Arthritis in hands is one of the most common types and naturally, it can be very painful. We use our hands on a daily basis so it’s not always possible to rest them so it is important to consider the treatments available. If you are diagnosed with arthritis in the hand or hands you may be offered the following treatments or may want to consider them if at all possible:
Oral Pain Medication
The first step for treating arthritis in hands is usually oral pain medication. It can temporarily relieve the pain and you are usually offered non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs initially, such as naproxen or ibuprofen. Further pain medication options can be discussed if these options don’t work.
Topical Pain Medication
Topical pain medications are applied directly to the sore hand. They usually come in the form of a cream or a balm or a gel. Many are available over the counter but you may be prescribed additional topical creams by your doctor.
Splints can help to stabilise and support weakened hand joints. There are a range of braces and splint available for different situations. Some braces are designed to be worn all the time whilst others are only worn at nice to prevent pain for causing interruptions whilst asleep.
Warm compresses or heat sprays applied to the sore hand can help to soothe affected joins. Warming the joint can help to release rigidness and increase the flexibility of the hand.
You may be referred for occupational therapy. Your personalised therapy programme can strengthen your joints, wrists and fingers, as well as increasing hand dexterity. Hand exercises given through occupational therapy can truly make a difference to the flexibility of the hands and help minimise the pain too.
The sadly common nature of arthritis in hands means new treatments are always being trialled, giving patients even more options.