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How To Control Arthritis Pain In Hands

Who Is At Risk For Arthritis

9 Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hands, by Dr. Andrea Furlan

Some risk factors for arthritis that cant be avoided or changed include:

  • Age. The older you are, the more likely you are to have arthritis.

  • Gender. Women are more likely to have arthritis than men.

  • Heredity. Some types of arthritis are linked to certain genes.

Risk factors that may be avoided or changed include:

  • Weight. Being overweight or obese can damage your knee joints. This can make them more likely to develop osteoarthritis.

  • Injury. A joint that has been damaged by an injury is more likely to develop arthritis at some point.

  • Infection. Reactive arthritis can affect joints after an infection.

  • Your job. Work that involves repeated bending or squatting can lead to knee arthritis.

You Shouldnt Stress Daily Tasks Like Tying Your Shoes Or Using The Television Remote Because Of Arthritis Ease Hand Pain With These Finger And Hand Exercises For Arthritis

If you consider the countless number of times you need your hands to do things throughout the day, they may be one of the body parts you use most frequently. From brushing your teeth to tying your shoes to turning on and off a light switch, your hands and fingers are involved in so many steps of your daily routine. And if youre a hand talker, they get even more work during the day! But many of these simple tasks can become quite painful if you have arthritis in your hands.1

There are things you can do to help with the discomfort of hand arthritis. For starters, rub some Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel on your hands at the first sign of symptoms. Its the first and only OTC gel to contain an NSAID, a powerful medicine for joint pain due to arthritis. Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel helps you get a better grip on objectswhether its a paintbrush, hammer or shovelto tackle your next DIY project.

Hands exercises and stretches can also provide arthritis pain relief. Focus on using your hands and strengthening them to help reduce arthritis symptoms overall. How exactly? We asked industry experts Blake Dircksen, PT, DPT, CSCS, orthopedic physical therapist at Bespoke Treatments Physical Therapy & Fitness in New York City, and Jordan Metzl, MD, sports medicine physician at Hospital For Special Surgery, to share their top picks for exercises that can help ease arthritis in the hands.

How Do You Control Osteoarthritis In Your Hands

There are numerous effective treatment options to control osteoarthritis in your hands. Treatment should ultimately reduce the pain and swelling in your hands and restore hand functioning . First, try taking the over-the-counter food supplements called glucosamine and chondroitin for a two-month period. Numerous research studies show that these food supplements help reduce joint pain and swelling in individuals with osteoarthritis . You can easily find these supplements in pharmacies or health food stores. If your osteoarthritis is not well-controlled with this intervention, try the next line of treatment — pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications. Anti-inflammatory medication is sometimes referred to as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .

Before you rush to the doctor for a prescription, try over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medication first, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen . You can also try pain-relieving creams, which can help alleviate some pain. If you don’t get enough relief from the over-the-counter options, you can consult your physician regarding prescription pain relievers, such as narcotics. Beware, however: Pain reliever and anti-inflammatory medication may present with significant side effects .

Read Also: What Is The Difference Between Arthritis And Rheumatism

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

Read Also: Can Osteoarthritis Turn Into Rheumatoid Arthritis

Get A Handle On Arthritis Pain With Specialized Wrist And Hand Treatments

Top 7 Home Remedies for Arthiritis in Hand

Aches and pains are just part of getting older or at least thats the conventional wisdom. So if you feel some stiffness in your hand or pain in your wrist, you might just assume its natural, and definitely not worth seeing a doctor about.

Left untreated, though, arthritis can make simple tasks such as getting dressed, answering the phone, or picking up your grandkids excruciating. The inflammation in your joints can cause stiffness, pain, and limited movement.

You dont have to live with those persistent symptoms.

UT Southwestern hand specialists provide a range of treatment options to control arthritis pain and restore mobility from medication, physical therapy, and injections to joint resurfacing and replacement. With more than 60 years of combined expertise, our hand surgeons are skilled in the most advanced techniques to repair and replace the delicate joints of the hand and wrist, as well as procedures to decrease pain.

There are effective options to manage pain and improve function regardless of how long you have had arthritis even years after the onset of symptoms. The treatments your care team recommends will depend on the type of arthritis you have and how advanced it is.

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Why See A Hand Specialist

The reason you should see a hand specialist if you are experiencing arthritis pain in the hands is simple: hand specialists are experts in treating conditions like arthritis pain in the hands. No other physician can give you the expert care that this type of physician offers.

