Arthritis is an umbrella term for over 100 conditions but it is most commonly used to describe inflammation of the joint or the tissues which surround the joint. 1 in 7 Australian’s are affected by some form of arthritis so it's definitely something we should all be aware of and educated about. For anyone who is suffering, here are 3 simple ways to treat arthritis in the fingers and hand.
What is arthritis in the fingers and hand?
Symptoms of arthritis include swelling, stiffness, pain and decreased range of movement and may come and go or gradually increase over time. But with many forms of arthritis, you only really start to feel the symptoms of this degenerative condition when it's at its later stages.
Arthritis in the fingers and hand can bring a halt to day-to-day life, making everyday activities that make us independent nearly impossible such as cooking, self grooming, carrying things, turning keys or knobs and the list goes on.
There are several multi-disciplinary methods you can adopt to regain you grip that don’t include high doses of medication or surgery. These include:
3 simple ways to treat arthritis in the fingers and hand
1. The food you eat impacts your joints:
Arthritis in inflammatory condition and some people therefore find relief from symptoms by following an anti-inflammatory diet.
The body creates some antioxidants that help it remove toxic substances which lead to joint inflammation, but dietary antioxidants also help. Some foods which can help reduce inflammation are:
- Healthy fats containing Omega-3 fatty acid such as oily fish, extra virgin olive oil, avocados and soybeans. Evidence shows that a diet that includes omega-3 fatty acids can lead to a modest reduction in symptoms for patients with rheumatoid arthritis*.
- Nuts, seeds and legumes
- Fruits and veg in particular dark leafy greens, broccoli, nightshade veg, berries and citrus fruits
Additionally, there are some foods and certain ingredients that trigger or worsen inflammation. Those following an anti-inflammatory diet should avoid:
- Processed and red meat
- Foods with a high sodium content
- Added sugars and processed food in general
2. How exercise can help
Even though you may be in a lot of pain initially, it is important to exercise your hands to reduce the stiffness and to activate the muscles around the joint to prevent further weakness.
A physio or occupational therapist, can prescribe you an effective exercise routine to do daily so that you get in the habit of stretching and strengthening the affected areas of your hand.
3. Wear a medical brace to support or immobilise the hand
By wearing a brace which has been fitted based on the progression of the arthritis in your hand, you can instantly elevate pain and discomfort. Another added benefit of using the right brace is that you can slow down the progression of the disease.
For mild to moderate cases (in the wrist), using an active support such as ManuTrain which has been specifically built to help reduce inflammation and swelling. It does this with its breathable flat-knit sleeve with medical grade compression which act to increase blood circulation and reduce the buildup of fluid in the joints.
In addition, this brace comes with two anatomically placed gel pads that gently massage the wrist providing even more relief. The braces also comes with an additional rod for added stability and a wrist strap for added compression and stability as and when needed.
The ManuTrain is the perfect brace to wear in conjunction with your physio or OT sessions as it will enable you to go the extra mile in your rehabilitation sessions. Overall you will be able to get the most out of rehabilitation and your daily exercise routines minus the pain.
For more advanced cases or post-op, the ManuLoc wrist brace, allows for you to immobilize the wrist joint to ease pain whilst stabilising the hand.
The flexible splint in this brace can shape perfectly to your anatomy for maximum comfort. This brace is suited to someone who needs a higher level of support but still need full use of their hands.
For arthritis in your thumb as well as the wrist, the ManuLoc Rhizo allows for you to immobilize the thumb and wrist joint whilst allowing you to use your fingers as normal. The Rhizoloc is available if you need to only immobilize the thumb.
If you require assistance selecting the right product for your needs, book a video consultation with a Bauerfeind expert: Book Video Call, or call us on 1300 668 466
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Bauerfeind products are developed at our innovation and manufacturing facility in Zeulenroda, Germany. Based on years of scientific research, our award-winning braces and support garments are highly recommended by medical professionals and athletes worldwide.
*1.Stamp LK, James MJ, Cleland LG. Diet and rheumatoid arthritis: a review of the literature. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2005 Oct;35(2):77-94. Review. PubMed PMID: 16194694.