Arthritis is a painful condition to live with that can affect any joint in your body. When arthritis affects your hands, the impact on your life is much more profound since you need to use your hands for many simple daily tasks. Here's a look at how arthritis affects your hands and the pain treatments available.
How Arthritis Affects Your Hand Joints
There are two main forms of arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis develops as the cartilage around your joints that allows bones to glide over each other slowly wears away. With the cartilage damaged or worn down, joint movement becomes painful. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition of inflammation. The tissues in your joints become inflamed so your joints feel tight, stiff, and sore. Your doctor will diagnose the type of arthritis you have since the treatments for them vary.
Home Treatments For Hand Arthritis Pain
You need your hands to be flexible so you can do things like turn the key in your car's ignition, open food packages, type, get dressed, and groom yourself. One approach your doctor may suggest is to take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling so your hands aren't so stiff and painful.
Besides oral medications, your doctor might recommend topical ointments you apply to your hands that help with pain relief. You might even obtain pain relief by soaking your hands in cold or hot water. Your doctor might also suggest wearing arthritis gloves. These compress your hands and keep them warm to help with pain relief. They aren't bulky so you can wear them as you go about your usual activities.
Medical Treatments For Hand Arthritis
There are a variety of prescription drugs available for treating arthritis, and your doctor might start one of these medications if your condition warrants it. These may reduce inflammation or help with pain. You might also undergo treatments from a hand therapist who can teach you exercises to improve hand mobility and help modify your lifestyle when you're affected by limited use of your hands. For instance, you can try different equipment made for people with hand arthritis that makes life easier, such as specially designed tools, pens, and spoons.
In the case of osteoarthritis, surgery might be indicated if the cartilage becomes so worn that other pain relief methods don't work. By removing parts of a worn-out joint or replacing it with an artificial joint, the source of the pain is eliminated and you'll have improved range of motion.
Finding the right arthritis hand pain treatment may be challenging since your condition is unique to you and one treatment may not work for everyone. However, your arthritis doctor has many options for dealing with pain and other complications of arthritis so your condition can be managed as best possible. You might try visiting sites like Wilson Hand Surgery,PLLC for more information.