May I have Arthritis?

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Sevendust
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/3/2006 3:08 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm 14 years old. I'm on the computer A LOT playing computer games and thus I do a lot of repetetive typing and clicking (which I heard may cause arthritis). I also only click and type with 2 fingers, my midle finger, and the finger next to my thump (so the 2 fingers next to thump). Know I'm worried, because those 2 fingers bend to the right (on my right hand) and bend to the left (left hand).
So picture this, both the fingers are fine and straight and great from the hand, then when it gets to the first joint it just bends and the finger nail is facing a different direction to where it should be.

By the way, it dosn't hurt at all. If needed I can provide pictures, but it may just be nothing (like no symptoms can be like this) so better not to go to the trouble.

Ducky
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 1/3/2006 7:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Sevendust, Welcome to HealingWell... are your joints swollen at all? Red? You said that you don't have any pain right? Let us know how you are doing - Duck
Diagnosed January 2005 - Psoriatic Arthritis/Spondylitis
-Currently taking 50mg shot weekly of Enbrel
Diagnosed May 1998 - Graves Disease
-Complete Thyroidectomy September 1998 - While 11 weeks pregnant
Other Complications - GERD/Scoliosis/Hiatal Hernia/Graves Disease of the Eyes
Current Meds -  Enbrel/Prevacid/Synthroid
Past Meds - Inderal/PTU/Prednisone/Voltaren/Feldene/Mobic/Cortisone and Steroid Shots


erin.K
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Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/3/2006 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Seven!
Welcome to HW...it's great that you found us!  There are many many forms of arthritis, and also there are quite a few complications that may arise from typing a lot.  Like carpal tunnel, overuse, etc... and I'm sure you know all this.
When I was in grammer school, my fingers started to bend like you described...but it was mostly caused by playing the flute! LOL.  Played for 12 years.
The weird bending could be caused from typing when reaching for the letters, especially the pinky finger.
Your joints and bones are still developing...so pretty much they can take any shape they'de like. tongue Just kidding...well sorta! tongue
When and if your hands and fingers should become painful, tell your folks about it.  I'm sure @ your physicals and maybe even the school nurse can look at them if it worries you.  But for now, if they are not red, swollen and painful...I wouldn't worry about it too much.
Is there a family history of arthritis which you may be worried about???
I'm 24....but developed RA very early on (about 14 or 15 y/o) but I had developed it from having Lymes disease untreated for over a decade...thus....a big ole autoimmune mess!
How did you find HealingWell?  Are you interested in medicine and anatomy & science?
Well, it was very nice to have met you.  Write back soon!
Erin :-)

Sevendust
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/3/2006 6:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello and thanks for the replies!
No, they're never swolen or never hurt... Just got me worried that's all because I read somewhere that repetetive actions can cause it :S
Family history, maybe 1 off my grandparents had it. My mum has it in her rist (or so she says) becuase she works using her hands and her rists hurt a bit sometimes.
Also, is this true, that cracking your joints cause arthritis? I've read a few articles and things saying it dosn't but what do you say?
I found HealingWell through google. I can't really say I'm that interested in medicine or anatomy, we havn't got up to that in school yet. Science, it's okay... I'm good at though!

BTW: the only fingers that are bent are the ones I said, not any others... They look perfectly fine. Just my clicking and typing fingers :)

erin.K
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/3/2006 7:55 PM (GMT -7)   
hey Seven! :-)
yeah, it's an up in the air kinda thing with the whole knuckle cracking.  it can make the finger joints become larger...but arthritis? some theorists say nah..others say it may contribute.  personally i don't believe it causes it; yet when i crack my fingers they actually FEEL BETTER!  the noise is just the fluid moving around.  Oreo wrote a great reply about knuckle cracking and arthritis! i'll try to find it and bump it up on this forum.
the repetitive typing and working is much of the time carpal tunnel syndrome.  it may also inflame the nerves and tendons along the carpals and metacarpals and wrists.  that can be VERY painful and people wear wrist braces, need surgery, get injections....etc.  it's a big problem for typers and laborers who do repetitive hand motions.  ergonomic classes help, and occupational therapists too.
so what grade are you in now?  good luck in your studies! talk to you soon.
erin smurf

CaMama
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 1/5/2006 9:45 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Sevendust, welcome and good for you for being proactive on a situation. I, too, have had arthritis since I was a child and have it in my hands. Repetitive motion I think is more prone to cause carpel tunel syndrom and/or tendonitis. My personal feeling is arthritis will come from repetition if you are prone to it (hereditary) and/or have a situation that may cause it to occur in these joints after many years of abuse. I wanted to give you some suggestions (Erin, feel free to say none of this will help) if you're very concerned (not to sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but I hate to see you have long term problems if you can avoid it):

1. Look in to stretches you can to to make sure you don't get carpel tunel syndrome or tendonitis. These are VERY painful and once you have them, you may always have problems. Erin suggested talking with your doctor or school nurse, they might be able to take a look and suggest some stuff. Stretching would include the hand, wrist, arm and shoulders - as carpel tunel pain can migrate all the way up.

2. You might want to try massage. I don't know if it'll help or not with the straightening of your two fingers, but you never know and it may help with the wrist/hand muscles to help keep you from getting hurt. Use lotion and massage and stretch your wrist and fingers. You may want to include your forearm.

3. Learn to type correctly. That way, you are not overdoing the two fingers. I think there are relatively cheap programs you can buy (maybe even free on internet?) that are simple typing programs.

4. (okay, you knew this was coming....I'm a mom....) cut down your time on the computer and/or how you use it. At the VERY LEAST take breaks during your gaming to stretch and relax.

