Hand pain is an inconvenience, but it can worsen if left unaddressed. The discomfort can make simple actions like opening a jar or even buttoning a shirt frustrating. However, there are remedies and tips that you can use to soothe your swollen, aching hands — right at home. If you have hand pain, read on to learn five things that can help.
1. Perform Gentle Exercise
The easiest way to get rid of the pain and swelling in your hands is to perform hand exercises. You might be thinking that you want to rest your hands as much as possible; they hurt, so why move them? However, exercise helps circulate fluids from your hand to the rest of your body. Improving circulation reduces pain and swelling, keeps your joints flexible, and improves range of motion.
- Finger strengthening. Place your palm on a towel with fingers apart. Then, pull your fingers together and bunch up the towel between your fingers.
- Hand lift. Place your forearm on a flat surface, letting your hand hang over the edge with the palm facing downward. You can place a rolled-up towel under your wrist to help you feel comfortable. Relax your fingers and move your hand upwards until you feel a slight stretch. Then return to the starting position.
- Wrist turn. Bend your elbow 90 degrees with the palm facing downward. Slowly rotate your forearm so that your palm faces up, then down.
If you’re new to these exercises, it’s best to start slowly and build up gradually. Your orthopedic doctor might also suggest other movements to relieve your hand pain and swelling.
2. Temperature Therapy
Put an ice pack on your hands and wrists, or soak them in an ice bath several times a day for 10-15 minutes. The cold should help ease pain and swelling. Remember to wrap the ice in a soft cloth, as direct contact with ice can damage the skin.
Immersing your hand in warm water could also help with pain and stiffness in your hands, as heat helps improve circulation. However, if your hand pain is due to a recent injury, applying heat may worsen it. Similarly, if your hand is swollen, heat therapy is not a good idea, because it can make swelling worse. Heat therapy is often better for chronic pain.
3. Pain Relievers
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, are a quick way to relieve hand pain. NSAIDs can be consumed orally or applied topically. However, these may not be effective if the cause of your hand pain is carpal tunnel syndrome.
Consult your healthcare provider as pain relievers might interact with other medications you’re currently taking. Read the instructions and recommended dosage thoroughly and use them only as instructed or prescribed. Prolonged use of oral NSAIDs can cause side effects, such as stomach bleeding and the risk of heart attacks.
4. Avoid Salt
If your hand is swollen due to arthritis, skipping the salt could help your problem. Salt makes your body retain water, worsening swelling. Use herbs, spices, garlic, and citrus juices to add flavor to your food. It’s best to avoid foods high in sodium or use minimal salt while cooking.
5. Make Ergonomic And Lifestyle Changes
Hand pain may be due to specific lifestyle habits, such as poor posture and overuse. If these tasks are impossible to avoid, then it helps to find a less straining way to perform tasks.
Making modifications to your workplace could help reduce pain. You could adjust your chair height and change your hand or wrist position while doing activities. Other changes include:
- Use a splint at night to keep you from flexing your wrist as you sleep.
- Purchasing tools, such as easy-grip pens and nonslip jar openers to lessen the strain on your hands and wrist.
- Avoid flexing or overextending your wrists repeatedly.
- Practice maintaining proper posture.
- Take frequent breaks from activities that require repetitive or strenuous hand motions.
- Reducing your force and relaxing your grip.
Hand And Wrist Doctors In North Dakota
There are many reasons behind hand pain and swelling, such as arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Using simple remedies and preventive methods can help reduce pain at home. However, if the pain and swelling persist or worsen, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider.
Here at The Bone & Joint Center, there is no need to worry about your hand pain and swelling. Our team of specialists is highly experienced and skilled at treating musculoskeletal issues and injuries, including hand and wrist pain. If you want to schedule a consultation with one of our orthopedic doctors, call us today at (800) 424-2663 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to relieving your pain!