Keep Up With Daily Hand Exercises
Kratzman wax treatments worked so well they enabled her to do a series of hand exercises from her physiotherapist five times a day. My hands have improved immensely, she says. My hands felt stronger and I noticed I wasnt dropping as many dishes, could do housework easier, and other things like getting dressed and brushing my teeth and hair were all easier, says Kratzman. If you havent yet seen an occupational therapist, ask your doctor about a referral. You can also check out these hand exercises, though its best to follow a specific routine from an expert who can tailor to your specific needs.
Who Gets Arthritis In Their Hands
You are more likely to get arthritis in your hands if:
- Youre older. Osteoarthritis is commonly seen after age 50. Rheumatoid arthritis typically first appears between the age of 35 and 50.
- Youre a woman.
- Youre white.
- Youre overweight.
- Youve had previous injuries to your hand. If youve dislocated or broken any joints in your hands or fingers, you are more likely to develop arthritis.
- You’ve inherited genes that cause the development of arthritis.
Exercise : Finger Touch
If youre seeing joint deformity in your fingers, especially your pinkie, this is an important exercise to try, Jacobs says.
Step 1: Hold your hand in front of your face, palm facing you, fingers straight.
Steps 25: One at a time, touch each finger to your thumb to form a series of OK signs.
Text a lot with your thumbs? If so, this is a great exercise, Jacobs says.
Step 1: Hold your hand in front of your face, palm facing you.
Step 2: Keeping your four fingers still, move your thumb across your palm and try to touch the base of your pinkie finger.
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Simple Ways To Manage Hand Osteoarthritis
When osteoarthritis affects your hands, everyday activities such as opening jars and using a cell phone can be difficult. Arthritic joints in the hands or wrists may be painful, stiff, and weaker than normal. Thankfully, there are many ways to help manage this condition.
Osteoarthritis in the hand or wrist joints can make it hard to open jars or grip objects. SeeRecognizing Osteoarthritis in the Hand
Read on to learn 5 simple strategies for coping with osteoarthritic pain in the hand.
Anatomy Of The Fingers An Overview
There are five bones in the palm of oneâs hand known as metacarpals and they fan outwards from the Carpus, eight bones which make up the wrist joint.
Joining onto each metacarpals are the three bones of the fingers and two of the thumb called phalanges. These are fastened together at the knuckle joint , the DIP joint, this being the one near the tip of the finger, and the PIP joint nearest to the knuckle joint. All these joints have a shiny surface which gives a smooth movement â until the nasty Rheumatoid Arthritis eats these surfaces away, leading to deformation and pain with the slightest movement, finally giving way to ulna drift. I have inserted a photo of my hands below as an example of this, and a few deformed fingers which would have been worse had I not worn splints.
My wife has Fibromyalgia a disease somewhat akin to R/A and was at the Rheumatologist a few days ago. He knows me so was asking how I was getting on and she told him about us getting in late one night and making a quick dinner with a tinned steak pie. Neither of us could open it with the tin-opener, yep-deformation of the fingers strikes again. We must invest in a new electric tin-opener. Anyway, I diverge, I think it is an age thing or me being Irish but we move on in the next section to examine a couple of types of splints that really do work.
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Tips For Preventing Arthritis
There is no known cure for arthritis. In fact, most treatments for arthritis are aimed at early recognition and prevention. Genetics can increase your likelihood for developing arthritis, as can a strong family history of the disease. Women are also more prone to arthritis than men.
You may try to prevent arthritis and still develop the disease. However, you can take actions to reduce your risk:
- Maintain a healthy weight. This can help to fight off OA.
- Dont smoke, or quit smoking. This may reduce your chance of developing RA.
- Try to avoid injury when playing sports or participating in recreational activities.
- If your job requires a lot of pushing, pulling, or lifting of heavy objects, take precautions to avoid injury to your joints.
- If your job calls for a lot of typing, practice good posture. If necessary, get a special keyboard, wrist cushion, or pad.
What Are The Causes Of And Risk Factors For Arthritis
Some of the known and common causes of and risk factors for arthritis include:
- Age: Older people are more likely to develop the disease.
- Gender: Women are more likely to get arthritis than men.
- Injury: Acute injuries, trauma, fractures, dislocations, and accidents cause joint damage and can lead to arthritis.
- Smoking:Smokers are more prone to arthritis than nonsmokers.
- Obesity or being overweight: Higher body mass index makes you more vulnerable to arthritis.
- Infections:Psoriasis can result in arthritis.