Would you see a heart specialist for your diabetes condition or an endocrinologist if you broke a bone? Of course not! There are a variety of medical doctors specializing in every subfield of medicine possible. Because no single doctor can specialize in every subfield of medicine, patients see specialized doctors for specific needs. Arthritis is an orthopedic condition that affects the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic physicians are experts in treating all types of musculoskeletal issues. Therefore, you should see an orthopedic physician if you have arthritis.

Further, arthritis can affect any joint in the body. Orthopedic physicians often have specializations in different parts of the body. Hand specialists are orthopedic physicians who have specialized education and experience treating orthopedic issues in the hands and wrists. This makes them experts in this particular subfield of orthopedic care.

Exercises That Help Relieve Arthritis In The Fingers And Hands

If someone is pain free, it is critical to keep joints in good range of motion. Simple shoulder shrugs, wrist, and finger range of motion exercises help keep joint range of motion, says physical therapist Charles J. Gulas, PT, PhD, GCS, dean of the School of Health Professions at Maryville University of St. Louis. Being pain free is the key, Gulas stresses, especially when doing exercises intended to build strength. When pain acts up, rest and pain management may be a better bet.

Try these range-of-motion exercises to keep your hands, fingers, and thumbs flexible and to ease symptoms of arthritis in the fingers and in the hands overall:

  • Close your fist and then gradually open your hand, stretching your fingers out, then close slowly into a fist again.
  • Make circle motions with your thumb, keeping it straight.
  • Stretch your thumb away from the palm of your hand, then use it to touch each fingertip.

Repeat these exercises 3 to 10 times daily. Stop if you feel pain in a joint or if youâre experiencing additional pain once youre done. Some people find that doing these hand exercises under warm water is helpful. If you have osteoarthritis, you may need to wear a splint, wear a compression glove, or use another type of support to help reduce wear and tear on your joints during your daily activities. Ask your doctor or a physical therapist to recommend the type of device that may help you.

Also Check: Does Heat And Humidity Affect Arthritis

How To Treat Osteoarthritis

The goals in treating osteoarthritis are to relieve pain and restore function. Brief rest either by changing activities or wearing a splint can help. Soft, snug sleeves can help support a joint when rigid splints are too restrictive. Heat can soothe the joints and help keep them mobile. It is important to keep as much finger motion and function as possible. Hand therapists can teach joint protection exercises and activity modification to help protect joints. Anti-inflammatory medication or a steroid injection into the joint can decrease pain, but neither cures osteoarthritis.

Surgery is considered when the non-surgical options above have not helped. In most cases, you will tell your doctor when you are ready for surgery. The goal is to restore as much function as possible and to minimize your pain. One type of surgery is joint fusion. The worn cartilage is removed and the bones on each side of the joint are fused together, which means that the joint will not move but it will not hurt. Another choice is joint reconstruction, where the rough joint surface is removed and either replaced with your own soft tissue or with an implant. The type of surgery depends on the joint involved, your anatomy, and your activities. Your hand surgeon can help you decide which type of surgery is the best for you.

This content is written, edited and updated by hand surgeon members of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.Find a hand surgeon near you.

Osteoarthritis Of The Elbow

The Hidden Cause of Arthritis in Your Knees and Hands

Osteoarthritis of the elbow occurs when the cartilage surface of the elbow is damaged or becomes worn. Osetoarthritis is caused by our bones degenerating as we age due to simple wear and tear, but may also be caused by previous injuries such as elbow dislocations or fractures. The most common symptoms are pain and loss of motion in the elbow. Patients usually report a âgratingâ or âlockingâ sensation in the elbow.

Treatment is designed to relieve pain and restore function. Conservative treatment includes medications to reduce or alleviate pain, physical therapy, and activity modification. A cortisone injection can often provide relief of symptoms, but does not cure the arthritis. Surgery is usually not advised unless these more conservative treatments fail.

Surgical Treatment for Osteoarthritis of the Elbow

Surgery is indicated when the patient either has too much pain or too little function. If the wear or damage is limited, arthroscopy can offer a minimally invasive surgical treatment. It may be an option for patients with earlier stages of arthritis. If the joint surface has worn away completely, it is unlikely that anything other than a joint replacement would bring about relief. Our hand surgeons at Emory will help you decide which type of surgery is the most appropriate for you.

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Ways To Manage Arthritis

There are a lot of things you can do to manage your arthritis. The day-to-day things you choose to do to manage your condition and stay healthy are self-management strategies and activities. CDCs Arthritis Program recognizes five self-management strategies for managing arthritis and its symptoms.

Practice these simplestrategies to reduce symptoms and get relief soyou can pursue the activities that are important to you. These strategies can even help you manage other chronic conditions you may have, such as diabetes, heart disease, or obesity.

