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Arthritis. Advice?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by bdickens, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. bdickens

    bdickens Member

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    I have developed severe osteoarthritis in the wrist of my dominant hand (left). My primary shooting interest is self-defense and my longtime carry gun has been a Glock 19.

    I probably will have to switch hands but before I go re-buy holsters or other things I wonder if anyone has any ideas about how it might be possible to keep using my left hand. Wrist braces? Different pistol (preferably a reliable caliber & not a peashooter)? Something I haven't thought of?
     
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  2. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    You really should see a good bone specialist to see if anything can be done for a real fix. Braces, cortisone shots, and pain relievers are a stop gap type of thing. Voice of experience speaking here.
     
  3. cheygriz

    cheygriz member

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    First see a doctor.

    Gun wise, a full size metal frame like the Beretta 92 or CZ75 series in 9MM has very little recoil, even with +P+ loads.

    Another option that I use is going to the range more often, but shooting fewer rounds per trip.
     
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  4. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    Consider a revolver which allows for different power options. I'm really liking the .327mag now as I can do 32 mag or .32 long in it and some .32acp. Gives you a solid practice option and then full power carry loads. Same can be done with a .357 of course which I like a lot but am leaning more towards the 32 family myself after decades of carrying a .357.
     
  5. Erief0g
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    Erief0g Contributing Member

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    CBD oil has truly helped my wife. Not the get high stuff. The .03 thc or less legal all fifty states.

    Spinal fusion, arthritis, etc.

    Has helped immensely.
     
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  6. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    Is it painful for you to shoot or is it primarily painful after a range session? Just curious. Wonder if operating the slide could aggravate things for you as well, in which case switching to a wheel gun for target practice might be good to rotate in and out of your practice to see if it helps.

    I can think of an alternate way to operate the slide so that it may or may not alleviate some of the strain on a particular nerve but I think shooting in general is going to be painful if you have worsening arthritis. I take advil and it works, aleve too.
     
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  7. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

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    The S&W Shield EZ .380 was specifically designed for people with hand strength/manipulation issues.
    That said, do see a good doc.
     
  8. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    I too suffered from osteoarthritis for the last 18+ years. Still do to an extent, but my pain is now very tolerable to the point I’ve given up, after years of wreaking my liver, kidneys, pancreas, and gall bladder, all the anti inflammatory and pain meds (Motrin, Celebrex, Mobic, Naproxen, Tylenol).

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2019.00141/full

    Yeah, it’s NOT a popular choice for most...and I was the biggest meat eater on the planet. But since eating an almost exclusively whole-food, plant based diet, most of the pains, all acid reflux, poor sleep, low T, and all of the labs that started taking over at 40 (17 years ago) are much improved.

    Try eating a whole food-plant based diet for a week...see how you feel. I guarantee if you do it, you will be amazed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
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  9. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Consider a 22LR pistol of conversion.
     
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  10. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

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    See a doctor.

    Start eating less meat and more fish and vegetables. Try veggies only every other day, Try CBD creams.

    Get a 9mm 1911. I have an STI Trojan in 9mm. It weights 42 ounces and has a 9 pound recoil spring letting me shoot very light loads. My carry gun is a Glock 19. It hurts to shoot more than 2 or 3 rounds. I pray that I will never have to shoot it more than 2 or 3 rounds.
     
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  11. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    Old remedy that works for me. Wear a copper bracelet on your wrist. There is a chemical reaction between your skin and the copper. Most importantly is it is inexpensive to try it.
     
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  12. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    You might want the opinion of a good rheumatologist as severe osteoarthritis just does not suddenly appear unless you have either traumatic injury (which is kind of self explanatory) or some sort of inflammatory arthritis spurring it such as rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis.

    Rheumatoid can usually be detected with a simple blood test but psoriatic requires that you have psoriasis first and a key tell for developing psoriatic arthritis is pitting in the fingernails (although not present in all cases). Another distinction is that rheumatoid generally demonstrates symmetry in attacks while psoriatic does not. E.g. both forefingers demonstrating inflammatory arthritis would tend to be rheumatoid and an attack on only one would usually be psoriatic. What happens is your immune system starts attacking your joints in inflammatory arthritis which can leave extensive damage in a short time frame before moving on to another part of the body to attack.

    One last thing, be careful of cortisone shots to the wrist as it is a delicate area and repeated cortisone shots there can damage it. Elbows and knees are less problematic that way.

    As far as firearms, one consideration if you want to stay in 9mm is that a few use the rotating barrel lockup such as the Beretta PX4 series and the older Cougar 8000 series. I believe that one of the Turkish companies make a full size one. These have milder recoil in 9mm as the rotating barrel lockup soaks up a bit more of the felt recoil impulse. But, I do believe that these are DA/SA but they could have made one in DAO I guess but do not know.
     
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  13. tcj

    tcj Member

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    When mine flares up I wear a brace. I reload and shoot pretty much bunny fart loads to minimize the pain. If it gets bad or I shoot a heavy caliber/stout load I will use gel cushioned gloves (made for mountain biking) which helps.

    But to be honest, heavier guns are less painful to shoot and other than 1 plastic (glock 17) all of mine are now full size steel guns.
     
  14. Meeks36

    Meeks36 Member

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    Something that helped me was going vegan. Bulging and herniated discs in lower back. Since switching to veggies pain is non existent. No more pain meds.
     
