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Hi all!  I'm beginning to get very sore fingers and hands.  Now I have fibromyalgia - so used to pain and fatigue, however this is arthritis.  It runs in the family - apparently my Nana had it very badly in her hands, my Mum's hands and feet are very knarled and now my oldest sister (10 years my senior) has had a massive op on one of her hands and the other is due to be done.  Crafting and in particular miniatures, is so very important to me and my overall well-being.  I know my Mum had to give up crafting and knitting about 15 years ago - my sister certainly couldn't do much with her hands - at this point anyway.  It really scares me that I might be headed down the same track.  I'd love to know how others manage with arthritis and other issues that cause pain and discomfit when you're trying to craft.  Maybe if I can start implementing things now I can ward off issues for a longer period of time.

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My maternal grandmother continued her needlecrafting through the swollen joints without pain meds, and so do I.  I sometimes have to flex my fingers back & forth several times to regain full range of motion, especially now that I have somehow been experiencing bodacious peripheral neuropathy in my hands since starting the blood thinner, worse in the left than the right (if I don't sleep with my fingers curled into loose fists when I go to sleep the pain will wake me up).  The one time my doctor put me on pain meds for another issue I didn't do well with them and quit taking them.  A lot of guided imagery gets me through the worst of it.

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There are so many new medications that help treat and prevent further damage with rheumatoid arthritis. Have you spoken to a rheumatologist?

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4 hours ago, havanaholly said:

My maternal grandmother continued her needlecrafting through the swollen joints without pain meds, and so do I.  I sometimes have to flex my fingers back & forth several times to regain full range of motion, especially now that I have somehow been experiencing bodacious peripheral neuropathy in my hands since starting the blood thinner, worse in the left than the right (if I don't sleep with my fingers curled into loose fists when I go to sleep the pain will wake me up).  The one time my doctor put me on pain meds for another issue I didn't do well with them and quit taking them.  A lot of guided imagery gets me through the worst of it.

I've tried most meds for Fibromyalgia - the ones available here in NZ anyway.  Nothing has really worked so I don't take much either.  Plus, like you, my body is pretty sensitive to meds and I usually feel worse off on them.  I go through stages with my pain - there are times when I have to sleep with my arms/wrists straight, if they're slightly bent I'll wake up in pain.  Usually it's hips and shoulders so I continually move from one side to the other and back again!  Have you tried those compression gloves?

3 hours ago, Sable said:

There are so many new medications that help treat and prevent further damage with rheumatoid arthritis. Have you spoken to a rheumatologist?

 I haven't for a few years.  Not sure whether to bother.  I must find out from my sister what sort of arthritis she has.  I'll text her now.

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Yes - just checked with my sister.  My Nana had both Rheumatoid and osteo.  My mum has Rheumatoid but my sister has osteo.  Maybe I should book in to see the Rheumatologist again....Just not sure it's worth it.  Most of my pain will be fibro - just the hand pain that is probably arthritis.  I wonder how much they can actually do about it...

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I'm not arthritic, but I may get there in the future, as my mom has it very badly. There is something homeopathic that I use for pain, it's slow acting, but when I strained something it helped me heal quicker. Maybe it would help you? It is a rubbing oil and a little goes a long way. https://www.amazon.com/Frankincense-Neuropathy-Rubbing-Essential-Relief/dp/B07PXLKQZJ/ref=sxts_sxwds-bia?crid=3AT7VYA68S6NY&keywords=neuropathy+oil&pd_rd_i=B07PXLKQZJ&pd_rd_r=9ad2ec55-881f-4f37-b088-edde89c79104&pd_rd_w=Ni8pX&pd_rd_wg=fWQTH&pf_rd_p=f0479f98-a32d-45cd-9c12-7aaced42b1ec&pf_rd_r=4H3MZHWMEZHZ8079WK18&qid=1559642579&s=gateway&sprefix=neuropa%2Caps%2C327

One of the ingredients can also help with arthritis pain if you swallow it in pill form, because my mom uses it when her pain is very bad: boswellia. I forget the brand she uses, but it works.

