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Dupuytren's and weight lifting
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02/14/2013 08:00
mountain_runner 
02/14/2013 08:00
mountain_runner 
Dupuytren's and weight lifting

I am 46 years old. I was recently diagnosed with Dupuytren's contracture. I was hit by a car on my bicycle in late 2011, flew over the handle bars and broke the fall with my left palm. Landed hard enough to break forearm, ribs, and freeze shoulder. Several months following the crash, I started to notice a nodule growing on my left palm, then another next to it. They slowly grew. I saw a hand doctor as my hand wasn't healing quick enough and showed him the palm.
The diagnosis was devistating to me. I had hoped to lift weights to get my upper body back into shape, but the doctor dissuaded me from that course of action. My question is: how can i get and retain muscle mass in my upper body if I cannot lift weights? Any work around that you guys know of that would allow me to lift weights and not exaserbate my small nodules? I am really only in the beginning stages of the disorder, but I do not want to hasten the progression. Please advise me.

    02/14/2013 08:37
    spanishbuddha 

    Administrator

    02/14/2013 08:37
    spanishbuddha 

    Administrator

    Re: Dupuytren's and weight lifting

    There are weight lifters on this forum who have continued despite Dupuytren's. Wearing good padded gloves and icing afterwards may help. I play tennis, and wear gloves when playing, and also performing (light) weight exercises for the arm and shoulder. Similar with cycling, I use a good padded glove. Try some modification to your routine, and I think you will know if you are making it worse or aggravating it. So try and live your normal life with some modest modification.

    Maybe an alternative option for you is to use Velcro wrist cuffs, with weights or rubber bands, or something along those lines.

    What treatment options are you considering, if any? This site explains your main choices: do nothing wait and see, radiotherapy at the right time, NA or Xiaflex if there is a moderate contracture, and surgery.

      02/14/2013 12:18
      Seph 
      02/14/2013 12:18
      Seph 

      Re: Dupuytren's and weight lifting

      mountain_runner; I am 58 and have had DD and LD for 40 years (Both hands both feet). I have had surgery on one hand, surgery on one foot and NA 3 times one hand and twice the other. I continue to be active in the gym and pride myself on being able to lift the full stack on all weight machines in the gym. I also play tennis 3 times a week.

      My view is that you should just carry on as normal. You are going to have this for the rest of your days and it will only get in your way to the extent you let it. So what if you aggravate the disease. If it grows get RT or NA. You say you are 46 and the disease was triggered by an accident. To me this suggests that your case is mild and you may well have nothing more than a few nodules form. If it contracts a finger get it released with NA. It takes 20 minutes and you can be back in the gym in two weeks.

      I now wear gloves for aerobic equipment in the gym (eg Rowing Erg & Cross Trainer) but not to protect my hands from aggravating the DD just to stop the blisters. As nodules form they get blisters and calluses and sometime cause a change in grip that causes other blisters. I wear gloves with this equipment but then take them off for the weight work. With tennis I don't wear gloves but I have a double grip so that I have a fat soft handle. Looks odd but it works for me. Without it I can get cramp in my fingers after playing for more than an hour.

      Just go for it.

        02/15/2013 13:13
        FreshthePain 
        02/15/2013 13:13
        FreshthePain 
        Re: Dupuytren's and weight lifting

        mountain_runner:
        I am 46 years old. I was recently diagnosed with Dupuytren's contracture. I was hit by a car on my bicycle in late 2011, flew over the handle bars and broke the fall with my left palm. Landed hard enough to break forearm, ribs, and freeze shoulder. Several months following the crash, I started to notice a nodule growing on my left palm, then another next to it. They slowly grew. I saw a hand doctor as my hand wasn't healing quick enough and showed him the palm.
        The diagnosis was devistating to me. I had hoped to lift weights to get my upper body back into shape, but the doctor dissuaded me from that course of action. My question is: how can i get and retain muscle mass in my upper body if I cannot lift weights? Any work around that you guys know of that would allow me to lift weights and not exaserbate my small nodules? I am really only in the beginning stages of the disorder, but I do not want to hasten the progression. Please advise me.

        It sounds like you have a torn palm.

        My advice is to listen to the doctor and give the hand a chance to repair itself
        before doing too much heavy straining involving your hand.

        Swimming would do plenty to keep your arms and chest naturally strong.

        You could try wearing one of these to get through the day without hurting
        your hand:




        There are exercise machines which you can use without pulling at your hands, such as
        chest machines where you use your arms instead of your hands

        THis hand exerciser looks promising too, its said that it:

        "Provides relief from osteoarthritis, flexor tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, joint stiffness, PDA thumb, Dupuytren's and tennis elbow"



        Edited 02/15/13 15:26

          02/15/2013 18:29
          Randy_H 
          02/15/2013 18:29
          Randy_H 

          Re: Dupuytren's and weight lifting

          m_runner,

          This disease take different courses for each of us and responds to different treatments differently. I whole heartedly agree with Seph in his refusal to let Dups restrain or control his life. At the same time I avoid unnecessarily stressing my hands because many of us can trace the beginning of the disease to that. You had an accident so it was not by choice. But now you know what trauma to the hand can do if you are genetically prone to this disease.

