Tuesday, June 25, 2024

How To Help Rheumatoid Arthritis In Hands

Ditch The Screen And Unwind With A Board Game

Rheumatoid Arthritis Hand Exercises | Mobility & Strength

Old-school games like checkers, jigsaw puzzles, and Scrabble may seem like indoor activities particularly after two years of a pandemic that kept us all inside far more than we ever wanted to be. But you can bring them out to your patio or picnic table while you safely soak up a little vitamin D. The pieces with checkers and Scrabble are small and light, and theres no reason for people with joint pain not to play games like that, says Dodge.

Classic games are also a good reminder that stepping away from our computers and phones is a great way to connect with friends and family and avoid further discomfort thats associated with too much screen time.

Other Causes Of Hand And Finger Symptoms

RA hand symptoms can mimic those of other conditions, such as osteoarthritis. Some members of myRAteam discovered their hand pain was actually related to secondary Raynauds disease, a vascular condition that affects 10 percent to 20 percent of people with RA. Psoriatic arthritis, another autoimmune disease, can also cause hand and finger dysfunction as can pinched nerves in the neck.

A rheumatologist can diagnose the specific cause of symptoms in the hand with a physical exam and X-rays. X-rays can detect narrowing of joint space or erosions of the bone that could signal RA. Ultrasound and MRI technology has improved the ability to spot joint damage earlier in the course of the disease.

Take Medications And Work To Strengthen Hand Muscles

We now take a two-pronged approach to treatment. Medications help systemically so you dont get any erosion of the joints, and you also have to strengthen and work all muscles, so muscles become strong, balanced, and in the optimal position to prevent further deterioration of the joints, Wilmarth says. When you have an issue of weakness, or an even bigger issue, pain, the symptoms exist almost 24/7 for your hands. Women may have weaker grip strength as noted in some of these studies. And unfortunately, it doesnt take long for grip to deteriorate.

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Category: Natural Pain Relief

About RA Pain Management

The purpose of RA Pain Management is to provide rheumatoid arthritis sufferers a resource for natural pain management tips, treatments, products, resources, and links that are helping those living with the disease to live their lives more enjoyably.

Can Arthritis In The Hand Be Prevented

Celebrate Rheumatoid Awareness Day February 2, 2014 #Rheum

Arthritis cant be prevented. However, you can watch for symptoms of arthritis as you age and see your healthcare provider if you notice changes in your joints. You can also take steps to control factors that you can control. Eat healthy to nourish your body and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts more stress on your joints. Dont smoke. Smoking increases your risk of arthritis.

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Castor Oil Also Relieves Arthritis Pain In Hands

Talking about oil massage, you can also use Castor oil for the purpose. This oil has a component called ricinoleic acid that contains analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It was not in vain when your mother insisted on gulping castor oil in your childhood days. You can still have it internally. Just heat up two tablespoons of castor oil and add it to your daily breakfast juice. While you may not get instant relief from pain but will sure feel the difference in the level of pain within a couple of weeks. Massaging your hands with this castor oil can also give you relief from swollen fingers and joints as well as from pain

Do this:

Do this:

  • Add peppermint and eucalyptus oil to the carrier oil of your choice.
  • Now store this oil blend in a small dark glass bottle somewhere away from direct sunlight.
  • Whenever, you get a flare-up, just take some drops of this oil and rub onto your hands or fingers.

Do I Have Arthritis In The Hands

Arthritis is not always easy to diagnose. Most patients have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Pain: Itis an early symptom of arthritis, in most cases as morning pain and stiffness. Activities that once were easy, such as opening a jar or starting the car engine become difficult due to pain in the hands
  • Swelling: This symptom is characterized by a series of signs that include pain, redness of the skin, and warmth. Warmthupon touch is due to the bodys inflammatory response.
  • Crepitations: When the articulation crepitates, it can be due to damaged cartilage surfaces rubbing against one another.
  • Other signs and symptoms: Other include joint tenderness, instability, effusion, limitation of range of movement and wasting of the muscles.

But even if you have these symptoms in your hands, you dont necessarily have arthritis. You will need several exams, including blood tests, X-rays, rheumatoid arthritis serology, and you may also need more advanced exams, as in joint aspiration.

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So Whats The Overarching Verdict So Far

Ambivalent at best. It will be very difficult and time consuming to eat enough ginger, green tea, black pepper, etc. to truly alleviate your RA symptoms in the most optimal way. By the time you ate enough cinnamon stiff joints might not be your only concern anymore. So, now what?