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Check with your regular family doctor before trying anything new; if s/he doesn't know the answer, your questions might get them moving to find out.  Mine is all osteoarthritis, some of it familial and some in consequence of a wreck with a log truck one overcast pre-dawn morning.

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Rebecca- I was sorry to hear that the Lyrica didn't help you.  I know it doesn't work for everyone- I stumbled upon the combination of Lyrica and Meloxicam which has become my "magic potion" to make me feel the most 'normal'.  I think arthritis and Fibro kinda go hand in hand, from what I hear.  The constant inflammation eventually creates arthritis in the joints.  I have it in my hands as well.  Memorial Day I spent the entire day working on my brick flooring latex sheet for the Newport mud/laundry room, and my hands ached like crazy for the next three days!  I hate taking over-the-counter pain meds (bad on my stomach) so I just spent some time with them wrapped in a heating pad.  Now, if they are swollen due to the Fibro/tendonitis- then it's ice packs!   

For me it is mostly learning what my limits are: knowing when to stop working, knowing that I cannot/should not do certain types of tedious "fiddly" work, and using ergonomic designed tools and there are padded grips that you can get to put on your Xacto knife.  It's annoying.....but hey, this hobby is better on my hands than my cake decorating!  

 

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I feel your pain. :( 

Like Jackie, I try to know my limits. I don’t build any house kits that aren’t lasercut any more because my hands cannot take the sanding. With lasercut kits, and particularly half scale, an emery board is usually all I need for touching up an edge, and if I’m using sandpaper, it’s small pieces and very fine grain. So I’m not having to apply pressure or use a strong grip which causes the pain. 

I try to get up and move around often to deal with joint stiffness.  I also regularly go for walks, and do very gentle stretches. 

The hardest part has been accepting that I cannot do what I used to and that my body rebels. So learning my limits and gently pushing, instead of “powering through” has made a difference in what I can tolerate.

I don’t want to ever have to give up minis, so that’s a strong motivation for accepting limits and finding ways to adapt.

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I take a supplement that I really like, it helps me get through the day without too many aches and pains and stiffness. I have arthritis in my hands and probably elsewhere. I’ve been doing so much yard work and other home projects this spring, if I forget to take it I definitely notice the difference at the end of the day.

 It has turmeric root extract, boswellia extract, sage leaf, lemon balm leaf, thyme, piperine. 

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5 hours ago, WyckedWood said:

I take a supplement that I really like, it helps me get through the day without too many aches and pains and stiffness. I have arthritis in my hands and probably elsewhere. I’ve been doing so much yard work and other home projects this spring, if I forget to take it I definitely notice the difference at the end of the day.

 It has turmeric root extract, boswellia extract, sage leaf, lemon balm leaf, thyme, piperine. 

What's it called Karin?  I doubt we'll have the same thing however I could potentially source it from iherb.com or find something similar here.  Thank you!

 

On ‎4‎/‎06‎/‎2019‎ ‎10‎:‎09‎:‎21‎, blueirishmoon said:

I'm not arthritic, but I may get there in the future, as my mom has it very badly. There is something homeopathic that I use for pain, it's slow acting, but when I strained something it helped me heal quicker. Maybe it would help you? It is a rubbing oil and a little goes a long way. https://www.amazon.com/Frankincense-Neuropathy-Rubbing-Essential-Relief/dp/B07PXLKQZJ/ref=sxts_sxwds-bia?crid=3AT7VYA68S6NY&keywords=neuropathy+oil&pd_rd_i=B07PXLKQZJ&pd_rd_r=9ad2ec55-881f-4f37-b088-edde89c79104&pd_rd_w=Ni8pX&pd_rd_wg=fWQTH&pf_rd_p=f0479f98-a32d-45cd-9c12-7aaced42b1ec&pf_rd_r=4H3MZHWMEZHZ8079WK18&qid=1559642579&s=gateway&sprefix=neuropa%2Caps%2C327

One of the ingredients can also help with arthritis pain if you swallow it in pill form, because my mom uses it when her pain is very bad: boswellia. I forget the brand she uses, but it works.

Thanks for that Cynthia!!  I'll see if I can find it here!

