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08/17/2009 11:38 AM

Ways To Stop Pain, Limitations From Hand Arthritis

suebaby41
suebaby41  
Posts: 2447
Senior Member

14 Aug 2009

When arthritis affects the hands, a range of treatments may reduce pain and preserve joint mobility. The August issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter provides an overview.

Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative arthritis, is related to aging. In the hands, it occurs when the stress of everyday motions or an injury wears down the smooth cartilage surfaces required for pain-free movement. The result can be swollen, tender finger joints and pain, which limit activity. Treatment options include:

Topical anti-inflammatory drugs: Of particular value for relief is the prescription gel diclofenac (Voltaren). It's rubbed on the skin around the affected joints. Because the medication is applied directly to the affected location, side-effects are of less concern than with oral medications.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS): Nonprescription aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Aleve, others) or prescription-strength medications may help reduce inflammation, swelling and pain. Ongoing use can cause ulcers, stomach bleeding and other side-effects.

Splints: Splints reduce pain two ways -- by supporting the joint in an optimal position for function or by providing a stable resting position, which allows for better function when the splint is removed.

Corticosteroid injections: These injections provide short-term pain relief but generally aren't given in the same spot more than once or twice a year.

When conservative measures don't control pain, surgery can be performed to fuse or replace joints.

Source: Mayo Clinic

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/160659.php

Post edited by: suebaby41, at: 08/17/2009 11:40 AM

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08/17/2009 12:13 PM
bits
bits  
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I have OA, Psuedo Gout, and Sciatica. It affects my feet, ankles, knees, side of left leg, buttocks, hips, back, shoulders, neck, jaws, wrists, hands, and fingers.

Although, the pain can be the same intensity in all the mentioned areas, I find it bothers me mostly in my jaws and hands. I guess because I use these body parts more than the others.

I found a way to relieve alot of the pain in my hands.

I wash my dishes by hand in a sink full of hot water. I use a dishtowel rather than a dishcloth because the larger size keeps me from making a tight fist.

I did this for a week and found out it really makes a HUGE difference in my hand pain.

Sure, I still have times my hands hurt badly but they no longer hurt as often. In fact, I have many days of pain-free hands.

If I stop washing dishes for more than a few days, the pain returns with a vengence.

I am assuming washing my dishes in hot water and using a large cloth is a type therapy. The hot water is soothing my hands and the action of washing each dish in addition to wringing out the large cloth is exercise.

I tried a regular dishcloth and it caused me pain. So, if you try this use the larger cloth.

Hat, I use all the things you mentioned. All work well for me.

Hugs


08/17/2009 12:17 PM
suebaby41
suebaby41  
Posts: 2447
Senior Member

I have always liked the smaller dishcloth because it fits my hands. I had not thought of using a larger one like you described. Thanks.

08/17/2009 12:28 PM
bits
bits  
Posts: 10865
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The larger one keeps your hand from making a tight fist.

Also, it is only the two of us, so, there are few dishes to wash.

Most of the time I use a chair to sit in while doing dishes.

And, even with the small amount of dishes, I break it up into 2 washes.

I really try to listen to my body and continue to do things in the way that brings me the least pain.

My way does take longer...but...I still get things done.

Hugs


08/17/2009 12:42 PM
hatbox121
hatbox121  
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I do my dishes in sets too. I say I'm letting them "soak"!

08/17/2009 12:51 PM
bits
bits  
Posts: 10865
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Girl...we know how to do it!!!LOL.

08/17/2009 03:21 PM
hatbox121
hatbox121  
Posts: 11022
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Something else I've noticed is that I can't open packages. Like chips, anything in a container that you have to pull. I use a knife to cut them open instead.

08/18/2009 09:46 AM
suebaby41
suebaby41  
Posts: 2447
Senior Member

I keep a pair of kitchen scissors around for opening things. One of the hardest things to open is the small cups of fruit in the clear cups with clear tops. Those tops drive me crazy. If I do manage to open them, I spill the juice.

08/18/2009 12:15 PM
hatbox121
hatbox121  
Posts: 11022
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I use a knife around the inside edges for those!

08/19/2009 07:26 AM
suebaby41
suebaby41  
Posts: 2447
Senior Member

That is a good idea. I will try that! Thanks.

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