Arthritis Pain Relief For the Wrist and Hand

Relieve arthritis pain in the wrist, thumb and fingers.You may be experiencing joint pain, swelling, stiffness and/or loss of motion in your wrist, fingers and thumb making many normal activities painful if not impossible to do. And, since there are 27 bones in each hand, there are many joints that can cause you pain. The most commonly affected joints are the knuckles of the mid-finger and the joint at the base of the thumb. (If you have noticed that one or another type of computer mouse causes you pain in your thumb or fingers, stop using it immediately and switch to another type mouse.) You may have also developed lumps or nodules around your knuckles that are actually bone spurs.To relieve pain in your wrist or hand, wrap it up in a low-level continuous heat wrap, a microwaveable heat pad or a heating pad with automatic off-switch in case you fall asleep. Soak in hot water and then cold. Simply fill one sink (or pan) with cold water (about 65 degrees) and another with warm water (110 degrees). Soak in the warm water for five to 10 minutes then in the cold for one minute. Back to the warm for three to four minutes and then the cold for another minute. Repeat several times.Coat in melted paraffin wax to trap the heat where you need it. Leave wax on while it cools and hardens, then peel it away to use again.Most over the counter pain medications will give you temporary relief. Experiment to find out which ones work the best for you.Strengthening exercises for the arm and hand help steady the wrist and protect the joint from shock and stress. Range-of-motion and stretching exercises can improve your wrist motion. Wrist braces and supports will help reduce pain during activity and help you perform simple activities.Avoid lifting and carrying heavy loads.Find an occupational or a physical therapist who will help you maintain motion and prevent joint stiffening. Ultrasound treatments are performed by physical therapists or occupational therapists and may be useful for relieving your pain and inflammation. Or consult your doctor about cortisone injections to treat inflammation, a common problem in patients with wrist arthritis.Several surgical procedures may be done to the fingers including removing the bone spurs, fusing the joint, and replacing the joint. The most common surgery to treat the thumb is to remove a portion of the joint and bone and replace it with a tendon graft. This helps maintain motion at the base of the thumb and is effective at relieving pain.One surgical procedure for the wrist is wrist fusion, a procedure that secures the bones of the forearm to the bones in the wrist and hand. As it eliminates all movement at the wrist joint, it eliminates pain but the loss of motion prevents some normal activities.Another surgery for the wrist is proximal row carpectomy, a procedure to remove three of the small bones from the wrist joint. By removing the arthritic bone, pain is diminished and motion is preserved. It is only an option for some types of wrist arthritis.Revolution in pain management.

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Wrist Arthritis – What Could it Be?

Arthritis of the wrist may not sound like a big deal… until you need to open a door, type on your computer, or shake hands. Then you realize how much a role your wrist plays in these simple activities.The wrist is like many other joints. It’s enclosed in a synovial membrane. It consists of the ends of the radius and ulna- two long bones- that articulate with a row of eight carpal bones. The carpal bones in the wrist also articulate with the metacarpal bones of the hand. The entire wrist complex is stabilized by tendons and ligaments and encased in a synovial membrane.When arthritis develops, the wrist complex is affected by inflammation of the synovial membrane as well as by any other problem that causes the cartilage that surrounds all the bones in the wrist to wear away.While wrist pain may occur as the first sign of a problem, the inability to perform simple activities of daily living follows shortly.The pain may be dull initially but then becomes sharper and more constant.Grip strength diminishes. Inflammation progresses, then there may be pressure on the other structures that pass through the wrist such as the median nerve. This leads to carpal tunnel syndrome.The treatment of wrist arthritis is dependent on the cause. Forms of arthritis that commonly affect the wrist include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, and pseudogout. When inflammatory forms of arthritis affect the wrist, there is wearing away of cartilage as well as damage to the supporting structures. Wearing away of the cartilage leads to misalignment and deformity as well as wrist dysfunction. Swelling and fluid accumulation may occur.When wrist arthritis occurs, there is a benefit in that wrist involvement by arthritis generally is often a tip off to diagnosis. For instance, rheumatoid arthritis is one of the more common forms of arthritis that affect the wrist. By allowing an earlier diagnosis, early intervention can lead to remission.Physical therapy and specific exercise may be beneficial as are splinting and anti-inflammatory medicines. Sometimes, injection with glucocorticoids may be necessary.In advanced cases, surgery may be necessary. Surgical procedures include excision arthroplasty where the end of the ulna bone is removed. This often helps with some forms of arthritis since it allows more freedom of movement.Joint fusion and joint replacement may be called for in extreme cases. Wrist replacement currently lasts about ten to fifteen years depending on the amount of activity.

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