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:
People With Stents Be Extra Careful
If you were put on antiplatelet therapy to prevent a blood clot after stents were placed in arteries, NSAIDs could raise your risk for gastrointestinal bleeding . Again, this is a catch 22 at work!
Heres the rub: Stents are metal scaffolding. These mesh tubes are designed to keep arteries from closing after angioplasty. But pure metal mesh can become clogged. That puts a heart patient back in harms way.
Manufacturers created drug-eluting stents to prevent blockage of arteries. But there is a trade off. Though they reduce the risk of scar tissue formation and reclogging of coronary arteries, there is a risk of blood clot formation. In other words, a blockage could occur inside the stent and lead to a fatal heart attack.
To prevent that, doctors often prescribe anticlotting drugs such as clolpidogrel , prasugrel , ticagrelor or ticlopidine . Not infrequently, aspirin is added to one of these antiplatelet therapy.
This dual antiplatelet therapy reduces the likelihood of blood clots forming inside the stents. But, if you have arthritis pain and add an NSAID like diclofenac or ibuprofen, there is an increased risk of a life-threatening bleeding ulcer.
Tips For Using A Cane
When using a cane, remember the following tips:
- Ensure the cane isnt too tall or short. You shouldnt slump or slouch over when using a cane. Its height should come to the top of your wrist.
- Use the cane on your strong side. If your affected hip is your right one, hold the cane with your left hand. When you step forward with your right leg, the cane will provide support. Practice moving your affected leg and the cane at the same time.
- Advance the cane an appropriate distance. Move the cane about 2 inches to the front or side of you. If its too far from your body, you might lose balance.
A physical therapist can help you develop a safe technique.
Your insurance company may cover the cost of these aids. Your healthcare provider can write a prescription for these mobility aids to help in the reimbursement process.
You May Like: What To Eat To Avoid Rheumatoid Arthritis
Can You Get Chondroitin Naturally From Foods
Chondroitin occurs naturally in animal tissue, especially connective tissues. Gristle on animal bones is high in chondroitin. However, these sources are much lower than the doses provided in chondroitin supplements. Some chondroitin supplements come from animal sources, like shark or beef cartilage.
Gout And Calcium Crystal Diseases
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that can cause painful swelling in joints. It typically affects the big toe, but it can also affect other joints in the body.
Joints affected by gout can become red and hot. The skin may also look shiny and can peel.
Its caused by having too much urate, otherwise known as uric acid, in the body. We all have a certain amount of urate in our body.
However, being overweight or eating and drinking too much of certain types of food and alcoholic drinks can cause some people to have more urate in their bodies. The genes you inherit can make you more likely to develop gout.
If it reaches a high level, urate can form into crystals that remain in and around the joint. They can be there for a while without causing any problems and even without the person realising they are there.
A knock to a part of the body or having a fever can lead to the crystals falling into the soft part of the joint. This will cause pain and swelling.
There are drugs that can reduce the amount of urate in the body and prevent gout attacks. Examples are allopurinol and . If youre having a gout attack, youll also need short-term pain relief. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as well as paracetamol can be good drugs to try first.
Men can get gout from their mid-20s, and in women its more common after the menopause. Taking water tablets can increase the risk of gout.
There are also conditions that cause calcium crystals to form in and around joints.
Also Check: Does Arthritis Pain Cause Fatigue
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.
Should I See A Doctor
Its common to have aches and pains in your muscles and joints from time to time. This may especially be true if you take part in unusual or strenuous physical activities.
So, how can you tell the difference between the early signs of arthritis and normal pain and stiffness? And, how do you know when you should see a doctor about your symptoms?
If you have swelling or stiffness that you cant explain and that doesn’t go away in a few days, or if it becomes painful to touch your joints, you should see a doctor. The earlier you get a diagnosis and start the right type of treatment, the better the outcome will be.
