If Youre Experiencing Discomfort In Your Wrists While Typing On A Keyboard Learn How To Curb Those Arthritis Symptoms With These Wrist Exercises
Two things that don’t mesh well: a day job that requires typing on a keyboard and arthritis pain. If you’re one of the many individuals who happen to be served up both of these things on a regular basis, you know you’re anything but lucky. Wrist arthritis can be a very painful experience—especially when your daily activities are exacerbating the situation. Chances are you’ve tried icing the inflammation and maybe even wearing a brace, but have you tried a topical treatment? Rub some Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel on both wrists at the first sign of a flare-up following the directions for use on the dosing card. It’s a powerful, medicated gel targeted to treat the site of arthritis pain.
Another remedy to try? Exercise! “If you have joint pain because of arthritis, exercise is going to be a beneficial tool,” explains Blake Dircksen, PT, DPT, CSCS, orthopedic physical therapist at Bespoke Treatments Physical Therapy & Fitness in New York City. “And the best exercise you can do is one that you’ll do most often and with less pain.”
That being said, we asked Dircksen to share some of his top picks for wrist exercises for arthritis pain. “The goal with these exercises is to improve function and decrease pain,” says Dircksen. Try his exercise suggestions below.
What Type Of Hand Surgery Is Most Commonly Performed On The Specific Joints Affected By Arthritis
- Base of the thumb: Where your thumb and wrist join. Common surgical options include removing part or all of one of the trapezium bone , tendon transfer or joint fusion.
- Knuckles : Joint replacement is almost always considered for this repair. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause serious damage and disability to your knuckles.
- Second joint of your finger : Osteoarthritis commonly causes stiffness and loss of motion. Joint replacement or fusion are considered for these joints. Because you use these joints frequently, there is a chance your implant could wear out. In this case, your provider may recommend further surgery.
- Top of finger joint : Joint fusion is commonly used to treat arthritis in this joint.
Arthritis Is A Very Common Condition That Causes An Uncomfortable Pain In Joints Around The Body
There are two common types of arthritis – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage lining of joints becomes rough and thin, meaning more pressure is put on tendons and ligaments, causing pain and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis is completely different, with the immune system being the cause, affecting joints and making them painful and swollen. It usually affects the joint’s outer covering, known as synovium, before spreading across the joint.
Both types of arthritis can affect many joints across the body, most commonly the knees, hips and hands. Focusing on arthritis of the hand, fingers and wrist, we’ve come up with a useful guide to help you deal with the pain arthritis may be causing you – with some simple exercises!
We asked fellow hand and wrist experts across the UK, and the rest of the world, to suggest exercises to reduce pain caused by arthritis. Here’s what they had to say…
Are Glucosamine And Chondroitin Supplements Helpful For Treating Osteoarthritis Of The Hand
Supplements are not reviewed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration . They are not required to undergo the same rigorous clinical trial methods that medications must undergo in the U.S. Some clinical trials show benefits with pain relief; however, there is no proof that these supplements slow the progression of osteoarthritis. If you plan to try these, always check with your healthcare provider before using supplements. These products may interfere with medications you currently take.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Dull or burning joint pain, morning stiffness, swollen joints in your hand are all symptoms of arthritis. Many types of arthritis could affect your hands. Many treatment options are available depending on your exact arthritis type. Medications can reduce joint pain and swelling. Researchers are still working on ways to slow the progression of osteoarthritis. See your healthcare provider if you think you have arthritis in your hands. They will perform a complete exam and offer you a complete treatment plan, which includes hand exercises, use of hot and cold packs, other lifestyle tips and traditional treatments including medications, braces/splints, steroid injections and surgery.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/06/2021.
These Nonsurgical Solutions Will Enhance Daily Activities And Independence
Hand pain is more than just annoying. The stiffness and swelling that go along with hand pain can sap strength and diminish the ability to carry out routine functions, like buttoning clothes.
One common cause of hand pain is osteoarthritis—when the shock-absorbing cartilage between bones in the finger joints and at the base of the thumb becomes worn or damaged. Hand pain can also result from nerve conditions, like the pain and tingling you feel when there is pressure on the median nerve in the wrist or the ulnar nerve near the elbow. Sometimes hand pain results from tendinitis, an inflammation of the tissue that attaches muscles to the bones. Here are five methods to help manage hand pain, retain hand function, and avoid surgery.
A splint stabilizes the position of your fingers, thumb, or wrist. “Wear a splint for a few weeks if arthritis flares, so the inflammation can settle down,” says Dr. Philip Blazar, an orthopedic surgeon and associate professor at Harvard Medical School.
