Make A Few Wardrobe Changes
Minor changes to your wardrobe can reduce strain on your hands, helping to ease your overall pain and stiffness. For example, try wearing:
- Shoes that slip on or use Velcro rather than shoelaces
- Shirts that pull over the head rather than button up
- Pants that have elastic waistbands rather than snaps and zippers
Other lifestyle changes can also be helpful. For example, when cooking, use a jar opener, lightweight pots and pans, and kitchen utensils with large handles. An occupational therapist can give you additional ideas on how to reduce strain on hand joints.
How To Diagnose Arthritis In The Hands
Your doctor may rely on medical history, physical examination, and blood and imaging tests to determine the diagnosis.
- Physical examination: Swelling of the hands feels harder in osteoarthritis , whereas it is softer in rheumatoid arthritis .
- Blood test: It is performed to detect the presence of antibodies such as rheumatoid factor or anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide that help identify RA and other types of inflammatory arthritis.
- Imaging test:X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging scans may reveal joint erosion in RA and the presence of osteophytes and loss of cartilage in OA.
Staying Physically Active Despite Hand Arthritis
Your doctor will tell you and probably has already that staying physically active is an important part of managing arthritis. In fact, according to a study of 5,715 adults with arthritis over age 65, a lack of regular, vigorous physical activity doubled the risk of functional decline. In other words, the less physically active the participants were, the more likely they were to become disabled.
Of course, despite data showing that physical activity helps people with arthritis become stronger and more flexible, anyone with arthritis will tell you that sometimes pain or stiffness makes it hard to get going, let alone lift weights at the gym. People with arthritis often give up activities they think of as optional, such as exercising or gardening, in order to have enough energy for the activities they feel obligated to do, such as cleaning the house. One study found that only 13 percent of men and 8 percent of women with arthritis met federal guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week.
If symptoms of arthritis in your hands or elsewhere are preventing you from participating in the physical activities you used to enjoy and that are good for you it may be time to find new ways to be active. For example, you may want to experiment with water activities such as swimming, or try tai chi, dance, or walking .
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What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis
Each persons symptoms may vary. The most common symptoms include:
Pain in 1 or more joints that doesnt go away, or comes back
Warmth and redness in 1 or more joints
Swelling in 1 or more joints
Stiffness in 1 or more joints
Trouble moving 1 or more joints in a normal way
These symptoms can look like other health conditions. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Exercises To Relieve Arthritis
The following exercises increase blood flow to cartilage, bringing it the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and prevent further breakdown. Consult your healthcare provider before starting these exercises to make sure theyre appropriate for you.
If so, the exercises are easy to do and can ease your arthritis pain:
The stronger your muscles are, the more weight they will be able to handle. Like other types of exercise, hand exercises won’t “work” overnight. But they should with time and repetition.
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Wear Protective Sports Gear To Prevent Injuries
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.
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How Common Is Arthritis
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than 54 million U.S. adults have arthritis. For about half of those people, arthritis limits their activities.
About 15 million people experience arthritis-related severe joint pain.
Arthritis is more common among women than men, and risk often increases with age.
Arthritis is also commonly diagnosed among those with other chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, and can make it more difficult for people to manage these chronic conditions.
Consider Topical Pain Medication
Over the counter gels, balms, creams, or patches are ideal for hand joints, which lie just below the skin. Regardless of how they are applied, most topical arthritis pain relievers fall into these categories:
- Salicylates, which have mild anti-inflammatory effects
- Counterirritants, which distract from pain
- Capsaicin products, which distract from pain and may have a role in blocking pain signals
- Cannabidiol products
- Lidocaine products, which work as local anesthetics
While topical products are generally safe, their ingredients can enter the bloodstream and produce side effects or interact with other medications. Its advisable to talk to a doctor or pharmacist before trying any new medication.
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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.
Try Simple Stretches For Flexibility
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What Outcome Can I Expect If I Have Arthritis In My Hands
There is no cure for arthritis. However, you can usually manage mild to moderate symptoms with a combination of medication and non-medication approaches. Surgery may be an option if other treatments fail or the arthritis in your hands is severe. Your healthcare provider will explain what outcome you can expect for your type and severity of arthritis, your age, other existing medical conditions and other factors.
Avoid Tasks That Make The Pain Worse
Try to avoid tasks that are causing the pain or making it worse. This may be anything that has a repetitive nature, such as using a screwdriver, painting or lifting heavy objects. You might be able to change the way you do some tasks to take the strain off your hands and wrists. Some conditions affecting the hand and wrist wont get better until you stop doing certain tasks.
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What Are The Causes Of Hand Arthritis
The exact cause of hand arthritis is unknown. The condition usually develops due to wear and tear of the joint, which occurs gradually over time.
Theres also a genetic component to hand OA. Family members may develop OA at a younger age than the general population, and may have more severe disease.
A healthy joint has cartilage at the end of the bone that cushions and allows smooth movement. In OA, cartilage deteriorates, exposing the underlying bone, which triggers joint pain and stiffness.
Your risk for OA increases if you:
- have a family member who also has degenerative joint pain of the hands
- have a job that requires a lot of hand work such as manufacturing
- have had a hand injury
The more you use your hands, the more wear and tear you place on the joints and the cartilage that supports them.
Theres also a higher risk factor for hand arthritis if youre female. Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis.
