Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more of the joints and the most common types are rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. The hand and the wrist have plenty of small joints that are working together in order to produce motion such as fine movements needed in threading a needle or tying a shoelace.
Once these joints are affected by arthritis, there is difficulty in performing daily living activities. Arthritis can happen in any areas of the hand and wrist and can be caused by several conditions.
Arthritis in the hands is the most common type of arthritis that happens caused by the breakdown of cartilage that functions in supporting the structure of bones.
Symptoms of arthritis in the hands
- Pain can be felt in the joint that can be dull or a “burning” sensation, and it usually happens after long phases of increased usage of the joint such as strenuous grasping or gripping. The pain may not happen immediately but can be felt hours later or even the following day and there is stiffness and pain in the affected area.
- Activities such as opening a jar or starting a car becomes difficult due to the pain.
- There is loss of mobility at the base of the thumb and the affected joint will swell.
- The affected joint may feel warm when touched due to the inflammatory reaction of the body.
- There is grating or crushing sensations that can be felt on the involved joint which is also called crepitation. This sensation is triggered by the impaired cartilage surfaces that are rubbing against each other.
- Arthritis that affects the end joints of the fingers can lead to the development of small cysts or mucous cysts. These can cause creasing or dents found on the nail plate of the affected finger.
Treatment and home remedies for arthritis in the hand
- Apply an ice pack, a plastic bag that is filled with crushed ice or a bag of frozen vegetables over the affected area. Regular application of cold on the affected area helps minimize the irritation and soreness. The application must be done for at least 20 minutes at several times every day.
- Prepare a glass of warm water and mix one tablespoon of organic apple cider and honey. The individual should drink this mixture every day. Apple cider vinegar possesses anti-inflammatory qualities that can help reduce the pain and rigidity.
- Mix ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper with a cup of apple cider vinegar. Immerse the affected joint in the mixture for at least 15 minutes and rinse it off. Repeat this every day until the condition is minimized.
- Cut a small piece of ginger; boil it in one cup of water for 10 minutes and strain. The individual should drink this tea for at least 2-3 times every day until there is a relief. Ginger is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help in minimizing the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.