It’s hard to say one type of joint pain is worse than the next. It can cripple those who suffer and drastically pick apart a decent quality of life. But there may be no more frustrating pain than when it hits in the wrists or hands. When it becomes impossible or unbearable to button a shirt or handle a fork, it’s easy to feel defeated.
You may be experiencing pain in the wrist or hands for a number of reasons. It could be the result of osteoarthritis, which is when the cartilage between bones wears away. Joint pain in the hands can also be the result of tendinitis, which is when the tissue connecting muscle to bone becomes inflamed. Lastly, pain in your fingers or wrists can come from pressure on nerves near the wrist or elbow.
Whatever the cause of pain, dealing with it so you can live comfortably is of the utmost importance. And although immediate or long-term permanent relief can be hard to attain, there are some natural methods you can try when pain strikes.
- Use a Splint: If arthritis flares up, wearing a splint can help combat pain so you can get through the day. Keeping the affected joints stable can limit inflammation and rubbing bones. It may take a little while for the pain relief to kick in and limit your mobility slightly, but it can help.
- Hot/Cold Compresses: Applying hot or cold compresses can help ease pain in different situations. Heat may help loosen stiffness in the hand, and sometimes a hot shower will help. On the other end, if you’ve performed an activity like typing on a computer or played golf, a cold compress is likely the best choice to help bring down inflammation. A cold gel pack or bag of frozen peas work best.
- Stretches/Exercise: Performing stretches when pain hits, and as preventative measures, might help too. Here are a few to try:
- Prayer Stretch: Start with palms together in front of you, just below your chin. Slowly lower hands to your waist, keeping them together and close to your body. When you feel the stretch in your forearm, stop and hold for 15–30 seconds.
- Wrist Flexor/Extension: For flexor: Stand with one arm out in front of you, palm up. Bend your wrist back so your hand points towards the floor, then gently bend it back further with your other hand until you feel a stretch in your forearm. Hold for 15–30 seconds. For extension, repeat the same steps, just start with your palm facing down.
Joint pain in the hands and wrists can be debilitating. But you can still find ways to fight back. These methods, especially when combined with an anti-inflammatory diet and active lifestyle, can help relieve pain to get you on your way.
- Pain in palm of hand: Palm pain causes and treatment
- Common causes of hand joint pain
- Tendinitis in wrists: Causes, symptoms, exercises, and home remedies
- Preventing arthritis in hand with exercise and natural remedies