Treatment of Finger Arthritis : Ways to Relieve Pain and Improve Mobility

Welcome to our guide on Treatment of Finger Arthritis. If you’re experiencing pain, stiffness, or swelling in your fingers or hands, you’re not alone. Finger arthritis is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Fortunately, there are many ways to manage the symptoms of finger arthritis and improve joint function. In this article, we’ll explore the different treatment options available, from medications and exercises to physical therapy and surgery. Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your health and well-being. To learn more about finger arthritis and other joint conditions, be sure to check out our website,

Understanding Treatment of Finger Arthritis: Causes and Symptoms

Finger arthritis is a common condition that affects the joints in the fingers and hands. The condition is caused by the wearing down of the cartilage in the joints, which can lead to inflammation, pain, and stiffness.

Causes of Finger Arthritis

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of finger arthritis. These include:

  • Age: As we get older, the cartilage in our joints begins to break down, making us more susceptible to arthritis.
  • Genetics: Some people may be more prone to developing arthritis due to their genetic makeup.
  • Injury: A previous injury to the finger or hand can increase the risk of developing arthritis later on.
  • Occupation: Certain occupations that involve repetitive motions or heavy lifting can increase the risk of developing arthritis.

Symptoms of Finger Arthritis

The symptoms of finger arthritis can vary from person to person, but they often include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the affected joint
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion
  • Swelling or inflammation in the joint
  • A grinding sensation or popping noise when the joint is moved
  • Bony growths or deformities in the joint

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent further damage to the joint and improve overall joint health.

Medications for Finger Arthritis Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and inflammation due to finger arthritis, your doctor may recommend medication as part of your treatment plan. There are several types of medications that can help reduce symptoms and improve joint mobility.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs are a common type of medication used to treat finger arthritis. They work by reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Some examples of NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. These medications are available over-the-counter or as a prescription from your doctor. It is important to take NSAIDs as directed and not exceed the recommended dose.

Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)

DMARDs are a type of medication that work by slowing down the progression of arthritis. They can help reduce joint damage and improve function. DMARDs are typically prescribed by a doctor and require close monitoring due to potential side effects. Examples include methotrexate, sulfasalazine, and hydroxychloroquine.


Corticosteroids are a type of medication that work by reducing inflammation. They can be taken orally or injected directly into the affected joint. Corticosteroids are typically used for short-term symptom relief due to the potential for side effects with long-term use.

Topical Creams and Gels

Topical creams and gels are applied directly to the affected finger joint. They can provide temporary pain relief and reduce inflammation. Some examples include capsaicin cream, diclofenac gel, and lidocaine patches.

It is important to talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking for finger arthritis. They can help determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs and monitor for any potential side effects.

Exercises for Finger Arthritis Treatment

Exercise is an important aspect of finger arthritis treatment as it helps to improve joint mobility and reduce pain. However, it’s important to choose exercises that are gentle on the joints and do not exacerbate symptoms. Here are some exercises that can be helpful:

Range-of-Motion Exercises

Range-of-motion exercises can help to maintain joint flexibility and reduce stiffness. To perform these exercises, simply move your fingers through their full range of motion, making sure to move each joint individually. Repeat each movement for 10 repetitions.

Exercise How to Perform
Finger Flexion Bend your fingers towards your palm, making a fist. Hold for 5 seconds and then release.
Finger Extension Straighten your fingers out as much as possible. Hold for 5 seconds and then release.
Finger Abduction Spread your fingers as far apart as possible. Hold for 5 seconds and then release.
Finger Adduction Touch your fingertips together, making an “O” shape. Hold for 5 seconds and then release.

Strengthening Exercises

Strengthening exercises can help to improve joint stability and reduce the risk of injury. To perform these exercises, use a rubber band or small hand weight to add resistance. Repeat each movement for 10 repetitions.

Exercise How to Perform
Finger Pinch Hold a small object like a coin or pen between your fingers. Squeeze the object for 5 seconds and then release.
Finger Extension Place a rubber band around your fingers and open your hand against the resistance of the band. Hold for 5 seconds and then release.
Grip Strengthener Hold a hand weight or resistance ball in your hand and squeeze it for 5 seconds. Release and repeat.

It’s important to perform these exercises regularly to maintain joint health. If you experience pain during any exercise, stop immediately and consult your doctor or physical therapist.

Physical Therapy for Finger Arthritis Treatment

Physical therapy is an essential part of finger arthritis treatment. It can help reduce pain, improve joint mobility and flexibility, and strengthen the muscles around the affected joints. Physical therapy can also teach you how to protect your joints and perform daily tasks more efficiently.

Physical therapists often use a variety of techniques, including:

Technique Description
Range-of-motion exercises These exercises help maintain or improve joint mobility and flexibility
Strengthening exercises These exercises help improve muscle strength and support joint function
Manual therapy This technique involves hands-on joint mobilization and manipulation to improve joint movement and flexibility

During physical therapy, your therapist may also use modalities like heat or ice therapy, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation to reduce pain and inflammation and promote healing.

If you are considering physical therapy for finger arthritis, make sure to find a qualified physical therapist who has experience in treating the condition. Your therapist will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your specific needs and goals.

Surgery for Finger Arthritis Treatment

If non-surgical treatments do not provide relief or if the patient’s condition worsens, surgery may be considered. Finger arthritis surgery aims to reduce pain, improve joint function, and correct joint deformities.

