What is arthritis of the hand?
Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects joint tissues. Joints are where the two bones join. Arthritis can affect the joint's lining or the cartilage, which is the smooth coating at the end of bones. When cartilage is damaged, and the ends of your bones are exposed, they rub against each other and eventually begin to wear away. There are many joints in your hands, making it an ideal place for arthritis to occur.
Hand arthritis causes stiffness, swelling, and deformity. As arthritis worsens, using your hands for everyday tasks becomes difficult like you used to.
There are many types of arthritis, but the most common are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
- Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis and is caused by the breakdown of cartilage, the tissue that cushions the ends of bones in joints. OA is most common in older adults and is often associated with joint wear and tear.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the lining of the joints, causing inflammation, pain, and damage to the cartilage and bone. RA can affect any joint in the body, but it is most common in the hands, wrists, and feet.
Symptoms of Arthritis Hand Pain
Symptoms of arthritis in the hands can include:
- Pain: Pain is the most common symptom of arthritis in the hands. It can be a dull ache, a sharp pain, or a burning sensation. Pain may be worse with activity or at night.
- Stiffness: Stiffness in the hands is another common symptom of arthritis. It is often worse in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
- Swelling: Swelling in the hands is a sign of inflammation. It may be accompanied by redness and warmth.
- Loss of motion: Arthritis can damage the cartilage and bone in the hands, leading to motion loss. This can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks, such as grasping objects, writing, and dressing.
Home Remedies for Arthritis Hand Pain
Choosing home remedies for your Hand arthritis that promote a healthy lifestyle and make life more enjoyable daily can be an effective first line of defense against painful symptoms.
By taking some of the more popular home remedies for arthritis in the hands, one can help protect their joints, promoting long-term use. It's important to remember that using this article to find the right remedy that works well with your body will reduce needless pain caused by swelling or stiffness.
1. Hot and Cold Therapy
Hot and cold therapies are two effective methods of relieving the pain brought on by arthritis. When applied as hot therapy, heat causes blood vessels to widen so that the surrounding area has room to breathe and relax. On the other hand, cold tightens these vessels, numbing the extremity.
Heat soothes sore muscles, joints, and bones. So, having a hot bath or a heating pad can help get the kinks out without needing to pop any pain relievers, which are often powerful and come with side effects such as drowsiness. In addition, people who have arthritis may find that using heat reduces their pain, making them more active each day. Here is a list of specific benefits that heat can provide.
- Improves circulation
- Soothes sore muscles and joints
- It brings more nutrients and oxygen to the area
- Minimizes pain
Types of Heat Therapy
As we all know, heat therapy is a great way to manage and reduce joint pain, especially if you're recovering from an injury. It's, therefore, important to know how we can deliver our heat therapy. So, we've compiled a list of five ways to help you get back to managing your joint pain like a pro!
- Warm towel
- Herbal heating pad
- Hot water bottle
- Warm bath
SACKSY THYME Everywhere Microwavable Heating Pad for Arthritis Hand Pain:
This innovative product provides targeted relief and comfort for those experiencing discomfort and stiffness in their hands. The heating pad can be easily warmed in the microwave, allowing for quick and convenient use whenever needed. Its compact size and portable design make it ideal for use at home, in the office, or while on the go. The moist heat generated by the pad helps to increase blood circulation, relax muscles, and alleviate pain.
Cold therapy numbs pain and increases mobility in joints. Of course, you'll want this kind of therapy as much as possible, but you might mistake applying too much pressure, which can cause damage to your skin, which is why you've got to keep a protective cloth between you and the cold source. It's also recommended that you only use cold therapy for 20-minute intervals. Just look at all of the benefits that come with utilizing cold therapy!
- Less inflammation
- Decreased pain
- Reduce muscle spasm
SACKSY THYME Cold Therapy Pack for reducing Inflammation:
Our Cold Therapy Pack is the ultimate solution for reducing inflammation. This innovative product is designed to provide soothing and effective cold therapy to alleviate discomfort and swelling. Whether you're dealing with Arthritis Hand Pain, sports injury, post-surgery recovery, or everyday aches and pains, SACKSY THYME has got you covered.
Types of Cold Therapy
When deciding which type of cold therapy to use, it's vital to consider how and when you'll be using the product. Things like versatility and portability should be considered when choosing a product. A list of types of cold therapy is listed below!
- Cold therapy pack
- Tube of ice water
- Reusable gel cold pack
If a hand splint for arthritis might be the way for you, you can rest assured that you're making a good decision. An arthritis glove is also one option for dealing with joint pain and swelling caused by arthritis, but it does not immobilize the hands. Instead, the compression provides additional relief from pain and allows your fingers more freedom of movement.