On ‎5‎/‎06‎/‎2019‎ ‎1‎:‎24‎:‎24‎, jbnmini said:

For me it is mostly learning what my limits are: knowing when to stop working, knowing that I cannot/should not do certain types of tedious "fiddly" work, and using ergonomic designed tools and there are padded grips that you can get to put on your Xacto knife.  It's annoying.....but hey, this hobby is better on my hands than my cake decorating!  

Yes - I guess that is the answer.  Finding tools that take some of the stress away from my body and knowing what my limits are.

On ‎5‎/‎06‎/‎2019‎ ‎3‎:‎57‎:‎25‎, Dalesq said:

I feel your pain. :( 

Like Jackie, I try to know my limits. I don’t build any house kits that aren’t lasercut any more because my hands cannot take the sanding. With lasercut kits, and particularly half scale, an emery board is usually all I need for touching up an edge, and if I’m using sandpaper, it’s small pieces and very fine grain. So I’m not having to apply pressure or use a strong grip which causes the pain. 

I try to get up and move around often to deal with joint stiffness.  I also regularly go for walks, and do very gentle stretches. 

The hardest part has been accepting that I cannot do what I used to and that my body rebels. So learning my limits and gently pushing, instead of “powering through” has made a difference in what I can tolerate.

I don’t want to ever have to give up minis, so that’s a strong motivation for accepting limits and finding ways to adapt.

The thing with Fibromyalgia is that we do learn to 'power through' because, well, quite frankly we wouldn't do anything if we didn't!  However nothing is being damaged by powering through with Fibro.  With things like arthritis, you could be creating more damage - so yes, that is something I am learning.  The other thing about Fibro is even though your natural inclination is to sit and do little, it makes it worse.  It's better to be up and moving.  Like you - at this point in my life I can't see me ever wanting to give up minis and/or crafting of any kind.  It what makes everything better!!  :D

On ‎5‎/‎06‎/‎2019‎ ‎12‎:‎06‎:‎51‎, havanaholly said:

Check with your regular family doctor before trying anything new; if s/he doesn't know the answer, your questions might get them moving to find out.  Mine is all osteoarthritis, some of it familial and some in consequence of a wreck with a log truck one overcast pre-dawn morning.

Ouch - that doesn't sound like it was a wonderful morning!  I had a motorbike accident when I was 16 - broke my knee and ankle and have suffered much since!!

Thanks everyone for your input.  Maybe we could add to this thread as and when we find tools, potions etc that help! 

 

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I’m sure if you find any high quality turmeric supplement it would be as good. Mine is 95% curcumin. 

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The "powering through" is something I had done for many, many years.....until my physical therapist "read me the riot act".  He said I cannot continue to force my pain level up to a 10 (or above) every single day like I was doing.  I had to learn to adjust my routine, stop doing some things (even though I loved doing them) that always put me in pain (or caused stress) and generally learn to not allow my pain level to get above a certain, more tolerable level- for me that was a 5.  For me, the constant inflammation was actually causing damage.  My life came to a screeching halt.  I quit several of my clubs, changed jobs, bought an electric toothbrush (LOL) and totally changed my morning routine so that I only needed to do stairs once.  I do try to keep doing things....I just limit the number of times I go up and down the stairs, or how much walking (or even sitting) I do.  I do gentle stretches, learned some relaxation techniques and get a monthly massage to help keep my muscles from seizing.  Ice packs and heating pads are my constant friends.  LOL

Somewhere I read "the spoon theory" - basically that you have only a certain amount of energy for one day (say 12 spoons), and each activity costs a certain amount of that energy (1 spoon for each trip on the stairs, 2 spoons for vacuuming, etc)...and when you've used up all of your spoons-you are done for the day!  That idea has kept me on a more even level- along with the right combination of pain meds.  

