Arthritis in the hands and wrists is a condition causing the inflammation of one or more joints in the body. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between two bony joints is worn away, causing friction of bone to bone. It is a common medical affliction and is often painful. At times, the pain can be disabling and prevent a person from completing normal activities. There is no known cure for either arthritis or osteoarthritis but there are ways to alleviate the swelling and consequent pain.
In support of Arthritis Awareness Month, Warren senior home care experts suggest these natural remedies for painful arthritis symptoms in the hands.
Heat opens blood vessels and allows hand muscles to become more supple and pliable. Heat therapy can be used before or after physical activity, but is strongly recommended before performing hand exercises to stimulate blood flow and reduce muscle spasms.
Cold packs reduce swelling and can number deep pain. Although cold packs can work whenever flare-ups occur to relieve discomfort, they are often recommended after using the hands for a long period of time to reduce joint inflammation.
It may sound simple, but regular hand exercises can help stretch hand muscles and retain elasticity. The key to hand exercises is to perform them slowly and to perform several repetitions for each exercise. Slowly opening and closing a fist is a good first exercise because it utilizes all joints. Also, have your loved one extend the thumb over the lowest joint of each finger and stretch the wrist as far as it will go.
Fish Oils with Omega-3
Omega-3 is a known analgesic and can help the body release naturally occurring anti-inflammatory chemicals. Though omega-3 supplements can be purchased, it also can be found in cold-water fish such as cod and salmon.
The ancient eastern remedy for colds and other conditions can be found in any grocery store. It is now known to contain anti-inflammatory chemicals, acting as a COX-2 inhibitor. It comes in powder form in the spice section or as a root in the vegetable section.
This spice has recently been found to have anti-inflammatory properties similar to ginger. The active chemical for these properties is curcumin. Like ginger, it can be found in powder or root form, although the root form is harder to find.
Any of these therapies, used individually or in conjunction with each other, can go a long way towards relieving arthritic pain. As with other foods or medicines, checking with your senior loved one’s primary care physician is recommended before using any supplements.
If arthritis pain is interfering with your loved one’s daily activities, it might be time to consider hourly or live-in home care in Warren. Every Home Care Assistance caregiver is highly qualified to help with a wide range of everyday activities, including cooking, light cleaning, running errands, personal grooming, medication reminders, and can offer mental and emotional support. Call a friendly Care Manager at 908.450.9400 to learn more about the services available in your area.