Hand Grip Test: How Strong Is Your Grip Are Stiff Muscles Worsening Pain
To continue, you’ll need a small, soft ball such as a stress ball, a Nerf ball, or a foam ball. A tennis ball is too big, while a lacrosse or golf ball is too firm to use for these exercises. You could even start with a sponge or foam towel. Another option: putty, whether it’s kid’s putty or special rehab-therapy putty — these don’t stain or stick, though they are more costly.
1. Hold a soft ball in your right hand.
2. Squeeze the ball with a slow, moderate grip 3 to 4 times.
3. Switch hands and repeat.
Notes: Compare hands to see if there is a difference in strength between your two hands. You may note that your dominant hand is stronger than your non-dominant hand.
“You can do this exercise throughout the day,” says Wilmarth. “Instead of using a quick, staccato grip and release, try a gradual hold and release so it’s not harsh on the muscles and joints.”
One other tip: Don’t try to do a large number of repetitions all at once. “Spread them out throughout the day. For instance, do three to five reps every once in a while, up to 10 reps per day,” Wilmarth says.
Simple Moves Can Make Ra Finger Hand Wrist And Forearm Pain Feel Better
People living with rheumatoid arthritis are no strangers to pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints of the hand. And while exercise can help alleviate these uncomfortable symptoms, it can be difficult for people with RA to actually work out on a regular basis. Not only do they face many of the same obstacles as people without the disease — a lack of time or energy, for instance — but they just may not feel up to it physically, either.
But with rheumatoid arthritis, it’s very important to stick with an exercise routine, because regular activity can help prevent pain and stiffness and improve flexibility. For instance, a review of trials published in British Medical Bulletin in September 2016 suggests resistance exercise improves hand pain, function, grip strength, and range of motion for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
To help make it a little easier, we’ve outlined a simple at-home workout based on the best-selling book, The Melt Method, by Sue Hitzmann. All you need to do these exercises is a soft, small, rubbery ball and a few minutes each day. This workout offers the benefits of resistance moves, as well as some of the perks of massage. One study published in May 2013 in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice suggests that massage also helps with pain, grip strength, and range of motion, so you could reap a two-for-one benefit with some of these exercises.
Wrist Arthritis: Causes Symptoms Alternative Remedies And Exercises
Wrist pain can be the result of wrist arthritis. It’s a condition that becomes more common with age. The wrist is a complex joint, but there are various remedies and exercises that can help address the symptoms of wrist arthritis.
The wrist is actually made up of many different small joints. Under healthy circumstances, bones glide over each other during movement and are protected by cartilage; however, arthritis damages cartilage. This means that the bones are rubbing directly against each other, leading to inflammation and pain.
Simple tasks can be hard for those who suffer from arthritis in the wrist. While there is no cure for wrist arthritis, with good treatment, many people are able to manage arthritis in wrist symptoms and remain active.
Here Are Some Tips To Follow To Keep Your Wrist And Hands Moving:
These tips can help you keep rheumatoid arthritis wrist pain under control.
Category: Natural Pain Relief
Wrist Joint Test: Is A Limited Range Of Motion Worsening Ra Pain
The point of this move is assess your range of motion.
1. Stand up or sit down with both feet on the floor. Put your wrists and elbows together so the insides of your forearms are touching.
2. Open your hands so your palms are facing up toward the sky. Try to form your arms and hands into the shape of the letter “T.”
Modification: This is an advanced move, so you may not be able to get into this position. If not, try extending your arms out in front of you, palms facing down. Slowly point your fingers up, rotating at the wrist. Do not force the motion — there should be no pain. See how far you can get.
“It’s important for people with RA to know that each morning, you will be stiff,” says Mary Ann Wilmarth of Back2Back Physical Therapy, located outside of Boston, and a media spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association . “Don’t get discouraged — this is totally normal. Keep in mind this is a long-term disease, and try to look at overall improvements.”
Ra In The Wrist: How Do I Know If I Have Arthritis In My Wrist
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic and progressive autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s natural immune system “malfunctions” and begins to attack the healthy tissue lining the joints. While any joint in the body can be affected, RA often starts in the joints of the wrists and hands, progressing to other joints over time. In fact, the wrist is the most common site for RA in the upper body, and usually, both wrists are involved. According to the Arthritis Foundation, about 1.5 million people in the U.S. have rheumatoid arthritis, and the disease is about three times as common among women as among men.
What Temperature Is Best When Using Heat Therapy For Arthritis
When using moist heat therapy, make sure the temperature is not so hot that you burn your skin. Find a temperature that you can comfortably tolerate, whether using a bath, hot water bottle, or spa therapy.
