Exercise #: Finger Lift
Place your left hand flat on a table, palm down. Starting with your thumb, lift each finger slowly off the tableone at a time. Hold each finger for a second or two, and then lower it. Do the same exercise with every finger of the left hand. After youre done with the left hand, repeat the entire sequence on the right hand.
Part 9 of 9: Wrist Stretch
Hand Exercises To Ease Arthritis Pain
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.
When arthritis affects the joints of the hands, it can cause pain and stiffness. That pain can get worse whenever you use your hand a lot for repetitive tasks.
For example, typing on a computer keyboard or gripping utensils in the kitchen can cause discomfort. You may also lose strength in your hands.
Weakness in your hands can make it hard to do even the simplest everyday tasks, such as opening jars.
Exercise #: Make A Fist
You can do this easy exercise anywhere, and any time your hand feels stiff. Start by holding your left hand up straight. Then, slowly bend your hand into a fist, placing your thumb on the outside of your hand. Be gentledont squeeze your hand. Open your hand back up until your fingers are straight once again. Do the exercise 10 times with the left hand. Then repeat the whole sequence with the right hand.
Part 4 of 9: Finger Bends
Also Check: What Does Arthritis Rash Look Like
Other Possible Causes Of Hand Pain
Hand pain is also a sign of Dupuytrens contracture, a condition in which the tissue of the palm and fingers becomes thickened and tight, causing the fingers to curl inward. Its not clear why Dupuytrens contracture develops, though those who smoke, drink a lot of alcohol, and have seizures or diabetes are more vulnerable to developing it.
Your doctor will also consider whether your hand pain could be due to carpal tunnel syndrome, says Dr. Byram. RA can be a cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, so if we see someone who has carpal tunnel, well want to make sure they dont have RA. Carpal tunnel is a condition that occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand the median nerve is squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
The Best Disposable Gloves To Keep You Comfortable And Healthy
You should be able to carry on your day comfortably, regardless of arthritis pain. We have gloves that can help you carry on your day without missing a beat, whether youre looking for nitrile gloves or latex gloves. Better still, you can find them at prices that work for your budget.
Make sure to check out our store to find your perfect gloves and place your order today!
Also Check: Does Ra Cause Back Pain
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 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.
Also Check: Best Thing For Arthritis In Hands
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.
For Hands And Fingers
There are a number of things you can do at home to help relieve your symptoms. Once you meet with your doctor, they can make a diagnosis and help you develop a treatment plan suited to your needs.
You may also find relief by:
- massaging the affected areas
- applying a hot or cold compress to reduce swelling
- wearing hand splints to help stabilize and protect your wrist and fingers
- taking regular breaks when typing or writing
- performing hand and wrist exercises to help stretch and strengthen the muscles
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:
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.
Also Check: 10 Rheumatoid Factor
Exercise #: Thumb Bend
First, hold your left hand up straight. Then, bend your thumb inward toward your palm. Stretch for the bottom of your pinky finger with your thumb. If you cant reach your pinky, dont worry. Just stretch your thumb as far as you can. Hold the position for a second or two, and then return your thumb to the starting position. Repeat 10 times. Then do the exercise with your right hand.
Part 6 of 9: Make an O
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
- are older
- 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.
Also Check: Rheumatoid Arthritis And Itching
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.
Soak And Exercise Hands In Warm Water
Many people with hand OA report that soaking their hands in warm water in the morning assists in decreasing the stiffness.
Begin by filling a clean sink or large basin with warm water.
If swelling is also noted, add approximately ¼ cup of Epsom salt to the water to assist in decreasing the swelling.
While soaking the hands, gently perform range-of-motion exercises, such as opening and closing the fingers and spreading the fingers apart and then back together.
If you notice hand stiffness during a time when soaking is not an option, you can perform the same range-of motion exercises under running water.
Recommended Reading: Is Ra Painful
Exercises For Arthritis In The Hands Fingers
While doctors can help patients by offering treatments ranging from medications to surgical procedures, patients themselves can also help relieve this pain by performing certain exercises.
Hand exercises can help with strength, flexibility and range of motion in the joints, as well as the supportive ligaments and tendons of the hands and fingers. This can also help to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Before beginning, its important to know that it is normal to experience some mild aching after exercising. However, if discomfort lasts for more than a few hours, you should perform fewer repetitions next time. If the exercises make your symptoms worse, stop doing them and go see your doctor.
