How to Prevent and Treat Osteoarthritis in the Hands

How to Prevent and Treat Osteoarthritis in the Hands

Osteoarthritis (OA) happens to be a degenerative joint disease that often affects the joints in one’s hands.

The exact cause of osteoarthritis is rather unknown. However, it is evident that the condition does develop on account of wear and tear of one’s joints. Like all joints, those in the wrists and hands are indeed protected by cartilage, which can also wear down over time and lead to osteoarthritis.

The most common factors that are linked up with osteoarthritis include aging, repetitive joint movement as well as trauma. It occurs more in women than in men.

Females are rather more prone to symptomatic as well as erosive hand osteoarthritis. With an aging population, the impact of hand osteoarthritis will also further increase.

Genetics can also be a factor in the development of osteoarthritis in one’s hands.

The condition causes pain with movement or when at rest, joint swelling, joint stiffness, joint deformity, weakness and loss of muscle mass, and also the loss of joint as well as muscle functioning.

Hand osteoarthritis is a common disease among the elderly and often impairs hand functioning.

The symptoms of hand arthritis differ from individual to individual. Much depends on the specific joints affected. Hand arthritis occurs commonly in one’s wrist, the basilar joint that connects one’s thumb as well as wrist, joints near the end of one’s fingers (DIP joints) and middle knuckles of the fingers (PIP joints).

If one is at a high risk of developing osteoarthritis of the hands or even suffering from it, then there are many ways to prevent joint degeneration and also control the symptoms.

Top 10 ways to prevent and treat hand osteoarthritis

1. Hot cum Cold Therapy

One can make use of both hot and cold compresses to take care of joint pain caused due to osteoarthritis in one’s hands. The compress will indeed reduce the pain as well as stiffness, while the cold compress will rather lessen swelling as well as inflammation.

1. Prepare a hot compress by wrapping up a hot water bottle in a thin towel.
2. Make a cold compress by placing a few ice cubes in a large baggie and then wrapping it in a thin towel.
3. Put the hot compress on one’s affected joints for about 2 minutes.
4. Replace it with the cold compress and then leave that on for 1 minute.
5. Repeat the process for about 15 minutes.
6. Do this 2 or 3 times a day.

Depending upon one’s condition, one can also use these compresses separately.

2. Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can temporarily help improve pain and stiffness that occur due to hand arthritis.

Massaging the hands is an effective way to reduce the pain and inflammation. It improves blood circulation and also encourages toxin drainage to reduce swelling.

1. Warm up some olive oil or coconut oil in the microwave.
2. Dab the warm oil on the affected area.
3. Using gentle strokes, massage the affected area for 10 minutes.
4. Repeat 2 or 3 times daily.

If massaging worsens the condition, stop doing it.

How to Prevent and Treat Osteoarthritis in the Hands3. Hand Exercises

Doing hand exercises is rather a must when dealing with pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis in one’s hands.
Regularly performing hand exercises can also help keep the supportive ligaments as well as tendons in the hands in a flexible manner. It will also improve one’s blood circulation to the area and reduces pain.

There are several hand exercises that one can try at home. Some of the exercises to alleviate arthritic pain in the hands are:

• Knuckle bends: Gently bend one’s middle knuckles, and then straighten one’s fingers again. Do it several times.
• Fists: Form a fist with one’s fingers slowly, and they do release the fist.
• Finger touches: Touch one’s thumb to each fingertip one by one.
• Wall walking: Walk one’s fingers up a wall, and then back down.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Raw, organic apple cider vinegar does provide several trace nutrients to the body and also helps the body to become more alkaline. This, in turn, reduces the pain that occurs with arthritis in the hands.

In addition, it also helps to remove the buildup of toxins in the joints as well as connective tissues, which also does play a key role in reducing arthritic pain.

For topical use:

• Mix rather equal amounts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and lukewarm water in a small tub. Soak one’s hands in this solution for about 30 minutes. Do it twice daily to notice an improvement in the pain and swelling.

