There are two main forms of arthritis in hands: rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory, immune system related. Osteoarthritis is more to wear and tear of the cartilage. Both are chronic degenerative and can affect daily routine. Both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis affect the young as well as the old– it is not just an old person’s disease. Below are home remedies that might help ease the discomfort and get the fingers moving again.
Home Remedies for Arthritis in the Hands
In most cases, warmth helps the blood rush to the joints, allowing some relief from stiffness. Soak hands in warm water or use a warm towel to heat up the hands. If neither is available, rub those palms together to create some heat. When the hot pack does not work, try the cold compress, and vice versa.
When your arthritis symptoms hurt, it best to cool down the hands. Wrap a bag of ice with a towel and apply it onto sore fingers– not more than twenty minutes. You can alternatively soak the sore hands in cold water filled with some ice. Ice can help lessen the pain by constricting blood vessels. However, leaving your hands in the cold for too long may cause fingers to stiffen up and worsen the situation.
Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, which is a relaxant. Using Epsom salt relaxes the nerves, lesser stiffness, and reduces pain. Dissolve half a cup of Epsom salt in warm water and soak the hands for fifteen minutes. It also works wonders for all aches and pains.
5lb bag of Sky Organics Epsom salt ($15.99)
You can slowly and gently massage your hands and fingers daily to stimulate blood circulation. If it hurts too much initially, get someone at home to do it for you until you can do it yourself. Massage techniques like massage balls you can twirl around your hands are useful to roll your palms and fingers around for self-massage.
Big and wide movements can help the blood circulate, which lessens the stiffness with osteoarthritis. Light exercise helps prevent more damage to the joints, as non-use may worsen symptoms of arthritis.
Make a poultice by blending comfrey root, and apply to painful joints. You can also use aerial parts like the leaves for similar effect.
Oleocanthal in olive oil is a great anti-inflammatory, and olive oil is a great massage oil as it dissolves quickly and leaves no residue. Use extra virgin olive oil to get the most oleocanthal component, not only as massage but also as a moisturizer.
Ricinoleic acid in castor oil can stop the pain. Aside from being anti-inflammatory, castor oil is also a good massage oil as it can absorb quickly and leaves no residue. Massage your hands with this oil as often as needed to get the best results.
Capsaicin in cayenne pepper is warming, and stimulates Substance P: a neuropeptide thought to be related to pain transmission. You can dissolve cayenne pepper into olive oil or castor oil for quick relief while waiting for the latter to work. Alternatively, you can buy capsaicin creams from stores
Wintergreen ( Gaultheria procumbens) contains high levels of methyl salicylate. Methyl salicylate is a rubefacient and analgesic, works as a counter-irritant to divert the attention of the brain. You can find wintergreen essential oil, mix it with a carrier oil like olive oil, and rub into sore fingers when needed.
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) contains salicylic acid in methyl salicylate form. You can use essential oil, dilute with a carrier oil, to use as a pain-killing rub. Meadowsweet is the original plant aspirin was derived from.
Like capsaicin, menthol in peppermint as analgesic properties by irritating the nerves and divert attention. Most methyl salicylate creams also have menthol, for added benefit. Dilute peppermint oil into a carrier oil and rub in when needed, you can use it regularly when pain strikes.
St John’s Wort Oil
Made by steeping leaves of St John’s Wort in olive oil until the mixture turns red, this oil is strictly external use only and is a traditional European medicine for aches and bruises. Rub on the painful joints twice a day for relief.
St. John’s Wort flower
Common Rue (Ruta graveolens) is a topical poultice Indian remedy uses to help relieve pain from rheumatoid arthritis. The poultice is commonly made from the whole plant to apply daily.
Chamomile poultice is used in European remedy locally to help ease the pain and stiffness of arthritis in the hands. You can drink chamomile to relax, but it is more effective as a remedy for arthritis topically.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can help make the body more alkaline, which lessens the inflammatory effects. The vitamins and components of apple cider vinegar make it a versatile remedy to drink and to soak. Either drink a tablespoon diluted in water and honey daily or soak hands in undiluted warm apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper.
Heather (Calluna vulgaris) is an analgesic and a mild sedative, where the leaf and flower are used as a tea to help relax the sufferer. Drink three times a day to help relieve the pain.
