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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
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    238

    Default Workarounds for Arthritis in Left Thumb??

    I am having some issues with my left thumb...may be nascent arthritis and in spite of meds and massage, it is causing me trouble with pinching activities...like pulling frames from the hive.

    Has anyone worked with a condition like this and what tools or workarounds worked out for you...frame pullers may help me a lot, but I have never tried them. Do they work well? Are some better to use than others??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,217

    Default Re: Workarounds for Arthritis in Left Thumb??

    I'd have to be there to fgure that out. So, you can't grip w/ that hand? Not sure I understand.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Workarounds for Arthritis in Left Thumb??

    Mark, it is the pinching motion that is giving me trouble...to lift frames you must pinch with your thumb and fingers and I can't do that well with my left hand, particularly if the frame is heavy with honey stores. So it is really hard to get the frames lifted out.

    Full hand gripping is much better, but I cannot stabilize very effectively if the thumb has to do the stabilizing. So when I grasp or lift I often depend on gripping by pushing my fingers more toward the base of my thumb or palm.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,217

    Default Re: Workarounds for Arthritis in Left Thumb??

    Just imagining here, but, maybe yu could pry the frame up on oneen and get a cpl fingers under the end of the top bar tohold ity up. Then pry up the other end, psuhing the frame w/ the lef hand so it doesn't fall back down between the other fraes and then somehow grab the right end w/ the right hand and lift it out.

    Frame lifeters wold hepl you, if you had one. But you have to make sure the frames aren't stuck together on the bottom.

    This is a hard one. Not a major handicap, Bu it seems like a bothersme one. I haver sometimes wondered how I would work bee w/ a disability, loss of sight or loss o a hand. Peope do it.

    You'll figure something out. Draft some help?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Thumbs Up There is hope for your thumb!

    I have the same problem....In both hands! :-/

    The frame grip is helpful, without a doubt. Use the hive tool to get the frames apart enough to lift with the gripper, you just have to gently and slowly jostle the frame upward, until your other hand can assist. Then, you can use your hands to manipulate the frame as you wish -I also find the frames drawn without foundation more difficult to manage. As you replace the frame, the gripper helps get the frame back into position without slipping and causing an uproar with the bees (like when you drop the frame unintentionally as you place it back in the super -if you lose your grip frequently, then you know why I say this here).

    As to physical therapy....It hasn't been helpful to me, but there is therapy for it. Mostly centered around getting the thumb muscles to relax to get the natural range of motion back, then concentrating on strength after that. The injections (for pain) into the joint at the base of the thumb are horrific, but affective! I'm letting the bees sting my hands whenever they want....It is just as affective as the $200 shot every 90 days (and, hurts less).

    You may have carpal tunnel syndrome, or, cubital tunnel syndrome, or both. There is surgery for that. Those two surgeries made my grip worse by one third (from 155 pounds of grip to 98 in one fell swoop of the knife, would not do that again!).

    The more bulky the grippers, the better they will compensate for your loss of grip strength -like the fat pens for old people. My grippers are pretty bulky and I like them that way (bought in 1970's). The grippers handle the wooden frames more securely than the plastic frames, use wood frames with the grippers. HTH

    Best Regards,

    P.S. If you discover something I didn't mention here, let me know please.
    Added:
    P.P.S. I think that overuse of the hive tool will crush more bees than using the gripper.
    Last edited by Lburou; 08-04-2012 at 05:23 PM.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    642

    Default Re: There is hope for your thumb!

    I have some issues with the left thumb as well. I find the J hook hive tool can be hooked under the lug and quite securely lift one end of the frame while you lift and control the other end with the good hand. The frame gripper works but I would not use it for breaking frames loose as it seems to put a lot of strain on the side bar connection. I have also seen frames dropped when rotating them around for examination.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: There is hope for your thumb!

    This is strange, I have problems with my left thumb as well.... arthritis I believe. Over the past 7 years I've discovered bee stings to the left hand takes care of it pretty much. I do use frame grips. Invaluable, I think.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,372

    Default Re: There is hope for your thumb!

    I have arthritis in my spine at the C6-7 level and it causes pain in my fingers. I cannot grip well either. If it wasn't for my frame grip, I would be lost. Stings would only work for me if they could crawl in my spine somehow.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lake County Ill
    Posts
    377

    Default Re: There is hope for your thumb!

    Rather interesting to learn how many of us have the same problem. I take statins for high cholesterol and found out this was causing what I thought was arthritis. I now take an over the counter product to relieve the side effects.Have you tried using 2 grippers to lessen the use of your thumbs?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: There is hope for your thumb!

    I will give grippers a try...anyone got a favourite make/supplier?

    Regards,
    Janet

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lake County Ill
    Posts
    377

    Default Re: There is hope for your thumb!

    Most of the bee supplies places have them. Dadant, Brushy Mountain and others. I did notice a difference with the types of grippers. The claw part that grips the top of the frame is somewhat different. Look at the pictures and you will see the differences.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,372

    Default Re: There is hope for your thumb!

    I use the economy type with the round hooked grip ends. Works OK, and fits into the crack between frames fairly easy.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Libertytown, MD, USA
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Workarounds for Arthritis in Left Thumb??

    I'm not a doctor. Check this out for yourself and come to your own conclusion.

    In the 70's and 80's there was a product that you could buy over the counter called DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide). Lots of runners, probably other athletes also, used it to treat things like sprains. It sped up the recovery like nobody's business - days instead of weeks. It is a solvent. Still used in the horse racing industry I believe. There are different grades of the stuff. It is used as an industrial solvent. That grade doesn't need to be perfectly pure. DON'T EVER use that grade of DMSO. Anything in it or on your skin will make its way into your bloodstream. You can also get a pharmaceutical grade DMSO, but be absolutely certain that it is pharmaceutical grade. It is also available in different concentrations. Keep that in mind if you read about someone saying it has no effect. You may be interested in checking it out and discussing its use with a medical doctor. It can be used safely. It can also have serious consequences if used improperly. But, its very simple to use properly.

    Several links for your investigation:
    http://www.jacoblab.com/
    http://www.painweek.org/media/mediaf.../08/298-56.pdf
    http://www.dmso.org/articles/information/muir.htm

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