Arthritis pain treatment in hands and feet varies, so the patient faces many options, including conservative and surgical ones. Here comes the doctor’s role in studying the patient’s condition and deciding what is best for him.
Arthritis pain treatment in hands and feet is a topic that many people research because these pains are widespread. It must be known that treating the cause of joint pain is the most effective way to eradicate pain.
Consult a doctor before starting any arthritis pain treatment because these methods are not suitable for all patients, and the doctor will choose the best for your condition. Learn about the most critical non-drug methods, the drug management used, and beneficial surgeries.
Arthritis pain treatment in hands and feet at home without medication
Some conservative, non-drug therapies can be started for mild to moderate joint pain. Non-drug therapy can also be combined with topical or systemic medications for more significant benefit. Here are the most critical non-drug methods for treating arthritis pain in hands and feet:
Simple procedures to treat arthritis pain at home
Rest and avoidance of pain-producing activities are the simplest treatments for arthritis pain. Elevating the joint above the heart level helps reduce pain and swelling in conditions such as inflammation.
Using hot compresses or ice packs over the joint several times a day for 15 minutes helps relieve the pain. Sitting in a warm bath also helps in comforting the patient.
Useful exercises to relieve arthritis pain
Exercise may help treat arthritis pain in hands and feet and restore strength and flexibility. These exercises include walking, swimming, cycling, and light aerobic exercise. Light stretching or stretching exercises are also beneficial.
In short, non-stressful sports are helpful for the joint and the whole body but beware of violent sports because they will negatively affect the joints and must be gradually reduced. Consult a physician before starting any exercise for arthritis pain.
The role of weight loss in arthritis pain treatment
Losing weight reduces pressure on the joints, making the patient feel comfortable. Therefore, the obese patient should try to lose some weight, as this reduces his need for medication.
Arthritis pain treatment in hands and feet using nutritional supplements
Some nutritional supplements are used to manage arthritis pain in hands and feet, and some are available in the form of oral tablets, ointments, or even intra-articular injections, such as:
- Chondroitin sulfate
- Hyaluronic acid
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 or fish oil
- Borage oil because it contains gamma-linolenic acid
- Cat's claw plant
Assistive devices to relieve arthritis pain
These devices and tools are helpful in relieving arthritis pain, resting it or strengthening it, and facilitating its movement so that the pain will go away. Prominent examples include braces, crutches, ligaments, articulatory devices, and orthopedic shoes.
Arthritis pain treatment in hands and feet with physical or occupational therapy
This type of treatment improves the movement of the joints, maintains their function, and relieves pain in them. It also strengthens the muscles around the joint, increasing its stability and maintaining the range of motion. This treatment is done under the supervision of a doctor or physical therapist using specific exercises and positions.
You may also use modern tools and machines such as:
- Ultrasound therapy
- Heating or cooling therapy
- Electrical nerve stimulation
Various treatments can also be used, such as walking on the sand and going down in a water basin to relieve pressure on the joints and move them without putting much effort into them.
Arthritis pain treatment in hands and feet using topical medications
You can use creams, andintments, gels, and sometimes topical sprays and patches that are placed on the skin over the affected joint to manage arthritis pain in hands and feet. These topical medications are available in a variety of formulations, including:
- Salicylates such as aspirin and trolamine salicylate
- Counter irritants such as menthol and camphor
- Topical anesthetics such as lidocaine
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as diclofenac
Systemic drug therapies for extremity joint pain
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, celecoxib, and naproxen are used to treat moderate to severe arthritis pain in the hands and feet, especially if the pain is accompanied by swelling.
We may join anti-inflammatories with antispasmodics. But you should consult a doctor or physical therapist before using these medicines if you suffer from liver or kidney disease or have previously had a peptic ulcer.
In the case of moderate arthritis pain not accompanied by swelling, acetaminophen (Paracetamol) can be used, but avoid drinking alcohol with it so that the risk of liver damage does not increase. In addition, antidepressants may help relieve pain and are usually used if the pain prevents the patient from sleeping.
We may also use opioids such as tramadol in severe pain that does not respond to previous medications. However, this is only done under medical supervision and a prescription. Be aware that opioids cause drowsiness, so avoid driving and activities that require concentration. They also cause constipation and addiction if the patient does not follow medical instructions.
Read on about: The best medicine for joints and bones.
Arthritis pain treatment in hands and feet through intra-articular injections
We may resort to intra-articular injection in severe cases that do not respond to previous medications. Several drugs can be injected. The most commonly used intra-articular injections are steroids; we may inject a local anesthetic with them. The effect of steroid injections is temporary, and we may need to repeat injections after 3 or 4 months.
Platelet-rich plasma can also be injected. A quantity of the patient’s blood is taken, and platelet-rich plasma is extracted from it to be injected into the painful joint. Furthermore, Hyaluronic acid can be injected to relieve pain. Also, joint fluid can be withdrawn (arthrocentesis) if the amount is large and causes pain.
Finally, we have prolotherapy, where the doctor administers a series of irritating injections (usually a sugar solution) into joints, tendons, and ligaments. It is believed that prolotherapy stimulates the local healing of damaged tissues. It may require 15 to 20 injections given monthly for 3 or 4 months.
Surgical option for arthritis pain management
The decision to make surgery to treat arthritis pain in hands and feet is difficult. It is taken only after studying the patient's condition and the failure of all other possible treatment methods to control the pain and improve joint function and the patient's lifestyle.
Arthroscopic surgery may be used to repair cartilage or remove bone spurs causing pain. It is also possible to cut and fuse the joint or replace the joint entirely.
We discussed the various forms of arthritis pain treatment in hands and feet at home without medication, the essential medicines used topically, systemically, and intra-articular injections, and surgical treatment. Pay attention to the exact implementation of the doctor's instructions and adhere to the treatment to get the best results.
Olive oil may help treat arthritis pain and inflammation in hands and feet, reducing edema and migration of inflammatory cells, cartilage degeneration, and bone erosion.
No studies confirm the benefit of lemon in relieving arthritis pain, but it is believed that it helps reduce inflammation.
No studies confirm or deny using salt or salt water in massaging joints to treat joint pain and inflammation, but this treatment may have other benefits.
Hot water is not effective in treating inflammation but relieves the accompanying pain.