Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Stiff fingers swelled up hands

It gets bad at times but I manage to work with it and get to where I can play fairly decent but I found that if you get a hand massage it does wonders about stopping the swelling and the stiffness. I am sure this is for the older folks who have the arthritis and so on . Another thing I do is use DMSO I put a small amount on my left hand (the right is fine) and work it in and after a few minutes I am playing ok . Be careful with the DMSO it is a solvent and will carry what ever you handle into you insides . I do recommend the massage as it also keeps the electrical signals together between the right and the left hand . I have a slight delay between the right and the left hands. Any one that has ideas about dealing with this post away I would love to learn about them.

Well, I’m 49 years old and I completely understand what you’re talking about. I just haven’t gone as far as you in finding a solution. When my left hand locks up or goes numb it kind of freaks me out, but so far, all I need to do is rest and things go back to normal. I imagine I’m on borrowed time, though. DSMO can’t be far away for me.

WD 40 works well too

I might add that magnesium helps deposit the calcium where it is supposed to go so I use a mixture about two table spoons to a 6 oz sray bottle and spray my hands a few times a week . it is about 18 dollars for a 40 or 50 pound bag it is used for melting snow , it is called magnesium chloride . You can get it at a farm store or seed place . Do not get the citrate it is used as a laxative LOL and you would not like that . just mix two table spoons in to six oz’s of water . it stays in solution so no need to shake it up after the first time . I also would give a disclaimer be cause some people are allergic to it and can break out in a rash and before using it test a small spot . I bathe in it one time a month and feel relaxed after ward . I don’t break out . Most of us are deficient in magnesium. try at your own risk .

Ok I guess I’m going to have to ask what DMSO is. Might could use some myself. I broke my left hand between the thumb and wrist in my younger days and it gets so sore now after an hour of hard playing that I have to stop for a while. I’m also 49 and I know it’s just gonna get worse!

DMSO is a “universal solvent” that penetrates the skin really well. Pure DMSO is used as a local analgesic, but it’s also used to dissolve other medicines so they can penetrate the skin better. I’ve never tried it, so I can’t comment on it’s effectiveness.

Dimethsulfoxide used in liniment for veterinarian purposes. Bagbalm used for cows udders contains dmso . Shania twain uses it on her skin.

Now Bagbalm I have used… as a floatant for fishing flies. :smiley:

Bagbalm is kind of like the WD40 or Windex of the skin care world :slight_smile:

A few changes in my picking style and some isometrics with finger and thumb have helped me tremendously . I now am able to keep the pick straight and hold on to it so I do not wind up picking with the side or the back of the pick, exercise is the key here with older folks for sure.Just pressing the finger and thumb as about as hard as you can and releasing it until you get tired . This has also increased my confidence in playing for others . also stopped the bad habit I gained from who knows where but I kept hitting the body of the guitar and it would sound like a drum , I have now cured that also . As we age things change and so there fore we must take action to keep it even.

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Now Bagbalm I have used… as a floatant for fishing flies. :smiley:

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a bit of caution using DMSO , it is a chemical which will draw other items through your skin make sure you do it clean with no other chemicals or you could wind up poisoning your self . just a few bits of a poison would make you ill . using the DMSO you should be clean from all other items before you use it wash and rinse your hands first off and then do not handle any other chemicals until you have it applied and then wash it off later when it has absorbed using clear water .