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.
Keep Your Joints Moving
Theres something called synovial fluid between your joints, which cushions the ends of your bones and reduces friction when you move your joints, Medline Plus explains. This fluid warms up with movement and can help lessen the symptoms of arthritis, says Hiten Patel, M.D., M.P.H., a family medicine physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
General mobility and movementspecifically strengthening muscles around the jointcan improve pain, Dr. Patel says. Movement itself creates more synovial fluid, which lubricates the joint and causes less arthritis symptoms, he says. Even stretching your joints through their full range of motion can help.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that you focus on stretching, range-of-motion exercises and gradual progressive strength training, and include low-impact aerobic exercise like walking, cycling, or water exercises. At the same time, youll want to avoid high-impact activities like running, jumping, tennis, high-impact aerobics, and repeating the same movement, like doing a tennis serve repeatedly.
Orthotic Inserts And Braces
Some people find that wearing an orthotic insert, which fits into the shoe, or a foot or ankle brace helps to ease arthritis symptoms. By limiting the movement of the foot or ankle joint, an insert or brace may relieve pain and stiffness, making it more comfortable to walk.
Orthotic inserts are available in different sizes and levels of stiffness. They can be placed in the shoe to support different parts of the feet, depending on the location of your arthritis pain. Orthotic inserts help reduce the amount of stress put on arthritic areas of the foot by redistributing the weight of the body to other parts of the foot, providing pain relief.
Braces also come in different sizes and levels of support. Some are flexible and worn in addition to regular shoes, and others resemble a cast that covers part of the foot and ankle. NYU Langone doctors can advise you on the type of brace that best suits your lifestyle and the severity of your symptoms. If youre planning to spend the day in an environment that requires very little walking, for instance, a light brace may be all you need. If your job requires you to be on your feet all day, a brace with more support might be a better choice.
Some of the time, inserts and braces available at drugstores work well. If your doctor suggests that a brace or orthotic insert designed to fit the shape of your foot may be more effective, NYU Langone specialists can customize a brace or orthotic insert to ensure it provides the support you need.
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Can Diet Help Treat Arthritis
Research suggests that following an anti-inflammatory diet can reduce osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. A healthy diet can also lead to weight loss, which reduces stress and strain on joints. Gout, a form of metabolic arthritis, can be relieved by avoiding purines that can trigger gout flares.
How Arthritis Creams Work
Arthritis creams help relieve joint pain when applied to the skin. They can provide short-term but effective relief. These creams tend to work best on joints that are close to the surface of the skin, such as the joints in the hands or knees.
The main pain relieving ingredients in arthritis creams are:
These substances are called counterirritants. They warm or cool the skin and distract the brain from pain.
Capsaicin is a natural, odor-free element found in hot chili peppers. It reduces pain by blocking the skins pain receptors.
The arthritis creams most commonly found in drugstores include:
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Surgery For Hip Arthritis
The progression of hip arthritis and effectiveness of various nonsurgical treatments varies. If nonsurgical options dont provide the desired pain relief and your quality of life suffers, it may be time to consider surgical options, such as:
- Hip replacement surgery, or hip arthroplasty, is a procedure to replace one or both ends of a damaged hip joint with artificial implants.
- Hip fusion is a procedure to fuse the bones of the hip joint together. It used to be the standard surgical treatment for hip arthritis before replacement surgeries became available, but is now a last-resort treatment as it severely impacts mobility.
Alternative And Complementary Medicine
A 2016 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows more than 40% of adults with arthritis have tried an approach outside of mainstream medicine, such as:
- Acupuncture: Thin needles are inserted into the skin to ease pain.
- Yoga and tai chi: Slow stretching movements aid in flexibility and range of motion.
- Massage: Therapists stroke and knead muscles to boost blood flow and relieve muscle tension and stiffness, which could also help the joints by improving mobility and pain.
- Homeopathic treatments: Small amounts of natural substances like plants and minerals are used to help reduce inflammation and pain.
- Naturopathy: Diet and lifestyle changes, stress relief, supplements, exercise, and counseling help heal the body.
- Mindfulness and meditation: Mind and body practices increase calmness and physical relaxation. Simple breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques can help to reduce anxiety and pain.
Research is mixed about the benefits of alternative and complementary medicine for arthritis pain. Studies show that acupuncture and massage offer possible short-term pain relief. And, mind-body practices like meditation, tai chi, and yoga could improve rheumatoid arthritis pain alongside traditional treatment options.
