Rhuematoid arthritis in Guitar players

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DesignLawrence
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Rhuematoid arthritis in Guitar players

Post by DesignLawrence » November 10th, 2015, 9:32 am

Greeting guitarists

I am currently doing research for my final year university design project at Loughborough University and would appreciate it if you could fill out this survey to help me in my design process.

I am looking to create an aid to help those who suffer from RA to play their guitar without pain.

Many thanks if you can fill this in, it shouldn't take very long.

http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/JBKYM/

Thanks
Lawrence

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Alan Green
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Re: Rhuematoid arthritis in Guitar players

Post by Alan Green » November 10th, 2015, 10:35 pm

If you have RA - like I do - stop messing around with quack remedies and have your consultant prescribe Methotrexate, which is what I'm on.

I play classical guitar at weddings, parties, restaurants etc without pain.
"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger
"I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk

Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk

DesignLawrence
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Re: Rhuematoid arthritis in Guitar players

Post by DesignLawrence » November 11th, 2015, 1:37 am

I do not have RA, I am trying to understand the problems and limitations of RA, so that I can help those who might.
But any feedback is important to me and it is useful to know that I might be aiming in the wrong direction with the project. Regardless other opinions are also important.

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Alan Green
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Re: Rhuematoid arthritis in Guitar players

Post by Alan Green » November 11th, 2015, 7:11 am

I'm sure you're aware, then, that it's an auto-immune condition, where the body starts to attack itself.

Pain is a symptom, not the cause. If you are in pain, then you're having a flare, your inflammatory markers will be up and that will show on blood tests. Medication changes the way the disease presents itself, and have blasted mine into remission.

We caught mine early - her indoors is a nurse specialist with eons of experience in rheumatology - after I had a couple of flares following concerts the other year. Drugs are the answer; other aids will not reverse the erosive changes caused by RA, nor will they prevent them getting any worse.

I don't have any info about osteoarthritis - I hope I never have to find out.
"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger
"I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk

Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk

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Alan Green
Guitari Lama
Posts: 7952
Joined: September 23rd, 2002, 1:35 am
Location: Little Cambridge, Essex, UK
Contact:

Re: Rhuematoid arthritis in Guitar players

Post by Alan Green » November 11th, 2015, 7:37 am

I've just gone and completed your survey. I have a Distinction at Grade 8, a BA(Hons) with a music specialism, play weddings and so on as a gun-for-hire freelance musician, and I'm the lead guitarist with a Glenn Miller-style Big Band (not enough space in the survey for all that). I teach guitar too; meaning I play for some 5+ hours every day at varying levels.

One of your questions asked if I used a splint or similar aid; the answer is no I don't and no I never have. The intense pain of the flares kept me awake for a 3 or 4-hour period each time and were initially treated with the strongest dosage of paracetamol I could legally get from the pharmacist and ibuprofen (the anti-inflammatory) until the flare went down (and stopped hurting). Our local pharmacist looked at me suspiciously when I asked how many of the max-strength anti-inflammatories (supervised over-the-counter sale only) I could safely take at once but you've got to deal with the problem.

Her indoors does have splints to immobilise painful joints, but wearing one made no discernible difference to the pain, and it was the pain that stopped me moving my hand for those few hours rather than it just being painful when I moved. I've been on the drugs since March last year and not had a painful episode since; in fact, I might be able to come off the drugs after taking them for two years - March next year.

So, I think you are very much barking up the wrong tree. There are conditions which will respond to physical aids, I'm sure; but I'm fairly assured RA isn't one of them.
"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger
"I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk

Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk

DesignLawrence
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Posts: 3
Joined: November 10th, 2015, 9:24 am

Re: Rhuematoid arthritis in Guitar players

Post by DesignLawrence » November 12th, 2015, 3:02 am

Ok thank you for your feedback, I will have to look more in depth into the advantages/disadvantages of physical vs drugs and if RA can be helped physically. I'm currently thinking along the lines of something to help the restrictions (loss of grip strength, flexibility) that RA can cause, as the pain element as you point out is quite easily solved with medicines (although I expect some people may have reservations about that large a dose! - but that's another matter entirely)

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