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What Can I Do To Prevent Arthritis In My Hands
You may try to prevent arthritis in the hand joints, but you can still develop the disease. However, there are some ways to prevent arthritis in the hands and reduce the risk:
- Maintain a healthy weight to fight off osteoarthritis.
- Don’t smoke or quit smoking. It may reduce the risk of developing Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Try to avoid injury while playing sports and participating in recreational activities.
- Make sure to avoid injury at work. If the nature of your job requires a lot of pushing, pulling, and lifting heavy objects, use appropriate safety equipment.
- If you work on computers and your job demands a lot of typing, practice good posture. If possible, use a special keyboard, wrist cushion, or pad.
- The Arthritis Foundation recommends eating a balanced diet to prevent inflammation and improve joint symptoms.
- Reducing stress can help prevent flares and manage arthritis. Use stress-relieving techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, and practicing gratitude.
- Exercise can help increase the production of synovial fluid in the joints, which can also improve joint function.
Exercises For Arthritis In The Hands Fingers
While doctors can help patients by offering treatments ranging from medications to surgical procedures, patients themselves can also help relieve this pain by performing certain exercises.
Hand exercises can help with strength, flexibility and range of motion in the joints, as well as the supportive ligaments and tendons of the hands and fingers. This can also help to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Before beginning, its important to know that it is normal to experience some mild aching after exercising. However, if discomfort lasts for more than a few hours, you should perform fewer repetitions next time. If the exercises make your symptoms worse, stop doing them and go see your doctor.
5 Daily Hand Exercises for Arthritis
Although these exercises are quite simple, they can make a noticeable difference in joint pain and inflammation. However, if you only do them occasionally, you may not notice an effect. Therefore, we recommend you make hand exercises a habit by doing them at the same time each day, as well as in the same order.
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Diagnosing Hand And Finger Arthritis
First, its important to correctly diagnose hand or finger arthritis, advises Dr. Newsum. Sometimes, patients experience hand or finger pain or stiffness and assume its arthritis, but there are other conditions that can cause these symptoms, he adds.
In addition to arthritis, two other common causes of hand and finger pain include trigger finger and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Trigger finger is a tendonitis of the fingers flexor tendons, whereas carpal tunnel is caused by compression of a nerve in the hand, explains Dr. Newsum.
Carpal tunnel usually causes numbness, tingling or electric shooting nerve sensations in the hands that can be worse at night or aggravated by certain activities, but it can present without numbness and be mistaken for arthritis, too.
With trigger finger, pain is usually experienced in the palm of the hand at the base of the fingers. The finger can click and even get stuck in a particular position or just may cause stiffness with difficulty bending the fingers.
Clicking or sticking of a finger is a distinct symptom of trigger finger and not arthritis, clarifies Dr. Newsum.
Learn New Cooking Skills
Whether you love to cook or not, chances are you at least stir sauce or chop veggies from time to time. Even these sous chef efforts benefit from joint protection to prevent arthritis hand pain. For example, instead of stirring the sauce with your thumb and finger wrapped around the handle, hold your thumb on top of the utensil like you were holding an ice pick and stabbing ice and stir using shoulder motion. This method takes pressure off the joints and utilizes your shoulder to stir the sauce. Dodge suggests using kitchen tools with large handles and electric appliances, such as a can and jar openers and food processors. Check out more kitchen hacks for easier meal prep.
Treatment For Hand Arthritis In The Greater Chesapeake
If you have a hand injury or chronic condition such as arthritis, turn to the experts at Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder. Our team of hand experts have a profound understanding of the complex networks of blood vessels, nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones that make up the hand and fingers.
We understand how important pain-free hand and finger motion and function is to daily activities, including work, self-care, sports, and leisure. Our orthopedic and plastic surgeons specialize in hand surgery, and we can offer state-of-the-art nonsurgical and surgical care to treat a full range of hand and finger injuries and conditions.
Call us today to schedule a consultation with our at or request an appointment online now for any of our Greater Chesapeake locations. We look forward to helping you feel less pain in your hands and regain hand motion and function, so you can get back to doing what you love.
Hand Osteoarthritis Home Remedies
These home treatments can help:
- Exercises. Your doctor or physical therapist can show you what to do to improve strength and range of motion and to ease pain.
- Assistive devices. Special pens, kitchen utensils, and other tools with big grips may be easier to use.
- Ice or heat. Ice may reduce swelling and pain. Heat, like a warm washcloth or a paraffin bath, can loosen stiff joints.
- Skin treatments. Medicated creams can give relief when you rub them on sore joints. Gels with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also help.