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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.
Medications Used To Treat Arthritis Symptoms
Arthritis medicines are generally very effective in helping people with arthritis to manage joint pain and other symptoms. Find out what types of arthritis medicine are available, and how they can help with your arthritis.
Arthritis can produce many symptoms and joint problems, including inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and certainly joint pain. But arthritis medicines are available to help ease nearly all types of arthritis aches and pains.
When your doctor is considering which arthritis medicine might be best for your pain, she has many options to choose from. Here, you’ll find information on common classes of arthritis medicines, what their potential side effects are, and how they can help you to manage joint pain and other arthritis symptoms.
Acetaminophen for Arthritis
Sold over-the-counter under the brand name Tylenol and others, acetaminophen is often one of the first medications recommended to manage pain, including joint pain caused by arthritis. If taken correctly, acetaminophen has no side effects. However, taking too much can lead to liver damage.
NSAIDS for Arthritis
- Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract
- Increased risk of a heart attack
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Arthritis And Joint Pain Management
Many professional organizations have guidelines for managing arthritis pain. A common theme across guidelines is that pain management strategies should be flexible, include options that do not involve medication, and be tailored to meetthe needs of the patient. Such guidelines suggestthe following for managing arthritis symptoms such as pain:
- Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
- Physical activity/exercise or community-based physical activity programs.
- Exercise therapy, including physical therapy.
- Self-management education workshops.
- Weight loss, if overweight or obese.
- Cognitive behavioral therapya psychological, goal-directed approach in which patients learn how to modify physical, behavioral, and emotional triggers of pain and stress.
Emerging evidence suggests that these are safer and more effective treatments for managing long-term arthritis pain than opioids.
- A recent study of individuals with knee and hip osteoarthritis, the most common types of arthritis, found that after one year, people who took over-the-counter medications had greater reductions in pain severity than people who took opioids.
Safer options exist to help manage arthritis pain.
Best Cream: Sayman Salve Wonder Rub
Courtesy of Amazon
Product can be sticky
Some users report feeling nothing when using this product
Three powerful pain fighters give this creamy oil a punch. It contains max strength lidocaine alongside a botanical blend that aims to desensitize aggravated nerves. Together, they dull pain, reduce inflammation and swelling, and relieve stiff joints. Lidocaine, a numbing medication, is a common ingredient in over-the-counter topical medications and can be very helpful. It comes in multiple forms, sometimes combined with other medications, says Dr. Barsoum.
The time-tested formula has more than 150 years of history to its credit, which boasts a pleasant texture and efficient pain relief on hands, feet, and other achy areas. Arnica creates an instant cooling sensation, while hemp oil targets inflammation and cannabinoid receptors. Its clear and has almost no odor.
Price at time of publish: $40
Active Ingredients: Lidocaine, hemp oil, and arnica | Dose: A thin layer applied to affected areas every six to eight hours | Uses: Temporarily relieves minor pain
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Can Arthritis In The Hand Be Prevented
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.
The 10 Best Foods To Eat If You Have Arthritis
If you have arthritis, you know just how devastating this condition can be.
Arthritis is a term for a class of diseases that cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It can affect people of all ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds.
There are many different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is one type, which develops in joints with overuse. Another type is rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your joints (
Fortunately, there are many foods that can ease inflammation and may help relieve some of the joint pain associated with arthritis.
In fact, one survey found that 24% of those with rheumatoid arthritis reported that their diet had an impact on the severity of their symptoms (
This article will look at 10 of the best foods to eat if you have arthritis.
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How To Use Pain Medications Properly
There are two types of over-the-counter pain medications that can be used for osteoarthritis. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever but not an anti-inflammatory. It may help with mild knee pain.
NSAIDs can be more effective because they both relieve pain and reduce inflammation. However, they come with potential side effects and risks. NSAIDs can irritate the lining of the stomach, which may lead to an ulcer or other stomach problems. They also can impair kidney function. Some NSAIDs can increase blood pressure. And theyve been linked to an increased risk for heart disease.
Because of the risks, Dr. Day cautions against using NSAIDs regularly over long periods of time. Instead, she uses NSAIDs for her patients in two ways. First, people who have a flare-up of pain can take them regularly for three to five days and then stop. Second, they can be used over the long term, but only occasionally, maybe a couple of times a week as needed.