If you like the taste of blackstrap molasses, then this remedy is for you. Molasses contains micronutrients like magnesium and potassium; they help with muscle relaxation. Calcium in blackstrap molasses strengthens bones, which help if you are suffering from wear and tear. Dilute one tablespoon of molasses in water and drink daily.
Curcumin in turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties, as well as certain immunomodulating effects. There are curcumin tablets available, you can use it for rheumatoid arthritis, or it can also help with osteoarthritis as pain relief. Take capsules daily or dissolve one teaspoon of turmeric powder in water and drink daily.
Turmeric root and powder
Ginger is a warming agent that gets the blood circulating. Eat or drink ginger regularly to reduce stiffness and the ache associated. You can add turmeric into this ginger remedy, as they work in tandem for relief.
Willow bark (Salix alba) has a good amount of salicin. Steep white willow bark in hot water for ten minutes and drink three cups daily. Willow bark helps ease the pain of arthritis in the hands.
Meadowsweet tea is generally made from the root, where the salicylic acid can help with arthritic pain. Steep the root in hot water and drink three cups daily. A good substitute if you cannot find willow bark.
Nettle has anti-inflammatory components and can help reduce pain. Drink nettle tea daily to improve joint mobility as it can also stimulate the production of synovial fluids to lubricate the joints.
Juniper berry contains immunomodulating properties that can reduce inflammation. It is useful against pain and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Steep one tablespoon of berries in hot water and drink few times daily to help reduce the symptoms of arthritis in the hands.
Juniper berries and leaves
Dandelion flowers can be eaten as a salad and its roots are usually made into tea. Fresh dandelion contains vitamins and minerals for the restorative effect, while dandelion tea is more helpful in fighting inflammation. Add dandelion in your daily diet to help improve pain and symptoms of arthritis in the hands.
Golden Raisins and Gin
Golden raisins soaked in gin is an age-old remedy for arthritis. The remedy calls to soak golden raisins in gin until the raisins soak up the gin. Eat nine raisins a day until you see an improvement. Gin is traditionally made from juniper berries, which contains anti-inflammatory effects, while the raisins might contribute extra nutrients and antioxidants to promote reparation. This remedy may take weeks to work.
Boswellia, or Indian Frankincense, (Boswellia serrata) is an ayurvedic remedy for joint paints. It contains boswellic acids, found in its resins, showing strong anti-inflammatory properties. You can find this remedy in tablets for easy dosage. Take these tablets as directed to get the best results.
Fenugreek seeds contain high levels of anti-inflammatory, as well as nutrients to help repair damaged joints. Crush the seeds and steep one teaspoon in hot water and drink a few cups a day for relief from pain. Alternatively, chew the seeds three times a day for a similar effect.
Garlic contains many active ingredients that are beneficial for the body. It can improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation; both are helpful in alleviating painful joints and stiffness. Eat few cloves of raw garlic daily for best results, as the capsules usually contain just kyolic, which may not be enough.
Garlic cloves and whole garlic
Pectin and Grape Juice
Mix two teaspoons of liquid pectin into half a cup of grape juice and drink three times a day. Pectin can regulate the flow of fluid between cells, while grape juice is a carrier agent that contains antioxidants to help promote cell healing.
Cherries are a good source of antioxidants that can help joint repair. It is also an anti-inflammatory. Eating cherries is also a popular remedy for gout pain, as it helps relieve the pain in the joints.
Fish oil is a proven anti-inflammatory for the body. It also contains essential fatty acids to supply the body with ingredients to repair joint fluid. Take around three grams of fish oil capsules, or equivalent three times a day to improve joint function.
Green gram, or mung bean, is an ayurvedic remedy for rheumatoid arthritis. Soak some green beans in water overnight, and eat the three tablespoons of the beans with two crushed cloves of garlic. Take this remedy twice a day to find relief from arthritic pain.
Cut a medium potato, but leave it unpeeled, soaking it in a glass of cold water overnight. The nutrients from potato will transfer to the water, drink it first thing before breakfast. Potato juice contains enzymes and nutrients that can help joint repair.
Any type of potato will work for this home remedy
Sassafras contains safrole, the active ingredient that helps relieve pain. The remedy recommends soaking 170g or 6 ounces of sassafras root in a fifth of whiskey for 24 hours. Take one tablespoon of the mixture three times a day before meals. Safrole can be a hallucinogenic if taken excessively. Alternatively, you can crush sassafras and use as a poultice to relieve joint pain if you are not keen on taking it internally.
