Hand arthritis is a debilitating condition that affects millions of Americans. It is a joint disorder that can affect one or more joints in the hand, causing pain, stiffness, and inflammation. The most common type of hand arthritis is osteoarthritis, which occurs when the cartilage in the joint wears down over time. Other types of arthritis that can affect the hand include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout.
If you are experiencing hand arthritis, seeking treatment as soon as possible is essential to prevent further damage and alleviate your symptoms. People hadn’t had as many options to mitigate their pain in the past when arthritis struck. But now, due to more understanding, there are more ways to ensure the pain subsides faster than usual. But which treatment options are available for alleviating hand arthritis? Here are some ideas.
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) is a standard treatment option for many types of injuries, including hand arthritis. The method can help reduce pain and swelling, making moving your hand and performing daily activities easier. Rest your hand for a few days, avoiding activities that may aggravate your symptoms. Apply ice to the affected area for 20 minutes several times daily to help reduce inflammation. You can also wear a compression bandage to help reduce swelling and elevate your hand above your heart to improve blood flow.
2. Heat Therapy
Heat therapy is another effective treatment option for hand arthritis. Applying heat to the affected area can help improve blood flow and reduce stiffness, making it easier to move your hand and perform daily activities. You can use a heating pad, warm towel, or warm water to apply heat to the affected area. It is important to avoid applying heat directly to the skin, as this can cause burns.
Bracing is a standard treatment option for hand arthritis, as it can help support the affected joint and reduce pain and inflammation. Several braces are available, including splints, wraps, and gloves. Your doctor can help you determine which type of brace is best for your needs.
4. Oral or Injected Steroids
If your hand arthritis is severe or not responding to other forms of treatment, your doctor may recommend oral or injected steroids. These medications can help reduce inflammation and pain in the affected joint, making it easier to move your hand and perform daily activities. It is important to note that steroids should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional, as they can have significant side effects.
5. Activity Modification
Activity modification is essential to managing hand arthritis, which involves changing your daily routine to reduce the strain on your affected joints. For example, you may need to avoid activities that require a lot of gripping or twisting or use tools and aids to make these activities easier. Your doctor can help you develop a plan for activity modification tailored to your needs.
Hand arthritis is a common and often debilitating condition that can affect your ability to perform daily activities. Symptoms of hand arthritis can include pain, stiffness, swelling, and a reduced range of motion in the affected joints. You may also notice that your grip strength has decreased and that everyday tasks such as opening jars or turning door knobs are more complicated.
If you are experiencing hand arthritis, seeking treatment as soon as possible is essential to prevent further damage and alleviate your symptoms. Your doctor can help you determine which treatment options are best for your needs and develop a plan to help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Are you experiencing discomfort or pain in your hand or wrist? Look no further than Hand & Wrist Center, where expertly-trained wrist doctors will provide you with the best care possible. Our state-of-the-art surgical facility is staffed by a team of dedicated practitioners who offer hand therapy and hand surgery associates to ease any discomfort or pain you may be experiencing. Schedule an appointment with us today, and let us help you get back to feeling your best.