“How to beat aches and pains if you enjoy tropical fish”



by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit


Collecting tropical fish can be among the most rewarding and enjoyable activities.

Very few hobbies can surpass tropical fish collecting for the ability to relax and soothe you. Unfortunately, collecting tropical fish can also lead to PAIN!

Collecting tropical fish is a set up for neck pain. The long hours spent hunched over the tank as well as any time spent extending (bending your head back) can lead to neck strain. This causes muscle aches in the neck and shoulders. You can also bet headaches. So what do you do? Well, first, recognize that this is going to happen if you don’t take frequent breaks particularly if you hold your head in one position for a long time.

Your shoulders can also hurt. When you work with your arms held in one position… and especially if you work with your arms either above or below shoulder level, you can run into a problem called impingement syndrome. This is when your rotator cuff tendons get pinched. It’s a common problem. Specific stretching exercises for the shoulder before and after you do your chores should help. Also, make sure you take frequent breaks. Ice packs after you work sometimes help with the pain as do over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines.

Elbow pain is a common problem after any type of repetitive arm motion. The upkeep required for your fish can lead to a painful condition called lateral epicondylitis. This is a type of tendonitis that affects the outside part of the elbow. Stretching before you work can help as can stretching and ice after you play. Anti-inflammatory medicines, an elbow band, and physical therapy also can help. The treatment of choice for elbow tendonitis is platelet-rich plasma (PRP). This is a concentrate of a patient's blood that contains a large number of platelets, cells that are packed with growth and healing factors. PRP builds new tendon tissue versus the old treatment, cortisone, which weakens tendon tissue.

Hand and wrist pain is another common problem. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the median nerve into the hand gets pinched. This causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand. Treatment consists of physical therapy, a splint, and sometime injecting with steroid. In some instances, surgery is required. Different forms of tendonitis can also develop after repetitive activities. You can get trigger finger where the finger seems to stick. A painful tendonitis of the thumb can also be a result of any type of repetitive activity.

Another problem is infection. Marine water and the fins of certain fish can contain toxins that lead to serious infections.

Low back pain can come on from sitting too long in one place or by lifting and carrying heavy articles. Stretch before you lift or carry and also afterward. Use ice packs if you strain your back. Over the counter medication can sometimes help also. See your doctor if the pain is severe or doesn’t go away within a day or two.

General all around conditioning is important. Don’t neglect the aerobic conditioning.

Stretching and massage are two important areas of treatment to consider if you love to collect tropical fish.



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