You also need to give it time to work. Use the moist heat application for at least 15 minutes before exercise. Then use it again immediately following exercise. You can also use moist heat anytime you want additional relief from arthritis pain.
How Often Should I Use Heat Or Cold Therapy For Arthritis Pain
Try to use moist heat or ice packs at least twice a day for the best relief from pain and stiffness.
According to the American College of Rheumatology, five to 10-minute ice massages applied to a painful area within the first 48 hours of pain onset can provide relief. So can heat, which relaxes the muscles. Heat should be used for pain that lasts longer than 48 hours.
More Simple Hand And Wrist Exercises To Combat Arthritis Pain
As well as the exercises and opinions offered by various experts above, we’ve also compiled an extra list of exercises for you, to help you deal with the joint pain and stiffness of arthritis in the hands, fingers and wrists.
1. Make a fist
Simply hold your hand up straight and slowly bend it into a fist, leaving your thumb on the outside. Be sure to do this gently, not squeezing your hand once in a fist. Once you’ve made a fist, open the hand again until your fingers are completely straight. Repeat this ten times.
2. Finger stretching
First, place your palm flat on a table or surface, and gently straighten your fingers as flat as they can go, whilst being careful not to force the joints. Hold the stretch for around 30 seconds and then release. Repeat this four times.
3. Finger curves
Point your hand straight up, and then curve all of your fingers inwards until they meet, forming an “O” shape. Hold the “O” for several seconds and then straighten the fingers, repeating this process several times.
4. Finger lifts
Put the hand flat against a table or surface and then slowly lift each finger into the air one at a time, starting with the thumb. Hold each finger up for a few seconds before lowering it.
5. Wrist stretching
6. Finger claw stretching
7. Grip strengthening
Rheumatoid Arthritis Wrist Pain & Tips On How To Control It
When rheumatoid arthritis sets in, both wrists may become swollen, red, and very warm.
You may have difficulty bending your wrists back.
Stiffness will occur, usually in the morning, and it may take a couple of hours to work that stiffness out.
When rheumatoid arthritis becomes advanced, the wrists may become deformed as the bones lose their ability to move against each other.
These deformities affect the biomechanics of your hands, compromising your ability to grasp and carry objects, open doors, hold a pen, and many other tasks.
Keeping your hands ready for functional tasks can be difficult, especially when wrist pain radiates to your fingers.
Hand Friction Moves To Release Muscle Tension And Ease Pain
1. Place a soft ball on a flat, hard surface such as a table. Sit in front of the table, making sure your shoulders are completely relaxed throughout the entire move.
2. Using light, quick, random movements, rub your right hand over the soft ball in a scribble-like motion. Be sure to include your fingers and wrist.
3. Repeat on the other hand.
Do it to your tolerance.
What Outcome Can I Expect If I Have Arthritis In My Hands
There is no cure for arthritis. However, you can usually manage mild to moderate symptoms with a combination of medication and non-medication approaches. Surgery may be an option if other treatments fail or the arthritis in your hands is severe. Your healthcare provider will explain what outcome you can expect for your type and severity of arthritis, your age, other existing medical conditions and other factors.
Tips To Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis Wrist Pain Naturally
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that affects all the joints of the body and, often times, the first joints that are affected are the wrists.
Pain, inflammation, and eventual loss of strength can occur.
Steps can be taken, however, to manage rheumatoid arthritis wrist pain and avoid the loss of function that could otherwise result.
Hand And Forearm Rinse Move To Release Pain And Stiffness
1. Place a soft ball on a flat, hard surface such as a table.
2. Sit in front of the table, making sure your shoulders are completely relaxed throughout the entire move.
3. Start at the tip of one finger, and slowly press the ball down the length of the finger all the way down until you get to point 4 over your wrist.
4. Repeat for each finger, starting at the top and working your way down to point 4 over your wrist.
5. Switch hands and repeat.
6. Repeat for each finger, but instead of stopping at the wrist, continue all the way to the elbow.
7. Switch hands and repeat.
“This should be a very gentle movement, allowing you to massage all areas,” Wilmarth says. “You should ultimately get a rhythm going, though it might not be like that at first. Instead, it could be difficult and staccato. If you hit an area that’s painful, instead of going through it, try to gently go up to that area, then back off. Try to go further and further each time without causing any pain. You may not be able to do a whole complete line as they’ve drawn.”
Are There Any Other Treatment Options Being Investigated
For osteoarthritis, some clinical research trials are underway in the U.S. exploring stem cell treatment. Early findings are encouraging. Stem cell therapy so far has shown to provide some pain relief and improvement in function. The ultimate goal would hopefully be to use stem cells to regrow cartilage.
