Is there a way to prevent Dupuytren contracture?

Two ways to look at Dupuytren prevention

In Dupuytren contracture the soft tissue (fascia) beneath skin of the palm, usually near the 4th and 5th digit, becomes thickened and shortened.  During progression of the disease shortened nodules and Dupuytren cords of collagen eventually cause the affected fingers to lowly pull down permanently toward the palm.

The cause of Dupuytren contracture remains unknown, but is primarily considered a genetic disorder that can be triggered by a variety of external factors.  With the genetic component in mind, it might be more realistic to think in terms of delay of onset or slowing of progression of the Dupuytren problem, rather than prevention.  However,  if one is skillful enough at avoidance of those known triggering mechanisms delay could be prolonged so well into the future that a potential hand contracture never develops.  Nonetheless, there are two ways to consider prevention of this disabling hand condition.

Dupuytren genetic predisposition

The most common opinion is that there is no way to prevent Dupuytrens because it is essentially an inherited or genetic condition passed down from parents to children, primarily affecting those of Scandinavian or northern European (U.K.) descent.  In Norway close to 30% of people over age 60 display Dupuytren hand disease, with males three times more likely than females to be in this group.  Inconclusive research has placed the dominant gene for Dupuytren contracture at chromosome 16q, although this has not been confirmed.

This apparently inherited susceptibility may increase the palmar fascia’s sensitivity to the cumulative effects of environmental exposure (trauma, liver disease, diabetes, etc.). Non-genetic causes of Dupuytren contracture are explained as eventually overwhelming the genetically weakened tissue due to intense and prolonged exposure.

Solely as a genetic disorder, Dupuytren prevention is not possible at this time. But from the standpoint of the environmental factors there is much a person can do to reduce the chance of developing a hand lump and subsequent contracture.

Avoidance of exciting factors

A second opinion about prevention of Dupuytren’s contracture is that avoidance of known precipitating biochemical stressors is a workable strategy, if not simply to delay its onset.   As mentioned above, trauma, liver disease, diabetes, cigarette smoking, etc., have been statistically linked to Dupuytren contracture for people who are genetically predisposed.  In these examples, purposeful avoidance decisions are a way to prevent the triggering of the genetic predisposition:

  1. Trauma – avoid work/hobby activities that might injure hands; use shock absorbing gloves it vibration of hands is unavoidable
  2. Liver disease; liver cirrhosis – do not drink alcohol, or at least keep consumption modest; avoid drug use whenever and however possible; be mindful of environmental toxin exposure (pesticides, cleaning chemicals)
  3. Diabetes – reduce refined sugar intake; increase complex carbohydrate intake; supplement diet with chromium and B6 to enhance carbohydrate metabolism
  4. Pulmonary disease – stop cigarette smoking and avoid second-hand smoke; attempt work and hobby activities in a clean air environment

Limiting exposure to known predisposing situations is an elemental Dupuytren prevention measure.

Prevention of Dupuytren contracture with at-home measures

Certain home treatments and stretching exercise for Dupuytren contracture of the involved fingers can restore a variable degree of hand mobility, depending on unique factors of each case, and as such can be considered important to prevention of Dupuytren advancement.  Daily Dupuytren stretching and massage is especially important if hand surgery has been done.  Twice-daily sessions of deep massage to the tissue immediately adjacent to the known nodule or contracture can be effective.  Carefully and gently stretching the fingers as far back into comfortable extension is also a good strategy, but it is essential to not be aggressive when doing this work.  Over time this can relieve tightness in the deep palmar tissue to maintain finer flexibility.

Recurrence of Dupuytren contracture occurs after hand surgery in a high percent of cases. Splints are used for eight to 10 weeks after surgery to help to restore hand function and prevent Dupuytren’s disease from recurring as quickly as it would otherwise.  By supporting the fascia of the palm and keeping the affected finger(s) straight at night during post-op healing, hand splints go a long way to assist recovery and prevent Dupuytren recurrence.