  15. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    I saw a doctor, he said yup, you got arthritis, next! He gave me two nice wrist braces, but other that that, not much he could do. The X rays showed that I have bone on bone in the base and second joint of both thumbs and gaps between bones in the wrist. A couple fingers too.
    The only thing that has helped has been wrapping my wrist with KT athletic tape.
    A while ago I was at the range I was shooting my USP 45 auto and the recoil started to get to me. Pains in the wrist. Wrapped my wrist with 2 pieces of the KT tape with good tension and was able to resume shooting with no more pain.
    Now I wrap my wrist every time I go to the range, or any time my hands bother me.
    Cutting the tape into 1" x 3" pieces and wrapping them around any painful knuckle relieves pain.
    I have a kidney condition that doesn't allow me to take any pain reliever other that Tylenol, so I try every mechanical remedy available.
    The KT tape is great. Not cheap, roughly 75 cents per strip, but it helps.
    Sleeping with the braces on also helps.
    Use 'RICE' therapy
    Rest
    Ice
    Compress
    Elevate
     
  16. bdickens

    bdickens Member

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    I'm pleased to see this has sparked a good discussion. There's a lot of good advice and I really appreciate it.

    Most of it I'm already on top of. I've been to the doctor; that's how I know it's osteoarthritis. The way my wife & I eat is already real close to the Mediterranean diet any way, so not much adjustment needed there. And I have been using a CBD balm & it is like a miracle drug. I rub it in and for a while the constant pain almost vanishes. Of course, if I move it wrong it still feels like somebody stabbed me through the wrist!

    So, I think I should clarify: I'm mostly looking for advice on the hardware end. I pretty much have the medical end covered.
     
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  17. bdickens

    bdickens Member

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    Oh, and to add: I haven't been shooting in WAY too long. Since long before the pain drove me to the doctor. So I don't actually know for sure if shooting will be excruciatingly painful or not. I keep thinking I need to go to the range & find out but am hesitant to because I don't want someone to flip out if I drop my pistol.

    Grip strength isn't an issue for me, but sudden sharp movement of my wrist is. I can open a door or pick up a coffee cup at the wrong angle and it feels like somebody stabbed me through the wrist. But I can pick up fairly heavy things no problem.
     
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  18. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    On another forum, one of the competition shooters, who's wife is a 50+ year old competition shooter and high end athlete, complained of arthritis pain in her arm (tennis elbow essentially) from high round count shooting. She is a long time Glock shooter who shoots a G34 in competition and carries a G27 or G19 depending on the circumstances, but claims to have found pain relief by switching to a SIG P320 for competition.

    He, and she, are unsure at this point whether it is the recoil impulse or grip angle difference that has relieved her pain, or perhaps something else unrelated, but they seem to think it is changing to the P320 from the G34 that relieved the pain.
     
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  19. murf

    murf Member

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    unload your pistol; grip the pistol and push it against a wall (any kind of flat, vertical surface) to simulate recoil; adjust your grip if you have pain and try again.

    teach yourself to shoot with the other hand is a good idea even if you can overcome this obstacle.

    luck,

    murf
     
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  20. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

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    Practice with light loads, and rest between sessions.
     
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  21. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

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    I have serious arthritis in my right wrist. I shoot right handed. I have the same issues as PO2 Hammer.

    Don’t run out and sell your Glock and buy a metal framed gun. It will not make much of a difference between your Glock or a CZ75 or a Browning Hi-Powet, etc. Don’t believe me? Go rent them and find out.

    Try shooting two handed and place the index finger of your right hand (you said you’re left handed) on the front of the trigger guard of your Glock to help with recoil. It makes a BIG difference. The Glock trigger guard is perfect for that.

    Ohen Cepel has a good recommendation also regarding trying a revolver. You do not get the wrist jarring reciprocating action from a revolver that you do with a semiautomatic. You still get recoil but it doesn’t feel as dramatic.

    Also, start practicing with your other hand and do not be discouraged by your results. It’s like learning to shoot all over again, which makes it a fun challenge.

    Good luck with your wrist. I hope you find a way to shoot without injuring yourself further.
     
  22. jstert

    jstert Member

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    a gentle return to regular shooting practice calls for a decent 22lr handgun. i am recoil averse, love the uber reliable ruger sr22, taking it and a naa mini 22lr with cv revision grips on my travels to plink and ccw (no caliber flame wars please). a single action ruger bearcat would be useful too, shooting it two handed with the weak hand cocking the action. i don’t know how o.p.’s unfortunate medical issues relate to handling this or any particular semiauto pistol or revolver but i would stay away from centerfire until matters are sorted out.
     
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  23. stonebuster

    stonebuster Member

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    I have severe inflammatory RA in both hands, fingers and wrists. I used to shoot 9mm and 357 mag @200 rounds weekly. Now I shoot every two weeks shooting 100 rounds of 22lr in my Single Six revolver first then 50-75 38 spl(or 9mm) instead of 357s. I also use a padded bicycle glove that helps. I'm trying not to do more damage by limiting my range sessions and shooting lower recoiling calibers in heavier/bigger guns. I've found I'm getting more out of my range sessions and wasting less ammo shooting less. Good luck.
     
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  24. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    I am guessing that the stabbing pain is probably bone spurs in the joint. I have that issue except I have them in most every joint.
     
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  25. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    32 S&W long has barely more recoil than 22lr. Revolvers that will shoot it are plentiful.
     
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