the doctors. However, even then they are known to be wrong. I think it's ok to ask around here for OPINIONS.
Just my thoughts.....(not to be argumentative.):)

mailman
09-16-2009, 12:18 PM
[QUOTE=Brewerpaul;210107]
I'd say that as long as it doesn't make your arthritis worse, go for it. It's probably not a bad form of physical therapy-- in some forms of arthritis the less you use the joints, the stiffer and more painful they get.

Amen, brother! I've had arthritis in my hands (and other joints) for years. I take a twice-daily NSAID (Voltarin), which helps alot....but I have the most difficulty if I allow myself to become inactive. I walk a great deal as a mailman, and it can be a challenge. But that's nothing compared to when I'm on vacation and NOT doing the walking....

Certainly seek qualified medical advice, but in the meantime, keep those joints moving!

Playscool39
09-16-2009, 12:28 PM
Just keep playing as long it allows you to. Hope it won't bother you to much.

MGM
09-16-2009, 12:30 PM
Hey Af ew Blue Valium and you will not only be painless you will sound beter to yourself too......I am joking please dont try it...welll then again???

sukie
09-16-2009, 12:36 PM
Hey Af ew Blue Valium and you will not only be painless you will sound beter to yourself too......I am joking please dont try it...welll then again???

Lol!



.

wfwhitson
09-16-2009, 12:45 PM
[QUOTE=Brewerpaul;210107]I'm a retired podiatrist, currently working as an OR nurse: close enough? QUOTE]

I thought because of you handle you made beer.:rofl:

Steiner
09-16-2009, 01:28 PM
I'm close to being a doctor



It depends on which arthritis

Rheumatoid=exercise improves symptoms early in the disease, treatment is more complex

Osteoarthritis=the one that everyone gets=exercise can make it feel worse, this is the one you treat with NSAIDS and other anti-inflammatory meds, people are saying steroids like cortisone, but those come with a certain amount of side effects if used long term.

A lot of people say glucosamine/chondroitin supplements help too with osteoarthritis

Howie1947
09-16-2009, 01:39 PM
I'm a Veterinarian, will that work?

Brewerpaul
09-16-2009, 03:37 PM
[QUOTE=Brewerpaul;210107]I'm a retired podiatrist, currently working as an OR nurse: close enough? QUOTE]

I thought because of you handle you made beer.:rofl:

I used to be an avid home brewer, but once I started making wooden pennywhistles, I didn't have the time any more :(

Steiner-- are you at Albany Med?
Ever been to the Fiddler's Tour? Did I ask you that already?
It's an open weekly jam where all acoustic instruments are welcome. Google it-- great bunch of people. You'll learn a ton of tunes from Celtic to Appalachian to Bluegrass, etc. The venue moves each month to a different site in the Capital District, hence the name "Tour"

Uketopia
09-16-2009, 07:24 PM
I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV. Well, actually, I am a doctor, of sorts.....a witch doctor, some say. Anyway, not to get too deep into it, but don't just go blindly taking NSAIDs all the time to deal with your arthritis. They have a long list of side effects, the likelihood of which increases the longer you take them, not the least of which are bleeding ulcers, liver toxicity (especially if taken with alcohol) and, here's the kicker, long-term use of NSAID's can cause further joint damage (decrease bone repair, increase micro-fractures) and accelerate the progression of osteoarthritis by inhibiting synthesis of proteoglycans - not exactly what you are trying to do.

Check with your doctor, but look into alternatives such as glucosamine and chondroitin, fish oil, anti-inflammatory diet - to name a few, which can help with the long-term progression of the disease.

And make sure to warm up before you play....keep those joints moving my friend.

Steiner
09-17-2009, 12:44 AM
Yup, Albany Med.

You asked about the fiddler's tour on the "upstate NY get together" thread. I've already spread the word to some other guys and if we have free time we're going.