Starflower, also known as borage, contains high levels of GLA (gamma linoleic acid), a substance that regulates inflammatory response in the body. Borage oil is taken internally daily to relieve inflammatory pain like rheumatoid arthritis. If there is not borage oil, the seeds and leaves are also a good source of GLA. 3000mg is the maximum daily dose, any higher will induce inflammation.
Gentiana, or Qin Jiao, is a Chinese herbal remedy. It is a collective genus of Gentianaceae flowers, where the roots are used to treat arthritis pain. An effective dose is 100mg three times a day, but there have been reports of adverse events like nausea and vomiting. So, take caution when using this home remedy.
For vegans and vegetarians, cold-pressed flaxseed oil is the alternative for fish oil. Flaxseed oil is an anti-inflammatory. It can also supply the body with nutrients to restore synovial fluid. Take a tablespoon a day for good effect.
Chinese Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) is a Chinese herbal remedy for arthritis in the hands. One or two grams of this dried herb, or equivalent, is used daily to relieve inflammatory pain. You can take skullcap as a tea if you cannot find the capsules. Be wary not to overdose as it can cause liver damage.
Chinese skullcap flowers
Use the mullein flower or root tincture daily to relieve inflammation, Mullein is a gentle anti-inflammatory that can also help improve respiratory system. You can also rub the tincture onto your hands for added relief.
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is a traditional European remedy for arthritis in the hands. Modern research has shown that horsetail contains components to reduce inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis to lessen pain and slow down progression. Take a few drops of tincture daily, or capsules, to help arthritis reduce arthritis pain.
Black cohosh (Cimicifuga Racemosa) is marketed now for pre and postmenopausal symptoms, but it was also used for the anti-inflammatory treatment of arthritis. You can get them in a capsule now, or steep the dried root in hot water as tea and drink daily. Be wary as there are cases of liver failure reports with the increased use of the herb.
Licorice root ( Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a popular Chinese herbal remedy for many ailments because it is a very effective anti-inflammatory. You can steep the root in hot water and drink as tea daily, it is also a good sore throat reliever.
Burdock root can be eaten or taken as tea daily to help reduce inflammation and help relieve pain. Take burdock root daily to ease the joint stiffness associated with arthritis in the hands. You can also have burdock as a stirfry if you have fresh ones.
Butcher’s Broom (Ruscus aculeatus) is a blood circulation improver, but recent studies have shown that it also has good anti-inflammatory properties. There are capsules available made from the rhizomes of the plant. Take recommended dose to help reduce pain and slow down the progression of arthritis.
Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) contains quinovic acid and other glycosides to stop rheumatoid arthritis. Take up to one gram of the leaves a day, steep as a tea to help slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
Before sarsaparilla was a drink, it was a remedy athletes used as steroid substitute. Sarsaparilla is a natural steroid and can help slow down rheumatoid arthritis. Steep sarsaparilla root as tea and drink three cups daily.
Glucosamine is derived from sea shells and provides the body with building blocks to repair joint cartilages and fluids. Take up to 1500 mg daily in divided doses for osteoarthritis. It does nothing for rheumatoid arthritis.
Rich in Vitamin B
Vitamin B helps regulate many processes in the body, and some reports that increased vitamin B intake helps reduce the incidence of pain and inflammation. Foods rich in vitamin B include yeast, mushrooms, and red meat.
Make your own burgers at home to take in red meat in a healthy way
Foods that should be avoided in anti-inflammatory diets are ones that induce inflammation. Coffee, sugar, processed foods, are on the list of this diet. The diet focuses on reducing general inflammation in the body, which will help with the joints.
Go Sugar Free
Sugar has been proven to be a culprit for many inflammatory diseases, going sugar free may help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis in the hands.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
High in antioxidants and nutrients, fresh fruits and vegetables are beneficial to help the body repair itself. Examples include alfalfa, carrots, and beetroot.
Good examples of fruits are bananas, apples, and berries
Which of these home remedies will you try? Comment below! For more home remedies for arthritis in other areas on the body, read this article.
Some natural and at-home remedies may help manage your hand arthritis. Hand exercises, acupuncture, hot-cold therapy, splinting, meditation, and some supplements hold promise for non-pharmaceutical pain-relief options. Talk to a doctor about which options may work well alongside standard medical care.
