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Can playing guitar fend off arthritis?

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Arfinwulf
(@arfinwulf)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 52
Topic starter  

Or at least delay it? My wife and I were chatting about using one's brain well in the senior years to keep it functional (playing chess, sudoku, studying, and whatnot), but we wondered about arthritis. We're middle aged so hopefully far from any such physical issue, and we'll keep playing guitar until we can't, but wondered if anyone here knows for sure if our favorite finger exercise has any other benefts. Is there a doctor in the house? :lol:

Namaste.


   
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tinsmith
(@tinsmith)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 830
 

My hands are pretty messed up, especially my fret hand.....
it has cubital tunnel, carpal tunnel & arthritis.
I will tell you you are better off using them then losing them.
The arthritis & cubital are the pits for me....


   
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s1120
(@s1120)
Prominent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 848
 

I guess it depends what kind of arthritis your talking about. If your talking Rheumatoid arthritis playing is not going to help fend it off. But the working the joints can help control the stiffness of it.

As for the more common Osteoarthritis arthritis... Well I can see it helping to stop the stiffness also... but in the same respects here is a blerb from the Arthritis.org web site..

"Athletes and people who have jobs that require doing repetitive motion, such as landscaping, typing or machine operating, have a higher risk of developing OA due to injury and increased stress on certain joints. OA also develops in later years in joints where bones have been fractured or surgery has occurred."

So wether playing falls under the "Athletes and people who have jobs that require doing repetitive motion" catagory.... I dont know. Im thinking giving your self a little warm up time, and playing often will do more good then harm myself. But I am not a Dr... and havent eaven stayed in a Holiday Inn Express... I did spend 40 of my 47 years dealing with Rheumatoid though. My Mom got it shortly after my birth, and lived with it the rest of her life

Paul B


   
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Alan Green
(@alangreen)
Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

In short no.

My wife spent 20 years as a specialist rheumatology nurse in the UK so I figure she knows her stuff on the subject. Look at Brian May's hand, or Keef's

"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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notes_norton
(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

I had problems with arthritis and bursitis. I get my vitamins from a company that has doctors available for advice (not diagnosis and of course with all the lawsuit avoidance disclaimers). Most of the advice is general. But the doctor at the vitamin supplement company recommended dietary changes before any vitamins or supplements. So I figured I'd give it a try.

Before the diet, I couldn't drive a car without a "blue ice" pack behind my hip. The bursitis is hereditary and I've had it most of my life. The diet made it about 99% better in a couple of months. I no longer take MSM, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, or SAMe. This works a lot better.

Of course, I'm not a doctor, not qualified to give medical advice, so check this out yourself, especially if you have other health challenges. Here is the advice.

For both arthritis and bursitis, treatment is similar:

Try the dietary approach first, and if that doesn't work, take stronger action.

Foods that may contribute to chronic inflammation are foods with a high glycemic index (foods that convert to sugar quickly), such as fruit juices, sugars, simple starches, or rice cakes, foods heavy in polyunsaturated or saturated fats, and foods high in arachidonic acid. Some specific foods to avoid are:

* Fatty cuts of red meat (high in saturated fats)
* Organ meats: liver, kidney, and so forth (high in arachidonic acid)
* Egg yolks (high in arachidonic acid)
* Pasta (high glycemic index)
* Juices (high glycemic index)
* Rice, especially rice cakes (high glycemic index)
* White bread (substitute whole grain breads such as rye or whole wheat)
* Nightshade Plants bother many people (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, paprika)

Glycemic index charts can be found on the Internet.

Better choices are foods with a low glycemic index and foods that are heavy in monounsaturated fats. Some specific good foods are:

* Salmon and other fish
* Oatmeal
* Fresh fruits and vegetables
* Olives and olive oil
* Peanuts and other nuts
* Whey proteins

My other personal suggestion would be to use light gauge strings on your guitar and develop a light touch with your left hand (the light touch is better even of you don't have arthritis, you can play faster that way).

Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


   
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s1120
(@s1120)
Prominent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 848
 

Thanks for the info notes!! I suffer bursitis in my knee, and have had drainings, and shots with no help. Ive put off surgery as long as I can, but never thought to look into a diet change. Thanks for the heads up!!!!

Paul B


   
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notes_norton
(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

I hope it works for you. I thought I was headed for a hip replacement - and from what I've read, they are only good for about 10 years and then need to be replaced again.

I went on the diet in 2005 and I'm doing great. No thoughts about hip replacements anymore, my hip feels fine.

One word of caution. Read the labels. For example, mayonnaise contains a lot of egg yolk and eating that is as bad as eating eggs. My wife did some Mayo and her hands flared up. Then it was a "duh" moment. Of course -- what do they make mayo with?

My neighbor walked with a cane. Went on the diet and in a couple of months the cane was gone. A few month's later the cane was back, and I asked, "What happened?".

She said "I just can't live without my pasta and my orange juice."

Seems strange to me that she would rather suffer than give up a few foods. But we each have our own life, and we can live it the way we want as long as we don't infringe on the rights of others. To me no pain and no surgery is better than any food I can put in my mouth, but to each his/her own.

Good luck,
Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


   
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slide496
(@slide496)
New Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 3
 

Thanks for the info on the glycemic index, I will add that to things I need to consider to control inflammation.

My two cents is that no I don't think that guitar playing, especially for the left arm is going to fend off arthritis, perhaps the opposite if you develop repetitive stress syndromes in the left hand or arm.


   
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