If you have joint stiffness, joint swelling or pain with movement in your hands, there is a good chance that you may have arthritis. The bones in your hands are protected by cartilage, which can eventually wear down over time and cause a condition called osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis is also known as “wear and tear” arthritis and it is normally caused by age, repetitive joint movement and trauma. Rheumatoid arthritis, which is the result of an autoimmune condition, can also affect the hands. While there is no cure for arthritis, here are the top 5 things that you can do to help relieve the painful symptoms of arthritis in the hands:
1. Perform Hand Exercises
One of the best ways to relieve the arthritis in the hands is to perform hand exercises because they help to keep the supportive ligaments and tendons in your hands flexible. There are several recommended exercises that you can perform, including bending your fingers slowly and carefully before straightening them out again. You can also make a loose fist and then open your fingers to fully straighten them, repeating this process several times on each hand. When you perform any hand exercises, be sure to use gentle motions to help reduce any pain.
2. Wear a Splint
Another recommended way to relieve the arthritis in your hands is to wear a splint or other protective brace on your hand, which holds your joint still to reduce the incidence of pain. There are several split options available depending upon the specific source of your arthritis pain, including brace options that will fit a single finger or multiple fingers.
3. Use Hot and Cold Therapy
Hot and cold therapy can also be used to address the arthritis symptoms in your hands. Try applying ice to your swollen joints for at least 10 minutes at a time to help reduce the swelling. When applying ice to your hands, be sure to use a cloth to prevent any skin damage. As an alternative, try placing your hands in a tub of warm water for heat therapy. This can help ease your stiff joints. There are plenty of over the counter products available for hot and cold therapy that can help too.
4. Apply Capsaicin Cream
Try applying capsaicin cream to alleviate arthritis in the hands. This is a compound made from cayenne pepper to relieve pain. You can make this cream at home! Simply add a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper to 3 teaspoons of olive oil, then applying the compound to your hands. Just make sure that you do not apply this cream to areas of broken skin or cuts on the skin! As a precaution, avoid touching your eyes and mouth after using this method because it can cause pain and burning.
5. Seek Medical Treatments
If the arthritis in your hand is severe enough where these home remedies are not working, there are medical treatments that you can use to reduce your symptoms. These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, oral steroids, steroid shots and cortisone injections. There may be rare cases where your doctor may recommend surgery to treat the arthritis in your hands. This depends upon your lifestyle and the extent of your arthritis.
Now that you are familiar with some of the helpful remedies for relieving arthritis in the hands, we hope that your painful arthritis symptoms improve! At Mac’s Pharmacy, we are dedicated to improving your health and well-being. Learn more about how we can assist you with all of your pharmaceutical needs! We look forward to helping you!