Osteoarthritis of the Hand? Here’s What You Can Do
It can be painful and debilitating when osteoarthritis settles into the joints of the wrists and hands. Even the smallest tasks become painful, or even impossible, to perform. It is a good idea to have a plan of action for dealing with osteoarthritis pain in your hands.
In addition to medications and treatments prescribed by your doctor, there are some things you can do at home to ease your symptoms and make everyday tasks easier.
- It sounds counterintuitive, but there are exercises you can do to strengthen your joints and increase your range of motion. Dr. Yospur or our hand therapist can recommend some exercises that will be safe and effective for you.
- Special devices. You might find that kitchen utensils and other tools with larger handles and grips are easier to use with sore hands.
- Alternating heat and cold compresses. Heat loosens stiff joints, and ice is excellent at reducing inflammation and swelling.
- Over-the-counter medications. You are likely familiar with oral NSAIDS (non-steroidal inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Did you know that there are also topical NSAIDS? These gels and creams can be applied directly to sore joints, providing immediate relief. These are also a good option if oral NSAIDS upset your stomach.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. While not officially FDA approved for treatment, many people swear that these supplements improve their osteoarthritis symptoms and make everyday life more comfortable.
Some effort, small changes, and a few inexpensive purchases can go a long way to reducing osteoarthritis pain in your hands. Be sure to keep Dr. Yospur informed of any supplements or over-the-counter medications you decide to try, to avoid any dangerous interactions.
These steps, along with good communication with your doctor, can help to alleviate the pain of osteoarthritis and help keep you active! If you find that you have taken these steps and are still in need of more help, hand surgeon Dr. Yospur can talk to you about more options. Contact us to schedule a consultation.