Arthritis is incredibly uncomfortable and painful, those who live with it know this all too well. Whether you’re suffering from osteoarthritis or a string that’s more inflammatory such as rheumatoid, you should absolutely visit a professional who can give you tailored tips and tricks that will aid you with your pain management.
We often feel the pain of arthritis in our hands as they are made up of lots of small bones, with pockets that are highly vulnerable to swelling and inflammation.
Unfortunately, we use our hands for everything that we do, so it’s entirely necessary to give your hands the care and mobility that they need to stay as healthy and useful as possible.
These exercises are going to help you manage your arthritis, alongside your alternate forms of arthritis management…
Make a Fist
This one is very easy! Simply draw your hand into a loose fist, with your thumb sitting on the outside of your grip. Hold, without pulling in too tightly, and release. Repeat a few times throughout the day.
Hold your thumb flat against your palm and extend it across towards the base of your pinkie finger. Try to stretch your thumb upwards, whilst still keeping it flat against your palm, reaching for the tip of your pinkie. Hold for about ten seconds and release.
Stretch your wrist by extending one arm out in front of you with your fingers spread and your palm down, facing the floor. Place your other hand on top, in a similar fashion, and press towards the floor. Try not to overdo this one.
Place your palm down flat on an even surface, fingers wide. Raise your fingers one at a time, extending upwards and in front of you. Hold each finger up a few seconds at a time, release downwards and move on to the next one. Make sure to do this one finger at a time, not all at once.
Again, hold your arm straight out in front of you with your palm facing the floor. Hinge your hand downwards and use your other one to pull it inwards towards you very gently. Hold this for a couple of seconds and repeat five to ten times.
Give yourself a thumbs up and place your fist on a table or flat surface, making sure that your little finger is resting against it. Extend your thumb backwards for a nice stretch, hold for a few seconds and repeat a couple of times. This can be a hard one, so don’t overextend yourself.
Squeezing a stress ball, or a tennis ball if you like, is great for releasing tension. Make a fist around your stress ball and pull inwards, squeezing for about five seconds then releasing. Repeat this movement ten to twenty times throughout the day.
Other Tips For Managing Arthritis
Combatting arthritis isn’t all in the exercises…
Always stay mindful when living with arthritis, it’s important to care for yourself in small ways throughout the day, every day. This means knowing when to stop doing actions that are causing pain, getting plenty of rest and understand your own limitations.
Eating a healthy diet is always important, but especially so as you move into the later stages of your life. Nourishing yourself with the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that you need to stay fit and healthy should be a top priority.
Minimise the risk of arthritis by abstaining from smoking or quitting immediately.
Apply Heat Treatments
Ice and heat therapy is a great way to relieve pain and tension from your hands. When you’re really suffering, applying an ice pack or using a handwarmer can provide some great release.
Visit Your Physiotherapist
Lastly, you need to book in with a professional for some hand exercise physiotherapy if you don’t already see one. A professional physiotherapist is going to assist you with your pain through a plethora of different treatments, techniques, take-home exercises and stretches. A couple of sessions and your arthritis will feel like a thing of the past!