Relieve Arthritis in Hands Pain: Effective Tips and Treatments

If you suffer from arthritis in hands pain, you understand how frustrating and debilitating the condition can be. Daily activities that were once simple can become painful and challenging, impacting your quality of life.

Fortunately, there are effective ways to manage and reduce hand arthritis pain. This article will provide you with valuable information, tips and treatments to help you alleviate the symptoms associated with arthritis in hands. For more resources and information, visit arthritistreatmentlab.com.

Understanding Arthritis in Hands

Arthritis is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a chronic disease that causes joint inflammation and pain, making it difficult to perform even simple tasks. When arthritis affects the hands, it can be particularly challenging, as hands are crucial for performing daily activities such as writing, typing, and even holding objects.

arthritis in hands pain

Arthritis in hands occurs when the protective cartilage that covers the ends of the bones wears away, causing the bones to rub against each other. This friction results in pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints, which can get progressively worse over time.

Causes of Arthritis in Hands

There are several causes of arthritis in hands. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Genetics: A family history of arthritis makes you more likely to develop the condition.
  • Aging: The older you get, the more likely you are to develop arthritis.
  • Injury: A previous injury or trauma to the hand can increase your chances of developing arthritis.
  • Overuse: People who perform repetitive motions with their hands, such as typing or knitting, are at higher risk of developing arthritis.

Symptoms of Arthritis in Hands

The symptoms of arthritis in hands can vary from person to person, but some of the most common ones include:

  • Joint pain, particularly in the thumbs, fingers, and wrists
  • Soreness, stiffness, and swelling in the joints
  • Decreased range of motion in the affected joints
  • A feeling of warmth or tenderness in the hand or fingers
  • Bony knots or bumps forming on the joints

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Lifestyle Changes and Self-Care Tips

Living with arthritis in the hands can be challenging, but there are several lifestyle changes and self-care tips that can help manage and reduce pain. Incorporating these habits into your daily routine can make a significant difference in your overall quality of life.

Exercise

Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining joint mobility and flexibility. It also helps reduce stiffness and inflammation associated with hand arthritis. Low-impact exercises like yoga, swimming, and cycling are ideal for individuals with hand pain. You can also do simple hand exercises, such as squeezing a stress ball or using a hand grip strengthener, to strengthen your muscles.

Hand Therapy

Hand therapy involves exercises and techniques specifically designed to improve the range of motion and strength of your hands. A hand therapist can develop a customized plan tailored to your individual needs and goals. They may also recommend specific hand braces or orthotics to help reduce pain and inflammation.

Ergonomic Adjustments

Ergonomic adjustments can help reduce the strain on your hands, making daily activities less painful. For example, using a thick pen, using a grip pad for opening jars, and using a specially designed keyboard can make typing less painful. You can also adjust your workspace to reduce the amount of bending and reaching required.

Consider these lifestyle changes and self-care tips to help manage your hand arthritis pain and maintain your ability to perform daily activities.

Medications and Pain Relief

arthritis in hands pain

While lifestyle changes and natural remedies can certainly help alleviate hand arthritis pain, sometimes more aggressive treatment is necessary. This is where medications come in. There are several different options available for managing hand arthritis pain.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) can be effective in reducing arthritis pain and inflammation. However, prolonged or excessive use of these drugs can have negative side effects, so it’s important to follow the recommended dosages and consult with a doctor before taking any new medication.

Prescription Drugs

If OTC medications aren’t providing enough relief, a doctor may prescribe stronger drugs like corticosteroids or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These medications can be very effective but also come with potential side effects that need to be managed. Close monitoring by a healthcare provider is necessary when taking prescription drugs.

Topical Treatments

Another option for managing hand arthritis pain is through topical treatments. Topical analgesics like capsaicin and topical NSAIDs can be applied directly to the affected area. Some people may also find relief through creams and ointments containing menthol or camphor. While these treatments can provide temporary relief, they are not a long-term solution and should not be relied upon as the sole method of pain management.