Here are some other things to think about that might help you decide whether you need to see a doctor:
You May Like: Is Gin Good For Arthritis
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.
Natural Therapies For Arthritis Pain
Medication isn’t the only way to manage arthritis pain. Look at these eight natural therapies for arthritis.
1. 8 Natural Therapies for Arthritis Pain
4. Tai Chi
6. Weight Loss
7. Physical Therapy
8. Topical Gels
You May Like: Can You Exercise With Arthritis
Who Should Avoid Supplements And Vitamins
Supplements are not a good idea for people with some kinds of health conditions. They also can keep some medications from working as well as they should. Always talk with your doctor before you add any to your diet. People who should avoid certain types include:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women, because some supplements can be dangerous to the baby. A daily prenatal vitamin has the right types and amounts of nutrients for these women.
- People who take heart medications, diuretics, blood thinners, aspirin, drugs that turn down the immune system, and steroids. With any type of drug, theres always a chance that it wont mix well with a supplement, but the problems can be especially severe with some of these drugs.
- People who are going to have surgery, because some products may lead to bleeding and other dangerous complications.
- People whove had cancer or are getting treated for it. Some supplements could help cancer cells grow or make treatments for the disease less effective.
Add Cloves To Your Diet
Cloves contain an anti-inflammatory chemical called eugenol that interferes with a bodily process that triggers arthritis. In one animal study, eugenol prevented the release of COX-2, a protein that spurs inflammation . Cloves also contain antioxidants, which are important in slowing the cartilage and bone damage caused by arthritis. Aim for ½ to 1 teaspoon a day for joint pain relief.
Also Check: Is Red Meat Bad For Arthritis
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.
What Is The Long
Some knee pain, especially pain caused by osteoarthritis, will likely be permanent. Thats because the structure of the knee is damaged. Without surgery or another type of extensive treatment, youll continue to feel pain, inflammation, and swelling in your knee.
The long-term outlook for chronic knee pain involves managing pain, preventing flare-ups, and working to reduce irritation to the knee.
Also Check: Is Arthritis An Autoimmune Disorder
Other Shots For Knee Arthritis
Hyaluronic acid is a substance already in the fluid of your knee. It helps lubricate the joint. When you have arthritis, the hyaluronic acid in your joint becomes thinner and less effective.
- Your doctor can inject a form of hyaluronic acid into your joint to help lubricate and protect it. This is sometimes called artificial joint fluid, or viscosupplementation.
- These injections cannot help everyone and fewer health plans cover these injections.
Stem cell injection is also available. However, this treatment is still new. Talk to your provider before having the injection.
Reduces Pain And Stiffness Of Osteoarthritis
Youd think with all the advances in modern medicine, someone would have found a magic bullet to eliminate the often crippling pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
Although its not magic, hyaluronic acid may help relieve the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis. People with osteoarthritis tend to have low amounts of HA in their synovial fluid.
Intra-articular injections of HA have long been used to restore HA levels in knee joints. HA helps protect your cartilage and decreases levels of anti-inflammatory substances such as prostaglandin E2 resulting in less pain and inflammation.
Oral Hyaluronic Acid shows promise for OA pain relief
A Japanese Study of 33 patients with knee pain who were given 240 mg/day of HA or placebo for 8 weeks found the HA group showed significant improvement in joint pain and stiffness.
Another study of 37 Americans with OA of the knees were given 200 mg/day orally or a placebo for 8 weeks with the HA group showing significant improvements in scores for ADLs and overall performance scores.
In a 2015 study, 72 patients with OA were given either a liquid HA mixture or placebo for 4 weeks (225 mg HA/day the first 2 weeks, then 150 mg/day the last 2 weeks. No improvement in knee pain was reported in the placebo group , however, significant improvement in pain relief was seen in the HA group.
Bottom Line: HA may help reduce pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis of the knee.