People born with malformed joints or defective cartilage are also more likely to develop this condition.
Diagnosing hand arthritis involves an evaluation and tests. Your doctor will check the joints in your hand for signs of OA.
- limited range of motion
In some cases, your doctor will also order an X-ray to look for cartilage loss and other signs of damage. This can indicate arthritis of the hand and that they should look for potential bone spurs and erosions.
Rarely, your doctor might order an MRI to look more closely at your bones and soft tissue.
What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis In The Hands
Early symptoms include:
- Dull or burning joint pain, appearing hours or a day after increased use of your hands.
- Morning pain and stiffness in your hand.
- Swollen joints in your hand.
If you’ve had arthritis in your hand for some time:
- Symptoms are present more often.
- Pain may change from dull ache to sharp pain.
- Pain may wake you up at night.
- Pain may cause you to change the way you use your hand.
- Tissue surrounding your affected joint may become red and tender to the touch.
- Youll feel grating, grinding, cracking or clicking when bending your fingers.
- Your fingers cant fully open and close.
- Small bony nodules form on the middle joint of your fingers or at the top joints of your fingers .
- Your finger joints become large and deformed and abnormally bent, leaving your hands weak and less able to accomplish everyday tasks.
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Treatments For Hand Oa
- Non-Drug Treatments: Reducing strain on joints with a splint or brace, adapting hand movements, doing hand exercises or using hot or cold therapy can help to ease pain.
- Drug Treatments: Medicines to ease OA symptoms are available as pills, syrups, creams or lotions, or they are injected into a joint. They include pain relievers like acetaminophen, counterirritants like capsaicin or menthol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids.
- Surgical Treatments: If medications or self-care activities fails to give relief, surgery may be an option. An orthopaedic surgeon can remove the damaged cartilage and fuse bones together or replace the damaged joint with a plastic, ceramic or metal implant.
More Tips For Your Hands
Moving your hands and fingers can help keep your ligaments and tendons flexible and increase the function of synovial fluid. Try regular hand exercises to strengthen muscles and relieve stiffness and pain. Simple exercises like flexing and bending, finger touching, and finger sliding may help keep your fingers limber.
Staying physically active while at the same time taking extra precautions against injury is vital not only for preventing arthritis, but also for your overall physical health.
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The Diagnosis Of Osteoarthritis
When diagnosing osteoarthritis, your doctor will ask you about your hands and other joints. Explain how your symptoms affect what you do. Your doctor will check how your hands look and function. X-rays of joints with osteoarthritis can show loss of normal joint space, bone spurs, or other changes.
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.
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How To Get Rid Of Arthritis In Hand With Oil Massage
- Oil Massage
Way of Approach
- Try to approach some acupuncture or massaging procedures to get rid of joints of the hand as treatment for arthritis in your hand.
How It Works
Acupuncture for wrist arthritis and massaging helps in good blood circulation to your signs of arthritis in hands. Also the massaging helps in relaxing the muscles and tissues of the crooked ring finger. Hence try our tips on How to Get Rid of arthritis in fingers as a treatment for arthritis in hands and natural arthritis relief which are useful for unable to straighten pinky finger arthritis prevention.
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.
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How Can I Protect My Sore Hands
Here are some ways to protect the joints in your hands:
- Take notice of pain it can serve as a warning that your joints are being overworked. Rather than giving up an activity altogether, try taking regular rests during the activity and learning ways to manage pain. You will usually find you can still do the things you enjoy without discomfort.
- Use larger, stronger joints for example, carry your shopping bags over your shoulder rather than in your hands.
- Spread the load over several joints try carrying things with two hands.
- Reduce the effort you have to put in there is a wide range of labour-saving tools and equipment available. Buy pre-cut vegetables and meat to make cooking easier.
- Avoid gripping things tightly find out about gadgets that can make gripping and holding objects easier.
- See an occupational therapist to learn more ways to make daily tasks easier and take pressure off your joints.
- Visit an Independent Living Centre. These centres have a wide range of tools and equipment on display. You can get advice, including where to purchase equipment, in person or over the phone. Occupational therapists are also available at the centres to provide advice about equipment. Although you can drop in at anytime, it is preferred that you call the telephone enquiry service beforehand.
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.
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What Causes Arthritis
The cause depends on the type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by the wear and tear of the joint over time or because of overuse. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and scleroderma are caused by the bodys immune system attacking the bodys own tissues. Gout is caused by the buildup of crystals in the joints. Some forms of arthritis can be linked to genes. People with genetic marker HLA-B27 have a higher risk of ankylosing spondylitis. For some other forms of arthritis, the cause is not known.
Will I Need Surgery
Not unless the deformity has a big impact on your life. For damaged fingers, your doctor or a hand therapist can provide splints and exercises. Warm wax baths may ease pain. A hand therapist may also suggest new ways to use your hands that can lessen pain and protect your joints.
If youÃ¢re just starting to develop claw toe, splints or tape can help straighten out your toes.
If youÃ¢ve had claw toe for a while, a splint may not be able to straighten out the joint. These tips can make it more comfortable to walk:
- Put a special pad in your shoe to reduce pressure on the ball of your foot.
- Try shoes that have an extra-deep toe box.
- Ask a shoe repair shop to stretch the toe box where you need extra room.
Comfortable shoes can also make it easier to walk with bunions.
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