Over the past decade, researchers developed many new medications for psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, with more studies underway.
If I Need Hand Surgery For Arthritis What Are My Options
Ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition is one of the most popular and effective surgical treatments for basal thumb arthritis because it eliminates pain and restores full thumb motion.
During an LRTI procedure, the hand surgeon removes the arthritic joint surfaces and replaces them with a “cushion” made of a small piece of tendon that’s taken from your forearm through a tiny incision. This tendon helps keep the bones in your CMC joint separated so they don’t rub together when you move your thumb.
Another treatment method for basal thumb arthritis is a minimally invasive CMC joint replacement, which replaces the damaged CMC joint with an artificial joint made of plastic or metal parts. An LRTI is considered a better solution than a CMC joint replacement because it uses tissue from your own body. Also, metal and plastic parts can wear out or fail, increasing the likelihood for another surgery.
Joint fusion is another treatment option for basal thumb arthritis. Although it’s effective at treating pain, it’s performed only in rare circumstances because it completely prevents your joint from moving.
Finger Press And Compression Moves To Help Ra Hand Pain
1. Hold a ball in the palm of your right hand.
2. Place the pad of your index finger on the top of the ball.
3. Gently press down, making sure not to hyperextend your finger. If you go beyond flat , you have gone too far.
4. Hold for a second. Relax pressure.
5. Roll your finger along the ball slowly so the tip of your finger is on top of the ball.
6. Gently press down with the tip of your finger. Hold for a second, then relax the pressure.
7. Repeat the move 3 to 5 times with your index finger, repeating between the pad and tip of your finger.
8. Repeat with each finger, including the thumb.
9. Switch hands and repeat.
Notes: Make sure to move slowly and with control. Your dominant hand will likely be stronger than your non-dominant hand.
What Are The Best Treatments For Arthritis In The Hands
Arthritis can be disabling, especially when it is in the hands and fingers. It can prevent you from carrying out normal day-to-day activities such as work duties and preparing meals.
Arthritis is a common disease that causes pain and stiffness within joints, including the hand. Appropriate treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms, but they can include medications, therapy, lifestyle adjustments, and surgery.
Treatment For Hand Arthritis In The Greater Chesapeake
If you have a hand injury or chronic condition such as arthritis, turn to the experts at Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder. Our team of hand experts have a profound understanding of the complex networks of blood vessels, nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones that make up the hand and fingers.
We understand how important pain-free hand and finger motion and function is to daily activities, including work, self-care, sports, and leisure. Our orthopedic and plastic surgeons specialize in hand surgery, and we can offer state-of-the-art nonsurgical and surgical care to treat a full range of hand and finger injuries and conditions.
Finger Rinse Moves To Relieve Joint Swelling And Pain
1. Sit in front of a table, making sure your shoulders are completely relaxed throughout the entire move.
2. Place your left hand flat on the table, palm down. Use the right hand to rub a soft ball over the top of and in between each finger of the left hand in one direction, from the knuckle to the nail.
3. Repeat on the other hand.
“This one may be difficult for people with RA because it may be hard to stay on the fingers — the joints are more involved and tender, and you can have swelling and deformities like nodules, so the ball may bump and twist,” Wilmarth says. “If there’s any discomfort at all, simply avoid the area. And if you are in an overall acute flare, make sure it has calmed down and you get the OK from your doctor.
Another option is to do a literal finger rinse: “Soak your hand in lukewarm water, maybe with some Epsom salts,” Wilmarth suggests. “And while you’re doing that, you can try some easy range of motion exercises, like opening and closing your hand or touching your fingers tip to tip. This can help relieve swelling and improve range of motion.” Start slowly: 3 to 5 exercises, up to 10 minutes at most, Wilmarth advises. “It’s easy to get carried away because it feels good in the water. But afterward, you could feel sore.”
Remedies Now Target Inflammation As Well As The Ache
En español | We all know what it’s like to wake up in the morning with an aching back or stiff knees. But for those with chronic inflammatory arthritis, a disease in which our immune system starts attacking healthy cells by mistake — manifesting in widespread pain and red, swollen, inflamed joints — the discomfort is very different. “The distinction has to do with the pervasiveness of the experience,” says Nortin Hadler, M.D., emeritus professor of medicine and microbiology/immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Without medicine, people with rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis are lucky to feel good ever during the day. It is remittent: There are good days, and there are bad days.”
Getting the disease under control with drugs, such as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or biologics, can significantly reduce the pain. “But while medication these days is very effective, it’s not completely effective,” says Nancy Shadick, M.D., a rheumatologist at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School. “You’re dealing with the intermittent flares or some ongoing pain or disability.”