The rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease, which mainly affects the joints and tendons. An inflamed joint looks swollen and red, and feels hot to the touch. The disease usually begins in the wrists, hands, or feet, and can spread to other joints and other parts of the body. Arthritis pain in the hands is one of the most inconvenient pains in people with this disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints. The main symptoms are pain and inflammation of the joints. In general, inflammation is the body’s way of healing. In rheumatoid arthritis, however, the immune system begins to attack the body rather than defend it.

Inflammation affects:

  • The thin synovium that lines the joint capsule.
  • The tendon sheaths (tubes in which tendons move).
  • Bursae (sacs of fluid that allow muscles and tendons to move smoothly over each other).

Joints and tissues become inflamed and then stiff, with pain and swelling.

With increased use of the hand, arthritis pain increases as well. For example, if you are working in the kitchen or typing on a keyboard. Many people also lose strength in their hands. This weakness can make it difficult to carry out regular daily tasks like opening a toothpaste.

What makes this disease especially unpleasant is when it reaches precisely the joints of the hands, as it results in numbness and pain.

8 exercises to relieve arthritis pain in the hands.

Arthritis pain in the hands is one of the pains most sought to solve by those who suffer from it, and natural home treatments are often a good solution to follow. There are several specially designed hand exercises that can improve the flexibility of the hand, extend its range of motion, and relieve arthritis pain. They are very simple and they are not invasive.

Soaking your hands in warm water or soaking them in hot paraffin is a great way to reduce pain before doing exercises. You can even try doing some of the exercises with your hands submerged in hot water or while in a heated pool. In this way you are doing carefully exercising the joints and muscles. The buoyancy of the water supports and reduces stress on the joints, allowing you to move your hands more easily. Water can also act as resistance to help build muscle strength.

Make fist.

A very easy exercise that you can do anywhere. It is best to do it when you are feeling stiff in this area. It is quite easy to do. Begin by keeping your right hand straight. Then, make a fist by putting your thumb in the hole of the thumb. Keep in mind that you should not squeeze your hand – it should be relaxed. Open your hand slowly until each finger is straight. Do 10 repetitions. After that, repeat the procedure with your left hand.

Bend the thumb.

Begin by holding your hand steady and bend your thumb in the direction of the palm of your hand. Stretch as much as possible and try to reach the little finger with your thumb. If you can’t do it, don’t force it. Just stretch as much as you can. Stay in that position for a couple of seconds and place your thumb in its starting position at the end. 10 repetitions with both hands will be enough.

Bend your fingers.

Using the same position as the first exercise, stretch your left hand holding your hand steady and bend your thumb in the direction of the palm of your hand. Stay in this position for a few seconds. Bring your thumb to the starting position. Then continue with the index finger in the same direction towards the palm of the hand, wait a few seconds before straightening it. Repeat this with all your fingers. Once you are done with your left hand, do the same with your right hand.

Make an O.

Begin by stretching your left hand. Then, point all your fingers inward so they can touch, making an “O”. Stay in this position for a few seconds, before straightening your fingers.  Do at least three reps, with both hands. This exercise is perfect for times when your fingers and hand feel stiff or sore.

Fold fingers on the table.

Start with your left hand, putting your thumb on the table and folding the rest of the fingers into a formation. Stay in this position for a couple of seconds, before straightening your fingers. Do 10 reps with both hands.

Finger lift.

Begin by placing your right hand on a table palm down, keeping it flat. Try to lift each finger off the table, starting carefully with your thumb. Hold your finger in the same position for two seconds before lowering it. Perform the same procedure with each finger of both hands.

Fan and Fist.

Begin by holding your hand in a neutral position, keeping your knuckles stiff. Gradually and carefully spread your fingers as far as possible (kind of like a fan when opened). Then try to make a fist. Stay in each of these positions for about five seconds. Do the exercise twice a day with both hands.

Flex wrist.

Wearing your wrists can eliminate stiffness and relieve pain. Keep your arm straight, palm down. Then press gently with your left hand until you feel your arm and wrist flex. Stay in that position for a couple of seconds. Do 10 reps with both hands.

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