These Arthritis Home Remedies May Be Worth A Try As Part Of Your Overall Doctor
While medication is a cornerstone and critical part of managing arthritis, home remedies and lifestyle changes can be important in your arthritis treatment plan too, says Susan Blum, MD, MPH, chronic disease specialist, assistant clinical professor in the department of preventive medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and author of Healing Arthritis: The 3-Step Guide To Conquering Arthritis Naturally.
You need to treat arthritis from a whole body perspective, not simply a medical one, which means incorporating all facets of wellness, including what you do at home, she says. She knows firsthand of what she speaks, noting that she uses home remedies to help her own arthritis and autoimmune disorder. She swears by a daily meditation, green smoothies, gardening, and walking outdoors.
However, its important to note that home remedies should not replace medication. And you need a healthy amount of skepticism when deciding which ones to try and implement, says Don R. Martin, MD, a rheumatologist with Sentara RMH Rheumatology in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Many natural remedies arent backed by science or the research is very limited or weak. And even for therapies that have shown to be effective, supplements and natural therapies are not regulated the same way prescription medications are, so the purity and quality can vary widely, he adds.
How Doctors Diagnose Arthritis Hand Pain
To determine whats behind your hand pain, your doctor will rely on your medical history, a physical exam, and imaging and blood tests to make a diagnosis and determine what kind of arthritis hand pain you have.
Feeling a patients joints during the exam can help differentiate between OA and inflammatory arthritis, Dr. Byram says. The swelling feels harder in those with OA because extra bone at the joints, called osteophytes, forms over time. The swelling in RA and other inflammatory disease feels softer.
Imaging tests, such as X-rays or an MRI, can reveal joint erosion and osteophytes and loss of cartilage .
If your doctor suspects inflammatory arthritis, they will also order blood tests to detect the presence of certain antibodies, such as;rheumatoid factor or;anti-CCP, that help identify RA and other types of inflammatory arthritis.
Check In With Your Doc
RA has come a long way! Treatments have dramatically improved over the last two decadesif youre newly or recently-diagnosed, you should be able to live essentially symptom-free. So if youre struggling, you might need to switch meds. Our goal in 2020 with rheumatoid arthritis is that you should never know someone has it because theyre doing so well, says Jonathan Samuels, M.D., a rheumatologist at NYU Langone Health in New York City.
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Up Your Calcium Intake
Getting too little calcium raises the risk of osteoporosis, a brittle-bone condition that accelerates if you have RA. Men and women should get;1,000 milligrams;of calcium a day, 1,200 for women over 50 and men over 70. Dairy is the most famous source of calcium, but its also found in such veggies as cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, broccoli, and turnip greens. Here are;11 foods with more calcium than a glass of milk.
Keeping Your Hands And Wrists Moving
Moving your hands, wrists and fingers as much as possible can help ease pain and stiffness. This will also maintain range of movement, function and strength.
We have some exercises you can do at home. Try to do them as regularly as you can, especially if your hands and wrists are feeling stiff.
If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, talk to a physiotherapist, GP or hand therapist for specific advice on exercise.
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Salmon Tuna Sardines And Mackerel
These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which studies have found can decrease inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, eating a 3 to 4 ounce serving of these fish two or more times a week is recommended for protecting the heart and reducing inflammation.
While fresh fish can get pricey quickly, one tip to make it more affordable is by looking in the freezer section or buying canned sardines, salmon or tuna. Be sure to choose lower sodium options when purchasing canned items if you need to keep your sodium in check.
Benefits Of A Hand Massager
The following are the top five reasons why you should get a hand massager machine or schedule a hand massage session:
1. It can help reduce hand pain.
You can use a hand massage to ease pain in a variety of ways, depending on the cause or origin of hand discomfort. If utilized correctly, they might aid as pain relievers.
Depending on the built and features of the hand massager, pain relief can be achieved through the use of technology, including vibration, heat, and compression.
2. It helps improve hand strength and flexibility.
Massaging the hand can help increase grip strength because hand muscles receive better blood circulation which means your hand muscles always have the fuel to give you a firm grip. In addition, hand massage stimulates the nerves in your hands, which increases hand dexterity and flexibility.
3. Massages boost energy levels and boost moods through touch/stimulation therapy.;
In Japan, people consider hand massages as a form of rejuvenating therapy for their stimulating properties. A simple hand massage session has been found effective at increasing concentration and performance levels.
