Arthritis wears away the cartilage of the joint. This can cause irritation and inflammation of the synovial lining and prevent the production of the fluid that lubricates the joint.
This is later manifested by pain and stiffness.
With the increased use of the hand and moving the joints more and more, the pain will get even worse. A simple activity such as typing on the keyboard can result in a sharp pain and cause discomfort. Patients can also lose power in the arm, making everyday tasks almost impossible to accomplish.
In order to relieve the pain caused by arthritis, patients often take oral medicines. Steroid injections in the joints are also an option but if they fail to work, you might have to undergo a surgery to fix the damaged joints.
There are other, home treatments for relieving the pain caused by arthritis. The easiest way to keep the joints flexible and reduce the pain is to implement hand exercises in your treatment. The goal is to strengthen the muscles around the joints so you can perform hand movements with less discomfort.
Exercises can also improve the range of motion and boost the production of synovial fluid, the liquid that lubricates the joint.
It is recommended to soak the hands in warm water or warm paraffin wax before you start with the exercises. If possible, do the exercises in a heated pool where the water’s buoyancy will support the joints and reduce the stress.
Here are the 8 exercises you need to perform in order to ease the pain:
- Make A Fist
This exercise can be performed anywhere, anytime. Start with a straight hand and slowly make a fist. Place the thumb on the outside of the hand and don’t squeeze too tight. Release slowly, until your fingers are straight once again. Repeat 10 times with both hands.
- Finger Bands
Start in the same position as the fist exercise. Bend the thumb downwards and keep for a few seconds. Then return the thumb in the initial position. Next, bend the index finger in direction of the palm and hold for a count. Straighten it up and continue doing the same with the rest of the fingers. Repeat the exercise with the other hand.
- Thumb Bend
Start with a straight hand and bend the thumb in direction of the palm. Try to touch your pinky finger but don’t be alarmed if you don’t succeed. Stretch as far as you can and hold for several seconds. Return the thumb in the initial position. Repeat the exercise 10 times with both thumbs.
- Fan and Fist
Hold the hand in a neutral position, with straightened fingers. Gradually spread the fingers as much as you can. Then try to make a fist. Remain in each position for 5 seconds. Repeat the exercise twice a day for both hands.
- Make an O
Start with the hand pointing straight up. Slowly push the fingers inward until they all touch, making an “O”. Hold for several seconds and return to initial position. Do the exercise 3 times with both hands.
- Finger Lift
Lay your hand flat on a table, with the palm facing downwards. Slowly raise each finger off the table, one by one, and hold for a few seconds. Repeat the exercise with the other hand.
- Table Bend
Put the pinky finger close to the table and point your thumb up. Move the rest of the fingers until they form an “L”. Hold for a few seconds and then straighten the fingers back up. Repeat 10 times with each hand.
- Wrist Stretch
Hold your right arm out with the palm facing downward. With the left hand, gently press the right hand until you feel stretching in the wrist. Hold for a few seconds and release. Do 10 repetitions for each hand.