Hands and Fingers are important
We use our hands in a hundred different ways every day, and we just take it for granted. Cooking, making the bed, reading the newspaper, putting on make-up, typing on the computer, practicing your sport – your hands are working for you nearly every minute of every day of every week, and you don’t think much about them or give them any TLC.
When your hands hurt, it reminds you that like every other part of the body, they are needing some care and attention. If your finger joints are arthritic, then it should be a daily exercise with no compromise. After all, what would you do if you couldn’t hold a toothbrush or open a can of beans in the kitchen or play the musical instrument that earns you a living?
Hands and fingers are important, so what should we be doing to help?
Cartilage and Synovial Fluid
The end of every bone in the body is wrapped in cartilage. It is an important structural component. At birth, and while we are still in the baby stage, we have about 300 bones. As babies with cartilage that is flexible rather than bone which is brittle, we can suck our own toes, something that some of us wish we could do for all of our lives. However, over time and with the help of calcium, the bones fuse and the numbers decrease until as adults, we have 206 bones. They are all wrapped at the ends with cartilage. It’s a connective tissue that we can find in the joints between fingers, elbows, knees, ends of the ribs, between vertebrae in the spine and even in the ears and nose.
To stop the joints rubbing together we have a lubricant in our bodies. It’s known as synovial fluid. It is important to keep it in good condition as it’s the engine oil, the lubricant in the body. In a way, it’s a bit like oiling the hinges on a squeaky door that were dry and rubbing against each other, or the engine oil that stops metal parts that rub against each other, from wearing out.
Synovial fluid is a clear to pale yellow. It can be found in every joint in our bodies. Using finger joints as an example, it is there to allow the bones that make up the joints, slide past each other, without causing damage to the bone ends. It is a slip membrane that reduces friction and resistance, wear and tear when you bend (move) your finger (or any other) joints over and again many, many times every day.
Synovial fluid provides nutrition to the cartilage on either end of the bones of the joint. It moves into the cartilage when a joint is resting, and moves out into the joint space when the joint is active. Thus, if we are involved in vigorous exercise such as weight-lifting, gymnastics or playing rugby, or indeed if you have a hard, manual job, then much more of the lubricant is forced out; but a joint that is not given the time to recover, is the reason why we feel stiff and sore after exercise.
Can you help with enervation?
What on earth you may ask, is enervation? Is it safe? Does it hurt? Does it require special equipment? Well the answer to all of this is “no”.
- Using the thumb joint of the left hand as an example, place the thumb onto the index finger on the right hand to support it. Then place the thumb of the right hand on top of the left thumb. (see sketch B).
- Press reasonably firmly so that the right thumb grips the skin on the joint under it. Then using the thumb of the right hand, start to make some small circular motions over the spot on the joint that you are holding, while staying on the same spot on the joint. In a way, you are moving the skin over the joint, which in turn moves the cartilage and enervates the synovial fluid under it, encouraging the flow of fluid into the joint and releasing anything that is stuck.
- We need to work our way around the whole of the thumb joint, so move the thumb a little to a new position to the right (or left) of the position that you started at on the thumb joint and repeat the enervation process.
- Repeat the change of position until you go around the whole circumference of the thumb joint and until you return the point that you started from.
- Then repeat the process with as many finger or thumb joints that are causing pain. Use another finger if you find it difficult using your thumb.
Don’t worry if when you do this exercise you find it nips (is painful) or uncomfortable. If you leave the joint for a while ( a few minutes) and then go back and try again, you will find that the pain has eased as the cartilage has been released.
You should find that it is really good if you perform this exercise daily. It can be done as you sit watching TV or travelling as a passenger in a car, on the bus or train.
An Added Bonus
Use some SkinLikes Joint Ease: This product is useful or every joint in the body – and especially so now that the winter months are upon us. Getting into the habit of applying a little Joint-Ease and massaging it into the joints after you have enervated is an added bonus. The essential oils in the lotion will work a miracle, and deep down at a microscopic level, they will reduce the inflammation and pain while improving the mobility. It won’t work if you keep it in the bottle, so why not make it part of your daily routine. After a few days of enervating and applying lotion you should find that the joints are much easier to move and far less painful. If you can find a friend to do the enervation for you – or you can do it on each other, then all the better. Apart from anything the Joint-Ease as with all of the SkinLikes products is a great moisturiser for the skin.
Vitamin C: A daily dose of ‘five-a-day’ fruit or vegetables will help your body build collagen – the connective tissue in the body. You don’t need a supplement if you have the five-a-day as the body will simply excrete the excess vitamin C that it doesn’t need. However, vitamin C is so important to us and daily dosage will increase life expectancy as well.
If your Joints are Arthritic
Arthritis can cause people to lose fluid in the joints and when this happens, sometimes, doctors will inject a lubricant called hyaluronate, which provides up to six months of relief. After that, a series of injections every six months to a year will be suggested. If that doesn’t work, or stops working, then the next step for most doctors is to suggest possible joint replacement. But they know nothing of enervation.
We know that in the beginning, when using the enervation process, if you have arthritic joints it can be painful, so the answer then is to take it easy. Be gentle with yourself. But gradually as the days go on, you will see that the pain eases.
So, there you have it – some simple things to do that will help keep the joints in your fingers, stronger and more pain-free than ever before, while the cost in all of this is just a few pence a day. Why don’t you have a think about it?
Oh, and last but not least. Our own bodies make synovial fluid, so it is important to keep drinking water and other fluids as part of this, all through the day.