We discuss in this podcast:
- Avoiding triggers
- Cardiovascular exercise
- Sleeping position
- Movement of the joints
- Upper body workout
- Other underlying causes of RA in the fingers
What to do if you have rheumatoid arthritis in the fingers? That’s what we’re going to talk about today. My name’s Clint Paddison and over at rheumatoidsupport.com. I help people with these challenges every day.
So our new member has rheumatoid arthritis issues in her fingers and she has joined to get some help on that front. And I’m going to tell you what I am going to do to help her. Rheumatoid arthritis in the fingers obviously, it’s a very common area to be affected. Entirely inconvenient, frustrating, because every time you want to open a cupboard or get into the car or drive with the steering wheel, even just trying to create a fist or having the morning stiffness that’s associated with the fingers being inflamed, swollen, hot, it’s highly annoying, very frustrating. And this problem is very, very persistent. It very takes a fair bit of time to be able to reduce and slowly disperse this inflammation that gets caught up in these little finger joints.
So what’s going on? So the body is affecting the joints through a self-attack. And this is going on through the autoimmune process that’s being driven by a whole bunch of different factors, but gut being one of the major factors and oxidative stress being the perpetuation of the condition. And so I’ve covered a lot of this content in other areas, but that’s what’s been other videos and content that I create. But that is the underlying cause. You’ve got gut issues driven by bacteria mostly and ongoing oxidative stress that occurs not just in the body as a whole, but also at a local site there at the finger joint.
And so what do we do about it? Well, I’ve been doing this for a long time, so I’ve created checklists for all these different things. And here’s what we need to work through when we have rheumatoid arthritis in the fingers. First of all, we’ve got to get our fuel right. So we have to be eating the right things and avoiding triggers. And all of us have food sensitivity triggers. We know that from the science. That’s very, very well understood, except maybe by some rheumatologists. But anyone who has the disease knows that certain foods tend to increase our pain more. So we need to work through what those are. And just getting you into a simple elimination process just for a couple of days should identify how much of inflammation in those fingers is coming from what you’re eating. And from there we can make some clever decisions really quickly and get your foods nice and enjoyable and diverse again, once we identify how much inflammation is coming from the foods that you’re eating.
We need to look at exercise and whether or not you’re able to influence the fingers through some cardiovascular exercise. So just a quick test one day getting the heart rate up and find out how much influence we have over the fingers and their inflammation based on that. And you’ll see a trend here. Right. What we’re looking for is influences, because if we can influence this in a situation, we can conquer. We want to avoid loading the finger joints. So we just make a mental log every time it’s being inflamed and avoid that activity. It doesn’t mean we have to not do things we love, but we can do them in a different way. And we’ll look at ways that we can actually make changes to certain activities so that the finger joint is not loaded in a way that upsets it.
We also want to actually then avoid testing the fingers first thing in the morning, trying to create a fist when there is pain in the fingers. And, you know, trying to do that when there are issues there can actually further loaden the joint. So we want to look at habits that we’ve got going on and avoid habits that are counterproductive.
I would go through a checklist with you about how you’re sleeping and look at what you’re doing when you’re sleeping. Where are your hands going and how can we make sure that you’re not loading the fingers during your sleep? Because this activity of putting pressure during sleep can undo all the good work that’s going on during the day. So we’ll look at sleep, find out information about your weight, how you sleeping typically, and look at some ways where we can have your hands nicely rested. We can get some great sleep and wake up with less morning stiffness. If we wake up with less morning stiffness each morning, then we know that over time those results will be cumulative.
Can we go to look at the medications that you’re taking? Are you taking things like painkillers, proton pump inhibitors, prednisone, you know, long term antibiotics? If you’re on these things, these are counterproductive to the efforts with regards to some dietary tweaks and the exercise you’re putting in because there really might need to be a review with your rheumatologist about your medications to make sure that things aren’t happening, that are working totally against all the things that we can do together to improve your joints.
And then we can get the fingers moving in all sorts of different creative ways that are low impact little exercises that you can do each day that can get blood flow moving through these joints without causing any problem. Because remember, the only purpose of a joint is to move. If the joint, if it wasn’t meant to move, it would just be a straight bone. All right. Its only purpose is it’s there to move. So we want to keep it moving because that’s how it gets its nutrients through compression of the synovial fluid in a normal way, in a proper way, not in an overly compressed lateral movement into a swelling joint kind of way which works against us.
And then there’s a really interesting one, which is doing upper body workout. So just keeping the whole upper body moving tends to drive more blood flow through into the extremities, into the, you know, the elbows down into the wrists and hands into the fingers. So we can look at some things that you can do at home. Some very inexpensive little assistant bands and things that we can add to your little collection of tools at home. And these can be very helpful in alleviating the inflammation in the fingers by being very, very helpful in getting that blood flow into them. And that’s been very effective for me and has helped other people a lot.
And then on top of all that, we can also look at some, you know, some really more underlying cause things. We can look at oral health and we can look at, you know, even some birthing techniques and all sorts of other creative things in parallel to these standard eight approaches that I use and coach people with their inflammation in their fingers. So that’s what I’m gonna do with this new member and help her to really reduce this inflammation in her fingers. And if you’ve got inflammation in your fingers and you’d like me to help implement this plan with you, then that’s what I do over at rheumatoidsupport.com. Head on over if you’d like to get some help with your fingers or potentially any other inflammation location in your body. If you have rheumatoid arthritis.