Coping with Arthritis of the Hands

There are dozens of different types of arthritis, and any one of them may result in significant changes in your lifestyle and quality of life. Because every patient’s needs are unique, it’s best to talk to your doctor, physical therapist, and occupational therapist to find a treatment plan that works for you. They might recommend some of the following tips.

Talk to your doctor about medications.

There is a wide range of medications available to patients with arthritis. Some of these are taken by mouth, such as painkillers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Others are applied directly to the skin in the painful areas, such as counterirritants with capsaicin. If you are already taking prescription medications, check with your doctor or pharmacist before adding an over-the-counter drug to minimize the risk of interactions. If oral and topical medicines are not adequately controlling your symptoms, your doctor might recommend an injected medication. 

Consult a physical therapist.

Physical therapy can help ease pain in the hands, and improve functionality by making them stronger and more flexible. For best results, follow your physical therapist’s exercise recommendations. You may be asked to repeat these exercises a certain number of times between physical therapy sessions.

Modify your home and lifestyle.

Arthritis of the hands can make it difficult to carry out the tasks of daily living and to enjoy your hobbies. Consider talking to an occupational therapist about your challenges. Occupational therapists are specially trained to recommend lifestyle and household modifications that can help you overcome roadblocks. 

For example, you might need to switch to an electric toothbrush with a wide handle if you have trouble gripping a normal toothbrush. If meal preparation is difficult for you, you might need to replace your heavy cookware with lighter versions. Use an electric can opener and ergonomically designed kitchen tools.

For exceptional care and 24-hour skilled nursing services, you can turn to Life Care Center of Sierra Vista. This welcoming facility offers both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation for individuals in the Sierra Vista, AZ area. If you have any questions about their services, you can reach the office at (520) 458-1050.