For more information about treatment and Dupuytren prevention:

>> Dupuytren Contracture Treatment – FAQs

>> How to start Dupuytren treatment with Alternative Medicine

>> Testimonials from Dupuytren Contracture Institute

Dupuytren’s Contracture and Cirrhosis: Chronic Liver Disease

Cirrhosis and liver disease as a cause of Dupuytren contracture

The predisposition and causation of Dupuytren contracture as a result of cirrhosis of the liver is not clear; more clearly established correlations exist:

  • People of Northern European (UK) and Scandinavian descent
  • Men rather than women; men are 10 times more likely to develop Dupuytren contracture between the ages of 40 and 60 years, after which the incidence rate increases for women later in life to become equal by 80-85 years
  • Workers who sustain constant micro-traumatic stress to the tendons of the hands (carpenters, bricklayers, rock climbers, jackhammer operators, etc.)
  • People over the age of 40; age as a factor increases as age increases
  • People with a family history (grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins)

Currently, unproven but interesting causes of Dupuytren’s hand contracture include diabetes, alcoholism, epilepsy therapy with phenythoin and liver disease.

A higher rate of Dupuytren contracture occurs in those with cirrhosis and related liver disease caused by alcohol abuse, as compared with those with cirrhosis and liver disease not associated with alcohol consumption.  It is important to note it is not alcohol consumption, per se, that appears to be a contributory factor for Dupuytren contracture but the abuse of alcohol intake, especially over an extended time.  Further, to keep contributory factors in perspective and rightfully appreciated, it is important to note that age and genetic predisposition to Dupuytren’s disease, as revealed by family history, are of greater contributory importance than alcohol abuse and resultant liver cirrhosis.

Dupuytren contracture and cirrhosis, liver disease and alcoholism

Perusal of recent studies that investigate the correlation of Dupuytren contracture and cirrhosis, liver disease and alcoholism reveals variable results and inconsistent conclusions.   The general trend of findings points toward the higher prevalence of Dupuytren contracture in chronic alcoholics and absence of correlation between Dupuytren contracture and chronic liver disease.  Alcoholics tend to have a higher rate of Dupuytren’s disease, and this is thought to primarily due liver disease caused by alcohol abuse.  Age, male incidence and genetic factors are of greater causation and predisposing factors than cirrhosis and liver disease.

If you male, and over 50 years of age, with a history of Dupuytren contracture in your family and heavy alcohol consumption, it would be wise to do all you can to reduce your chance of cirrhosis and liver disease.  You cannot do much about your gender, age and family genetics, but you can eliminate liver disease risk factors that might favor development of Dupuytren contracture.

Once Dupuytren contracture is present and someone learns that there is no known medical treatment available other than risky surgery, consider using Alternative Medicine as a Dupuytren contracture treatment option.  This is an option that the Dupuytren Contracture Institute has researched and developed since 2002, with considerable treatment success. To learn more, click Dupuytren treatment success.

Dupuytren Cord

Dupuytren hand contracture caused by collagen cord

Dupuytren contracture is a hand condition that primarily affects adult males, in which the thin layers of connective tissue (fascia) immediately below the skin thickens and shortens, causing dense cords and nodules to be seen and felt on the palm.  The tight and shortened Dupuytren cord on the palm of the hand cause the fingers to contract and draw down toward the palm.

Question/Answer section: Natural Dupuytren contracture treatment

The disease most often starts with a palm lump that resembles a knotted callus.  This lump on the palm of the hand is most commonly found at the base of the ring or little finger; the middle finger is only involved in severe cases of Dupuytren contracture.  Gradually a prominent cord develops as the fibrous tissue cells of the palm multiply causing the tissue to thicken.  As this process continues below the skin surface, the skin above is forced to distort by puckering, denting, dimpling and becoming rough.  Over time these each thick cord contracts to slowly pull each involved finger down toward the palm.  Progression of finger flexion and loss of hand dexterity is difficult to predict in regard to speed and degree of hand contracture.

This same process of excess of soft tissue thickening, contracture of tissue and development of cord-like structure can also affect the soles of the feet, known as Ledderhose disease.   This process in the feet will cause a tightening of the skin and curling down of the toes similar in appearance and consequence to what happens in Dupuytren contracture.  It is noted statistically that when Ledderhose disease develops in the feet, any associated Dupuytren contracture that is present will be more severe than average.

The Dupuytren Contracture Institute has specialized since 2002 in the use of Alternative Medicine therapies and techniques that are found to be successful in perhaps 60-80% of cases of Dupuytrens without risk of worsening or side-effects.  Contact Dupuytren Contracture Institute for helpful ideas about how to start a Dupuytren treatment plan with Alternative Medicine.

Dupuytren Contracture and Baby Boomers

Dupuytren hand and finger contracture common in elders

If you are a member of the baby boomer generation and have never heard of Dupuytren contracture, you are not alone.  However, if you are a male baby boomer with a history of liver disease, you are in the prime age group to experience a problem you know nothing about.  This is so because Dupuytren contracture primarily affects men between 50 and above, although women can also develop the problem, especially if you have ancestors form the Scandinavian countries and Northern Europe or have immediate family who have this  problem.