• One can also mix together 1 tablespoon each of organic apple cider vinegar as well as extra-virgin olive oil. Use it to massage the affected joints a few times daily. One can rinse the mixture off one’s hands after 15 or 20 minutes.

For internal use:

• Mix about 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar into a glass of warm water and add a little raw honey. Drink it twice daily.

5. Turmeric

Turmeric is also an anti-inflammatory herb provides relief from pain and inflammation that is related to osteoarthritis in the hands.

Curcumin inhibits rather a number of different molecules that do play a role in inflammation. It can be a therapeutic agent for relieving arthritis.

For topical use:

• Mix a little olive oil and ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder to form a paste. Apply it on the affected area and then cover it with a bandage for a couple of hours. Do it 2 or 3 times daily for several days.

For internal use:

• Mix about 1 teaspoon of turmeric into a glass of warm milk. Drink it twice daily to ease inflammation.
• Alternatively, one can take curcumin capsules, after consulting one’s doctor for the proper dosage.

6. Ginger

Ginger is also very effective for osteoarthritis. It also helps block COX-2, a chemical in the body that actually causes pain.

Ginger does affect certain inflammatory processes at a cellular level.

For internal use: one has to prepare tea, grate a small piece of ginger root and boil it in a cup of water for about 10 minutes. Strain it and then add a little raw honey.

For topical use: Massage one’s hand with ginger oil a few times daily.

7. Green Tea

Green tea has indeed anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties that help reduce joint pain and swelling, common symptoms of osteoarthritis. Moreover, green tea helps maintain bone density and strength.

Green tea does help prevent as well as control symptoms of osteoarthritis.

1. Add about 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves to a cup of hot water.
2. Cover and let it steep for about few minutes.
3. Strain it and then add a little raw honey.
4. Drink 2 to 3 cups of green tea daily.

8. Capsaicin Cream

Capsaicin cream is good for arthritic pain.

The compound capsaicin has analgesic as well as anti-inflammatory properties that do help in getting rid of the pain and treat arthritis.

For topical use:

• Apply capsaicin cream to the affected area and massage gently for 1 minute. Do it twice daily. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing it off.

• Alternatively, you can make a capsaicin cream by mixing 2 or 3 sprinkles of cayenne pepper into 2 to 3 teaspoons of olive oil. Apply it on one’s hands 2 or 3 times a day.

9. Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses is indeed good for one’s joint as well as muscle health, and it can also play a key role in preventing any kind of arthritis.

It does contain calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, selenium and B vitamins, which are all kind of nutrients that the body needs to help fight pain as well as inflammation.

Blackstrap molasses also helps in supporting a proper acid-alkaline balance in one’s body. It is very beneficial for bone cum joint health.

1. Mix about1 to 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses into a cup of warm water or even milk.
2. Drink it twice daily.

10. Dietary Changes

The right kind of food can also cure different diseases and arthritis in one’s hands. Several types of foods can help fight pain as well as inflammation.

The right nutrition will indeed also support healing or even help slow down the progression of one’s disease.

When suffering from arthritis, one’s body needs certain nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin D as well as folate.

In order to get these nutrients, one must eat foods such as kale, milk, cheese, sardines, lentils, almonds, quinoa, black beans, brown rice, tofu, dark chocolate, avocados, strawberries, kiwi fruit, red peppers, papaya, broccoli, vitamin D-fortified milk, cereal, salmon and tuna.

In addition to nutritious foods, a healthy diet also does include plenty of liquids. Dehydration can also worsen arthritic pain.

Avoid excessive amounts of sugar as well as processed foods, as well as keeping coffee as well as sodas to a minimum.

• If one’s job does require a lot of pushing, pulling or lifting of heavy objects, one must take precautions to avoid injuring one’s joints.
• If one’s job calls for a lot of typing, one must be sure to practice good posture as well as ergonomics. One must take breaks to give one’s hands a rest.

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About the Author: Danteshwari Bhaskar

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