The hands are the commonest and most inconvenient body parts where people experience arthritis. Arthritis causes stiffness, pain, and inflammation when doing everyday activities, such as using a keyboard or twisting a doorknob.
To help ease the pain, doctors often prescribe anti-inflammatory treatments or steroid injections. In addition, there also exist surgical repairs in case the arthritis is treatment-resistant.
However, before deciding to go under a knife, you should try with some home exercises which will help you to get rid of the pain. You are allowed to do this exercise alongside with the medicines which your doctor had prescribed to you.
Making a Fist
Hold your hand straight up as if you are about to make a handshake with somebody. Then, bend it in order to make a fist with your thumb placed outside of your hand. As soon as you form the fist, open your hand and straight your fingers. Repeat this process 10 times. Afterwards, switch the hand.
Same as the first one, begin this exercise with the ‘handshake’ position. Bend your fingers down until it will touch the palm. Keep all the rest fingers straight. Hold them like that for 5 to 10 seconds and then return to the beginning position. Repeat it for every single finger and afterwards, switch the hand.
This exercise begins similarly to the finger bending one, starting with the ‘handshake’ position and thumb bending. But, instead of bending it to touch the palm, bend the thumb to touch the pinky finger. Also, it’s very important to stretch it as much as you can. Hold it for several seconds, and then release slowly. Repeat 10 times and afterwards, switch the hands.
Also known as the ‘O’ exercise, this exercise begins by placing your hand in ‘giving-a-high-five’ position. Have your fingers spread apart. Then, curve your fingers until they touch and form O – like shape or a claw. Hold like that for up to 5 to 10 seconds and then straighten out. Do this exercise several times per day for both hands, but not at once.
Place your hand in a ‘handshake’ position once again. However, this time, rest your hand on a flat table in order your thumb to point upwards. Then, fold your fingers inward so that you reach a ‘thumbs-up’ pose. Hold in this position for several seconds and then straighten your fingers. Repeat it 10 times and switch hands.
Put your hand on a flat table with your palm facing down. Have your fingers spread. Then, start lifting your thumb slowly as high as you can endure. Hold it for several seconds and the lower it down. Repeat for each finger and then, switch hands.
This exercise will help not just your finger, but your wrists as well. Start with holding one arm straight out and have your wrist loose. Your palm should hang down and face inward. With your other hand, press against hand’s back. Push as soon as you start feeling a stretch in your arm or wrist. Repeat 10 times and then switch hands.
Other Home Remedies
In addition to above-mentioned exercises, there are a few other home remedies that you may try. However, make sure you consult your doctor about these alternative home-made remedies you are about to use:
- Ice pack
Ice might be helpful in relieving the pain for arthritic hands, as with any form of swelling or inflammation. You may use an ice pack, ice cubes, or even frozen vegetables. When using ice therapy, you need to put the ice pack on one (or even two) joints at the same time for a few minutes. Then, leave it for about 30 seconds, and repeat again. Repeat this procedure until 20 minutes have passed, few times a day. And remember, in order to avoid frostbite, keep a cloth or a towel between the skin and the ice pack.
Ginger is famous for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics. In combination with cinnamon or honey, it can relax the stiffened muscles. Using either of these teas can be helpful in relieving arthritic hands. For ginger, you should boil a small amount in water for 10 minutes. Then, strain and drink this mixture twice a day. For cinnamon or honey, you should mix 1 tbsp. of honey and a ½ tsp. of cinnamon into your tea. Then, drink it on an empty stomach each morning.
- Epsom salts
One common unwanted effect of arthritis is the bone demineralization. Epsom salts represent a rich source of magnesium that eases the nerve pain and improves bone mineralization. All you need to do is to get 2 cups of Epsom salt and mix them in warm water and soak both of your hands for 20 to 30 minutes. It might take several weeks until it takes the effect.
Same as ginger, turmeric too has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant features which can be beneficial for the elimination of the pain in arthritic hands. One option is to add 1 tsp. of turmeric to a glass of hot milk and drink it once a day (you may add honey as well). Another option is to add 1 tbsp. of turmeric to a ¼ of water and boil for up to 10 minutes. Leave the resulting mixture to cool and consume it once a day.
You don’t have to eat garlic in order to enjoy what its anti-inflammatory traits, such as selenium and sulfur can offer. Instead, you may 2 chopped garlic cloves in 2 tbsp of mustard oil. After you turn off the heat, let the resulting mixture cools. Next, apply it to the affected joints and massage them gently. Repeat twice a day.