There are different types of surgical procedures for finger arthritis, including:

Type of Surgery Description
Joint Fusion (Arthrodesis) This surgery involves fusing two bones together to create one solid bone. It eliminates the joint and the pain associated with it. The downside is that the fused joint no longer moves.
Joint Replacement (Arthroplasty) This surgery involves replacing the damaged joint with an artificial one. It aims to improve joint function and reduce pain. The downside is that the artificial joint may wear out over time and require revision surgery.
Joint Resurfacing This surgery involves removing damaged cartilage and replacing it with an artificial cap. It aims to reduce pain and preserve joint function. The downside is that the artificial cap may wear out over time and require revision surgery.

Each surgical procedure has its benefits and risks. Patients should discuss their options with their doctor and consider factors such as age, overall health, and joint damage.

Recovery from finger arthritis surgery may take several months. Patients usually undergo physical therapy to restore joint function and regain strength. They may also require medications for pain management and to prevent infection.

As with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications, such as infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. It is essential to follow post-operative instructions carefully and report any concerns or complications to a doctor immediately.

Assistive Devices for Finger Arthritis Treatment

If you have finger arthritis, you may find that using assistive devices can help you maintain your independence and perform daily tasks with less pain and discomfort. Here are some common types of assistive devices that may be helpful:

Assistive Device Type Description
Finger splints These devices are designed to keep your fingers in a specific position, which can help reduce pain and prevent further joint damage. They may be made from metal, plastic, or other materials.
Elastic bands These bands can be used to provide support and resistance during hand and finger exercises. They come in different strengths, so you can choose the level of resistance that is appropriate for your needs.
Handheld massagers Massagers can help relieve pain and stiffness by improving circulation and relaxing muscles. Some models may be designed specifically for use on the hands and fingers.
Specialized utensils There are a variety of utensils available that are designed to be easier to grip and use if you have finger arthritis. For example, you may be able to find utensils with larger or padded handles, or with angled blades.

When using assistive devices, it’s important to make sure that you are using them correctly and that they are appropriate for your specific needs. Your healthcare provider or occupational therapist can help you choose the right devices and show you how to use them effectively.

Lifestyle Changes for Finger Arthritis Treatment

While medications, physical therapy, and surgery can be effective for treating finger arthritis, making lifestyle changes is also important for managing the condition. Here are some changes you can make:

  1. Eat an arthritis-friendly diet: Eating a nutritious diet can help reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and improve joint function. Consider incorporating anti-inflammatory foods like fatty fish, leafy greens, and berries into your meals. Avoid foods that can trigger inflammation, such as processed foods and sugar.
  2. Stay active: Regular exercise can help maintain joint health and flexibility. However, it’s important to choose low-impact exercises, such as swimming or cycling, that won’t aggravate your finger arthritis. Consult with your doctor or physical therapist to determine an exercise plan that is right for you.
  3. Manage stress: Stress can exacerbate arthritis symptoms. Consider incorporating stress-reducing techniques into your daily routine, such as meditation or yoga. Taking breaks and practicing deep breathing can also help alleviate stress.
  4. Get enough sleep: Restful sleep is crucial for reducing inflammation and promoting joint health. Try to establish a regular sleep routine and create a comfortable sleeping environment. If you struggle with insomnia or sleep disturbances, talk to your doctor for solutions.
  5. Use assistive devices: Using assistive devices, such as finger splints, can help support your joints and alleviate pain. Talk to your doctor or occupational therapist for recommendations on what specific devices may be helpful for your condition.

By making these lifestyle changes, you can better manage your finger arthritis and improve your overall quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions about Finger Arthritis Treatment

If you have been diagnosed with finger arthritis, you probably have a lot of questions about how to manage the condition and relieve your symptoms. Below, we’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked questions about finger arthritis treatment.

How can I manage the pain of finger arthritis?

There are several ways to manage the pain of finger arthritis. Some people find relief through over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Others may require prescription pain medications. Other options include topical creams or gels, which can be applied directly to the affected joints to help reduce pain and inflammation.

Can I prevent further joint damage?

While there is no cure for finger arthritis, there are steps you can take to slow the progression of the disease and prevent further joint damage. One of the most important things you can do is to maintain a healthy weight, as excess weight can put extra strain on your joints. You can also work with your doctor or a physical therapist to develop an exercise program that is safe and effective for your condition. Additionally, it’s important to avoid repetitive motions or activities that put stress on your joints.

What kind of doctor should I see for finger arthritis?

Your primary care physician can help diagnose and manage your finger arthritis, but you may also want to see a specialist, such as a rheumatologist or orthopedic surgeon, for more specialized care. A physical therapist can also be an important part of your treatment team, as they can help you develop an exercise program to improve joint function and reduce pain.

Can a healthy diet help with finger arthritis?

While there is no specific “arthritis diet”, eating a healthy, balanced diet can help reduce inflammation throughout your body, which may help relieve your symptoms. Focus on eating whole, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. You may also want to consider incorporating anti-inflammatory foods, such as fatty fish (like salmon), nuts, and leafy green vegetables, into your diet.

What can I expect during finger arthritis treatment?

The course of your treatment will depend on the severity of your condition and the specific treatment options you and your doctor decide on. Some people with mild arthritis may be able to manage their symptoms with lifestyle changes, while others may require more intensive treatments, such as medications or surgery. Your doctor can work with you to develop a treatment plan that is best for your individual needs.

If you have more questions about finger arthritis treatment, reach out to your healthcare provider or a trusted healthcare resource, such as Arthritis Treatment Lab. Remember, with the right treatment and lifestyle changes, you can manage your symptoms and improve your joint 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.