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What To Do About Hand Arthritis

Meditation For Pain Management

What Everyone With Hand Arthritis Should Do Everyday (Osteoarthritis) Giveaway!

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.

Causes Of Arthritis In The Hands

Arthritic conditions can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and tenderness in the small joints of the hands and fingers.

Inflammatory arthritis conditions, like RA, psoriatic arthritis, gout, and ankylosing spondylitis cause inflammation. Symptoms of inflammation include redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. In general, OA is degenerative, rather than inflammatory.

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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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.

What Can Be Done To Remedy Finger Arthritis

The delicious cure for arthritis pain

The earlier you treat finger arthritis, the better. Treatment will give you strategies to control your symptoms and maintain the function of your finger. These strategies include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen to control pain and inflammation
  • Injection of corticosteroid medication into the affected joint to control pain and inflammation
  • Splinting to support the affected joint
  • Cold therapy and heat therapy with paraffin wax baths
  • Adaptive equipment to help you perform daily activities. Your doctor may recommend a hand therapist or an for a full evaluation of your needs.

If you have an autoimmune disease causing your finger arthritis, you may also need medicine to control your immune system. These treatments include disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs to slow down joint destruction, and biologic response modifiers to reduce inflammation and permanent joint damage.Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may recommend surgery for you if you can no longer use your finger or if your pain is severe. Joint fusion and joint replacement are surgical options for finger arthritis. Talk to your doctor about all your options and if surgery is right for you.

Also Check: How To Ease Arthritis

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.

See Topical Pain Relief for Arthritis

How Are Wrists And Hands Affected By Arthritis

Any joint in your fingers, thumbs, knuckles and wrists can be affected by arthritis. Many different types of arthritis can affect your hands and cause joint pain, swelling and stiffness. People with hand arthritis often find their grip weakens and it becomes harder to do fine movements, such as turning a key or tying shoelaces.

Find out about aids and equipment that can make everyday tasks easier. Learn ways to protect your hands and manage your symptoms.

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How Do Doctors Diagnose Hand Arthritis

Diagnosis of hand arthritis by a doctor may involve:

  • Detailed medical history: The doctor may ask questions about the patients symptoms including their onset and severity, any underlying health conditions, any history of injury or surgery and family history of any related health conditions. The doctor may also ask the patient if they are on any medications or supplements.
  • Physical examination: A thorough physical examination will be done to look for
  • Signs of arthritis in any other part of the body
  • Weakness of the affected joint and muscles
  • Tenderness
  • Any signs of injuries or trauma
  • Imaging studies: They are crucial because they help the doctor to see the condition of the involved bones, joint spaces and muscles. Imaging studies such as X-ray, computed tomography scan and magnetic resonance imaging may be done.
  • Blood tests: They may be done especially in the case of rheumatoid arthritis. Blood tests may also help the doctor know about the presence of infections or nutrient deficiencies that may contribute to the disease. Associated health conditions such as high serum uric acid levels and increased blood sugar levels may also be explored through blood tests.
  • Synovial fluid examination: This involves withdrawing a small amount of synovial fluid and examining it in the lab. This may reveal the presence of joint space infection or the presence of uric acid crystals .
  • How To Get Rid Of Arthritis In Fingers

    Hand Arthritis – When Do I Need Surgery?

    Arthritis of the fingers can be quite uncomfortable, causing symptoms such as joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. These symptoms make hand motions like grasping and pinching difficult, which restricts a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two types of arthritis that most commonly affect the finger joints. Depending on which type of arthritis affects your finger joints, you may experience additional symptoms.

    Thankfully, numerous remedies can help alleviate the discomfort from arthritis of the fingers, from hand exercises to help strengthen your fingers to over-the-counter and prescription pain medications and surgical treatments.

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    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.

    How Is Thumb Arthritis Treated

    When you visit Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta for arthritis treatment, Dr. Williams will first perform a thorough evaluation and assessment to determine an accurate diagnosis and, after that, identify the most appropriate course of treatment. In some cases, x-rays and other imaging studies may be necessary to definitively diagnose CMC joint arthritis. Depending on the cause, nature, and severity of your condition, Dr. Williams may recommend one of the following CMC arthritis treatment options:

    • Behavioral modification

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    Osteoarthritis Of The Hands

    Get more information about the causes, symptoms and treatments of hand OA, which is very common and can be debilitating.

    About half of all women and one-quarter of all men will experience the stiffness and pain of osteoarthritis of the hands by the time they are 85 years old. A degenerative disease that affects all the tissues of a joint, OA leads to the breakdown over time of the smooth, protective cartilage on the ends of bones, so bones rub together, causing pain. The 29 bones of your hands and wrists come together to form many small joints that can be affected by OA.

    Make A Few Wardrobe Changes

    Arthritis in hands: Symptoms, treatment, and home remedies

    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.

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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.

    Avoid Working Through The Pain

    The most important thing to remember is to avoid working through the pain. Pain is a sign that you need to stop what you are doing, take a break from the task, and modify the task so you can perform it in a pain-free manner.

