I have mentioned before that kinesiology tape is one of my go-to’s to try and alleviate break through pain (like here when I used it for migraine relief) and yesterday was an attempt at a new but at the same time old taping method.
The pain in my right hand has been slowly getting worse over the last week or so. Not just cold and stiff, a gnawing inner pain that on occasion sends shooting agony all the way up to my elbow….fun right? Unlike last time this happened and my middle finger’s middle joint grew to the size of a golf ball and landed me in Emergency, the pain isn’t accompanied by overwhelming swelling, and it’s all through my thumb, pointer and middle finger, hand and wrist (sometimes everywhere all at once and sometimes bouncing around like PONG from place to place almost). It had gotten to the point that my stupid hand was keeping me from sleeping at night, not to mention not able to function properly during the day.
The last thing I want to do is rely on double doses of breakthrough meds long term or risk having to take another trip to the hospital, enough was enough, it was time to try something a little different. Last time the tape worked wonders to support my finger while the swelling went down and it eventually wasn’t locked up, even my doctor was surprised how fast the healing time was from when I put it to 3 days later when it fell off (after a baby oil incident). While it’s a different problem and type of pain, it was worth a try to see if using the tape would aid with support and alignment and of course the pain.
I decided to try using my original method and add wrist support at the same time. With extra sharp craft scissors I cut out one long piece and tried my best to cut the top 1/3 into equal 3rds, then two smaller pieces (they should be the same size…. but I was being anal about keeping my roll at equal measurements). I then trimmed the edges around each end, this part is super important if you want kinesiology tape to have any chance of staying on for a few days.
I tore and removed a small portion off the tip of each 3rd on the top and attached them to the tops of my middle finger, pointer finger and thumb. It’s hard to finangle but leaving the rest of the backing on helps to not run into the tape sticking to itself while trying to manage positioning right. In hindsight I should have asked Mr. Mango for help here, it really is easier to get someone else to do it, especially when my left hand isn’t acting so great lately either.
At this point I slowly removed the backing off the rest of the ‘fingers’ and applied pressure down each as I went and pulling the tape at about 80% tension, positioning it along the joints and down towards the wrist ( this was a lot easier last time when it wasn’t my thumb involved). It’s easy sailing after that point still putting 80% tension down the rest of the hand and past the wrist until securing the end with no tension at all.
If it was just my fingers causing the problem I would have stopped here.
Here I got Mr. Mango’s help. Again with 80% tension he applied one of the smaller bands over the top of my wrist (flexing down) and the other on the bottom of my wrist (flexing up). It may look tight in the photo but the swelling died down within half an hour and the tapes elasticity evened out.
Unlike for the migraine, it took a little while for the relief to come. At first it just felt awkward and cold, but when the relief came, it was…. relieving?
Not only did having some support on the joints help with pain when moving but it improved my grip enough I was able to lightly grip things again and didn’t have searing pain when i put weight on any of my hand.
It is now a day later and I’m happy to say other than some fraying on the sides of the fingers, it has not only held up but it’s helped immensely. I won’t lie, it still feels like a dull pain, almost like a sore muscle after a workout and I still can’t carry much of anything, but it has made it much more bearable to manage day to day tasks. It’s not like I expected a miracle cure, I don’t think any of us who deal with chronic pain do, so somewhat better is still a great improvement.
I am hoping it will last on until Wednesday (that would make it over 3 days) and am interested to see if the pain returns the second I take it off or if using the tape managed to fight it off for now.
Seriously I have to get my hands on more of the stuff, it’s turning out to be a great alternative solution for a lot of different aches and pain that the lupus related arthritis and nerve pain/vasculitis are creating.