A hand splint can be worn consistently over time and provides added resistance against the motion that some people feel helps stiff joints become too stiff to move over time. Resting the hands frequently throughout the day while wearing a splint or other arthritic gloves is important to avoid stiffness and weakness.
3. Pain Medications
If you have pain from daily tasks, ask your doctor if anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen (Advil) can help ease joint swelling and pain. However, taking this medication regularly may have side effects such as stomach ulcers, so always read the labels!
Arthritis can cause discomfort and prevent you from doing things you want or need to do. Massage therapy is a proven way to ease arthritis symptoms. It increases the oxygen flow and takes the pressure off your joints, relieves muscular tension, boosts your immune system, regulates hormones, stimulates cardiovascular health, eases chronic pain, and even works as a mood enhancer! Some people seek out self-massage, while others prefer professional treatment.
Many different therapies, such as deep tissue or Swedish massage, could benefit you depending on the severity of your condition.
5. Capsaicin Cream
Capsaicin is closely related to a chili pepper extract with pain-relieving properties. In ointments and creams, capsaicin causes local burning sensations by penetrating the nerve endings in the skin that send signals to the brain. Capsaicin is an effective home remedy for treating arthritis joint pain when rubbed on affected areas.
However, remember not to use it if you are allergic to it or other related peppers (chili peppers). If you have sensitive skin, this cream may elicit a slight burning response, so please use caution while applying and remove it immediately if you or your skin doesn't react well with it!
6. Natural Remedies
Although natural remedies won't replace regular care from your doctor and prescribed medications, they can help manage your symptoms and help you prevent arthritis. Here are a few natural remedies you can try at home:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids/
A diet rich in foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like nuts, flaxseed, and salmon may help prevent heart disease and reduce inflammation related to rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids also decrease stiffness and pain in people with arthritis.
Chondroitin and Glucosamine
Chondroitin and glucosamine come from shellfish, but that doesn't mean taking them will make your whole body taste like seafood. On the contrary, these chemical compounds go a long way in preventing arthritis pain and general joint discomfort, as the Mayo Clinic informs us. In addition, there are many different brands out there today that you can use to help battle any discomfort you may be feeling and even head off a full-blown case of arthritis.
If you're as big a fan of curry as I am, you'll be excited to know that turmeric can also be used to help manage the signs of arthritis. Quite simply, curcumin is a turmeric substance that provides anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown curcumin can be used for multiple conditions - including arthritis. You can treat the symptoms like an NSAID by regularly adding a bit of curry spice to your diet!
7. TENS Therapy
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) utilizes a non-invasive, portable device that delivers electrical stimulation to areas of the body experiencing discomfort or pain.
The electronic impulses are transmitted through wires and into electrode stickers that are applied directly to the skin's surface for localized relief. Depending on the severity and location of your pain, it may be necessary to adjust how many pads you use or their placement.
Preventing Arthritis hand pain
There are several steps you can take to help prevent arthritis hand pain, including:
- Maintaining a healthy weight: Excess weight strains your joints, increasing your risk of developing arthritis. Losing even a small amount of weight can help to reduce your risk of arthritis or slow its progression.
- Exercising regularly: Exercise helps to strengthen the muscles around your joints, which can help to protect them from injury. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
- Eating a healthy diet: A healthy diet can help to reduce inflammation and improve your overall health. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to protect your joints.
- Avoiding smoking: Smoking can damage the cartilage in your joints and increase your risk of developing arthritis. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health.
- Protecting your joints from injury: Taking steps to protect your joints from injury can help to prevent arthritis. This includes avoiding repetitive activities that strain your joints, using proper form when exercising, and wearing supportive shoes.
- Getting enough sleep: When you don't get enough sleep, your body doesn't have time to repair itself. This can lead to inflammation and damage to your joints. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
- Managing stress: Stress can worsen arthritis symptoms. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature.
- Seeing a doctor regularly: If you have a family history of arthritis, it's important to see a doctor regularly so they can monitor your condition and treat it early if necessary.
Following these tips can help prevent arthritis hand pain and improve your overall health.
Hand arthritis can be painful, but plenty of safe and effective home remedies can be used with your regular treatment plan. If you don't want to take medication, try soaking your hands in warm water and Epsom salts. Always speak to a doctor before adding a new healing method to your arsenal!
A Word From Sacksythyme
Hand arthritis, wrist pain, and issues with your finger joints are not something you want to overlook, particularly when they become more severe. Please consult your doctor as soon as possible to pinpoint the reason for the hand pain so you can address it as quickly as possible.
Hand arthritis--regardless of the arthritic cause--is best managed with a combination of therapies. This includes prescription and OTC medicines, natural treatments, and lifestyle changes.
It is crucial to talk with your doctor before attempting a new remedy to manage hand arthritis. You must also consult a medical professional anytime pain, swelling, and other signs of arthritis get worse.