It’s important to remember that medications are only a temporary solution and do not address the underlying cause of arthritis pain. They should be used in combination with lifestyle changes and other therapies for optimal pain management.

Natural Remedies and Alternative Therapies

Along with traditional medications and treatments, many people turn to natural remedies and alternative therapies to help alleviate hand arthritis pain. Here are some options to consider:

Herbal Supplements

Some herbs have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce arthritis pain. Turmeric, ginger, and boswellia are commonly used in supplement form. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplements, as they can interact with other medications.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. It has been shown to help alleviate arthritis pain by stimulating the body’s natural painkillers.

Hot and Cold Therapies

Applying heat or cold to arthritic joints can help reduce pain and inflammation. Cold therapy, such as ice packs, can numb the area and reduce swelling, while heat therapy, such as warm compresses or a heating pad, can improve circulation and relax muscles.

Massage

Massage can help relieve tension in the muscles surrounding arthritic joints, reducing pain and stiffness. However, it’s important to find a massage therapist who is experienced in working with arthritis to avoid aggravating your condition.

Mind-Body Therapies

Techniques such as meditation, yoga, and tai chi can help reduce stress and improve joint flexibility, making them useful for managing arthritis pain. These therapies have also been shown to improve overall mental health and well-being.

Assistive Devices and Adaptive Tools

arthritis in hands pain

For individuals with hand arthritis, performing simple everyday tasks can be a struggle. However, with the help of assistive devices and adaptive tools, many of these challenges can be overcome.

Splints and Braces

Splints and braces are commonly used to provide support and stability to the affected joints. They can help reduce pain, prevent further damage, and improve mobility. There are various types of splints and braces available, including wrist splints, finger splints, and thumb braces. These can be purchased at many drug stores or prescribed by a doctor or therapist.

Ergonomic Tools

Ergonomic tools are designed to reduce strain on the hands and wrists during use. This can include specially designed pens, knives, and kitchen utensils, as well as computer keyboards and office equipment. These tools can help reduce discomfort and fatigue, making it easier to perform a wide range of tasks.

Cane and Walker Accessories

Cane and walker accessories are also available to help individuals with hand arthritis. These can include grips and paddings that can be added to the handles for increased comfort and support. Additionally, there are different types of canes and walkers available, such as four-wheeled walkers and canes with seats, which can be more comfortable and provide additional support.

Button Hooks and Zipper Pulls

Button hooks and zipper pulls are simple yet effective devices that can help individuals with hand arthritis dress themselves more easily. These tools can be used to button shirts, zip up jackets, and tie shoelaces, reducing the strain on the hands and fingers.

Reachers and Grabbers

Reachers and grabbers are long-handled tools that can be used to pick up items from the ground or reach items on high shelves. These tools can be especially helpful for individuals with limited mobility or hand strength. There are also specialized reachers designed for use in the kitchen or bathroom.

By incorporating these assistive devices and adaptive tools into their daily lives, individuals with hand arthritis can maintain their independence and improve their quality of life.

Surgical Options for Severe Hand Arthritis

If lifestyle changes, medication, and natural remedies do not provide adequate relief, surgery may be considered for severe cases of hand arthritis. There are different surgical options available, depending on the severity and location of the joint damage.

Procedure Description
Joint Fusion During this procedure, the damaged joint is fused together, eliminating movement and reducing pain. However, it may also limit the range of motion in the affected joint.
Joint Replacement This involves replacing the damaged joint with an artificial joint. It can improve joint function and reduce pain, but may require a longer recovery period.
Tendon Repair If arthritis damages the tendons in the hand, surgery may be needed to repair or replace them. This can help restore function and decrease pain.

It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of each surgical option with a healthcare professional before making a decision. Recovery time and post-operative care will also vary depending on the procedure.

In some cases, hand therapy may be recommended after surgery to aid in rehabilitation and improve hand function.

Remember, surgery is typically reserved for severe cases of hand arthritis and should be considered as a last resort after other treatment options have been exhausted.

