Arthritis can be a debilitating condition if not managed correctly. A common misconception is that arthritis is one disease. It is actually an umbrella term that refers to over 100 different conditions each with its own symptoms, signs, and manifestations. Arthritis can develop anywhere in the body, including the hands. Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis, and there is no way to stop it from developing in any part of your body. However, there is a lot you can do to prevent the condition from getting worse. Here are two ways you can prevent the acceleration of arthritis in your hands.
Understand Your Limits and Pace Yourself
One of the best ways to prevent acceleration of arthritis in the hands is to understand that you have limits. No matter how many more pages you have to write for a work project or how much you enjoy knitting, there is a point when your hands say “enough!” Listen to this calling and take it as a signal to give your hands some rest. Overuse of the hands will not only make arthritis worse, it will also invite a host of other orthopedic problems. The best way to get around this is to pace yourself when doing activities involving your hands.
Physical Therapy Hand Exercises
If you experience arthritis or another orthopedic condition, it’s best to work with a physical therapist (PT) on hand exercises. PTs are qualified individuals who understand how to reduce pain, increase functionality, and strengthen the body without worsening existing conditions. A PT will guide you on the specific exercises best suited for your arthritis so you can strengthen your hands and reduce painful symptoms. There are a number of exercises that you can do on a daily basis to prevent arthritis from accelerating. Here are some examples of exercises your PT may recommend you do to keep your arthritis in check. Before beginning any exercises, it’s best to consult with your doctor or PT.
- Thumb Stabilization Start with the hand flat on a hard surface, fingers straight and closed together. Gently curve the fingers and thumb into a “C” shape as if one were grasping a bottle or can, then slowly return to the starting position and repeat multiple times with each hand.
- Fist Stretch To do this, close your hand in a fist and then opening it to stretch out the fingers and palm. Repeat this several times.
- Finger Walk Place the hand flat on a leveled surface with the thumb slightly apart. Then one by one, slide each finger closer to the thumb, beginning with the index finger. Repeat this exercise multiple times.
The experts at Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness work with patients with all types of physical therapy needs, including arthritis pain in the hands. If you have arthritis or another orthopedic condition affecting your quality of life, call Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness today. You can make an appointment by calling (512) 284-7192 or request an appointment online.