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Thread: A potato... Seriously? Fact or fiction?

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    Pin Crusher Phonetek's Avatar
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    Default A potato... Seriously? Fact or fiction?

    Between practice at school, meets, practicing alone and with friends my son is bowling around 40 games a week give or take. Yesterday at practice at school his thumb was so swollen he had a heck of a time.

    It eventually callused, popped and it was new skin time. Now it's so swollen that he can't get it into his ball at all. My sister said for him to put it in a potato and that will help it. She didn't offer any explanation.

    Had anyone heard of this? Can you explain just why on Earth I'm going to tell my son to sit there and stick his thumb in a vegetable? I know he's sure as heck going to ask.

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    Potatoes do have anti-inflammatory properties. It is worth a try. Make sure it is just a good, old fashioned baking potato. They supposedly work the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phonetek View Post
    Between practice at school, meets, practicing alone and with friends my son is bowling around 40 games a week give or take. Yesterday at practice at school his thumb was so swollen he had a heck of a time.

    It eventually callused, popped and it was new skin time. Now it's so swollen that he can't get it into his ball at all. My sister said for him to put it in a potato and that will help it. She didn't offer any explanation.

    Had anyone heard of this? Can you explain just why on Earth I'm going to tell my son to sit there and stick his thumb in a vegetable? I know he's sure as heck going to ask.
    Yep. I have heard that one before. I also was told to wrap your thumb in newspaper to take out some swelling. I tried it in the past but can't say for sure it did any good....lol
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    Another tip that someone told me years ago was to put a piece of plastic over your thumb (sandwich bag, saran wrap, etc.) then stick your thumb in the ball a couple of times. Somehow it reduces the swelling of the thumb so it will then fit just fine...

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    Pin Crusher Phonetek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryster View Post
    Another tip that someone told me years ago was to put a piece of plastic over your thumb (sandwich bag, saran wrap, etc.) then stick your thumb in the ball a couple of times. Somehow it reduces the swelling of the thumb so it will then fit just fine...
    Basically the towel or shirt trick. Put it over the thumb hole and shove it in a few times. It shinks it down a little because you're compressing it. Sometimes enough to get you through but it's very temporary.

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    Ive heard of it but never had to try it.
    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phonetek View Post
    Between practice at school, meets, practicing alone and with friends my son is bowling around 40 games a week give or take. Yesterday at practice at school his thumb was so swollen he had a heck of a time.

    It eventually callused, popped and it was new skin time. Now it's so swollen that he can't get it into his ball at all. My sister said for him to put it in a potato and that will help it. She didn't offer any explanation.

    Had anyone heard of this? Can you explain just why on Earth I'm going to tell my son to sit there and stick his thumb in a vegetable? I know he's sure as heck going to ask.
    Yes that is a old school trick for a blistered or tore up thumb or finger and it does work. You can see it being done in the bowling movie Dreamer 1979

    The use of potatoes for healing has been around for centuries, for infections, wound healing etc. I got hurt as a child and my mom packed the wound with grated potatoes. There's multiple articles about it on line.


    Heres a screencap. It happens about the 7 min. mark

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    Anything that "pushes" the blood back up into the hand and arm will reduce the swelling. That's all you are doing with the potato, as well as the napkin, shirt, cloth, etc. The potato makes you think about keeping the thumb in it longer, rather than trying to keep it in the ball. There really isn't anything magical about the potato other than it is solid and "holds" the thumb and pushes the blood up and away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by classygranny View Post
    Anything that "pushes" the blood back up into the hand and arm will reduce the swelling. That's all you are doing with the potato, as well as the napkin, shirt, cloth, etc. The potato makes you think about keeping the thumb in it longer, rather than trying to keep it in the ball. There really isn't anything magical about the potato other than it is solid and "holds" the thumb and pushes the blood up and away.
    No the potato is almost magical in that it does have medicinal uses! Potatoes have the ability to help heal wounds,draw out infections as well as reduce swelling/congestion in the affected area.

    For bowling You mainly used a potato after you bowled if your thumb was "injured", such as blisters, cuts etc. It typically wasn't used during bowling though because you ran a risk of hanging in the ball if you didn't clean your thumb off properly (The potato residue).

    Now Mark Roth was seen many times using a potato during bowling, But his thumb was consistently getting more severely injured than most.

    Now the use of a napkin, shirt, cloth during bowling is another story, they were just using compression to reduce swelling to allow you to get a swollen thumb into a ball.
    Last edited by bowl1820; 03-11-2021 at 09:35 AM.

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    aside from a bleeding injury like described . . .

    I have a thumb slug that's a touch smaller than my proper size. If my thumb swells a bit for whatever seasonal reason, I just shove my thumb in the slug. Brings it down a touch and it's perfect to go in my ball.

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