Arthritis in the Hands and How to Treat It
Arthritis in the hands can be disabling, preventing you from carrying out normal day-to-day activities. Arthritis is a very common disease that causes pain and stiffness within joints, including the hand. The severity of the symptoms will determine the appropriate treatment but may include medications, therapy, lifestyle adjustments, and surgery.
Possible Treatments for Hand Arthritis
Medication: To reduce pain and inflammation of arthritis in the hand, your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter or prescription medication. Cortisone injections can also help to reduce pain and swelling in the joints if symptoms do not improve significantly with medication.
Nutrition and Supplements: Your diet should include foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A healthy, balanced, low-fat diet has been found to benefit people with arthritis. Fish such as salmon and berries, nuts, olives, garlic, green leafy vegetables can help minimize the inflammation of arthritis. A variety of herbal and nutritional supplements can also be helpful in treating arthritis.
Therapy: Physical therapy and aquatic therapy can help to strengthen the muscles surrounding the affected arthritic joint. These therapies can help to relieve pain and to stabilize the joint. Wearing a splint can help support your hand and reduce the stress on your joints. Your therapist can also provide instruction on how to carry out daily activities in a manner that puts less stress on arthritic joints.
Surgery: Arthritis tends to get worse over time; it can be quelled but not cured. When non-surgical treatments no longer provide relief, surgery may be recommended. The severity of your arthritis and your overall health will be used to determine your surgical options.
The most common surgical procedures for arthritis include:
- Synovectomy, which involves removing the diseased or damaged lining of the joint (synovium)
- Osteotomy, which involves realigning the bones in a joint
- Arthroplasty, which is joint replacement surgery, often for advanced arthritis
Most hand surgeries are followed by hand therapy to strengthen the muscles and improve function.
Speak with an Orthopedic Specialist Today
Are you suffering from a recent injury? Make an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists today to start your healing journey. OrthoArizona has nearly two dozen offices throughout the Valley, each focused on quality care, compassion, and excellent customer service. Since 1994, OrthoArizona has been dedicated to compassionate care of the highest quality.
The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and are not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational, medical material.