At the EDS conference last weekend, I noticed almost every woman from 10 to 50 wearing these cool silver rings. I asked someone, a gorgeous teenager who was rocking them out, where she had gotten them. She explained that they were actually finger splints for the treatment of subluxations caused by EDS.
I have spent my life enduring aching pain in my knuckles. I have always cracked them, much to the chagrin of my mother and my piano teacher. The explanation that I could feel my fingers almost dislocating and I was merely realigning my joints did nothing to stop the irritation to them. But I saw every other kid doing it, so I thought nothing of it. Nevermind, I thought, that I could bend my fingers back so they laid against the top of my forearms (a "trick" that simply causes too much pain to perform willy-nilly these days) or do this with my thumbs:
I decided to check out these cool silver rings, so I had a fitting. The company is nothing more than a brilliant woman with arthritis who had an ingenious idea, her husband, and their son Jesse. While Jesse was fitting me, I asked him, "Isn't it annoying to have to take these all off to crack your joints?" He laughed and said, "That's the whole point; you don't have to." Frankly, I thought he was full of it. After a lifetime of painful knuckle cracking, I did not believe for a second that something that looked like badass jewelry could stop the nonstop habit/treatment/hobby that had become such a constant part of my life. But, as the fitting went on, I noticed that I was only having to crack the fingers with no rings on (it was an easy experiment, as the cracking is usually required about once every 90 seconds).
Long story short(er), these rings have changed my life. I do not think that the sweet family at the tiny Silver Ring Splint Company in Charlottesville, VA have ANY idea what a juggernaut they have on their hands. When word gets out about these things, that family - if all is just and they don't get scooped on a patent - will be rich.
If there is anyone you know with loose or arthritic joints, I cannot recommend these rings highly enough. They come in a variety of types/treatments, and they even make them in gold and jewels! There is a range of prices, but they are sterling silver jewelry prices, not outrageous medical equipment prices. Having purchased their swan neck and boutonniere varieties, I now cannot wait to be fitted for their rings for my lower joints, like the EDS-specific splint and this MCP splint:
When you put up with something like this for your whole life, you just get used to it. Now I'm getting used to not having pain for the first time ever, and it is nothing short of a miracle.