Few people know about the problem until they need Dupuytren treatment.   This is why it is important for all baby boomers to know about it because this health problem can easily make your life miserable.

Dupuytren contracture is a condition of the hand in which the deep tissue becomes thick and contracted, ultimately causing one or more fingers to flex and contract toward the palm, greatly reducing finger and hand movement and functionality.  Most everything about this condition (cause, progression, symptoms, age distribution, response to treatment) is variable and unique to the person who has it.  The great variability of Dupuytren contracture that  makes it difficult to study and to understand also makes it extremely difficult to treat like other medical conditions.

Treatment of Dupuytren contracture

At this time there is no standard or accepted medical treatment for the hand contracture that develops, other than Dupuytren surgery which usually has to be repeated after five years or less after the first surgery and then even sooner after each subsequent hand surgery.  Eventually, no surgery can be performed because the available tissue for repair has been used up in prior surgeries.   Given enough time after Dupuytren surgery the condition will only re-appear in a worsened presentation.

The Dupuytren Contracture Institute has specialized since 2002 in the use of Alternative Medicine therapies and techniques that are found to be successful in perhaps 60-80% of cases of Dupuytrens without risk of worsening or side-effects.  For more information about the Alternative Medicine approach, learn how to start Dupuytren contracture treatment.

Natural Dupuytren Treatment: Average Time to See Results

Dupuytren contracture difficult to predict in many ways

There are no dependable averages with Dupuytren contracture.  Everything about Dupuytren hand contracture is variable, from speed of progression to how a person might develop the problem.  And certainly, there is no average time within which a person responds to Dupuytren treatment using Alternative Medicine.  Some people show early signs of improvement in a few short weeks, others take months, and some not at all.

There are those who write me an email at DCI to say they did not respond to Dupuytren treatment.  After questioning them, I usually find they made the mistake of either using a very limited plan or not faithfully following the plan they put together.  Dupuy can be a difficult problem to treat and it is necessary to be completely dedicated to eliminating the problem – partial or occasional efforts do not earn good results.

The Dupuytren treatment concept we propose is actually not very strange or extreme.  All we propose is to do is to determine what natural vitamins, minerals, enzymes and herbal products, as well as exercises and things of that nature, you can use to promote and encourage your body to heal the Dupuytren hand and finger contracture you have.

Dupuytren contracture should heal like any other health problem

The Dupuytren treatment approach promoted by DCI is to do all that is possible to prepare the body to heal on its own, in as many small and large ways as can, to the best of its ability.  It is really not such a crazy or extreme idea since cancers are known to self-cure and serious infections and diseases self-cure, why not Dupuytren contracture?  DCI advocates that an aggressive use of multiple conservative Alternative Medicine therapies, as outlined in our website, can possibly assist the body to heal the contracted palm lumps.

Since 2002 it is my experience that those people who use the largest and most aggressive therapy plan will usually get the best results.  For those interested in following an aggressive therapy plan to promote the best opportunity for healing and repair, the “Large (Best) Plan” is intended for maximum personal treatment.   The Medium (Better) Plan is the most popular of the three plans offered by DCI. There is also a Small (Good) Plan that is well designed. Any of these plans can be modified in any way you wish.  For example, it is common for people to substitute Neprinol in place of Nattokinase and Serrapeptase that are found in any of the plans.

Dupuytren contracture treatment to be effective must be followed aggressively and faithfully because DC is a stubborn problem that defies successful treatment.  Be prepared to spend time and effort to build up the strength of the immune response if you wish to earn any level of correction.  It can be done; I talk to people everyday who are doing it.

I would be pleased to answer any specific questions you have about Alternative Medicine treatment of the hand lump and finger contractures that plague you. Simply send your question at the end of this blog post.

I have worked with hundreds and hundreds of cases of DC, some mild and some severe, some just a few months and a few more than 10 years old.  Because of this I know that success against Dupuytren treatment success seems not to be determined by how bad the problem is at the start of care or how soon you start treatment; success seems to be primarily determined by intensity of effort.

You do not have to feel like a victim if you are working to improve your health and immune response against the presence of this foreign tissue.

The DCI website offers ideas and information about natural healing of Dupuytren you will not find elsewhere.  For help and ideas that you are not now getting, please send an email to contact@dupuytrens-contracture.com