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Riding with Arthritis in Right Hand

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  • Riding with Arthritis in Right Hand

    I got my stitches out today from my carpal tunnel surgery. The orthopedist told me that the remainder of the swelling, stiffness and pain in my fingers is due to arthritis. My hand has been in a brace for ten days, so there is some loss of range of motion, but still, I can not close my fingers into a gentle fist, with the fingertips just touching my palm. Left hand yes, right hand no.

    Anyone got any suggestions?

    I have a new horse to share with my granddaughter, a ten year old Arabian X QH cross gelding I would like to start riding, and to show locally in Training Level later this fall. At this point I don't know if I can even hold a lead rope....

    Will I make it a lot worse if I ride, or will that help keep up strencth and flexibility? I do so want to ride.

  • #2
    Have you tried bionic gloves?


    I have a pair and I love them.

    If your doctor has not put any restrictions on your activity, then I would start to ride as soon as possible. Are you seeing a physical therapist? That should get you started to get the strength and flexibility back. Muscle strength helps arthritis, so the stronger you can make your hand the better. Maybe try squeezing an exercise ball several times during the day?
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


    • #3
      Originally posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
      Have you tried bionic gloves?


      I have a pair and I love them.

      If your doctor has not put any restrictions on your activity, then I would start to ride as soon as possible. Are you seeing a physical therapist? That should get you started to get the strength and flexibility back. Muscle strength helps arthritis, so the stronger you can make your hand the better. Maybe try squeezing an exercise ball several times during the day?
      i have problesm with my hands i use finger gloves so the tips arnt in the wya when doing things but my hands are kept warm you can get them in thermal, and gosh whats that meterial wet suits are made off -- those are well good as they keep the hands warm but is very supportive hasnt let me down and i have had to deal with both hands like it since i was 5yrs old


      • #4
        I had CP surgery a few years ago and started out as stiff as you're describing. I didn't feel comfortable getting back on a horse until I was SURE I had enough strength and comfort in the surgery hand to handle an emergency in the saddle. I just didn't feel safe. I had rehab and did my exercises religiously, and have now healed better than ever. The rehab exercises actually helped the arthritis! Good luck, don't push it, and remember, a hot cup of coffee or tea to wrap your hand around is a wonderful treat at the end of the day!
        Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground.


        • #5
          I love these because they are very soft, light weight and easy to hold to.


          • #6
            Originally posted by goeslikestink View Post
            iand gosh whats that meterial wet suits are made off -- those are well good as they keep the hands warm
            "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


            • #7
              I have RA, the only thing that helps me with the swelling, loss of range of motion and pain is riding and barn chores. Go for it, just don't over do it... Which, of course, is a very fine line.
              If you destroy the land, you destroy the animals;
              if you destroy the animals, you destroy the people.


              • #8
                Hi there
                I have chronic arthritis in both hands and wrists, my left hand is unable to close. I use stubben rubber reins, they are thicker and softer, easier to hold and prevent slipping. I use Ariat winter gloves (all year), they are a little padded and again, non slip.

                I drug when it is really bad, Aleve. Fortunately, my thumbs are fine, so I stop the rein from slipping with my thumb to forefinger. I do not have much (any) sponging ability in the left hand, so have to use a little wrist movement, if I need to soften the left rein.

                You just adapt. I find the double difficult and can not hold the whip in my left hand, in the double. Just too much stuff, end up dropping it.

                Now the good news! It teaches you that you absolutely do not need to be busy with the hands!! And, you have zero tolerance for a horse hanging on the rein!!! So, it really makes you be 100% consistent with keeping your horse on his rear end and off the forehand!! The opposite just hurts too much!

                Good luck, you will be fine.


                • #9
                  my problem is my left hand ( my dominant hand in the work I do) My carpal tunnel ( done years ago with "stone knives and bear skins") is in my right.

                  I was please to find that Nutramax Labs Cosamine DS does well for me.
                  -- * > hoopoe
                  Procrastinate NOW
                  Introverted Since 1957


                  • Original Poster

                    I have a plan of sorts....

                    gloves that support/protect
                    range of motion stretches - I have a friend who is a PT and she coached me
                    squeezing a ball or sponge to make fingers stronger
                    heat - I have a parafin dip
                    meds - glucosamine and chondroitin
                    common sense about progress

                    And last but not least - swearing!