You May Like: What Is The Difference Between Gout And Gouty Arthritis
What Are Treatment Options For Ra
There are many medications for rheumatoid arthritis, but painful flare-ups are still a fact of life. The good news is there are many things you can do to reduce, and even prevent, pain.
It is something that affects you throughout life, so you want to find ways to perform activities while protecting your joints and respecting your body, says Rhonda Reininger, director of rehabilitation compliance at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Rehabilitation.
Here, doctors recommend 10 techniques to help ease the pain of rheumatoid arthritis.
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.
You May Like: How To Fight Against Arthritis
Nutritional Supplements And Dietary Changes
There’s no strong evidence to suggest that specific dietary changes can improve rheumatoid arthritis, although some people with rheumatoid arthritis feel their symptoms get worse after they have eaten certain foods.
If you think this may be the case for you, it may be useful to try avoiding problematic foods for a few weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
But it’s important to ensure your overall diet is still healthy and balanced. A Mediterranean-style diet, which is based on vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish and unsaturated fats such as olive oil, is recommended.
There’s also little evidence supporting the use of supplements in rheumatoid arthritis, although some can be useful in preventing side effects of medicines you may be taking.
There’s some evidence to suggest that taking fish oil supplements may help reduce joint pain and stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
- National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society : diet and rheumatoid arthritis
Page last reviewed: 28 August 2019 Next review due: 28 August 2022
How To Help An Older Dog With Arthritis And Other Mobility Problems
This page may contain affiliate links. We earn a commission for qualifying purchases at no cost to you. Our mission is to help save dogs’ and cats lives through our educational content. To help us create more veterinarian- and trainer-approved content, please consider buying one of our web-books for yourself or as a gift.
Our dogs are living longer these days, which is unequivocally great! With advancing age though, its common to see a host of medical and cognitive problems develop in aging dogs.
One of the big ones and one which can often be the easiest to deal with is when dogs start to have problems getting up and getting around.
Fortunately, helping your aging, arthritic dog with such mobility issues doesnt mean you have to remodel your home or move to a single-story rancher. Helping them and improving their quality of life also neednt be backbreaking for you, and it isnt even all about medications!
There are lots of simple, inexpensive, and effective things you can get and do to improve your aging or arthritic dog’s mobility. We’ll also explore therapies and treatment options such as laser therapy, acupuncture, and dog massage that can help relieve your dog’s pain and inflammation.
Learn more about what to do next if your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis in our Pet InfoRx Dog Arthritis.
You May Like: Do Knee Compression Sleeves Work For Arthritis
Add Natural Supplements To Your Diet
A number of supplements, vitamins, and minerals may help reduce inflammation and arthritis pain. Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, as well as minerals like zinc, calcium, iron, and magnesium, all play important roles in overall health.
Some people with arthritis find capsaicin, turmeric, and a variety of other supplements can improve arthritis symptoms. Talk to your health care team to find out which supplements might be a good addition to your arthritis management plan.
What Are The Risks Of Taking Chondroitin
- Side effects. Chondroitin seems to be safe for most people. Side effects are rare. Some people have reported headaches, mood changes, rash, hives, diarrhea, and other symptoms. If you have any side effects, stop taking the supplement and see a doctor.
- Risks. People who have asthma, or prostate cancer should not take chondroitin supplements without talking to a doctor first. There have been some instances of hypersensitivity in people with shellfish allergies. Since chondroitin might work as a blood thinner, there is a theoretical risk of bleeding, especially in people with bleeding disorders. Some initial reports that chondroitin may affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes have not been shown to be true in larger, more recent research studies. Also, because chondroitin is derived from animal sources, there are some concerns about contamination. Make sure that the product being used comes from reputable companies and manufacturers.
- Interactions. If you take any medications regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using chondroitin supplements. They could interact with drugs like blood thinners and NSAID painkillers or supplements like ginkgo biloba, garlic, and saw palmetto.
You May Like: Why Do You Get Arthritis