Stretching adhesions

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Level 4 Valued Member
I suppose general flexibility work involving stretching does this by default but does anyone have any first hand experience with stretching adhesions for medical conditions ?

I was experiencing a lot of pain in my hands & elbows for quite some time, it was partly from complications arising from Ross River virus and I had something else going on that I'd just put down to aging and miles on the clock so to speak.

Then my mother sent me an email about one of my aunties who was suffering from Dupuytren's contractures of the hands. She sent me a few pics where her fingers were permanently contracted and she had nodules forming on the tendons in her palms, Apparently my grandfather suffered from it as well but he never spoke of it or sought any treatment.

Then I looked at my hands and my fingers were permanently flexed at rest, much like I was holding a small rod less than 15mm diameter. I also had nodules forming on the tendons. It was very painful and even holding a coffee cup was difficult because of the excessive tension all the way from fingers to my elbows.

I googled it for days and most of the treatments seemed very invasive and borderline barbaric in some cases for what just seemed like adhesions and excessive tension in the flexor tendons.

So I used myself as guinea pig and treated it myself. This is not meant to be medical advice, nor do I recommend anyone try this at home. I'd even suggest that you could do some serious damage if you were to attempt this yourself.

I began with some simple extension stretches where I just put my hand on a table and leaned slightly forward until I felt some minor discomfort and then used A RIS type of stretch where I waited out the tension and increased the stretch. That seemed to give me some minor relief but the next day nothing had changed and I was back to square 1.

Then one night after too much vodka I got a bit more aggressive than normal and pushed the stretch to the point of pain and beyond. Then I felt a pop which hurt a bit, so I stopped and evaluated my tendons to make sure I didn't rupture anything. There was a bit of pain but everything worked fine, seemingly a bit better than before the stretch.

The next day everything was fine and there seemed to a marked improvement in the finger where I'd felt the "pop". So I tried again the next night without the vodka and I wasn't up for that sort of thing sober.

Then the next time I had vodka I decided to try again on several target fingers to see if there was anything to it or if the first finger that seemed better after stretching was just an anomaly. So I focused on one hand and "popped" all the adhesions while forcing the fingers into hyper extension and just waited it out as long as I could, some fingers "popped" 3 or 4 times.

The next day the hand I'd done it to was a little bit sore but my hand was now holding a resting position where it looked relaxed and fingers were only flexed slightly - like a normal hand. The next day it was basically cured. I've since done it to the other hand and now it's fine too.

If it is a genetic condition I expect it will return over time, but it's got my hands working better than they have in years. If it happens again I can always buy another bottle of vodka and try again.


Level 7 Valued Member
Beats foam rolling.
You should open some group classes.
Is this a prehab or rehab therapeutic intervention?
Some further research is required.....I'll look into it.

I've got a cyst on my thumb tendon which gets aggravated from time to time.
A common medical intervention in the past was to get totally hammered and whack it with a bible. So you're onto something.......may give it a go!


Level 9 Valued Member
You forgot the pickle juice. (and I would have gone for tequila for a procedure like this)
But seriously... I know of one other forum member who had Dupuytrens Contractures and had what I believe to be successful surgery.

I too have it on my right hand. I have consulted two doctors (one from Australia by the way), and both offer differing opinions. One recommends surgery (the hand surgeon... go figure). The other, needle aponeurotomy. It's mostly not causing any problems and appears to be somewhat stable, so I am holding off on getting anything done.

Both sources mentioned that often times this is seen in people from Northern European descent, or in alcoholics. Apparently Ronald Reagan suffered from it.


Level 4 Valued Member
I've watched a few youtube vids of the needle aponeurotomy @offwidth . That procedure seemed like one of least traumatic of several procedures I investigated. I was almost committed to go down that path myself until I started experimenting.

I dare say that's where I'll end up but the stretching has turned out to be a good interim measure for me. Before I started stretching I would place my hand flat on a table and have about 5 deg extension in my fingers (forced to the point of pain with the other hand) past the horizontal plane, even less on some fingers.

After stretching and "popping" the adhesions I now have about 80 deg extension on any individual finger past the horizontal plain & almost 90 deg on both forefingers. That extension is assisted with the other hand and done under a substantial load/stetch but it is much better than it was before and my hands just work so much better.

The pops that I spoke of could easily be mistaken for binding of the joint capsule between the proximal phalanges and the metacarpals. So to prevent damage to those joints I put as much tension on the phalanges as I push them into hyperextension as I can. That seems to separate the joint and eliminate any pinching pressure at the back of the joint.

As I said before this is not the sort of thing anyone should try at home. I've been unlucky enough to have severed several tendons & ligaments and I've also mashed quite a bit of cartilage, so I have a bit more feel for what's going on in a joint when pushed to its limits than many people do.

Don't try this at home kids.


Level 4 Valued Member
Man you have had more dings and dents than Evel Knevil
I also have more screws & pieces of metal in me than a Meccano tractor.

That guy was one of my heroes when I was growing up. He inspired me to attempt to bunny hop 14 garbage bins on my dragster that I'd converted into a BMX bike. Not surprisingly the landing was very similar to the way Evel landed on some of his jumps. I cleared 13 bins and clipped the last one with the back wheel.

The bones poking out of my arm wasn't a pretty sight.
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Level 9 Valued Member
Here is a photo from last year I took from the Snake River Canyon jump site.

I saw him live once when I was a kid. A successful 13 car jump I recall.
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