7. Lab Grade Turmeric + Lab Grade Boswellia SerrataThe combination of these trusted remedies is a ONE-TWO PUNCHYouve probably used turmeric while cooking before its a yellow spice that most people associate with curry dishes. Know what it reminds RA sufferers of? Relief. Its true that turmeric is another anti-inflammatory agent. But, what makes this remedy a little different is that youre not just ingesting turmeric. Its the lab grade organic turmeric CO2 extraction that is the key player here. Were talking about the extraction of pure turmeric into a pill or oil form.

Know whats great about this? You dont have to worry about the dosage of eating a bunch of curry. You can take a pill or rub some oil that has the optimal dose for relief of your RA pain. In its un-extracted form, were talking about the spice, the herb. The same thing you flavor your dishes with. And, truthfully, in this capacity, it probably has similar effectiveness to the other six natural remedies mentioned above. With CO2 extraction though, youre extracting the most pure form of turmeric , to aid in your relief.

Zipper Pulls And Button Fasteners

7 Helpful Hand Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Beginner Hand Workout

Gripping a tiny metal zipper and pulling it up and down your jacket or pants may become increasingly difficult with RA, just as dealing with buttons might feel too painful.

While zipper or button-free clothing items can be helpful if you have a dressing stick, you may still need to deal with the occasional zipper or button on your favorite clothing items.

This is where a zipper pull might help. You generally have two options: pull tabs that attach and stay on your zippers, or this highly rated button hook and zipper pull 2-in-1 device.

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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.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Hand Surgery

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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Easy Grip Hand In Mug

RAPMs Recommendation: Sammons Preston Easy Grip Hand in Mug Buy Now

  • This mug is specifically designed for people with weak grip.
  • It is BPA, Phthalates free, and dishwasher-friendly.
  • It is made with a very strong polycarbonate material that makes sure the mug is sturdy and can withstand slips and falls.

How Do We Tell What The Cause Of Joint Pain Is In An Ra Patient

Rheumatoid Arthritis Of Hands With Ulnar Deviation Photograph by ...

When a rheumatologist sees a patient with RA and pain is their primary complaint, the first step is often to assess how active the synovitis or inflammation component due to RA is since treatment of this is important not only to prevent pain but also to prevent further joint damage. Rheumatoid arthritis inflammation is often associated with prolonged morning stiffness of 1-2 hours, whereas an osteoarthritic joint will be painful and stiff for only a few minutes on waking and then get worse with use over the day. The rheumatologist will also assess the degree of inflammation by feeling the number of tender and swollen joints and performing blood tests that indicate general inflammation levels .

It is often difficult in patients with long-standing disease to determine whether persistent RA inflammation or osteoarthritis is the problem in any one joint, and this may be especially difficult in large joints such as the knee. As stated above,often more than one problem is present.

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About Tristate Arthritis And Rheumatology

Tristate Arthritis and Rheumatology is first and largest Rheumatology practice in the Northern Kentucky area. Founded by Dr. Arthur Kunath in 1986, our rheumatology practice now consists of six doctors who are board certified in both Internal Medicine and Rheumatology and a Physician Assistant. Patients see one doctor , thereby assuring continuity of care and an individualized doctor-patient atmosphere giving the physician the ability to establish personalized and detailed relationships. Our doctors have received numerous awards, including being listed as Top Doctors in Cincinnati Magazine, receiving the Patients Choice Award, the Most Compassionate Doctor Award, and the American College of Rheumatologys My Doc Rocks award.

Ra Hand Grip Strength Challenges And Recommendations

Wilmarth takes a positive approach to the Swedish research and offers some encouraging words to people living with RA. We need to continue to move forward and perform additional studies, taking into account medications, function, exercise, pain level, control groups, and as many variables as possible. This is not simple with such a dynamic area of the body as the wrists and hands. she explains. And ultimately, the good news is that there was some good news from the Swedish study: Grip strength did improve in the first year, Wilmarth says.

The important things to remember here include the following: maintain function with your hands and all that entails, namely ROM, strengthening, self-care, rest, proper ergonomics, use of adaptive equipment and splints when necessary, modalities and medications, says Wilmarth.

We have to figure out how to maintain grip strength with a disease thats not predictable, she says. When were working with orthopedic issues, the condition is usually more predictable. RA and inflammatory arthritis are more difficult to deal with no question about it but that doesnt mean we cant deal with it. It just means we have to be patient and continue to work on strengthening.

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What Is A Boutonniere Deformity

Boutonniere deformity, also called buttonhole deformity, can happen due to rheumatoid arthritis.

