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Profile of adrianbent
After spending an evening busting my knuckles, does anyone ever worry they may be more prone to getting arthritis as they get older? How have the older magicians out there made out?
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Profile of Jaz
Everyone is different. Some may encounter this problem and others won't.
Why worry?

My hands, and other body parts, are not as flexible as they were but there are still plenty of alternatives that don't require knucklebusting work.
Peter Marucci
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Profile of Peter Marucci
Being entertaining doesn't not require "knucklebusing".

And, let's assume you escape arthritis. You might be partially paralyzed with a stroke. (Even if you recover, you'll still lose some agility; so the late Bruce Posgate (ex-IBM president) told me.)

In short, don't worry about it. After all, life is a voyage, not a destination!
Frank Tougas
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Profile of Frank Tougas
Working those joints is far more healthful than not. Don't worry. And by the way I agree with Peter, what the heck are you "busting your knuckles for? If you are doing something that continually hurts I'd rethink if I was doing it correctly.

Frank Tougas
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Profile of Tabasco
I'm more concerned about RSI. I work a lot behind the PC and this in combination of practising my sleights it hits hard on wrist muscles.
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Profile of evolve629
I actually have tendonitius from practicing sleights. My doctor wants me to wear a hand brace and no practice of sleights for two weeks! I don't think I'm going to follow my doctor's order this time...
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Father Photius
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Well let's see, I've done hard martial arts for 49 years, and magic a good 45+ years, and while getting old ain't for sissies, and my hands don't move as freely as they did, arthritis hasn't set in from either one. Some comes naturally with age, some types come with a disease process. Good diet, keeping urself in good health, and keeping active will stay off the effects of the normal aging type to some degree. An old saying in martial arts is "the greater the master the smaller the circle". A lot can be said for magic as well. The top masters like Dai Vernon, Slydini, Cardini, etc. as they got older, so well mastered the moves that they really weren't working as hard to do them as a younger performer. I watched Dai say "I really can't do this anymore, my hands aren't what they used to be" then he would do it so well that even the best trained eye could not catch it. Maybe in Dai's mind he had slowed down and it was more difficult, but from my point of view it was as good as ever.
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Profile of RADIOMAN
I have some stiffness in my hands, but it's worse in the cold weather. I try not to do card tricks which require extreme strength in my fingers. An example would be palming cards behind my hands. You have to learn to adapt to your handicap. I am slower at sleight of hand tricks so I have to practice more or perform a trick which requires less effort.
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Profile of sjdavison
More worried about my knees - problem already from the marines, only 23! And shoulders/neck screwed, from rugby. Just a big old mess! so not too concerned about fingers etc - only add to the pile!

Simon, 32, UK
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Tell me about your next show
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Profile of Gonzalo_nvdp
Look the "Card manipulation preventing arthritis?? " post. There was plenty information
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Profile of pedrothegreat
I hope sleights don't add to the rist of arthritis. I already do a lot of rock climbing which has increased the risk for me greatly! put the 2 together and I could be looking at a painful future!

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Stephen Buxton
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I am still quite young (although at 32, I am starting to realise that I am not as young as I once was), and I still believe that the effects of old age are a long way off/something that will never happen to me (at least, I try to kid myself about it)

Joking aside, I remember an elderly magician, Leo Burns (aka Magic Hans) telling me how he decided to learn a memorised deck fairly early on in his career. That way, when he got older, while he may not be able to do the finger-flinging stuff anymore, he could still do a number of effects with a memorised deck

One of these days, I'll get around to doing that myself...
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Joe Mauro
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That's why I don't spend too mcuh time onthe difficult stuff. after seeing Vernon in the videos later in life, it's clear that the skills fade. The magic is still there and can be done with simple sleights.
Laughing Otter
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On 2005-05-22 17:20, evolve629 wrote:
I actually have tendonitius from practicing sleights. My doctor wants me to wear a hand brace and no practice of sleights for two weeks! I don't think I'm going to follow my doctor's order this time...

Sorry if this sounds like a slam, because it isn't, but blowing off what your doctor says is not a smart thing to do. Tendinitis is nothing to mess with, and keeping it under control will allow you to do the sleights you want to do well into the future.
Most of the time in hands and wrists, tendinitis is caused by improper positioning of joints while working muscles, causing the tendons to pull "around corners", which is not how you are designed to work. The only way to quell a flare-up is to REST. If you don't, you may well ruin your chances of ever doing sleights the way you want to, not to mention things like buttoning your shirt or tying your shoes.
Stacked up that way, two weeks off should be a no-brainer. Please listen to your doctor.
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Profile of Chrystal

I once had the pleasure of having coffee with Martin Nash and remember his apologies for his "darned arthritis" which he felt affected his ability with cards. Having seen him a few times over the years, if he hadn't pointed it out I wouldn't have noticed. He's still amazing!
John Calvert, well into his eighties still performs the watch steal.
These two for example, have been performing for so long you become so enthralled with their performances that even if the hands are a bit slower with's not noticable. Your attention is focused on their wonderful way of pulling you into the patter or stories they weave.

To change the subject a bit, for those affected by arthritis - I'd recommend GLUCOSAMINE. It's readily available at any pharmacy or food store. I've had several pets on it that have suffered arthritis or dysplasia of the hips and within 3 weeks you see a very noticable difference. It's completely safe for humans or animals.
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