The hand and wrist have plenty of small joints working together in order to produce motion such as the motion of threading a needle or tying shoe laces. When these joints are affected by arthritis, regular daily activities become difficult. Arthritis can happen in many parts of the hand and wrist and can have several causes.
Arthritis involves inflammation of one or more of the joints and the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Healthy joints can move easily due to a smooth and slippery tissue known as the articular cartilage. This cartilage functions in covering the trimmings of the bones and provides an even sliding surface. The smooth surface is lubricated by fluid which is produced by the lining of the joint called synovium.
- Swelling, reddened and warm joints
- Pain can be felt in some or all the joints such as the fingers, wrist and thumbs
- Numbness of the fingers
- Stiffness in the fingers especially in the morning
- The growth of bony knobs on the joints of the fingers
- The fingers look like “swelling sausages” among those suffering from psoriatic arthritis.
- Development of lumps or nodules can be seen under the skin among people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
- Difficulty with movement such as gripping, twisting and opening jars.
Treatment of hand arthritis
- Apply a cold compress on the affected hand. Use an ice pack, a few ice cubes placed in a plastic bag or a bag of frozen vegetables. Regular application of an ice compress on the hand helps lessen irritation and soreness. Apply a cold compress to only 1-2 joints at a time at least 20 minutes several times every day. Make sure to wrap the ice in a towel before applying to the affected area and avoid applying ice directly on the skin to prevent frostbite.
- Provide the individual with a glass of warm water with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and mix it with a few drops of honey on a daily basis.
- In a cup of warm apple cider vinegar, mix ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper and soak the affected joint in the solution for at least 15 minutes and rinse off. Repeat this procedure every day until symptoms lessen.
- Boil a small piece of ginger in a cup of water for 10 minutes, strain and drink this solution at least 2-3 times every day is also beneficial for the condition.
- In a bath tub filled with warm water, mix it with 2 cups of Epsom salt. Mix until salt dissolves and then soak the hand for at least 20-30 minutes at 3 every week.