5 Daily Hand Exercises for Arthritis
Although these exercises are quite simple, they can make a noticeable difference in joint pain and inflammation. However, if you only do them occasionally, you may not notice an effect. Therefore, we recommend you make hand exercises a habit by doing them at the same time each day, as well as in the same order.
Why Its Important To Trust A Hand And Finger Expert
When youre looking for an expert to guide you to the answers and relief you need, its important to trust a doctor with specialized knowledge and training.
When asked about his expertise and training, Dr. Newsum explained, Two important things to look for in your surgeon are whether they are fellowship-trained and board-certified in their specialty. Meeting the requirements means your doctor has had very specific training in the anatomy, pathophysiology, treatments and the latest nonsurgical surgical techniques to heal a number of conditions that affect the arm, hand and fingers, and that they are up to date on the latest treatments. I focus my time on my specialty exclusively in order to provide evidence-based treatment to both adults and children and deliver expert, compassionate care.
And when asked why he loves to do what he does, Dr. Newsum described two motivating factors: excellent mentors throughout his training and career, and helping people quickly regain their functioning again.
Dr. Newsum concludes, We use our hands for everything, so I get to make an impact in peoples lives that makes a big difference. I really think my specialty and subspecialty reflect the core of values of modern medicine: to reduce pain and restore function.
If youre experiencing pain or stiffness in your fingers or hands, turn to our experts for help. Learn more about AdventHealths Hand to Shoulder Center experts.
Read Also: Coping With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Recognizing Symptoms Of Arthritis In The Hands
Women are more likely than men to have arthritis in their hands, and often people experience arthritis symptoms in their hands before other signs of arthritis show up. Different forms of arthritis affect the hands in different ways. For example, psoriatic arthritis, a type of arthritis related to the skin condition psoriasis, is most likely to cause pain in the joints closest to the fingernails , while in osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, cartilage can wear down in all the joints in the fingers and thumb. Symptoms of arthritis in the hands may include:
- Pain in some or all of the joints, including joints of the fingers, wrists, and thumbs
- The growth of bony knobs on finger joints
- Numbness in fingers
- Swollen, red, or warm joints
- Stiffness in the fingers, especially in the morning in patients who have rheumatoid arthritis
- Growth of lumps, or nodules, under the skin of the hands in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
- Fingers that look like swollen sausages in patients with psoriatic arthritis
- Difficulty with motions that require gripping and twisting, such as opening jars
The progression of arthritis in the hands can actually be measured. People with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis lose bone density, which can be measured with bone-density scanning, while the joint damage of osteoarthritis can usually be seen on X-rays.
Psa In Hands And Fingers
PsA of the hands or fingers primarily causes stiffness and swelling.
In some cases, your fingers may swell enough to take on a sausage-like appearance . About a third of people with PsA experience dactylitis in at least one finger.
Stiff and swollen fingers can make it hard to perform ordinary tasks, like zipping a jacket or unscrewing a jar. If youre experiencing any of these difficulties for the first time, see your doctor. They may be a result of PsA.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain
What Are Arthritis Gloves
Arthritis gloves are not designed to treat arthritis, but they may make your symptoms more manageable. These gloves use various treatments to help reduce arthritis symptoms in your hands, usually in one of four ways:
Most arthritis gloves will involve some form of compression. The goal of these gloves is to apply a bit of pressure to help reduce swelling, which can help alleviate pain and improve joint mobility.
A heat or thermal glove adds another layer into the equation. Imagine the last time you used a heat pad to relieve a sore muscle. Thermal gloves work the same way, but theyre a hand treatment that you can wear with you anytime you want to.
The goal of splints is to provide extra support for those who have weakness in their hands and fingers due to arthritic pain. Typically, a splint is a type of supportive device that prevents a broken bone or damaged muscle from shifting. In this case, splint gloves help stabilize your hands and fingers to prevent you from sustaining an injury.
Wrist wraps arent technically gloves per se, but theyre a type of added support on top of regular gloves. If you have arthritis pain or weakness in your wrists as well as your hands, wrist wraps help provide additional support, stability, and compression to keep your hands comfortable.
Exercise #: Wrist Stretch
Dont forget about your wrists, which can also get sore and stiff from arthritis. To exercise your wrist, hold your right arm out with the palm facing down. With your left hand, gently press down on the right hand until you feel a stretch in your wrist and arm. Hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat 10 times. Then, do the entire sequence with the left hand.
Recommended Reading: Best Treatment For Arthritis In Fingers