Relieve Hand Pain from Arthritis with These Helpful Tips

Living with hand pain caused by Hand Pain from Arthritis can be a daily struggle, but there is hope. With the right treatment and management strategies, individuals can reduce discomfort and improve hand function. In this article, we will explore various remedies and lifestyle changes that can help alleviate hand pain and promote a better quality of life.

Understanding Arthritis and Hand Pain

Arthritis affects millions of people worldwide, with hand pain being a common symptom. Arthritis is caused by joint inflammation, which can occur due to different reasons, such as wear and tear on the joints, autoimmune disorders, or infections. The hand is a complex structure, with numerous bones, ligaments, and tendons that can be affected by arthritis. As a result, arthritis can cause pain, stiffness, and limited mobility in the hands.

hand pain from arthritis

Arthritis is a chronic condition, which means it cannot be cured, but its symptoms can be managed. If you are experiencing hand pain, it is crucial to seek treatment promptly to slow down the disease’s progression and improve your quality of life.

Over-the-counter Remedies for Hand Pain Relief

If you are suffering from hand pain caused by arthritis, over-the-counter remedies may provide some relief. These medications and creams can help reduce inflammation and alleviate discomfort.

Pain Relievers

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can help reduce pain and swelling in the hands. They work by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which are responsible for causing inflammation in the body. However, long-term use of NSAIDs can have adverse effects on your health, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before using them regularly.

Topical Creams

Topical creams that contain capsaicin, menthol, or salicylates can help relieve hand pain caused by arthritis. Capsaicin is a natural compound found in chili peppers that works by depleting substance P, a neurotransmitter that sends pain signals to the brain. Menthol produces a cooling sensation that can temporarily relieve pain, while salicylates are compounds similar to aspirin that help reduce inflammation.

Be sure to read the label and follow the instructions carefully when using topical creams, as some can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions.

Hand Soaks

Soaking your hands in warm water can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. You can add Epsom salt, which contains magnesium sulfate, to the water to soothe stiff joints and muscles. Alternatively, you can add essential oils, such as lavender or peppermint, which have natural anti-inflammatory properties.

It’s important to note that while over-the-counter remedies can provide temporary relief, they do not treat the underlying cause of hand pain caused by arthritis. It’s essential to see a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Lifestyle Changes for Hand Pain Management

Making lifestyle modifications is an important step in managing hand pain caused by arthritis. Here are some tips that can help:

  1. Exercise regularly: Gentle exercises can help improve hand mobility and reduce pain. Try simple exercises like opening and closing your hand or squeezing a stress ball.
  2. Practice proper hand posture: Keeping your hands in a neutral position can help reduce strain on your joints. Avoid activities that require repetitive hand motions or forceful gripping.
  3. Use ergonomic tools: Consider using tools that are designed to reduce strain on your hands, such as a larger grip on a pen or pencil or a padded keyboard wrist rest.
  4. Take breaks: If you engage in activities that require using your hands for extended periods, take frequent breaks to rest your muscles and joints.
  5. Manage stress: Stress can cause muscle tension, which can lead to hand pain. Consider practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.

Hand Therapy

In addition to lifestyle changes, hand therapy can also be beneficial for managing hand pain caused by arthritis. Hand therapy is a specialized type of physical therapy that focuses on improving hand function and reducing pain. A hand therapist can develop an individualized treatment plan that may include:

hand pain from arthritis

Technique Description
Joint mobilization A hands-on technique that helps improve joint mobility and reduce pain.
Strengthening exercises Customized exercises that help improve hand strength and dexterity.
Pain management techniques Strategies for managing pain, such as heat or cold therapy, massage, or electrical stimulation.

If you are interested in hand therapy, talk to your healthcare provider about a referral to a hand therapist.

Physical Therapy Techniques for Hand Pain Relief

Physical therapy can offer significant benefits to individuals with hand pain caused by arthritis. In addition to reducing pain and swelling, physical therapy can also help improve hand function and mobility.

Joint Mobilization

Joint mobilization is a technique used by physical therapists to gently move the affected joint in various directions. This technique can help reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness by promoting blood flow and lubrication of the joint.

During joint mobilization, the physical therapist will apply pressure to the joint while moving it through its range of motion. This technique can be performed on various joints in the hand, including the wrist, fingers, and thumb.

Strengthening Exercises

Strengthening exercises can help improve hand function and mobility by increasing muscle strength and endurance. Physical therapists will work with individuals to develop a customized exercise plan that targets specific muscles in the hand and wrist.

Exercises may include grip strengthening exercises using hand grippers or putty, as well as exercises using resistance bands or weights. It is important to work with a physical therapist to ensure proper technique and avoid further injury.

Range of Motion Exercises

Range of motion exercises are designed to improve the flexibility and movement of the affected joint. These exercises may include stretching, bending, and flexing of the fingers, wrist, and thumb.

Physical therapists may also use splints or braces to help protect the affected joint and improve range of motion. These devices can be customized to fit the individual’s needs and specific condition.

Overall, physical therapy can provide significant benefits to individuals with hand pain caused by arthritis. Working with a physical therapist can help individuals develop an effective treatment plan and improve their overall quality of life.

Alternative Treatments for Hand Pain

While traditional treatments such as medication and physical therapy are often effective, some individuals with hand pain from arthritis may also consider alternative therapies. These treatments may help reduce pain and improve hand function. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any alternative treatments.


Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate nerve centers and promote healing. Some studies suggest that acupuncture may help reduce pain and improve hand mobility in individuals with arthritis. However, more research is needed to confirm these benefits.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can help relieve tension in the muscles and joints of the hands. It may also increase blood flow and promote relaxation. A skilled massage therapist can work with individuals to create a customized plan that addresses their specific needs and goals.

Herbal Remedies

Herbal remedies such as ginger, turmeric, and boswellia may have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce hand pain caused by arthritis. However, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before taking any herbal supplements, as they may interact with other medications or have side effects.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care involves manipulating the spine and joints to alleviate pain and improve mobility. Although chiropractic care is not typically used specifically for hand pain, it may be helpful for individuals with arthritis in other joints. As with other alternative treatments, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before trying chiropractic care.

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being, which may have a positive impact on hand pain caused by arthritis. Some yoga poses and stretches may also help improve hand mobility. However, individuals should speak with a healthcare professional before beginning any new exercise program.

Assistive Devices for Hand Pain Relief

hand pain from arthritis

Living with hand pain from arthritis can make simple daily tasks feel overwhelming. Assistive devices can be a great option for individuals looking to reduce strain on their hands and promote overall hand function.

Splints: Wearing a splint can help stabilize and support the hand and wrist, reducing pain and improving mobility. There are a variety of different types of splints available depending on the specific needs of the individual.

Braces: Similar to splints, braces can help support the hand and wrist and reduce pain. Braces are typically less restrictive than splints and allow for more movement.

Adaptive tools: There are a variety of adaptive tools available to assist with tasks such as gripping, writing, and cooking. These tools can reduce hand strain and make daily activities easier and more comfortable.

Examples of Adaptive Tools:

Tool Function
Button hooks Assist with buttoning clothes
Large grip utensils Help with eating and meal preparation
Writing aids Assist with writing and drawing

Assistive devices can greatly improve the quality of life for individuals with hand pain from arthritis. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine which devices are best suited for individual needs.

Lifestyle Changes for Hand Pain Management

While over-the-counter remedies and physical therapy techniques can help manage hand pain from arthritis, lifestyle changes are also important in reducing discomfort and promoting hand mobility. Here are some modifications individuals with hand pain can incorporate into their daily routine:


Regular exercise can help reduce joint inflammation, strengthen muscles, and improve hand mobility. Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, and cycling are recommended for arthritis patients. Hand-specific exercises such as squeezing a stress ball or doing wrist curls with light weights can also help improve hand function.

Proper Hand Posture:

Using proper hand posture can reduce strain on the hands and prevent further damage. For example, when typing, keep wrists straight and fingers relaxed. When lifting heavy objects, use the palm of the hand or forearm to distribute the weight evenly.

Ergonomic Tools:

Using assistive devices and ergonomic tools such as ergonomic keyboards, grip-enhancing utensils, and jar openers can lessen the strain on the hands and make daily tasks easier to perform.

By incorporating these lifestyle changes into their routine, individuals with hand pain can reduce discomfort and improve hand mobility.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hand Pain from Arthritis

Dealing with hand pain caused by arthritis can be challenging. It’s important to stay informed about your condition and the available treatment options. Here are some frequently asked questions that may help you better understand your condition and how to manage your symptoms:

Q: What are the main causes of hand pain in arthritis patients?

A: Hand pain in arthritis patients is caused by inflammation and damage to the joints. This can lead to stiffness, swelling, and pain. Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it commonly affects the hands, knees, and hips.

Q: How can I relieve hand pain from arthritis at home?

A: There are several things you can do at home to manage hand pain, such as applying heat or cold therapy, practicing gentle exercises, and using over-the-counter pain relievers. It’s important to talk to your doctor before trying any new treatments at home.

A: Taking medication is not always necessary for managing hand pain caused by arthritis, but it can be helpful in some cases. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription medications, or topical creams to help manage your symptoms.

Q: Can physical therapy help relieve hand pain from arthritis?

A: Yes, physical therapy can be very beneficial for managing hand pain from arthritis. A physical therapist can teach you exercises and techniques to help improve hand mobility, reduce pain and inflammation, and prevent further joint damage.

Q: Are there any alternative treatments for hand pain from arthritis?

A: Yes, there are several alternative treatments that may help relieve hand pain caused by arthritis, such as massage therapy, acupuncture, and herbal remedies. It’s important to talk to your doctor before trying any alternative treatments to avoid any potential complications.

Q: Can diet and nutrition impact arthritis symptoms?

A: Yes, diet and nutrition can play a role in managing arthritis symptoms. Eating a balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can help reduce inflammation and improve joint health.

Q: When should I see a doctor for hand pain from arthritis?

A: If you are experiencing persistent hand pain or any other symptoms of arthritis, such as swelling, stiffness, or reduced mobility, it’s important to see a doctor. They can diagnose your condition and recommend an appropriate treatment plan to manage your symptoms and prevent further joint damage.

Remember, everyone’s experience with hand pain caused by arthritis is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Always talk to your doctor before trying any new treatments or making any lifestyle changes. With the right treatment plan and a proactive approach, you can effectively manage your symptoms and maintain your hand function.

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.