Wax Bath Therapy, Compression Gloves and … stuff

January 12, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 4 Comments

Well I had my OT appointment yesterday and my first wax bath therapy treatment for the RA in my hands. Mmmmmmmmm … ‘heaven, I’m in heaven’ … or at least I was for about twenty minutes yesterday!

The theory behind the wax bath therapy is, as I understand it, that the hands, having been nicely warmed for a few minutes, are more flexible and stretchy, but that wears off fairly fast; however, over time, given several treatments, one is able to do more stretching of the hands and so lasting benefit builds up. Something like that, anyway.

The OT also gave me some compression gloves to try out, and has promised that if they work she will get me some fingerless ones so that I can actually work in them. Well, they do seem to help, if one day’s on and off testing counts for anything. Ugly as sin though. I told ‘the boss’ that if anyone knocked on the office door she would have to answer because I’d be too embarrassed. Hmm. Who was it that was ranting away about how we need to be more open about having RA and educate other people? Oops.

Must see if Funk Arthur has any more attractive versions, or look up the ones R.A. Guy was recommending. (Only of course now I can’t find his post!)

But back to the wax therapy. The OT (who’s lovely – we put the world to rights while I was sat doing nothing) said that I wouldn’t get any lasting benefit from this first treatment. Boy was she right! I woke up last night in agony – the worst hand pain I’ve ever had! I’m hoping this has nothing to do with the wax bath therapy and everything to do with the fact that the hot flushes have just started up again and the fact that I probably have very little methotrexate inside me after taking it last night and then having a massive stomach explosion!

I suppose I should phone the rheumy helpline and ask if I should take some more or something? My strapline for the year (which didn’t make it into my New Year’s Resolution list but sums that list up) is ‘be bothered’, but I couldn’t be bothered this morning, the way I was feeling!



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  1. Sorry to hear you’re feeling poorly. I hope it’s short-lived.

    Those wax baths are great! Hope you’re able to find a home version.

  2. Wax bath treatments are absolutely heavenly. I’m sorry you woke up in so much pain later, though. I hope it lessens soon.

    “Be bothered” sounds like a very good resolution to make.

  3. Hi Polly,
    Those compression gloves RA Guy was talking about are Thermogloves. I use them too — nearly all the time, now, I’m afraid. At first, they only had them in Spiderman Black, but I recently found some in a nice, ugly beige, too.

    I’m sorry you’re hurting so. And I hope, when you do call the rheumy helpline (WOW — I wish we had one of those!!) that they’ll give you instructions and perhaps a prescription for at least an efficient painkilling med as soon as possible.

    Oh — since you don’t have a paraffin bath at home, try holding your hand in a sinkful or basinful of the hottest water you can stand, for as long as you can. Works in much the same manner as the paraffin, but it’s even more inconvenient. ;o) Oh, well. Agonized hands are inconvenient, too….

  4. Things have eased on the hands front … and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t bother with the rheumy helpline! Today my elbows are hurting and I’ve got pins and needles down my arms, but hey, it’s Friday and I’m finishing early! ;o)

    Good idea re the hot water – thanks for the tip. Gave it a try last night – not as comforting as wax, but just as effective.

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