- Supplements. Many people take glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for OA. Researchers are still looking into whether they help. Ask your doctor if they’re OK to try.
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Risk Factors For Hand And Finger Arthritis
According to Dr. Newsum, finger or hand arthritis can occur years after of an old injury, but most of the time, it affects people age 50 and older.
By age 60, 70% of people will have arthritis based on X-rays. By age 75, 90% have arthritis on X-rays, but the important thing to note is that many dont have severe symptoms and are not debilitated by it.
If you do, however, its important to get medical help to find your path toward relief.
Other factors that can increase your risk of arthritis in your hands and fingers include:
- Enlarged bumps at the fingers knuckles
Its also important to distinguish between the different types of hand or finger arthritis.
Dr. Newsum explains, Osteoarthritis affects the middle knuckles and knuckles near the nails and can appear as large bumps on the knuckle, which are bone spurs that are caused from bone rubbing on bone when the joint moves.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease that attacks tendons, ligaments, the joint lining and bones.
Youre Gonna Want To Start Using These Asap
You use your hands for so many things during the day that if you were to look at a highlight reel, you might be shocked at how many hours your hands are on duty. And its not even the obvious things, like lifting heavy objects, that are the biggest offenders for arthritis hand pain in your fingers and wrists.
Tasks that require gripping, such as opening jars, turning door knobs, cutting food, and lifting bags often can overstress the small joints of the hand and wrist, causing pain, says Carole Dodge, OTR, CHT, a certified hand therapist who specializes in arthritis and rheumatology at University of Michigan Health System Occupational Therapy. And when you have pain, you start avoiding certain activities, which can lead to weakness. This can create a vicious cycle that leads to further hand pain and weakness.
But you can cut down on joint pain and strain in your hands by making simple adjustments to how you perform everyday tasks hanging a washcloth to dry instead of wringing it out, or carrying a purse over your shoulder instead of on your wrist. Each time you make these kinds of adjustments you create everyday habits that become natural and pay off for your future.
These tips help people continue to perform tasks while preventing further stress on the involved/inflamed joints that may lead to potential deformity, says Dodge. This is important for people with active hand arthritis.
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Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.
Dip Into Soothing Relief
As kids, we all dreaded washing dishes but when arthritis leaves your hands stiff and tired, plunging them into the warm water is no longer a chore its instant relief. But washing and scrubbing dishes may get painful. But there is another way to get that warm, soothing relief without working quite so hard for it: paraffin wax treatments. Occupational therapists use them to soothe stiff joints. Kerrie Kratzman did a paraffin treatment with her physiotherapist to help with her swan neck deformity, in which the middle joint of your fingers is bent back more than normal. I thought I had gone to heaven it felt so good, says Kratzman, of Australia. You can get a paraffin bath at home and take advantage of soothing relief anytime. Just check with your occupational therapist first for specific at-home instructions.
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Exercise #: Make A Fist
You can do this easy exercise anywhere, and any time your hand feels stiff. Start by holding your left hand up straight. Then, slowly bend your hand into a fist, placing your thumb on the outside of your hand. Be gentledont squeeze your hand. Open your hand back up until your fingers are straight once again. Do the exercise 10 times with the left hand. Then repeat the whole sequence with the right hand.
Part 4 of 9: Finger Bends
What Is Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and the hand and wrist joints are among the most commonly affected. A joint is a part of the body where two or more bones meet. The ends of the bones are covered in a smooth and slippery surface, known as cartilage. This allows the bones to move smoothly against each other and protects the joint from stress.
Everyone’s joints go through a cycle of damage and repair, and often the repair process is quite effective. But sometimes it can cause changes in the shape or structure of the joints.
Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in your joints to thin and the surfaces of the joint to become rougher, which means that the joints may not move as smoothly as they should, and they might feel painful and stiff.
You may have firm, knobbly swellings at the finger joints. These are known as Heberden’s nodes or Bouchard’s nodes depending on which joints are affected. They’re caused by the growth of bony spurs called osteophytes.
Osteoarthritis can affect anyone at any age, but it’s more common in women over the age of 50.
Some of the factors that can make you more likely to develop osteoarthritis in your hands include:
- being female
- carrying out repetitive tasks over a long period of time.
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Exercise #: Make An O
Start with your left hand pointing straight up. Then, curve all of your fingers inward until they touch. Your fingers should form the shape of an O. Hold this position for a few seconds. Then straighten your fingers again. Repeat this exercise a few times a day on each hand. You can do this stretch whenever your hands feel achy or stiff.
Part 7 of 9: Table Bend