Anyway- keep finding ways to enjoy doing minis!  :D 

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13 hours ago, jbnmini said:

The "powering through" is something I had done for many, many years.....until my physical therapist "read me the riot act".  He said I cannot continue to force my pain level up to a 10 (or above) every single day like I was doing.  I had to learn to adjust my routine, stop doing some things (even though I loved doing them) that always put me in pain (or caused stress) and generally learn to not allow my pain level to get above a certain, more tolerable level- for me that was a 5.  For me, the constant inflammation was actually causing damage.  My life came to a screeching halt.  I quit several of my clubs, changed jobs, bought an electric toothbrush (LOL) and totally changed my morning routine so that I only needed to do stairs once.  I do try to keep doing things....I just limit the number of times I go up and down the stairs, or how much walking (or even sitting) I do.  I do gentle stretches, learned some relaxation techniques and get a monthly massage to help keep my muscles from seizing.  Ice packs and heating pads are my constant friends.  LOL

Somewhere I read "the spoon theory" - basically that you have only a certain amount of energy for one day (say 12 spoons), and each activity costs a certain amount of that energy (1 spoon for each trip on the stairs, 2 spoons for vacuuming, etc)...and when you've used up all of your spoons-you are done for the day!  That idea has kept me on a more even level- along with the right combination of pain meds.  

Anyway- keep finding ways to enjoy doing minis!  :D 

Yes - love the spoon theory.  It makes so much sense to people who don't have issues like this so can't understand.  The last couple of weeks I've been using my spoons up left, right and centre!!  I get reflexology regularly and massage.  I finished Scouts - I was a leader for 8 years, and that has helped hugely.  I started an art class last term and I'm still going this term.  However on my way there yesterday I was thinking I'll finish and not go again next term.  I'd rather use that energy elsewhere - ie in my craft cottage!

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Have you ever tried Physical therapy? My issue wasnt the same, it was more muscle related to repetitive motion at work, but it has made a major difference. What I was most surprised about is how much it helped an unrelated issue, a trigger finger I have that causes pain after holding anything for long periods. It is my pinky finger and because I rest my hand on it so much I had a lot of problems before with needing breaks and time to stretch.

Its so interesting to me how them teaching me ways to use other parts of my body to compensate for my hand and wrist made such improvements. 

I also have started finding tools that put less stress on said finger so I dont get the tendon pain. My current favorite is a xacto that you use with just your pointer finger and some balance from the thumb. So for sure I agree on the finding tools that are more ergonomic or have softer grips.

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9 hours ago, SaraChimera said:

Have you ever tried Physical therapy? My issue wasnt the same, it was more muscle related to repetitive motion at work, but it has made a major difference. What I was most surprised about is how much it helped an unrelated issue, a trigger finger I have that causes pain after holding anything for long periods. It is my pinky finger and because I rest my hand on it so much I had a lot of problems before with needing breaks and time to stretch.

Its so interesting to me how them teaching me ways to use other parts of my body to compensate for my hand and wrist made such improvements. 

I also have started finding tools that put less stress on said finger so I dont get the tendon pain. My current favorite is a xacto that you use with just your pointer finger and some balance from the thumb. So for sure I agree on the finding tools that are more ergonomic or have softer grips.

Unfortunately it's my index finger on my right hand that causes me the most pain - and my thumb and the bit inbetween.  Certainly I'll try a physio if needed in future.  They thought I had occupational overuse syndrome years ago - but turned out to be fibromyalgia unfortunately!  Not much that can be done for that!  I see an osteo regularly though.

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I use some essential oils apart from my usual medication. Eucalyptus is a really good one against pain, but you can use others as well, for example, lavender, primrose and basil. My doctor said it won't hurt and it also relieves stress and helps me to fall asleep faster.

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Maya, are you a miniaturist?  If so, please post us an introduction in the Newcomers' Forum and tell us about your dollhouse/s, etc.  Eucalyptus seems to be like wintergreen in its pain relieving properties.

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On 1/30/2020 at 9:53 PM, MayaGreen said:

I use some essential oils apart from my usual medication. Eucalyptus is a really good one against pain, but you can use others as well, for example, lavender, primrose and basil. My doctor said it won't hurt and it also relieves stress and helps me to fall asleep faster.

Hi Maya!!  Yes, I use quite a few essential oils in many different ways - Love them!!

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This was so informative and helpful. I started getting arthritis in my knee. I used to do a lot of work outdoors for fun. Working on my dh has replaced a lot of my gardening and canning time, but I would feel guilty for not wanting to power through. It would be nothing to can 8 hours after work. I can't now. But I don't feel so bad about it. Thank you for sharing!

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