The middle finger joint will bend toward the palm while the outer finger joint may bend opposite the palm. It may be the result of chronic inflammation of the finger’s middle joint.

Treatment may include splinting to keep the middle joint extended. Some cases need surgery.

Get more information on other RA joint deformities.

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Which Joints In The Hands Are Affected By Ra

Rheumatoid Arthritis: 3 Common Hand Findings in 150 seconds

The joints that connect your fingers to your hands are among the ones most often affected. You are also likely to experience symptoms in the the joints between your wrist and forearms and the middle knuckles in your fingers. The outermost joints are the least likely to be affected by RA. Usually, people will not start feeling pain there until the joints further down the hand have been affected.

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Wear Protective Sports Gear To Prevent Injuries

  • 1Preventing hand injuries is crucial if you want to avoid arthritis. If you skateboard, snowboard, ski, or play hockey, remember to wear your wrist guards at all times. If you play baseball or lacrosse, be sure to wear your gloves and elbow guards.XResearch source You can also protect your joints by:
  • Stretching and warming up properly before you begin
  • Cooling down for 5-10 minutes when youâre doneXResearch source
  • Wearing wrist supports if youâve injured your wrists in the past
  • 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 .


    Steroid injections

    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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    Evening Primrose Oil Supplements

    Some plant oils may reduce pain and stiffness associated with RA. Evening primrose oil contains an essential fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid that may provide some relief.

    A 2016 study found that taking evening primrose oil and fish oil may reduce inflammation and disease activity.

    According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health , however, more research is needed on the effectiveness of primrose oil.

    Again, check with your doctor before taking evening primrose oil, as it may interact with some medications. Potential side effects include headache and an upset stomach.

    Thunder god vine grows in China and Taiwan and is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Research has indicated that it may be effective for treating RA symptoms.

    According to a 2015 study , thunder god vine was comparable to the standard RA drug methotrexate in relieving symptoms. The study found that taking both was even more effective.

    A 2018 research review also suggested that thunder god vine supplements may help reduce inflammation. Still, more research is needed on long-term effects and safety.

    Talk to your doctor and assess the benefits before trying thunder god vine, as it may have some serious side effects. These can include reduced bone mineral content, infertility, rashes, and hair loss.

    Thunder god vine can also be poisonous if it isnt prepared correctly.

    Meditation For Pain Management

    Hands With Rheumatoid Arthritis Photograph by James Stevenson/science ...

    Meditation is an ancient mind and body practice that goes back to Buddhism and other Eastern religions. It puts your focus and attention on the current moment and not letting lifeâs distractions get in your way.

    According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine, meditation can promote âcalmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being.â And research shows meditation can be helpful for managing chronic pain associated with conditions like OA and RA.

    A 2011 article in the medical journal Rheumatic Diseases Clinics of North America looked at the possible benefits of meditation on people with rheumatological diseases like RA and OA, which the author cites as the most significant causes of chronic pain.

    The reportâs author further argues that while mind-body therapies can be effective for managing pain, only about 20% of people with chronic pain use them. This 2011 piece also discusses an older study that found only eight weeks of mediation therapy improved pain in people with RA.

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    Changes In Surrounding Joints

    In patients with advanced thumb base arthritis, the neighboring joints may become more mobile than normal.

    Thumb extension deformity. This patient has lost mobility at the base of the thumb due to arthritis. The next joint closer to the tip of the thumb has become more mobile than normal to make up for the arthritic joint. Normally, the thumb does not come to a right angle with the rest of the hand.

    Integrative Medicine Treatments For Hand Arthritis

    Many doctors today recommend a treatment plan that uses integrative medicinea combination of conventional Western medicine and alternative medicine. Both Western and alternative treatments are supported by research.

    Occupational therapy For many patients, hand exercises can be the most cost-effective treatment option.1 A licensed occupational therapist can teach a person exercises that help strengthen the joints in the wrists and fingers, improve hand dexterity, and protect joints from further degeneration.

    SplintingStabilize and support the hand joints with splints. There are several different types of braces, including smaller braces that stabilize individual knuckles and larger ones that stabilize the wrist and hand. Bracing at night can prevent pain from interrupting sleep .

    People who find braces too cumbersome or rigid to wear all the time may wear compression gloves or sleeves instead. The goal of these products is to support joints while allowing for some flexibility.

    MedicationsBoth topical and oral pain medications can temporarily ease pain caused by hand arthritis.

    • Topical pain relievers come in the form of creams, balms, gels, or patches, and are sold over-the-counter. Certain topical products require a physicians prescription.

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