          I completed 50 minutest of intense weight training just an hour ago. I've done this for years with no effect on my disease as far as I can tell. I'm fortunate for it to be stable for now. If one wears gloves when lifting I don't see that as putting undo stress on the hands.

          (It would be interesting to know how many weight lifters there are among us, VS how many have chosen to avoid lifting.)

          You, however, are new to this disease so being cautious at the start makes sense. FreshthePain is right. If you swim that would be a great way to stay in shape while you give your hand a break and see what it's going to do. Get some of those swim training fins to keep you going. It's a great workout.

          There really is a good chance that you will never need treatment. There are a lot of people out there with nodules that wind up being a non-issue for them.

          Edited 02/15/13 20:32

            02/17/2013 07:41
            mountain_runner 
            02/17/2013 07:41
            mountain_runner 
            Re: Dupuytren's and weight lifting

            This is all really great advice. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the support.

            A few other questions:
            I take glucosamine pills everyday. I heard that they will increase the nodules? True?
            I take creatine monohydrate powder daily. Heard any reasons not to do this?

              02/17/2013 07:54
              spanishbuddha 

              Administrator

              02/17/2013 07:54
              spanishbuddha 

              Administrator

              Re: Dupuytren's and weight lifting

              I would stop taking the glucosamine as there is evidence that it is associated with Dupuytren's. I stopped on the advice of ProfS in Hamburg, and switched to cyder (sic) vinegar.

                02/17/2013 11:51
                Seph 
                02/17/2013 11:51
                Seph 

                Re: Dupuytren's and weight lifting

                I don't want to sound like a preacher but my view is "drop the supplements".

                For my part I wouldn't take the glucosamine or the creatine monohydrate powder. I use the gym to give my body a workout and I prefer that I get there naturally. Vary the exercise to deal with pain issues. Sore back work on gluts & abs. Sore knees work on gluts and quads, etc.

                An hour in the gym Saturday morning then 3 hours of tennis in the afternoon followed by a bottle or two of red that night and I can wake up with a few sore joints the next morning. This leads me to take a hand full or Nurofen most Sunday mornings but that is it. I stay away from all other artificial supplements and stimulants.

                Remember, with this condition, you need to watch out frozen shoulder and diabetes and you don't want to add anything that might accelerate their arrival.

                  02/20/2013 06:09
                  Randy_H 
                  02/20/2013 06:09
                  Randy_H 

                  Re: Dupuytren's and weight lifting

                  Seph,

                  While there is a link between diabetes and Dups this is usually couched in terms of an increased risk of Dups for those with existing diabetes.

                  "Dupuytren's contracture can be considered a complication of diabetes"
                  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9382632

                  I am not aware of studies that reverse this connection, saying that those with Dups have a higher risk of diabetes. That's a big difference. That would imply that there may exist a third condition that influences the risk of both diabetes and Dups. There may be, but I'm not seeing that in the literature.

                  The connection between Frozen Shoulder and Dups is clear, as they are different manifestations of the same issue of proliferation of rouge scar tissue. However, diabetes is essentially "insulin resistance" and the blood sugar increase that accompanies it. This apparently increases the risk of Dups as well a a host of other things.

                  But to say that having existing Dups is a marker for future diabetes that does not already exist is a new connection I am not aware of. Is there any data to show this reverse correlation, i.e.: that those with Dups are at higher risk of developing diabetes?

                    02/20/2013 07:32
                    Seph 
                    02/20/2013 07:32
                    Seph 

                    Re: Dupuytren's and weight lifting

                    Hi Randy; I understand your point that it may be those with diabetes are more likely to get DD but this does not mean that those with DD are more likely to get diabetes. However where there is a statistical connection I think it is wise to start checking all the other markers.

                    If it is that those with diabetes are more likely to get DD and the reverse does not apply this would suggest some sort of causal connection that does not sit well with the genetic link that seems to show up with many people with DD.

                    My thought process is built from anecdotal information picked up over the years. My thinking is that people who develop DD earlier in life tend to have a genetic connection. All the people that I know that fit in this category have other family members with the condition. For many years I thought that genetics was the complete picture but now it seems that injury, diabetes and simply old age might also trigger DD in some people.

                    The older we are it seems the more likely we are to get both DD and diabetes and mountain_runner has developed DD at 46 hence my comment as I was putting him into the second category.

                    Hope that makes some sense.

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