Use these 5 strategies to manage your arthritis at any age.

Join a self-management education workshop, which can help you learn the skills to manage your arthritis and make good decisions about your health.

How can a self-management education workshop help me?

Learning strategies to better manage your arthritis can help you:

  • Feel more in control of your health.
  • Manage pain and other symptoms.
  • Plan and carry out valuedactivities, like working and spending time with loved ones.
  • Improve your mood.
  • Communicate better with your health care provider about your care.

Learn about CDC-recognized self-management education programs that improve the quality of life of people with arthritis.

Stay as active as your health allows. Some physical activity is better than none.

Unsure about what kind of activity is safe?

The focus of arthritis treatment is to

What Are The Best Treatments For Arthritis In The Hands

November 19, 2019 By Alex Hirsch

Arthritis can be disabling, especially when it is in the hands and fingers. It can prevent you from carrying out normal day-to-day activities such as work duties and preparing meals.

Arthritis is a common disease that causes pain and stiffness within joints, including the hand. Appropriate treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms, but they can include medications, therapy, lifestyle adjustments, and surgery.

Recommended Reading: What Causes Arthritis In Your Hands

Should You Get Help For Arthritis

Whatever type of arthritis a person has, a key factor in determining when to treat itand when to perform surgeryis how they tolerate pain, says Dr. Luo. There are people with mild arthritis who seek care early to avoid prolonged pain, while others dont remark on their pain, even after an X-ray shows extensive damage, he explains. Some have a lot of arthritis and never need treatment, while others have a lower level of arthritis and need surgery. Everyone is different, he says.

“I think the time to seek out a specialist for arthritis is when it is affecting your daily life, says Dr. Luo. If its a minor inconvenience, its not worth getting injections, braces, or surgery. But if you can no longer do the things you normally do, a specialist can help.

How Are The Hands And Wrists Structured

How to Prevent and Treat Osteoarthritis in the Hands

There are 27 small bones that make up each hand and wrist. Eight of those bones are in your wrist. Each finger has three bones, and the thumb has two. There are five bones in the palm of your hand, connecting each finger and the thumb with the wrist.

There are more than 30 muscles that control the hand and wrist. These are in your hands, wrists and forearms.

Muscles are attached to bones by tendons. These are small but very tough pieces of connective tissue. Tendons pass through a bony passage in your wrist, known as the carpal tunnel. The median nerve also passes through this tunnel.

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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.

Treatment For Hand Arthritis

Treating hand arthritis usually starts with conservative methods of taking anti-inflammatory medications, ice and heat therapy, splinting, and manipulation therapies. If pain persists, doctors may recommend steroid injections for immediate pain relief. However, this treatment method only offers temporary relief. When arthritis pain in the hand progresses and conservative treatments fail to bring relief, there may be damage to the hands joints, in which case, surgery may be necessary.

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Your Health Care Team

To help manage pain you may want to consult a primary care physician, nurse, pharmacist, physical therapist or other health care professional. You may be referred to a rheumatologist a doctor who specializes in treating arthritis.

Gaining control through communication

Even though pain may interfere with work relationships and daily life, few Americans talk to their doctors about it. Did you know:

  • Fewer than half of Americans with severe or moderate pain report that they have a “great deal of control” over their pain.
  • Fewer than half of people who visit their doctor for pain believe that their doctor completely understands how their pain makes them feel.

One of the best ways to gain control of pain is to talk to a doctor about it. Unlike a broken leg, pain cannot be seen in an x-ray or identified by a medical test. What a patient says may be the only way the doctor will know about the pain. And because people experience and respond to pain differently, how a patient describes pain is the best way for the doctor to understand what the patient is feeling. Only then can the doctor help the patient treat the pain.

Remember the patient and the doctor should share the same goal–reducing the patient’s pain.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Hand Surgery

Arthritis Pain Reliever

Recovery time depends on many factors, including the severity of your condition, type of surgery you had, the skill of your surgeon and your compliance with therapy. Most people can return to their activities about three months after joint reconstruction surgery. Your team of caregivers can give you the best estimate of your particular recovery time.

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Managing Hand And Wrist Pain

Research shows it is effective for providing symptom relief for people with carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that causes numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand because of a squeezed nerve in the wrist.

A study reported in 2017 in the journal Brain found people with carpal tunnel can experience improvements in pain and numbness using acupuncture. In addition, researchers suggested acupuncturewhen done correctlycan also offer long-term benefits and continued improvements in hand function.

These findings could hold promise for hand pain associated with arthritis.

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