How Might I Reduce my Chronic Hand Pain?

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How Might I Reduce my Chronic Hand Pain?

 

Pain in the hands is a pretty common complaint that will bring patients to be evaluated. Most times, pain in the hands can be indicative of arthritis, but not always. Sometimes, you can experience pain due to nerve damage such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, trigger fingers, or inflammation.

5 tips to reduce the pain in your hands

Pain in the hands is a pretty common complaint that will bring patients to be evaluated. Most times, pain in the hands can be indicative of arthritis, but not always. Sometimes, you can experience pain due to nerve damage such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, trigger fingers, or inflammation.

Here are 5 tips that can help you manage your pain better:

  1. Exercises: maybe it sounds weird, but stretching exercises are actually beneficial in releasing stiffness and pain. Exercises will strengthen your muscles and improve the function of your hands. Use a rubber ball and start by squeezing it slowly.
  2. Paraffin wax bath: the heat maintained by the paraffin wax will help your pain and will also make your skin look great.
  3. Splinting: most times, the thumb is the most painful joint of the hand. A thumb spica splint wore for a few weeks will minimize the pain. If you have pain in the wrist, then wear a wrist brace, especially at night, to put your joints in a neutral position.
  4. Voltaren gel is a great product, finally approved in the US as over the counter medication. This is a gel that contains diclofenac, a powerful anti-inflammatory drug. The benefit of using an antiinflammatory gel as a local therapy is vast since this is a targeted therapy. Voltaren gel works great on small joints and has minimal side effects compared to oral NSAIDs. It can be used safely in adequate amounts, even for patients with kidney disease, since the blood absorption is minimal.The trick is to massage it very well into your joints until you don’t feel the feel it anymore on your skin. You can apply it even 3x/ day.
  5.  Injections with steroids: recommended if the pain does not subside with all the other interventions.

Diana Girnita, MD, PhD is US board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology. She completed a PhD in immunology, postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, immunology fellowship at University of Pittsburgh and rheumatology fellowship at University of Cincinnati. She is the founder & CEO of Rheumatologist OnCall, a telemedicine company that serves multiple states in the US. She also sees patients in her new office in Sunnyvale. Thank you, Dr. Girnita for sharing your wisdom with us!

Diana Girnita MD, PhD, May 27, 2021