Osteoarthritis is a common cause of hand pain. This disease is one of the most common forms of arthritis. This is a very common reason people experience pain or stiffness in their hands. Osteoarthritis is a form of degenerative arthritis, meaning the cartilage is being broken down due to the rubbing of bones on other bones. This often causes pain, inflammation, decreased range of motion, and stiffness.
If you are experiencing osteoarthritis there are a few things you can do to help ease that pain in your hands. Different things work for different people, so it is important to note that not everything will provide relief for all.
Exercise is one thing that can help ease the pain. This is something that might be painful during, but it can help build up those muscles around the arthritic joints. Maintaining daily range of motion is very important in helping with arthritis. This can help minimize some of the stiffness and help gain some strength in the hands that otherwise might dissipate as arthritis progresses. So it is important to do various squeezing and stretching exercises every day.
Ice and Heat
Moist heat is another option that can help with some of the stiffness or pain. This is something that can be really good before a lot of use in the joints, such as first thing in the morning. Icing arthritic joints at the end of the day or activities can help. It is important to only ice or heat them for no longer than about 20 minutes at a time. These are both simple, inexpensive ways to help relieve some pain.
A cortisone injection is often a treatment method for those with Osteoarthritis. This can help patients regain some range of motion and reduce some pain. It is important to note that this does not always work for everyone.
The things listed above are just a few common, non-surgical methods used to help relieve some pain caused by arthritis in the hand. These are good things with which to start once diagnosed with osteoarthritis in the hand. However, these are not cure-all options and many times patients eventually need something more.
While these treatments can help the process slow down and relieve some pain, osteoarthritis is currently a disease without a cure. Many people will look to surgeons to help assist them when they need more help than what they can do at home. Surgery is an option that is used once the conservative treatment methods have failed. The goal of surgery can vary. Some include:
- Restoring as much function as possible
- Eliminating or minimizing pain to a tolerable level
- Reconstructing joints
- Fusing of joints
When needed, hand and finger joint replacement surgery can be done, similarly to how knee and hip replacements are done for arthritis.
Contact a Hand Specialist at Miller Orthopedic
If you are experiencing hand pain, visiting a hand specialist who can provide a proper diagnosis and treatment is important. Dr. Caliste Hsu is a hand surgeon who is fellowship-trained and Board Certified. She can help work with patients experiencing hand pain or arthritis. Through a thorough examination, Dr. Hsu will come up with the best treatment plan for each individual patient.