Tips for Coping Emotionally with Hand Arthritis

Living with hand arthritis can be a challenging and emotionally draining experience. Coping with the pain and limitations can take a toll on your mental health, but there are ways to manage these difficulties and improve your overall well-being. Here are a few tips to help you cope with hand arthritis:

  1. Build a support network: Share your struggles with your friends and family members. Seek support from people who understand what you are going through. Join support groups, either online or in-person. Having others to lean on can be a great source of comfort.
  2. Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself can help you feel more positive and in control. Try relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation. Take time for yourself. Enjoy a hobby or activity that brings you joy.
  3. Seek professional help: Talk to a therapist who specializes in chronic pain management. They can help you develop coping strategies and provide emotional support.
  4. Be realistic: Accept that you may not be able to do everything you once could. Set realistic goals for yourself and celebrate small victories.
  5. Don’t give up on your passions: Adapt and modify activities that you love. If you enjoy painting, use larger brushes. If you like gardening, use garden tools with padded handles.
  6. Stay active: Exercise can help reduce pain and stiffness. Consider low-impact activities, such as swimming or bicycling. Consult with your doctor or physical therapist for exercises that are safe and effective.
  7. Use positive self-talk: Reframe negative thoughts into positive affirmations. Focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t.
  8. Stay educated: Learn as much as you can about your condition. Understanding the causes and treatment options can help you feel more in control.
  9. Stay connected: Participate in community events, attend social gatherings, and stay connected with loved ones. Staying engaged with the people and activities you love can improve your emotional well-being.
  10. Stay hopeful: Arthritis hand pain is manageable. There are many treatment options available. Stay positive and hopeful that with time, effort, and support, you can live a fulfilling life with hand arthritis.

Tips for Coping Emotionally with Hand Arthritis

Living with arthritis hand pain can be challenging, not just physically but emotionally as well. It is important to take care of your mental health while managing your physical symptoms. Here are some tips for coping emotionally:

1. Find a support group

Connecting with individuals who share similar experiences can be extremely helpful. Joining a support group or online forum can provide a safe space to share your feelings, ask questions and receive advice from others who understand what you are going through.

2. Practice self-care

Engage in activities that promote relaxation and self-care. This can include reading a book, taking a warm bath, practicing yoga or meditation, or listening to music. Taking time to focus on your mental and emotional health can help reduce stress and anxiety.

3. Seek professional help

If you find yourself struggling with feelings of sadness or hopelessness, it may be helpful to talk to a mental health professional. They can provide you with coping strategies and support to help you manage your emotions while living with arthritis hand pain.

4. Stay positive

It can be easy to become negative and discouraged when dealing with chronic pain, but it is important to remember that there are many treatment options available to manage arthritis hand pain. Stay positive and focus on the things that make you happy.

5. Lean on loved ones

Don’t be afraid to turn to family and friends for support. Having a strong support system can make all the difference in managing the emotional toll of living with arthritis hand pain. Communicate your needs and let your loved ones know how they can help you.

Conclusion

Coping with arthritis hand pain emotionally can be challenging, but there are many strategies and resources available to help you manage your mental health. Remember to take care of yourself, seek support, and stay positive. With the right tools and mindset, you can continue to live a fulfilling life despite your arthritis hand pain.

Jillian Hunt is a strong and inspiring individual who has been living with arthritis for over a decade. Despite the challenges she faces, she’s determined to find ways to manage her condition and improve her quality of life. She’s also an advocate for others who face similar challenges, sharing her insights on various forums.

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Arthritis Treatment Lab is a blog dedicated to providing information and resources on various treatment options for arthritis. From traditional approaches such as medication and physical therapy, to alternative therapies like acupuncture and herbal remedies, we strive to educate and empower individuals who are living with this condition. Our articles cover the latest research findings, practical tips for managing symptoms, and personal stories from people who have successfully overcome arthritis. Whether you are newly diagnosed or a long-time sufferer, Arthritis Treatment Lab is here to support you on your journey towards better health.