Massaged hand muscles send pleasure signals to the brain, which boosts mood levels and helps combat depression.
4. It stimulates blood circulation.
5. A hand massage can help facilitate drainage from fluid accumulation and reduce swelling.
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 Can I Ease Hand And Finger Joint Pain
Regular exercise is very important to make your hands and fingers more flexible. You also need to rest painful joints. It helps to use hand or finger splints to ease pressure if your RA flares up.
To exercise your hands and fingers, you can use a soft foam ball like a Nerf ball . Squeeze it and then relax your hand muscles.
Ask an occupational therapist about gadgets and devices that may help make everyday activities easier, at home or on the job. For instance:
- Use hook and loop fasteners to replace buttons on clothing.
- Add accessories to doorknobs for easier turning.
- Use lamp switches that require just a touch to the lamp base rather than twisting a small knob switch.
- Try a long-handled shoehorn to put on your shoes so you donât have to bend over and stretch your hands.
- Use lightweight household utensils, pots, pans, cups, and dishes.
- Put foam padding around your pen or pencil. These are available at most office supply stores.
Learn about more hand and finger exercises you can do for RA
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Canola And Olive Oils
Skip the vegetable oil or corn oil and reach for these two varieties, which have a good balance of the omega-3 and omega-6 acids, both of which are essential fatty acids. Studies have found that a component in olive oil called oleocanthal has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to be especially good for heart health, too, Dunn says.
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
Finger Adduction With Putty
This exercise helps improve the mobility of your fingers and strengthen your palmar interossei, the small muscles between your fingers on the palm side of your hand that adduct your fingers and stabilize your finger joints.
- Roll a piece of putty into a thin tubular shape.
- Place the putty roll in between each of your four fingers so that there is putty in between each finger.
- Squeeze your fingers together into the putty to bring your fingers as close together as possible.
- Maintain this contraction, squeezing the putty as hard as you can between your fingers for three to five seconds. Then relax.
- Repeat for 10 repetitions.
Tips To Ease Joint Pain
Arthritis joint pain and symptoms can make simple activities difficult. This head-to-toe guide can help.
Arthritis;pain;in even one joint can take a toll on your;entire;body.;For example, a painful neck can prevent you from turning your head properly, placing stress on your shoulders. A painful knee may cause you to walk in a way that affects your hips, back and feet. And holding a joint still to protect it can make;moving it;more difficult ;and;in some cases almost impossible over;time.;;
If joint pain is caused by an inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or juvenile idiopathic arthritis, systemic treatment is needed to stop inflammation that can lead to joint damage or destruction.;For flares of pain, persistent pain or pain due to other causes, there are many things you can do on your own or ask your doctor or physical therapist about to get relief.;;;
Solutions vary;and;may;include splints, therapeutic exercises or more informal daily modifications at home and beyond.;Here are;a;few suggestions to;help;ease joint pain;head-to-toe:;
Neck pain can make it difficult to look up or turn your head sideways. If you avoid twisting your neck by moving your shoulders or entire body, the surrounding muscles may hurt as much as the joints themselves.;;;
The mandible joint can be a frequent source of discomfort, making it painful to bite into a thick sandwich or an apple. Jaw pain is common on the side of the face or just in front of the ear.;
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Treatment For Thumb Arthritis
Osteoarthritis in the thumb is the most common form of arthritis that affects the hands. Osteoarthritis results from the breakdown of joint cartilage and the underlying bone. It can affect the basal joint, which is the joint near the wrist and the fleshy part of the thumb. This joint normally allows you to pinch, pivot, and swivel your thumb for hundreds of tasks every day.
In people with thumb arthritis, the cushion-like cartilage inside the joint breaks down over time. This causes the bone to rub against bone. Symptoms of thumb arthritis can become crippling, partly because the thumb is needed so often each day. Decreased grip strength, decreased range of motion, and swelling and pain throughout your hand may occur. You may find it difficult to open jars, twist open a doorknob, or even snap your fingers.
If you have arthritis in other joints like your knees, hips, or elbows, it may make thumb arthritis more likely. Women are more prone to thumb arthritis, especially those with very flexible or lax thumb ligaments. Statistically, women are more likely than men to develop thumb arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another type of arthritis that can develop in the basal joint.
