Heberden's help?

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Labelle
Labelle Member Posts: 4
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:04 in Living with arthritis
Hello! I'm new here and that's because in the last year I have very rapidly developed heberden's nodes which are extremely painful as they develop and are deforming my fingers. I've read it's hereditary and mostly women and sure enough, my mother has them but I'm only 59 and she started them around 70! I also have arthritis in the base of my thumbs, which are greatly helped by wearing Epitact supports at night (I would recommend them).
My twisted index fingers feel better when I put a splint on them for a short while with lollipop stick and tape! Not very scientific. Does anyone know if anything like this exists? Or has any other suggestions for relief? thank you so much in advance.
Labelle

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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi and welcome,I've completed a search for finger splints and found many - having no experience of them I cannot recommend any but I'm sure there are users who will be happy to share their experiences,if we can help at all just ask.
    Al
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Labelle and welcome from me too.

    I do have these nodes but I've had them for years and they are no longer painful. As for finger splints, why not ask your GP to refer you to an orthotist as I know some on here have had good results from them. Mind you, arthritis does make us inventive, doesn't it :D
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • crinkly1
    crinkly1 Member Posts: 156
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Heberdens nodes are no respecters of age! Mine started developing in my early forties and, thirty years on, have been accompanied by Bouchard's nodes and are more unsightly but less painful although my hand function is somewhat reduced.

    If you want to try and prevent further deformity approaching your GP is definitely the way to go, as SW says. I was never offered any treatment - but never asked - and now wish I'd been proactive so I hope your determination will lead to effective support.
  • Labelle
    Labelle Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you all. My GP told me there was "nothing I could do about them"!! However, it was she who gave me the Epitact name for the thumb supports, so she IS aware of things to help. I'm terrified by all the stories on here of people's pain, but two of you have mentioned this stops at some point, although leaves you deformed. Is that right?
    Thank you
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    That was the case for me, Labelle, but I have both RA and OA and I'm not 1005 sure what arrived or happened as a result of what.

    My take on all supports is that they help to ease the pain for a while. I've never considered whether or not they stop things such as Heberden's nodes happening. I'd presume not but I'm not a medic. Better ask the experts.

    One thing I do know, though, is that arthritis can't stop us enjoying life. As the old song goes 'You have to accentuate the positive'. There are always positives :D
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • crinkly1
    crinkly1 Member Posts: 156
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I have OA only and wouldn't say that the pain in my hands has completely stopped but I remember the morning when I woke up and suddenly realised that it was much less. That was a very precious moment!

    Over the years the nodes have become larger, making the joints stiff and the pain seems to be limited to the fingers/thumbs I am using at the time. I've always tried to keep using my hands as much as possible to retain function and no longer need to take pain-killers on a regular basis although a small amount at night encourages a decent level of sleep.

    One becomes accustomed to a degree of underlying pain but, long term, things are not as bad as I expected and I hope you find the same.