Thursday, October 8, 2015


I've recently been diagnosed as having Dupuytren's Contracture also known as Viking's Disease. It's referred to Viking's Disease because it's most common in people of Northern European descent.

It's not life threatening but it can be inconvenient if you want to open a pickle jar. (I don't particularly like pickles so I should be okay.) There's no known cause and no known cure. The chief remedy seems to be surgery although I'm nowhere near that.

In my case, DC is presenting itself as small lumps on my palms just below my ring finger knuckle joints. They are visible between the two lines that run across my palm: the head lines and the heart lines. They are an inch, inch and a half, below the bottom of my ring fingers. They don't bother me at all. They are a benign thickening of my fingers' connective tissue. DC can happen in any finger, or in the toes, but so far it's just my ring fingers.

The thickening will generally continue which will cause contracture. Meaning, I will no longer be able to straighten those fingers out. That's when the surgery would come in.

My doctor told me that to prevent or slow the rate of contracture, I should stretch my palms and massage the lumps. Reading online, many tout the benefits of massaging with various oils - mainly magnesium or Vitamin E, or some combination. My theory, and the point of all this, is that it doesn't matter what, if anything, you massage them with so long as you do it regularly. Twice a day, I figure.

I have a lovely rose oil that I've been using in the morning and I have tried castor oil at night. (The latter worked well on my ankle which still has a lump from my street fight but castor oil can stain so you have to be careful how you use it.) Hand lotion will do the job. I've even thought about using olive oil. Why not?  I wasn't expecting any rapid results but was hoping that over time the lumps would appears smaller.

Even as I was formulating my theory about massage therapy, I stumbled across a new theory - hydrotherapy. We went to the hot tub earlier in the week and I put my hands over the jets and let the water massage my hands. After 15-20 minutes I thought the lumps looked smaller. Not significantly, but I thought I could see a difference. They continued to look ever so slightly smaller the next day too.

So my new theory is massage morning and night and get in the hot tub whenever possible. I'll let you know whether or not that works. For now, I'm still waving with all five fingers. (Or ten, if I'm feeling really enthusiastic.)

In the meantime, if you want to know more about DC, I found some interesting information at these websites:

The British Dupuytren's Society
International Dupuytren Society
Dupuytren Foundation

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