    To find an excellent doctor who is right for you, please call our Physician Referral Service at 866.804.1007.

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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.

    Relief For Hand Arthritis

    Hand Arthritis & How to Treat It (with Dr. Suzanne Elton)

    There’s more to optimizing care than pain medication. See a hand therapist to obtain a personalized strategy.

    Wear-and-tear osteoarthritis is very common in the knees and hips, but it strikes the hands, too. When the cushioning cartilage within the finger joints begins to break down, leading to pain and inflammation, all the usual remedies apply, such as appropriate use of medication.

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    • Research health conditions
    • Prepare for a doctor’s visit or test
    • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
    • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

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    An Example Day Of Anti

    Are you feeling inspired to anti-inflammatory diet?

    We asked our nutritionists to share ideas on how to build the principles of a Mediterranean diet into a day of eating.

    • Breakfast: Baked eggs and avocado with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper
    • Lunch: A hearty vegetable soup, with a small side salad drizzled in olive oil
    • Dinner: Salmon en papillote with asparagus, tenderstem broccoli and green beans with a chilli, garlic and ginger sauce. Or a mediterranean style vegetable and bean stew with wholegrain rice stuffed peppers
    • Snacks: Hummus and vegetable sticks, 25g of nuts or a handful of olives
    • Drinks: Water, green tea, herbal teas

    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 you’re doneXResearch source
  • Wearing wrist supports if you’ve injured your wrists in the past
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    Treat Hand Injuries Promptly And Correctly

  • 1Every time you injure a joint, it becomes more susceptible to arthritis.XTrustworthy SourceArthritis FoundationMain organization devoted to arthritis support and educationGo to source Take hand injuries seriously and seek the proper treatment as quickly as possible. This is especially true if youve dislocated, fractured, or broken a bone, since these types of injuries often lead to arthritis in the future.XResearch source
  • For minor injuries, ice the joint and give your hands a break for a day or two.
  • If you think youve dislocated or fractured a bone, go to the emergency room or see a doctor.
  • Hand Osteoarthritis Home Remedies

    Hand Arthritis

    These home treatments can help:

    • Exercises. Your doctor or physical therapist can show you what to do to improve strength and range of motion and to ease pain.
    • Assistive devices. Special pens, kitchen utensils, and other tools with big grips may be easier to use.
    • Ice or heat. Ice may reduce swelling and pain. Heat, like a warm washcloth or a paraffin bath, can loosen stiff joints.
    • Skin treatments. Medicated creams can give relief when you rub them on sore joints. Gels with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also help.
    • Supplements. Many people take glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for OA. Researchers are still looking into whether they help. Ask your doctor if they’re OK to try.

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    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:

    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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    How Do You Treat Wrist Arthritis

    Arthritis doesnt have a cure but treatments can help manage your symptoms and relieve pain. You can also try limiting activities that cause pain in your wrist, if possible. A splint may help with this, as it eases physical stress and provides support. You can order a custom-made splint to cover your wrist and forearm or get an arthritis glove. These allow you to wiggle your fingers.

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    Use Proper Desk Posture While Typing

    7 Tips to Reduce Hand Arthritis Pain (Physical Therapy Approved)
  • 1Ergonomic tools that provide joint support can also help. If you work at a computer, you may not realize just how much strain you’re putting on your hands. To minimize that stress, sit in a chair that supports your lower and mid-back. Always rest your elbows at a 90-degree angle to the keyboard as you’re typing. It also helps to get up and walk around every 20 minutes or so. If you need to, set an alarm for yourself.XTrustworthy SourceNational Health Service Public healthcare system of the UKGo to source You can also:
  • Buy an ergonomic mouse and keyboard
  • Use a wrist cushion for your mouse hand
  • Wear fingerless gloves to keep the joints warm and flexibleXResearch source
  • Position your chair, keyboard, mouse, and monitor so they cause the least amount of strainXTrustworthy SourceNational Health Service Public healthcare system of the UKGo to source
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    Stop Doing Something If It Hurts

  • 1Ignoring pain can cause injury and eventually lead to arthritis. If you feel even a twinge of pain in your hands while performing a task, dont ignore that pain or try to push through it. Thats your bodys way of telling you youre putting too much stress on your joints. Instead, you can do things like:XResearch source
  • Take a break from that task for the day
  • Do a few simple hand stretches
  • Perform a different task for a while
  • Who Gets Arthritis In Their Hands

    You are more likely to get arthritis in your hands if:

    • Youre older. Osteoarthritis is commonly seen after age 50. Rheumatoid arthritis typically first appears between the age of 35 and 50.
    • Youre a woman.
    • Youre white.
    • Youre overweight.
    • Youve had previous injuries to your hand. If youve dislocated or broken any joints in your hands or fingers, you are more likely to develop arthritis.
    • You’ve inherited genes that cause the development of arthritis.

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