When joint pain hits the hands, it makes the simplest things a major challenge. Changing the channel on the television, gripping a spoon, or simply sitting to relax can become impossible.
Sometimes, pain in the fingers and hands takes hold. But for some, the grip is tight and recurring. If the pain is caused by osteoarthritis, you may use mobility and have extreme difficulty gripping or holding objects.
If left untreated, osteoarthritis can lead to joint deformity and decreased ability to open and close hands.
So, how do you manage pain flare-ups? There are actually a handful of things you can do.
Splints and braces can help manage pain by immobilizing your hand and keeping fingers in a more comfortable position. They may be particularly useful to wear overnight to prevent flare-ups during sleep.
One thing about these tools: wearing splints and braces too frequently can enhance joint pain by making them stiffer. If you wear it overnight, mornings might be particularly painful.
Hot or cold therapy can also be useful. Using ice to reduce swelling in the fingers can help numb pain until it goes away. On the other hand, heat can be used to loosen up tight joints. Something to remember: do not use heat for inflammation or swelling.
Reducing the stress on your finger and wrist joints is also a useful way to control pain. A few strategies include carrying bags over your forearm instead of gripping them. There are also ergonomic tools to make things easier for you.
Oversized remotes, utensils, and openers can all help ease pain, improve grip, and promote better functionality.
There are also a series of stretches that can help ease pain and increase range of motion in your joints. However, these may be best used for slight pain. For more severe cases, working with a physical therapist is likely the best route to go.
If you’re gripped by joint pain in your hands and fingers, these ideas could help keep it under control.