We heard from two Frosties who agreed to let us share their strategies for dealing with Raynaud’s in our Spring 2022 Member Tips post.

Spring 2022 Member TipsExtra Long Coat Sleeves Provide Added Layer of Warmth

Juliet in the UK tells us that wearing a coat with sleeves reaching down to the end of her fingertips makes a big difference in providing shelter from cold air drafts and wind chills.

She discovered this idea by accident.  Here’s how it happened:

“I discovered it by accident when borrowing a man’s waterproof cagoule (British term for a lightweight, weatherproof raincoat), having arms too long for me. It helped so much that I bought myself a man’s one (because they have longer arms than women’s) in a size bigger than my own winter coat…So I wear the cagoule as a windcheater/hand-protecting outer layer. I can’t stress too much what a difference it’s made this winter compared to last winter!

This system is so effective, AND practical (i.e. with respect to pushing the waterproof sleeve back when I want to use my hands; also being able to hold shopping bag handles inside the protective cagoule sleeve, fully covering my gloves hands), that I even think some people might wish to consider having the sleeves of their outerwear lengthened for this purpose. Either that or buy a second, larger second, outer layer as I have. It’s also relatively inexpensive compared to buying heated gloves, which I had been considering.”

This strategy doesn’t mean gloves aren’t needed, but it does reduce the number of layers Juliet requires.  Before this discovery, she wore 4 layers of gloves outdoors.  With the longer sleeves, she can now cut the layers in half.  And while she doesn’t mention indoor benefits, I can see how it would help provide extra protection when grocery shopping in the refrigerated or frozen food section:  Instead of grabbing a pair of gloves, a Raynaud’s sufferer could just cover up with the extra sleeve fabric already handy.

It seems like a simple concept, but one that might not occur to most Frosties.  Juliet hopes others might benefit from her experience.  Thanks for sharing, Juliet!

Spring 2022 Member TipsInfraHelios Laser Therapy

We’ve heard from a few Frosties that low level lasers (LLL), also called non-thermal or cold laser treatments, have helped with healing their digital ulcers.  Recently Constance in TN told us she’s had success using an Epoch heat laser device to help alleviate the pain and heal the sores associated with her Raynaud’s attacks.

Here’s what she shared with us:

“For months, I had been experiencing the worst pain in my fingers along with fingertip sores. I also had been having several attacks daily. The pain was so bad it made doing everyday tasks impossible. Just touching something with the tip of a finger would set me back for an hour or more while I waited for the pain to subside. I work from home and even typing was so painful I was reduced to using only two fingers, the only ones without sores on them. 

A friend of mine told me about a device made by Epoch Lasers. I was desperate for some relief, so went ahead and purchased their Infrahelios Healing light. I received it at the end of December and started using it daily. 

Slowly, I noticed an improvement in my pain level and started to see my sores healing. I also noticed that the pain of arthritis in my thumb joints was decreasing. After about 3 weeks of use, I realized that I was able to type again with all my fingers. Over the next few weeks, I was able to go back to doing normal everyday tasks. 

I admit, I was skeptical about whether the device was really helping or if it was more of a placebo effect because I was so desperate for help. But, due to a lost bag when traveling, I was without the device for 10 days. I realized then how much the device had been helping me because the pain in my fingers and thumbs was increasing and the number of attacks was also increasing again.”

We’re not very familiar with the laser devices on the market, but did find some information comparing the device Constance used to the cold therapy devices we’ve heard about from other Frosties.  The cold or low-level laser devices emit lower-level power (hence the name), so their beams need to be well focused against just the right spot for long time periods – a good practitioner can achieve this focus.  The Epoch device emits a higher powered beam to achieve cell stimulation deeper down into the tissues.  In addition to the healing process, the warmth it generates is comforting to the patient and can trigger improved vasodilation for improved blood flow into the targeted area to further help with healing.

Keep in mind Constance isn’t stating that the device reduced her Raynaud’s attacks – these devices may help with joint pain and can potentially speed the healing of digital ulcers or sores that Raynaud’s sufferers can experience, but they aren’t positioned as devices that can cure the disorder.

We appreciate fellow Frosties sharing their Spring 2022 Member Tips with us.  What are your ideas?  What products work for you?  Write to info@raynauds.org, post them on our Facebook page or share them with us on Instagram or Twitter.

 

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