There's no mystery to Finger Joint Pain.
And for the most part, depending on your situation, it is totally reversible.
The causes of joint pain in the fingers are few and understandable.
The reasons for ongoing finger pain are just as understandable.
The progression of ache and pain is predictable. And if you know what to do about finger pain, and if you're motivated and willing to spend a little bit of time and effort on it, chances are VERY high that you can get back to a finger pain free life.
Both the young and the old are affected by finger joint pain.
Young and Old
There are only 3 main causes of finger joint pain.
#1. Tight Muscles and Connective Tissue #2. Auto-immune response from Gluten Intolerance (or other food allergy) #3. Nutritional deficiency #4. Inflammation
Notice that I didn't say osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis, or even impact injuries. Those aren't CAUSES. Those are labels, names, descriptions.
If you want to get rid of the pain in your finger joints, you need to know WHY they hurt.
Tight Muscles and Connective Tissue
Muscles get tighter and tighter over time. The muscles that control the fingers turn into tendons. Those tendons cross the finger joints (and even the wrist joints) and attach to the fingers.
Guess what happens when those muscles get tight and stay tight? They compress the finger joints.
Connective tissue is a web that integrates seamlessly with EVERYTHING in the body. As muscles get tight, connective tissue shrinkwraps.
Guess what happens when connective gets tight, pulls in all directions, and stays tight? Finger joints get compressed.
So you're sleeping at night and your finger joints are getting compressed, irritated, inflammed, etc.
This is part of the Tendonitis dynamic.
It's also a core component of the Pain Causing Dynamic.
Basically, over time, your joints get more and more irritated, then the body responds with inflammation and pain enhancing chemical, and it goes downhill from there.
Osteoarthritis is the result of this mechanism. As the joint grinds on itself overtime, there is build up of tissue and pain.
* If you've injured your hand or forearm, this tightening is happening.
* If you are active with your hands, this tightening is happening.
* If you have pain in the joints of the fingers, this tightening is happening.
* If you had an impact injury, strain or sprain of the fingers and/or wrist, this tightening is happening.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune response. Basically, the immune system is attacking it's body.
Why does this happen?
Gluten intolerance. This includes other food intolerances like to corn and what passes as 'dairy' these days.
Gluten (wheat, basically) is an inflammatory agent. Some people are more sensitive than others (something like 75% of Irish genetics is gluten sensitive).
Celiac disease is the far end of the specturm. Even if -you- don't have symptoms from being gluten intolerant, gluten is still an inflammatory agent.
It creates inflammation in the body. It also can give you Leaky Gut, which A. keeps you from getting all the nutrition from your food and B. leaks that nutrition through the wall of your guts.
The immune system attacks these foreign proteins, and thus you get an auto-immune response.
This can cause a lot of problems, including joint pain.
**** It's important to know that just because you have finger joint pain, that doesn't necessarily mean there's anything actually wrong with your finger joints.
If your finger joint pain is from a systemic issue like gluten intolerance, reducing or removing gluten from you diet can make the pain go away.
Keep in mind, though, that you also have muscle and connective tissue tightness happening progressively, and probably the factors below too.
The Standard American Diet is lacking in quality nutrition. That's why as a nation we're fat and unhealthy.
But that's a different conversation.
Specifically for the pain in your fingers, lacking a variety of different nutritional factors can and does result in finger joint pain.
One of the Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency is joint pain.
One of the symptoms of Magnesium deficiency is joint pain in the fingers. It also greatly adds to muscle tightness.
Did you know that Inflammation Causes Vitamin B6 Deficiency?
Maybe you're protein deficient (your brain just said 'No I'm not, I eat plenty'), maybe you're short on joint specific nutrition....
If you have Leaky Gut, if you're Gluten Sensitive, if your muscles are too tight (they are), then you're both lacking necessary nutrients and using up more than is ideal.
This can easily result in pain in the joints of the finger.
Calcific Tendonitis of the fingers falls into this category.
Inflammation makes muscles tighter, traps fluid in the area, and releases Pain Enhancing Chemical.
If your finger joint pain has been around a while, chronic inflammation causes to do some things that aren't so good for you.
It makes you hurt more and more, it makes things tighter and tighter, it uses up various nutritional components, etc.
It's a Downward Spiral of increasing pain and increasing tightness.
Inflammation in and of itself isn't bad, but it causes problems in the short and long run.
Depending on your situation, it's very possible that there's nothing actually wrong with your finger joints, and that all you have to do is get the pain enhancing chemical out to be pain free.
Even if you had an impact injury, strain or sprain, that 'injury' may be fully healed but the inflammation can still be in place years and decades later.
You still want to find out WHY inflammation is happening in the first place, but first thing's first....get rid of the pain.
Notice that all four factors above respond to each other with MORE of the same.
One factor causes the other factors. When one gets worse, they all get worse.
The reverse of that is true too....when one gets better, they all get better.
The reality is, you have finger joint pain because ALL OF THE ABOVE.
The body does not work in singularity. It ALL works together, and one thing affects everything else.
Your finger joint pain doesn't go away because the MECHANISM, once it gets rolling, really only goes downhill.
At a certain point, the nervous system CAN'T get you better. It's trying it's hardest, but it's -losing- the battle.
Probably your finger pain started as an ache, went away, came back, etc, until it got bad enough you started investigating. That's your body compensating and adapting and trying to take care of the body
But when your body starts losing, that's when you really start feeling it.
If you want to get out of finger joint pain, you need to get to work.
The question becomes, how interested are you in reducing your finger joint pain?
Here's what to do to treat finger pain, assuming that you don't have Wrist Tendonitis or some such.
For Muscle and Connective Tissue Tightness
Self Massage: Rub the tissue of your fingers, hands, and forearms, both sides, regularly and frequently until they soften up. It's kind of like tenderizing a steak....literally.
Be gentle though. Explore. Feels what's tight and what's not. Feel for spots that hurt, and spots that don't. Get familiar with your structures. Push the skin and deeper tissue in all directions, literally doing spot specific stretches.
Go ahead and do some LIGHT stretching too. Be sure to avoid sending any bad pain signal to the brain.
For Gluten Intolerance
Cut out ALL gluten for 60 days. Then have a pizza and see what happens.
Yep. It's that simple. Anything other than that and you're putting too much effort into it.
For more info, see: Kerri's Gluten Sensitivity Information
1. Get your Vitamin D level tested, and then get your level up to between 50-80 (ng/ml) ASAP.
2. Start supplementing with Magnesium. See: Magnesium Dosage
3. Investigate vitamins B6 and B12.
4. Eat more quality protein, including Bone Broth as the best Tendon Supplements
5. Good fats like Omega 3's from fish oil, flax seed oil. Coconut oil, raw organic butter, etc.
1. Ice Dip as described on the How To Reduce Inflammation page.
2. Try B6 and see if it helps. Research shows 100-200 mg/day is enough to both bring levels up and maintain levels.
3. Self massage as above.
4. Remove gluten from the diet, as above.
5. Increase overall nutrition, as above.
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