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arthritic hand

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  • arthritic hand

    I am, quite literally (as well as figuratively) losing my grip. Third and fourth fingers of right hand are bending or not bending in ways that make holding the right rein, doing up girth, etc etc difficult most days, nearly impossible some days, and painful every day. Its a bitch losing most of the use of one's dominant hand! Anyone with similar issues have any suggestions ?(other than riding Western with reins in left hand, that I can do, and the horses I ride mostly will neck rein, but sometimes you gotta use both hands.)

    Also recently I googled replacement of finger joints and evidently its being done--has anyone had this kind of procedure? I dont think these digits are gonna fuse to anything resembling a very usable paw. And if parental life expectancy is any indication, I'll have at least thirty years ahead of me --and I'm in my mid 50s. Forget Renoir with the brushes tied to his hands and still painting away--I bet old boy wasnt trying to tie a latigo knot or fiddle with little buckles or grab a dandy brush or curry comb....

  • #2
    Jeano I have MS and severe OA. Right now I am having a devil of a time with my left shoulder and right hand so I know what you mean!!! I'm an artist too

    Something that has helped TONS is a hand exerciser, the squeezy one with the bike handle looking grips. I have been using it OFTEN and it is helping me gain some flexibility and build strength. I feel really stupid that I didn't believe my PT when he recommended it years ago....
    I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

    Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.


    • Original Poster


      Lordy, equineartworks, Mr Jeano advised them years ago and gave me a pair--I'll have to dig them out of wherever they are buried....darned NSAIDs made my BP go up so I am stuck with Tylenol which IMO does nothing for inflammation and not much more for pain...


      • #4
        Use gloves and warm water every time you can.
        Hot pads also help.
        Ask who is a hand specialist in your area and go see what they can do.
        Ours fixed my wrist (positive ulnar reduction) and did a beautiful job of it.

        I mashed all but the thumbs when I was five, with some broken bones and have always had some problems from that.

        Gentle movement often and warmth are your friends for most joint problems.

        For riding, learn to use your seat and legs, where you practically never have to use your hands.
        Try reining.


        • #5
          Originally posted by jeano View Post
          Lordy, equineartworks, Mr Jeano advised them years ago and gave me a pair--I'll have to dig them out of wherever they are buried....darned NSAIDs made my BP go up so I am stuck with Tylenol which IMO does nothing for inflammation and not much more for pain...
          which NSAIDS? I had that problem with Naproxen, but aspirin is okay. You're right that Tylenol is not an anti-inflammatory and thus will not do much of anything for reducing the swelling/stiffness.


          • #6
            Since you mentioned about the reins, I thought I would throw this out there. My BO has a hard time closing her hands, so she really prefers the Passier braided reins - they are wider/thicker, so she doesn't have to close her hand as tightly as she would with regular sized reins. Just a thought!


            • #7
              Thanks for all the hints. I too am starting to get the dreded arthritis in my hands now. It has made me ride differently now with my Arab- much more seat less reins. And no steady pulling or pretty soon I can't feel the reins. And boy can it hurt like the dickens after the ride when she gets on the muscle.
              I didn't know they were doing finger joint replaing. Interesting. I have a middle finger that is starting to freeze up, only closes so far....old age sucks.


              • #8
                Latex tape on whip

                The latex tape that is used for wrapping bits or stirrups also works well for wrapping whip handles. It is soft, tacky and can be shaped to fit your hand. It starts out white, which works for dressage and gradually gets filthy enough to look black. It is easy to take off and replace when it gets too gooey from summer heat and age. I like that I don't have to have a death grip the whip to keep it from falling out of my hand.
                Intermediate Riding Skills