Arthritis is different in each individual. There are a variety of treatments that may work for your particular symptoms.
Initial treatment options involve:
- steroid injections
If these methods do not relieve pain and improve function, the joint may need to be reconstructed with surgery.
How Is Arthritis In The Hand Treated
Treatment options depend on the type of arthritis, stage of arthritis, how many joints are affected, your age, activity level, the hand affected and other existing medical conditions.
Goals of treatment are to:
- Improve mobility and function.
- Increase your quality of life.
- In the case of rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis, to slow the progression of the disease.
Treatment options include splinting/bracing, medications, injections, non-drug approaches and surgery.
Splits or braces support and protect the affected joint, reduce deformity, provide joint stability, lessen strain, and promote proper joint alignment. Your healthcare provider, occupational therapist or hand therapist will discuss splinting/bracing options, how and when to wear them and how long to wear them .
Steroids reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Steroids are usually used if medications dont control inflammation or if the inflammation is limited to a few joints. Injections are administered directly into the affected joint. Because steroids can weaken tendons and ligaments, injections are repeated only a few times.
Other management strategies
A complete treatment plan for arthritis of the hand includes these additional approaches:
If nonsurgical treatments no longer provide relief and the cartilage at the ends of your bones has worn away, surgery may be an option. There are several approaches:
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How To Perform Wrist Arthritis Exercises
With our hands and wrists playing a pivotal role in daily function, they are often subject to the onset of arthritis. Wrist arthritis can make basic daily activities hard to manage without pain and discomfort. While there is no cure for wrist arthritis, exercises are a great tool to incorporate into your daily routine. In this article we will provide you with some of the best exercises and tools you can do to help reduce your arthritis pain.
Make A Ginger Poultice
Applying crushed ginger to a painful join works along the same lines as capsaicinelements in the plant can deplete the bodys stores of substance P, a brain chemical that carries pain messages to your central nervous system. One study of 56 people found that ginger eased symptoms in 55 percent of people with osteoarthritis and 74 percent of those with RA. To treat yourself, peel and finely mince a 3-inch piece of fresh ginger. Mix it with just enough olive oil to form a paste, then apply it to the painful joint. Depending on where the pain is, you may need to wrap the paste in place with a gauze or a length of ace bandage. Leave in place for 10-15 minutes to allow the ginger to penetrate.
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Advanced Glycation End Products
AGEs are inflammatory compounds that can accumulate in tissues, particularly as someone ages. An article in Patient Education explains that people with diseases such as diabetes and RA often have increased AGE levels. So, reducing AGE levels may help reduce inflammation.
Fat and sugar both increase AGE levels in the body. Some food processing methods and high temperature cooking also increase the AGE levels in food.
Exercise #: Table Bend
Place the pinky-side edge of your left hand on a table, with your thumb pointed up. Holding your thumb in the same position, bend the other four fingers inward until your hand makes an L shape. Hold it for a couple of seconds, and then straighten your fingers to move them back into the starting position. Repeat 10 times, and then do the same sequence on the right hand.
Part 8 of 9: Finger Lift
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How Arthritis In The Hands Is Treated
If youre diagnosed with an inflammatory form of arthritis, you have more treatment options than someone with OA. While nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help manage the pain of both types of arthritis, the development of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologics has vastly improved the prognosis of those with inflammatory forms of arthritis by reducing inflammation and preventing further joint damage.
Cortisone injections can be useful for those with OA and conditions such as RA, though theyre usually used in patients whose inflammatory arthritis is limited to just one or two joints, Dr. Byram says. Injections of hyaluronic acid can be helpful for those with OA , but these are better for managing pain in larger joints like the knees rather than the hands.
Breath In Fragrant Spices
Pleasant aromas like lavender can alter the perception of pain, studies show. Japanese researchers found that lavender reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can make you feel relaxed and less aware of pain. But lavender isnt the only pleasant aroma that works as a natural home remedy for arthritis pain relief. Korean researchers found that arthritis patients experienced less pain and were less depressed when they were exposed to the aromas of a variety of kitchen spices, including marjoram, rosemary, and peppermint. For a pain-soothing aromatherapy treatment, add a teaspoon of one of these dried herbs to a quarter-cup of olive, coconut, or vegetable oil. Take a whiff periodically. Dont miss these other soothing;essential oils for arthritis pain relief.
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