As cliche as it may sound, we are gonna say it, prevention is better than cure, especially when it comes to chronic illnesses.
Arthritis is a condition where one or more joints of the body in inflammation cause joint stiffness that ultimately leads to severe pain. There are varied kinds of arthritis depending upon the joint that is affected.
In this article, we will explore arthritis of the hand and see how one can prevent arthritis in the hand.
What is Hand Arthritis?
In this condition, the wrists of your hand or any other joint may experience inflammation-causing stiffness, called arthritis. It is essential to understand the structure of your hand to know where one might get arthritis.
Now, our hand is complex as it comprises several joints. Joints are nothing but meeting points of two or more bones. Most joints in our hands are made of three bones, whereas our thumb on both hands is made of two bones.
When any of these joints are affected by inflammation, we call it arthritis.
Types of Arthritis
In addition to categorizing arthritis based on which joint has been affected, we also categorize them based on arthritis symptoms or the reason for it arising.
This is a very common form of arthritis, where the cartilage in the joints is affected. There is damage to the cartilage that affects the joints, causing joint pain and change in the bone positions, which might lead to stiffness, swelling, and other arthritis symptoms.
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis
This is inflammatory arthritis. The body’s immune system attacks the body’s healthy cells, which leads to inflammatory arthritis. The RA Symptoms are similar to the general symptoms of arthritis. However, professional medical advice must be taken before confirming anything.
This type of arthritis usually occurs in the wrists, knees, and hands. However, one can prevent arthritis in the hand, knee, and other parts of the body by changing some lifestyle practices that will be explored in the article.
3. Childhood Arthritis
Childhood arthritis, also known as juvenile arthritis, usually occurs in children, hence the name. This arthritis has the potential to permanently damage certain joints of the body that could eventually cause disability.
There would be extreme difficulty in performing certain everyday activities, such as changing clothes or even brushing.
One can improve symptoms of arthritis with early intervention and other medications suggested by a physical therapist who will work on joint damage and pain.
General Symptoms of Arthritis
2. Swelling of the joint or affected area
3. Pain in the joints or affected area
4. Inflammation or redness of the affected region
6. Arthritis flare
7. Difficulty in motion and other movements of the body
8. Feeling weak
9. Poor muscle strength in the affected region
10. In rare cases, physical deformity.
How to Prevent Arthritis in Hand?
Just like other arthritis can be prevented, one can also prevent arthritis in the hand by taking a few measures.
1. Avoid Smoking
Smoking can cause severe harm to the body that can be easily reduced if smoking is reduced. Smoking leads to the formation of other unfavourable health conditions that reduce or defect the quality of life.
2. Indulge in Hand Exercises
Try simple hand exercises that will improve the flexibility of your muscles and joints. Indulge in exercises that have your wrists and hands involved.
This will also increase the function of synovial fluid in your hand. So yes, another way to prevent arthritis in the hand is by exercising regularly.
Indulge in exercising the overall body as well, as this will help you prevent arthritis in your hand and the rest of the body.
Here are a few hand exercises that one can do anywhere to prevent arthritis in the hand.
a. Finger Bends
Slightly bend your fingers to engage them in movement. One way to prevent arthritis in your hand is by slowly opening and closing your fingers.
b. Grip Exercise
Use a small ball that will fit into your palm and take a grip on it at regular intervals. Repeat this exercise for 10 minutes to take the full benefit. This way, one increases the hand’s function and can prevent arthritis in the hand.
c. Stretch Your Fingers
Stretch your fingers gently with the help of your other hand. Apply gentle pressure on your finger, focus on one finger at a time and continue this exercise for a few minutes to improve the symptoms.
Exercising is a significant boost to overall health. One needs to indulge in exercise as it also helps to reduce stress levels and boosts the mobility and flexibility of the body.
3. Anti-inflammatory Diet
Several research articles have proved the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet. Take some professional medical advice before indulging in any diet. However, for your reference, here is what an anti-inflammatory diet may include:
Filled with the goodness of folic acid, potassium, iron, zinc, and other helpful vitamins, beans work towards improving your immune system. They also work towards keeping your bones strong by providing good amounts of protein.
Fish is a healthy source of fat and is abundant in omega-3. One must consume fish to prevent arthritis in the hand or any other body part. It is advised to take fish at least two times a week. You may also consume fish oil or fish oil capsules that work wonders in the body.
Nevertheless, it is always essential to consume food in its natural form, so try and costume grilled fish, baked fish, or Fish in other forms close to its original form instead of heavily processed fish products.
You should consume a good amount of nuts to prevent arthritis in your hand or any other body part. Again, nuts are great sources of omega-3 and other healthy fats that can help in your journey to good health and prevent arthritis in your hand.
You may also try hot and cold packs to reduce joint pain. One can indulge in hot and cold therapies or heating pads to treat arthritis. But in the initial periods, one can use this to prevent arthritis in the hand or any other part of the body to prevent it from developing into arthritis.
These are some home remedies that help in pain management and prevention. Nevertheless, always contact your doctor for health advice.
5. Fruits and Vegetables
Consume a whole bunch of fruits and vegetables. We have always heard about the goodness of these fantastic colourful eatables. Add them to your diet abundantly if you want to prevent arthritis in your hand or any other part of your body.
More About Arthritis
It is essential to have a healthy lifestyle to avoid unfavourable health conditions. Peer-reviewed studies have shown the impact of a healthy lifestyle. Reduce stress, and focus on exercise to improve your body’s overall health.
Arthritis that causes immense arthritis pain can become a chronic disease if not treated immediately. There is no known cure for arthritis, but with early intervention, symptoms can be improved.
Many might wonder how long does arthritis pain last or how long does arthritis flare-ups last? You need to know that it varies from person to person. Arthritis flares can last anywhere from one to five days or, in severe flares, even a week or more.
During these periods, use hot or cold packs and take medically reviewed and prescribed medications. Practice relaxation techniques to reduce flare-ups. In case of severe flare, kindly approach medical help.
Take proper care of your joints so that you will not suffer in the future. The doctors may suggest blood tests, or in worst cases, as a last resort, they may also suggest certain surgery to reduce inflammation or treat the damaged joints.
This treatment must be taken under an expert’s supervision to avoid any further complications.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I know if I have arthritis in my hands?
Symptoms include discomfort, stiffness, tightness in the movement of hands, and hand numbness.
2. What does arthritis in the hands feel like?
You may feel sluggish or if you have a feeling of burning in your joints. The discomfort is frequently triggered by prolonged periods of joint usage, such as aggressive gripping.
3. How long does hand arthritis last?
Arthritis flare-ups can be unpredictable, although they usually last 3-5 days when treated carefully. Home care may include anti-inflammatory medications, activity modifications, and the application of cold compression.
Take a wise approach toward your health. Do not take any symptoms lightly. It is advised to take up regular health checkups once every six months to identify the disease’s presence and prevent its development.
All it takes is a bit more conscious effort to understand and take care of your body. One can easily have excellent health by focusing on good food, hydration, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices. Avoid drinking, smoking, and other harmful choices that deteriorate the quality of life.
Arthritis flares or rheumatoid arthritis flares can be treated if diagnosed earlier. So a lot of it depends on the diagnosis. The disease activity needs to be monitored from the time of diagnosis to avoid any kind of complications.
Again, it is always better to work towards prevention. One can prevent arthritis in the hand or any other body part by following some simple healthy lifestyle choices mentioned above.
Family members also need to support the affected and be there for them throughout their journey. Take treatment as soon as possible to avoid the development of chronic disease flare-ups.