I used to be an avid home brewer, but once I started making wooden pennywhistles, I didn't have the time any more :(

Steiner-- are you at Albany Med?
Ever been to the Fiddler's Tour? Did I ask you that already?
It's an open weekly jam where all acoustic instruments are welcome. Google it-- great bunch of people. You'll learn a ton of tunes from Celtic to Appalachian to Bluegrass, etc. The venue moves each month to a different site in the Capital District, hence the name "Tour"

Tsani
09-17-2009, 03:08 AM
Hey Af ew Blue Valium and you will not only be painless you will sound beter to yourself too......

Valium, Mick? Well that accounts for the spelling and the spacing in the middle of words... :biglaugh:

Lori
09-17-2009, 06:25 AM
I agree with the "check into diet and supplements". Several months ago, I changed my diet to try and control congestion, by cutting down on milk and cheese. Then, after a while I started noticing bony growths on my top finger joints. I went to the doctor and he recommended a specialist, but thought it was osteoarthritis, especially since my mom has it (her version doesn't hurts, just deforms the grip). I didn't want to waste a lot of money on tests, when I think it is pretty clear what I have, and there was no pain involved.

I went on the web, and found out that sometimes the body forms these bony masses when it's not getting enough calcium. So, I decided to add a Calcium + D supplement to my diet, and went back onto cheese and crackers for lunch. I am amazed now, because I thought those bony growths were going to stay for good, and probably get bigger. But, instead, the bony growths have reduced in size! I am sure I am prone to osteoarthritis, but I think I can hold back some of the results with the right lifestyle.

Keep playing an instrument as long as possible. If you can't play one, switch to another instrument. Playing music is excellent for overall health and happiness.

–Lori

Brewerpaul
09-17-2009, 01:51 PM
Yup, Albany Med.

You asked about the fiddler's tour on the "upstate NY get together" thread. I've already spread the word to some other guys and if we have free time we're going.


Let me know if and when you plan to go. This month the Tour is at Carney's in Ballston Lake which is a really nice publike atmosphere. I live pretty close to there and would be happy to meet some other ukers.

MGM
09-17-2009, 03:06 PM
as for drugs and alcohol...they are a no-no to me I am on the liver transplant list so anything i stick into my mouth thats not doctor approved is stirctly prohibited. now bad typing and dyslexic fingers is a different story LOL

kalmario
09-17-2009, 03:34 PM
Well, I'm a pharmacist by trade, and would say most of the advice here is reasonably good.

NSAIDs are the mainstay of treatment, although, you usually start with regular paracetamol first (1g four times daily regularly) as it is much easier on your stomach than the anti inflammatories.

glucosamine and chondroitin, is helpful in some cases, and there seems to be a sub group of people that really respond well to it. if you do try it take at least 1500mg, and give it about 3 to 4 weeks before stopping as it may take this long to work properally.

i'm a big fan of fish oil supplements, you would most likely need around 1.5 to 3 grams daily. (it works in a similar way to NSAIDs).

that said, the general rule is use it or lose it. i would keep playing as it will keep the fingers moving a lot longer than if you didn't, you may need to rest a bit more than usual.

good luck by the way.

Cliff

p.s. not a big fan of methotrexate, but for some people it is a real God send, and can change their lives in what they are able to do. just get the dose right!

Steiner
09-17-2009, 04:20 PM
For us Yanks, Paracetamol is called Tylenol here in the US, and 4 g/day is the max for short term use, long term use should be ~2g/day max. At least according to the US FDA.

kalmario
09-17-2009, 09:28 PM
cheers for that, we are a bit slower over here,(that or we have stronger livers!)

Cliff

Ahnko Honu
09-17-2009, 09:35 PM
2 shots of quality Tequila, an hour of playing your 'ukulele, and call me in the morning. ;)

Pippin
09-17-2009, 09:36 PM
Ian, Check with 112 in the Shade on Cosmos... he IS a doctor and might recommend something.