I don't want to scare you nor do I want to lecture :-) but I have seen a lot of people deal w/these 2 issues and they are not fun. I know at 14 it is hard to think in terms of the future epseically since you don't hurt, but do take care of yourself, do the research on what to do/avoid, stretch, and monitor your time on the computer so you don't have to deal with them in the future. Trust me, you'll be glad you did when your co-workers in 10 years have such painful numbing in their arms and hands that they can't feel them and you feel fine.
 
Good luck. **



 

Post Edited (CaMama) : 1/6/2006 9:09:03 AM (GMT-7)


erin.K
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/6/2006 12:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Right on Camama! You're absolutely right.  Good suggestions...I could use them myself.
{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Sevendust
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/8/2006 4:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello all. Thanks for the posts.
How about this: Every 5 Minutes - I take a short 30 second break where I just let my hands droop down (or stretch... Does anyone know any good stretches?). I looked around and found this page very useful. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpal_tunnel_syndrome
Anymore ideas?

Anyway, here's just the URL to what my hand looks like, and the bend. It actualy is a bit more bendy in real life, just I didn't snap the picture at the best/correct angle.
http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/1304/img05723wl.jpg

So... Arthritis isn't my main worry right (or not much of one). Those carpal tunnel syndrome like repetetive illnesses that cause nerve damage are? Also... are they hereditory?

Sevendust
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/16/2006 12:29 AM (GMT -7)   
I have some more questions about the bends :S

1. Would more computer use bend them more?
2. Is there a way to bend them back? :P
3. Is this... a sign of arthritis (the bendy fingers)? I mean could I get arthritis from the computer (not carpal tunnel, just arthritis).

Thanks! Just a bit worried that's all.

CaMama
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 1/16/2006 9:50 AM (GMT -7)   

I do not know the answer to that - I think much of it is up in the air.

Though, I would THINK that your fingers bent imporpoerly COULD lead to arthritis. If the joints in your fingers are not aligned properly, possibly that would mean the joints are rubbing together improperly and thusly going to cause deterioration of the finger joints. What do you think, Erin?

That said, I will use my husband as a "case study" for you: my husband has some bad pain/swelling in his finger joints. He is the youngest in a large family and far as we know, none of his older siblings has arthritis. Yet, he does. However, he is also the only one who has had a manual labor/repetitive motion job for almost 20 years. He worked in a freezer for 12 years and has been doing repetive motion in the last 8. Though most of his siblings are in computers, we have not heard that any of them are having issues. However, it would be good to note that he is one of the tallest in the famly and the hardest working 24/7.  

This would lead me to believe that overuse and neglect can lead to arthritis.
 
You are still young and probably still growing. My suggestion to bend them back would be: Massage every day where you rub and stretch the fingers. I don't know if splinting them straight at night for bed would do anything at this point, but I guess you never know.  These ideas may or may not work, but they would both take a lot of time and persistence before you saw re****s, if any.

Good luck. **
 


erin.K
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/16/2006 10:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey there Seven!
If this is really freaking you out & you're worried about it...have your doc talk with you.  If there is pain and he/she thinks the bending is unusually abnormal, then you might have to have bloodwork to look for juvenile RA, an Xray, ultrasound or MRI done to look @ your finger joints for inflammation, joint deterioration or tendon inflammation.
I'm thinking that this is most likely a common occurence since computers & typing are introduced now at the ages of  5 and 6 years old!
Your doc can give you a lot of insight on what to do and possibly offer therapies to realign your fingers.
Did your school offer an ergonomics class?
I know that for carpal tunnel syndrome, patients are offered steroid injections and brace wearing and NSAIDs.
You do sound worried, so I would suggest at this time you should speak with your family doc about it.  You'll feel better "knowing for sure" at least.
Best to you,
Erin
 
hey Camama!  what the heck did they bleep out on you? LOL. you got one of these ******. tongue

CaMama
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 1/16/2006 11:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Yeah, that is weird. I didn't know I said anything wrong. I wasn't being definite in my suggestions - I said "maybe" and "if any" in regards to seeing any effects in what I was saying. My son's 2 middle toes on one foot are crossed - he was born that way and they've gotten worse over the years. The doc said to ignore it initially and then (after my persistance) suggested we massage and straighten them on a daily basis (which my son won't let us do usually) in order to help encourage them to straighten out.  But, he's 4 not 14, but I thought I'd suggest it to Seven as a possibility.
 
Though, a doctor is still your best bet to get some help and hints for on this issue.
 
**
 


erin.K
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/16/2006 2:07 PM (GMT -7)   
LOL. i think the PC might have interpreted "results" as maybe "****s" or something? LOL. hah! let's see if i was right & they do it again!! tee hee hee. i was reading that @ HW the spell check sometimes bleeps out words by mistake that are just normal words.
too funny
:)

Sevendust
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/16/2006 8:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Ok thank you all, Next time I go to doctor I'll make sure to make him check my fingers!

"Did your school offer an ergonomics class?"
I don't even know what that is... I don't know if It makes such a difference but I live in Australia. Maybe they will later I'm just going onto my 3rd year of highschool.

erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/16/2006 8:38 PM (GMT -7)   
oh! an ergonomic lesson is a class in proper typing, hand positions, posture, sitting, etc....sort of teaching one how to use proper body mechanics while working especially typing and sitting.

CaMama
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 1/16/2006 11:11 PM (GMT -7)   

You can probably find some computer ergonomic information on the web for starters.

Erin, too funny about spell check!

 

**


 


erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/17/2006 11:03 AM (GMT -7)   
tongue  hah!  look i was right!!!  ooh i'm bad. tee hee hee.  that spell check is a funny one!  but at least it picks up on derogatory insults. LOL.
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