knuckle problems
August 14, 2007 6:46 PM   Subscribe

My dad is having a lot of knuckle problems. They are causing him a lot of pain and are so bad he can't even close his fist anymore. He has considered knuckle replacement surgery, but that seems like just a bad idea to me. I suggested that he try some ayurvedic massage of the joints with sesame oil. He said he already does massage, tho not with any oil or lotion. Any suggestions of other things he can do? Or any links I can show him?
posted by dbooster to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
posted by chiababe at 7:04 PM on August 14, 2007

Is it arthritis?

Has he tried acupuncture?
posted by solongxenon at 8:01 PM on August 14, 2007

IANAD. But I have had joint replacements (complete hip joints, both). I'd suggest he see a rheumatologist, as well as an orthopedic surgeon, if he hasn't already. Many forms of arthritis are now thought to be auto-immune diseases, and even if joint replacement is done, the body can continue to damage cartilage and bone in adjacent areas and joints, complicating recovery, and making the long term success of joint replacement questionable.
posted by paulsc at 8:04 PM on August 14, 2007

I'd look into acupuncture like solongxenon has suggested. If it sounds like it's a joint issue and a matter of blood flow. I'd look into a good ancient chinese medicine practitioner who studied in Japan, not from a 2 year certificate program in California somewhere.

Tell him to go see a doctor about it. Joint replacement should be the last resort depending on his age and stuff. I'd start there.
posted by icollectpurses at 8:17 PM on August 14, 2007

I would suggest that you are not qualified to decide whether or not joint replacement is a good idea. Doctor is the best bet.

Also in case he decides to try your suggestion of ayurvedic massage, perhaps he should look at some of the safety concerns first.
posted by number9dream at 9:10 PM on August 14, 2007

I definitely think he should talk to a doctor if they're causing him that much pain. Is it arthritis or something else?

Anyway, I think that capsaicin cream might be helpful for the interim. It used to help me when I was in high school and had joint pain in my wrist and fingers.

I've also recently had good results with biofreeze, though for back pain not joint pain.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 6:17 AM on August 15, 2007

Just an anecdote: My father had terrible joint pain for years, and at some point they decided it was RA. He was given medication that didn't work. Then, more recently, he was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, which they have invented a cream for. The cream takes away all of his symptoms and swelling, so he can play guitar and do woodwork again.

My point is, go see a doctor. I work as an arthritis researcher, and as I have said to my participants, "There are many different types of inflammatory arthritis conditions. Have you been diagnosed by a physician as having any specific one?" Treatment can only really follow from diagnosis.
posted by nursegracer at 6:24 AM on August 15, 2007

As far as I know, homeopathy is voodoo witch magic. But I have sold tons of Arnica ointment and people swear by it. I recently gave some to my dad who is having horendous knee joint problems. He felt like a million bucks.

So, for $10 you can try out this ointment, see if it works. Your local health food store should have it or be able to order it.
posted by munchingzombie at 6:51 AM on August 15, 2007

Both my grandfather (RA) and sister (nonspecific connective tissue disorder) have used Emu Oil with success. No, really.
posted by kimdog at 7:23 AM on August 15, 2007

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