Hand & Wrist Arthritis


Hand & Wrist Arthritis

Article by Shane Armfield

Hand & Wrist Arthritis

Introduction: What is Hand and Wrist Arthritis?

Hand and wrist arthritis is a condition that becomes more common with age. It involves the deterioration of joints in the hand and wrist, resulting in pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. Hand and wrist osteoarthritis often stems from repetitive stress on the joints, particularly prevalent in activities like boxing or even daily tasks like typing or gardening. Rheumatoid arthritis on the other hand is a genetic disease that erodes your joints.

The Role of Exercise in Managing Arthritis

Extensive research supports exercise as a fundamental strategy in managing arthritis pain. Regular exercise not only eases discomfort but also enhances joint strength and flexibility. Simple exercises, such as wrist bends and finger stretches, can be particularly beneficial. It’s important to start slowly and increase intensity under the guidance of a physiotherapist to avoid overexertion.

wrist hand arthritis
Wrist &Amp; Hand Arthritis

Treatment Options for Hand and Wrist Arthritis

A range of treatment strategies are available for hand and wrist arthritis. These include:

  • Gentle Passive Movement Techniques: These involve a therapist moving the joints gently to improve mobility without causing pain.
  • Heat and Electrical Treatments: Applying heat can reduce stiffness and pain, while electrical treatments like TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) can help manage pain.
  • Mobility and Strengthening Exercises: Tailored exercises improve joint function and reduce the risk of further joint deterioration.
  • Massage and Acupuncture: These therapies can provide pain relief and improve blood circulation to the affected areas.
  • Supportive Braces: Wearing braces can stabilise the joint and reduce pain during activities. See our Wrist Braces.
  • Preventative Advice: Physiotherapists can offer valuable advice on how to modify activities and lifestyle to prevent further joint damage.

Conclusion: Empowering Yourself to Manage Arthritis

Arthritis in the hand and wrist can be a significant impediment to daily life, but it’s manageable with the right approach. A combination of exercise, appropriate therapies, and lifestyle adjustments can lead to a substantial improvement in symptoms and quality of life.

What to Do? Seek Professional Advice

If you’re experiencing symptoms of hand and wrist arthritis, seeking professional advice is crucial. A physiotherapist can provide a tailored treatment plan and guide you through the appropriate exercises and therapies.

Related Articles for Further Reading

Common Wrist & Hand Pain or Injuries

Welcome to the Common Wrist & Hand Pain page, where we provide valuable information on various conditions affecting the wrist and hand. Traumatic injuries like broken wrists, fingers, and thumb sprains can cause significant discomfort.

Overuse injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, de Quervain's tenosynovitis, and repetitive strain injury can result from repetitive motions. Additionally, degenerative or systemic conditions such as hand or wrist arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can lead to chronic pain.

We also offer a range of treatment options, including general management strategies, early injury treatment techniques, ergonomics, and physiotherapy modalities like joint mobilisation, muscle treatment, support and protection methods, pain relief approaches such as acupuncture and dry needling, as well as electrotherapy and local modalities like heat packs and TENS machine.

Please click the links below for more information.

Traumatic Injuries

Overuse Injuries

Referred Symptoms

Degenerative or Systemic Conditions

Common Wrist & Hand Pain Treatments

General Management

Treatment Options

Joint Movement

Muscle Treatment

Support & Protection

Pain Relief

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