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Stiff fingers - starting of arthritis?
Old 06-12-2014, 08:06 AM   #1
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Stiff fingers - starting of arthritis?

I noticed my fingers sometimes feel kind of stiff for the past few months, especially so in the morning. I initially dismissed it as a result of spending too much time typing on the smartphone but I now wonder whether I am having early stages of arthritis. I am 54 years old and am fairly active. I guess I should see a GP for a diagnosis. What can I do to delay or get rid of early arthritis?
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:19 AM   #2
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What can I do to delay or get rid of early arthritis?
Welcome to the initial symptoms of old age.

I think your plan to see a doc is the right move.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:23 AM   #3
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Welcome to the initial symptoms of old age.

I think your plan to see a doc is the right move.
+1

Could be lots of things, hopefully not arthritis. One hand or both? Are your knuckles red or inflamed? Any tingling in the fingers or uncharacteristically dropping things (like keys)?
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:18 AM   #4
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Both hands, not really always dropping things but did noticed sometimes my grasp is not so firm. Finding hard to twist open bottle caps for some time already. No redness at the knuckles. I hope the GP won't put me on any medication as I always prefer trying other cures like exercise, health food or change in lifestyles.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:43 AM   #5
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Both hands, not really always dropping things but did noticed sometimes my grasp is not so firm. Finding hard to twist open bottle caps for some time already. No redness at the knuckles. I hope the GP won't put me on any medication as I always prefer trying other cures like exercise, health food or change in lifestyles.
If it is arthritus, treating it early can be important. Go see your Dr without delay.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:52 AM   #6
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Both my DW and I have had what they call "trigger finger" when a single finger (in my case index) doesn't extend on it's own. You literally have to straighten it out. Like the joint gets stuck. Usually happens when you wake up. Apparently your hands tend to curl when you sleep. DW got a cortisone shot and hasn't been bothered again. Mine just kind of comes and goes. Minor annoyance. Comes with age I guess.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:54 AM   #7
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Both hands, not really always dropping things but did noticed sometimes my grasp is not so firm. Finding hard to twist open bottle caps for some time already. No redness at the knuckles. I hope the GP won't put me on any medication as I always prefer trying other cures like exercise, health food or change in lifestyles.
Not sure how to deal with the age thing, despite the associated pains I'd rather grow old than not. Lots of pricey medications in this category (arthritis, anti-inflammatory). Not many have shown much advantage over aspirin, and lots of drug related stomach issues.

Your focus on diet is a good thing, this is an area where diet can make a difference. Reducing or eliminating foods that cause inflammation can help a great deal (tomato sauce). DW is certain that some foods and herbs are natural anti-inflammaroty agents (tumeric). I'm not so sure but at the same time have no doubt that diet, regular exercise and stretching have made arthritis pain easier to live with.
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:52 PM   #8
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If you don't have an allergy to shellfish, you may perhaps wish to consider taking the supplement Glucosamine Chondroitin.

I've heard of several friends having near-miraculous results with use.

Questions and Answers: NIH Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial Primary Study | NCCAM

omni
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Old 06-12-2014, 04:13 PM   #9
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If it is arthritis, treating it early can be important. Go see your Dr without delay.
+1 on that! DW's mother had severe rheumatoid arthritis, requiring much medications, multiple joint surgery/replacement and constant pain. It is something to be very afraid of.

That said, DW's doc said that the treatments now are so much better that DW will never have the experiences her mother had. But still, after seeing the way that woman suffered for decades with it if a doc ever tells me I have it I'll probably faint dead away.
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Stiff fingers - starting of arthritis?
Old 06-12-2014, 06:53 PM   #10
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Stiff fingers - starting of arthritis?

Thanks, everyone. I do hate growing old but like MichaelB said - better to grow old than not. I spend a good part of my retirement life trying to delay age- related disease by exercise, home cooking to eat better, etc but however fast I run, age runs along and sometimes runs faster. Will see the GP soon.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:06 PM   #11
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Yep, the problem is really two-fold: The parts of you that shouldn't get stiff now do, and the parts of you that should get stiff now don't.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:53 PM   #12
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LOL, you are just too funny but very true!
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Old 06-20-2014, 02:46 AM   #13
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GP said not arthritis, just signs of growing old. Well, that's good news, in some way.
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:41 AM   #14
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GP said not arthritis, just signs of growing old. Well, that's good news, in some way.
That's excellent news.
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:32 AM   #15
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growing old is not for the faint of heart
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:24 AM   #16
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Arthritis is not a "one size fits all disease". Almost everyone I know who is in my age bracket... 70 to 90+ has some degree of arthritis. For most, an accepted part of the good fortune of still being here. Stiffness and aching joints become a part of growing old.
At some point, even the most naturopathic oriented sufferers will accept the help of NSAIDS, and most will take the discomfort in stride.
That said, many will suffer extreme pain and become disabled to some extent. Canes, wheelchairs, walkers, gnarled fingers, feet and limited mobility become a part of life.
It's just the way things are.

Most of us accept the gradual onset, and just modify what we do to be within our ability... avoiding the painful movements, and learning to use the tools that are available to help do the things that were easy in the early years.

Exercise "routines"... even as simple a walking or climbing stairs can be modified to avoid the shock stress... water-walking or swimming and bike riding help to maintain muscle strength, without the follow-up joint pain.
Tai Chi and simple stretch exercises are good alternatives.

It is sometimes difficult to give up those activities that have been ingrained during the younger years. While not too common, some of my community neighbors have tried to stick to their old regimen... running, weight lifting or even aerobics (especially for the women)... Too many times, this has had negative results... knees, hips, and severe muscle strain.

My thinking is that listening to your own body is the best advice.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:34 AM   #17
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I have mild joint stiffness...I am careful when I exercise to be gentle. I think swimming and bike-riding are good options. And, I am a big fan of herbs such as willow bark to help with inflammation.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:05 AM   #18
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GP said not arthritis, just signs of growing old. Well, that's good news, in some way.
Excellent! However, you still might want to try glucosamine chondroitin as suggested above by omni550. The worst that could happen is that it wouldn't work. Even my rheumatologist had no issues with anyone who wishes to take it, since it is regarded as safe and simply a food supplement.

The reason I suggest it is that I am 66 years old, as opposed to your age of 54, and I have yet to feel any stiffness or pain at all in my fingers (wish I could say the same for my hips and knees! ). So, I find it hard to believe that it is simply age and not some sort of mild, subclinical arthritis. But then, what do I know? Maybe other people get aches and pains of aging in their hands instead of their hips, knees, back....
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:26 AM   #19
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GP said not arthritis, just signs of growing old. Well, that's good news, in some way.
That is good news

I was convinced I had arthritis in my shoulder last year causing tendonitis as I had already had surgery 10 years on it to plane off bone ridges that were causing tendonitis. The doc agreed it was tendonitis and sent me to an ortho doc who had an MRI and X-Ray done and concluded it was tendonosis, with only 'normal' signs of arthritis for someone my age.

Sometimes it is good to hear that you hurt simply because you're old

My tendonosis was fixed doing physical therapy (although I've had to stop playing tennis )
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:35 PM   #20
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You might want to get a referral to a Rheumatologist for a more expert opinion on an arthritis diagnosis. Also, you can get a blood test to check for general inflammation in your body. That's how my arthritis was diagnosed. My pain symptoms were kind of weird but I had 3 blood tests in the row that showed high levels of general inflammation. My GP then sent me to a Rheumatologist.
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