Hand, finger, and wrist pain affects many people. It can be triggered by disease or injury to the bones, joints, muscles, tendons, blood vessels, or connective tissues. Hand pain can prevent you from doing your daily activities.
Hand or knuckle pain can keep you from doing tasks that rely on steady hands and dexterity of the fingers. You may find it hard to use spoon and fork, type on a keyboard, write using a pen, use a kitchen knife, or open a bottle. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to ease hand, finger, and wrist pain.
What Causes Hand Pain?
Osteoarthritis – This is the most common type of arthritis caused by wear and tear of the joints. The fingers become stiff, painful, and swollen. Also known as degenerative arthritis, it affects older people.
Rheumatoid arthritis – This type of arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. The body’s own immune system attacks the cells that line the joints and surrounding tissues, making them painful, stiff and deformed.
Carpal tunnel syndrome – This condition causes pain, tingling sensation, and numbness in the hands and fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the compression of the nerve which controls movement and sensation in the hands. If symptoms persist for more than six months and medications cannot provide relief, it may require surgery.
Ganglion – A ganglion is a fluid-filled swelling which develops near a tendon or joint. It looks and feels like a soft lump under the skin. Ganglions are most common on the back of the wrists, hands, and fingers.
Fracture – If you suffered an accident or injury, you might have a fractured hand; especially if you feel extreme pain, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area. The fracture may involve a finger or bone in the wrist. If you suspect a fracture, consult a doctor immediately.
How To Relieve Hand, Finger, and Wrist Pain
1) Hot and cold compress
Apply a cold compress for ten to twenty minutes then alternate it with moist heat for that same amount of time. You can use an ice-pack wrapped in a towel. Cold packs reduce pain and inflammation by constricting blood vessels. Meanwhile, moist heat dilates blood vessels and increases blood circulation and oxygen flow. You can use a moist heating pad, put your hands in warm water, try warm paraffin wax, or wrap your hand with a warm, damp towel.
2) Hand exercises
There are a number of exercises for hand and knuckle pain. These exercises as a part of your daily routine can help improve dexterity, range of motion and reduce stiffness. Just remember, do it slowly to avoid unnecessary pain. Below is a list of basic exercises that work the different parts of the hands and knuckles.
- Finger touches – Touch the thumb to the index finger, then pinch. Next, touch the thumb to the middle finger and pinch. Repeat this with the ring finger and pinky.
- Finger spreads – Spread all of your fingers apart then bring them all back together. This can improve your range of motion.
- Fists – Squeeze your fingers together to form a fist then stretch your fingers out again.
- Wall-walking – Walk your fingers up a wall then walk them down.
- Try squeezing a soft foam ball.
3) Eat fruits and vegetables containing flavonoids
Dark colored fruits and vegetables contain high levels of flavonoids, which are shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. The following are flavonoid-rich foods:
- Citrus fruits
- Leafy Greens
You have a higher chance of having hand pain if you do repetitive hand movements on a regular basis. Taking a break from these activities will help ease the pain that you are experiencing. It may be challenging to do this since the hands are one of the most used parts of the body. Rest will allow your hands to heal and recover from any injury. Limit the range of motion of your hands; if you need to use them, do so in a slow and gentle manner.
5) Wear a Splint
A splint stabilizes the joints, provides support and prevents you from using your hands in a wrong way. It can relieve stress or protect the hand from being bumped. You can find splints which are custom-made to your requirements. There are two types of splints. A working splint provides stability to the hand while allowing movement of finger joints. You can wear it while doing activities. The other type of splint promotes rest by immobilizing the hand.
6. Epsom Salt
Epsom Salt is good for reducing pain, stiffness, and inflammation associated with arthritis. It has magnesium which is vital for bone mineralization; most patients with arthritis have demineralized bones. Magnesium can help reduce nerve pain. Soak the affected hand in a mixture of Epsom Salt (two cups) and warm water for twenty minutes. Do this routine three times a week until you get the desired results.
- Be conscious of your posture when using a computer keyboard
People who spend long hours using a computer keyboard should make sure that their workstation fits them; not fit themselves into the workstation. It would be better if you have an adjustable keyboard tray which allows you to adjust the position and angle of the keyboard for your hands and wrists. Try ergonomic options, such as a split keyboard or a mouse with a bigger scroll and click wheel.
- Cinnamon and honey
Cinnamon and honey are known for their healing properties. Honey is said to relieve joint pains because it is an antiseptic agent. Cinnamon is an antioxidant which is beneficial to painful joints. If you mix these ingredients together, you will end up with a beneficial, tasty concoction for your hand pain. Add one-half teaspoon of cinnamon to one tablespoon of honey and drink every morning. Many people reported positive results within a week of consuming it.
Ginger is one of the natural remedies you can use to treat hand pain. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce arthritis pain and inflammation. You can add ginger when cooking or drink ginger tea. How to make ginger tea? Cut a small piece of ginger. Put it in a pot and add one cup of water. Boil for ten minutes. Strain and drink the tea two or three times a day. Do this until you get pain relief.
- Use a topical pain cream
Real Time Pain Relief is a pain cream lotion that you can apply to the skin to relieve hand, finger, knuckle, and wrist pain. It is made from natural ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Glucosamine, capsicum, arnica, Willow Bark, and menthol. Real Time Pain Relief is safe to use and provides soothing relief from hand pain.
Hand pain can be caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, ganglion, or fracture. To relieve hand pain, you can do the following: use a topical pain cream, hot and cold compress, wear a splint, eat fruits and vegetables which contain flavonoids, soak your hand in Epsom salt, use cinnamon and ginger, and rest your hand.