How Does Physiotherapy Help With Hand Arthritis?


If you have arthritis in your hands, then your doctor might recommend a range of treatments and care plans. For example, they might suggest that you have hand physiotherapy. How will a physiotherapist help you manage your arthritis?

Pain Reduction

If you are in the early stages of arthritis, then your pain levels might not be constant. Your hands might hurt when you use them to make certain movements such as gripping or twisting. They might not feel too uncomfortable at other times.

However, if your hands are very arthritic, then you might suffer constant pain even when you aren't using them. While medication can help with this pain, physiotherapy can add something extra to the mix.

A physiotherapist will talk to you about when your hands hurt and when they don't work as well as they used to. They will build a picture of how your condition affects you.

They can then put together a pain management program. For example, they will teach you exercises that will make your hands feel stronger and more comfortable. This should reduce some of your pain.

They can also recommend adaptive devices and treatments which help control hand pain. For instance, wearing splints or supportive devices on your hands can cushion your joints and make them less painful. Hot or cold compresses can reduce the inflammation that causes pain.

As part of your treatment, your physiotherapist will also identify those movements and actions which cause you the most pain. They can help you learn what you should avoid doing to reduce your pain levels.

Mobility Maintenance and Restoration

Arthritis can severely affect the mobility of your hands. For example, you might find that your grip becomes weaker or you might not be able to put your hands flat on a surface. Your fingers might start to curl up.

Physiotherapy can help you manage and improve mobility problems. Your physiotherapist can teach you hand exercises that restore some lost mobility and slow down its progression. They can target specific areas and work on them.

So, for instance, if you have lost your grip, then your physiotherapist will use a softball to help you rebuild strength and mobility in your hands. If you squeeze the ball regularly, then some of your grip returns and your mobility progression slows down. You retrain your hands to restore some of the strength and flexibility that your arthritis has taken from them.

To get the extra help you need, book a hand physiotherapy assessment with a local physiotherapist.


17 March 2023

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