If youre taking NSAIDs several times a day for long periods of time, Dr. Day advises reducing their use by maximizing the other treatment strategies. She also suggests trying a topical NSAID, such as diclofenac , which has fewer potential side effects.
Opioid pain relievers are discouraged for long-term treatment of chronic knee pain. The milder narcotic tramadol might be appropriate for occasional use in some people, says Dr. Day.
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.
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Wrist Hand Or Finger Splints
If youre going through a bad arthritis flare-up, using resting splints can help quiet the active inflammation and give you some relief, Dr. Osterman says. These are devices, usually made of plastic and secured with velcro, that temporarily immobilize the joint, which allows it time to rest, he explains.
Im only 22, but some of my fingers are already severely bent and fused from having juvenile arthritis. Splints are helpful for the pain and for helping keep them straight so hopefully they dont bend more, says rheumatoid arthritis patient Emma A., from Melbourne, Australia. My favorites are ring splints since they look like jewelry instead of a medical brace.
Hot And Cold Treatments For Joint Pain
Warmth has been used for many years to help relieve pain and stiffness. As well as a warm bath or shower, you could try heat packs that can be placed on the area which is in pain to help.
Cold can relieve swelling which can then ease pain. You can apply an ice pack or cold pack for up to 20 minutes every couple of hours. Some people use a mixture of both hot and cold alternately. Its best to try a few options to find what is right for you.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment And Pain Relief
The main treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are:
- Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs
DMARDS are tablets that block the effects of the chemicals which cause progressive damage to the bone and tissue of the joint. This eases symptoms and slows down the damage caused to the joint. A commonly prescribed DMARD is methotrexate, but there are others available if this treatment isnt right for you.
Biological treatments like adalimumab are usually taken in combination with a DMARD. Theyre given as an injection and they work by preventing the immune system from attacking your joints.
JAK inhibitors are a newer type of rheumatoid arthritis medication and are available for people who cant take DMARDS or biological treatments.
Pain relief options for rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Paracetamol, sometimes combined with codeine
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, which may be given with another medication to protect the lining of your stomach
- Steroids, given as a tablet or injection
In addition to the treatments listed above, rheumatoid arthritis can also be treated with physiotherapy, occupational therapy and podiatry, as well as acupuncture and osteopathy. In severe cases where the joints become very damaged you might need surgery.
Other Otc Pain Relievers
Along with medications, there are supplements and creams that you can buy at the drugstore to relieve arthritis pain. People may also use topical treatments along with other medications.
Many people with OA use the supplements glucosamine and chondroitin. For those with moderate to severe OA knee pain, the combination of the two may ease aches, although medical studies have not shown clear proof that they help a lot. If you choose to try it, take it for at least 3 months before you decide if it helps.
There donât seem to be any major side effects from glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, but because they are supplements, the FDA doesnât regulate them in the same way as drugs. That means itâs tough to be sure of the content and quality of supplements you see in stores.
Though the benefit is still unclear, one study showed long-term use of fish oil supplements improved pain and function.
Skin creams made from capsaicin, an extract from chili peppers, may help relieve mild arthritis pain. You may notice a mild stinging or burning feeling when you rub it on your skin, but it usually fades over time. Test the medication on a small part of your skin to make sure youâre not sensitive to any of the ingredients.
Cold or warm compresses on a painful joint a few times per week may also improve pain, swelling, and range of motion. Cold therapy may also help you feel better right after you exercise.
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Find Help For Arthritis In Feet
If you suffer from arthritis in the foot, toe, or ankle, there are ways to find relief. You dont have to live with the pain from arthritis. From lifestyle changes to surgery, you have options. Working a pain specialist who has advanced experience treating patients with arthritis pain is your best bet to getting the relief you need.
You can find a PainDoctor.com-certified pain specialist in your area by clicking the button below. Theyll work closely with you to provide the comprehensive care you need to get back to a life with less pain.
Exercising With Joint Pain
Having a healthy lifestyle, along with the right treatment or management can help to reduce joint pain. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the impact on your joints and staying active can help to improve the strength of your joints. Exercise can help keep your muscles strong so that they can support and keep the joints mobile.
60.7% of those with back pain and 56.6% of those with joint pain usually rest rather than exercise when theyre in pain.
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