Ginger Root Extract.
Ginger has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen. Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains. Fruits, veggies and whole grains, as part of a healthy diet, fight inflammation naturally and can also help control your weight.
What to do. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help relieve occasional pain triggered by activity your muscles and joints aren't used to — such as gardening after a winter indoors.
Although there's no cure for arthritis, treatments have improved greatly in recent years and, for many types of arthritis, particularly inflammatory arthritis, there's a clear benefit in starting treatment at an early stage. It may be difficult to say what has caused your arthritis.
- Painkiller pills. Acetaminophen and NSAIDs like ibuprofen can ease pain.
- Immobilizing devices. A splint, brace, or sleeve can hold your hand in a stable position to lessen pain.
- Hand therapy. ...
- Cortisone shots.
Analgesics. Analgesics, which include acetaminophen (Tylenol) and opioids, are commonly used for arthritis in the hands and other joints. They also may be used to relieve pain from other hand and wrist conditions or surgery.
Berries are rich in antioxidants and the Arthritis Foundation notes that blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries and boysenberries all provide arthritis-fighting power.
Citrus. If you enjoy eating grapefruit, ask your doctor about medications you shouldn't take. This healthy breakfast staple can interact with certain drugs, such as those taken to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, infections, and heart problems. But no evidence links citrus fruits with arthritis pain.
A timeless treatment for coughs and congestion, Vicks VapoRub can also ease soreness in joints and muscles, thanks to its analgesic combo of menthol and camphor. Massage the cream all over your knee, cover with a dry towel, and rest it until the pain subsides.
Red meat, such as burgers and steaks. Processed meats like hot dogs, brats and other sausages. Refined carbohydrates like the ones you find in breads and pastries. Dairy products, because for many people, casein, a protein common in milk, ice cream and cheese, has been shown to irritate the tissue around joints.
Arthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis usually comes with age and most often affects the fingers, knees, and hips. Sometimes osteoarthritis follows a joint injury. For example, you might have badly injured your knee when young and develop arthritis in your knee joint years later.
In rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, a tough membrane that encloses all the joint parts. This lining (synovial membrane) becomes inflamed and swollen. The disease process can eventually destroy cartilage and bone within the joint.
NSAIDS, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are commonly prescribed for arthritis pain and other symptoms. They are available over-the-counter as aspirin (such as Bayer), naproxen (such as Aleve), and ibuprofen (such as Motrin).
Simple analgesic medications such as acetaminophen (paracetamol) or aspirin are often useful in the relief of hand pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen, ketoprofen or naproxen can also be useful.
The exact cause of hand arthritis is unknown. The condition usually develops due to wear and tear of the joint, which occurs gradually over time. There's also a genetic component to hand OA. Family members may develop OA at a younger age than the general population, and may have more severe disease.
- Pain. Pain is a common early symptom of arthritis in the hands and fingers. ...
- Swelling. Joints may swell with overuse. ...
- Warm to the touch. Swelling can also cause the joints to feel warm to the touch. ...
- Stiffness. ...
- Bending of the middle joint. ...
- Numbness and tingling. ...
- Bumps in the fingers. ...
Yet surgery to repair the damage from hand arthritis is relatively rare. One reason is that finger surgery has a high complication and failure rate. It can also sacrifice mobility for pain relief. The two main surgical options for hand arthritis are fusion (arthrodesis) and total knuckle replacement (arthroplasty).
Yes. Arthritis can prompt incapacity, as can numerous other mental and physical conditions. If your arthritis confines your daily movements, or activities you may qualify for disability benefits.
Osteoarthritis tends to develop gradually over several years, as the joint cartilage wears away. Eventually the bones of your joints rub against each other. In contrast, the pain and stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis can develop and worsen over several weeks or a few months.
Pain. Early symptoms of arthritis of the hand include joint pain that may feel "dull," or a "burning" sensation. The pain often occurs after periods of increased joint use, such as heavy gripping or grasping. The pain may not be present immediately, but may show up hours later or even the following day.
The fact is, there is no sure way to prevent arthritis. But you can help reduce your risk and delay the potential onset of certain types of arthritis. If you have healthy joints right now, do all you can now to maintain mobility and function and avoid the pain and disability associated with arthritis.