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Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease wherein your body attacks itself and in this article, we will focus specifically on 9 ways to reduce swelling in the hands from RA.
Home Remedies / Treatments:
Hot and Cold therapy
Heat therapy relaxes muscles and assists in lubricating the joints. Applying heat to your hand reduces pain and stiffness.
Just apply a heating pad, hot towel, a hot pack, or place your hands in a tub of warm water to help ease tense muscles and relieve pain and swelling.
Cold therapy reduces inflammation, swelling, and pain.
Applying an ice pack for at least 10 minutes at a time will help reduce swelling in the hands from RA.
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- Helps in blood circulation on the hand and wrist.
- Relieves pain and swelling in the hand, wrist, and fingers.
- Helps you do everyday activities with ease.
Hand exercises can help to keep the hand’s ligaments and tendons flexible which, in turn, will reduce arthritis hand pain and swelling.
To help arthritic hand pain and swelling, you may try:
- Stretching your hand and then make a loose fist, repeating several times in both hands.
- Bending your fingers one at a time and then stretching it out again.
- Placing your hand on a flat surface and then lift each finger (one at a time) off the surface for about 5 seconds.
Your hand exercises should be done using gentle motions.
You may also ask Physical therapists to recommend other hand exercises.
- Homeopathy Treatment- it’s a practice of medicine that uses a holistic and natural approach.
- Magnet Therapy – Involves a magnet that produces electromagnetic fields that perforate the body. It is believed to change how the nervous system function and boosts blood flow.
- Hydrotherapy – Is the use of water, at varying temperatures for pain relief and treatment.
Assistive Devices help you remain mobile while letting your joints rest.
Studies show that wearing splints or braces can lessen the pain and swelling of the hand and at the same time help improve grip strength.
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- Provides finger compression that helps in blood circulation.
- Supports your finger and helps eliminate pain.
Creams, Gels, and Lotions
Topical creams, gels, and lotions can provide instant relief from pain and reduce swelling as it is directly applied to the hand.
Products that have capsaicin, salicylates, camphor, or menthol as the main ingredient are common for treating arthritis.
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- Relieves pain
- Its main ingredient, Capsaicin, works by decreasing the body’s substance pass pain signals to the brain.
There are numerous supplements that have been suggested for RA pain management.
One example is Fish Oil that contains high levels of Omega- 3.
Omega- 3 helps lessen hand stiffness and pain, therefore reducing the amount of pain medication intake.
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- It has anti-inflammatory properties that increase your mobility and joint health.
- Helps decrease inflammation and helps in your body’s overall health and wellness.
- It May help with depression and anxiety.
Acupuncture has been known for centuries to help relieve pain.
It is a form of treatment wherein thin needles are inserted in strategic points of your body.
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- Puts pressure on the LI4 that gives natural pain relief from tension, stress, and headaches.
- Helps the body boost its natural energy.
- Drug-free, natural pain reliever.
A 2013 study indicated that people living with RA who regularly receive moderate pressure massages experience less pain, improved grip, and increased range of motion.
A hand massage can compliment other treatments for relieving pain and swelling in hands from RA.
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- Provides compression to multiple pressure points on your hand, wrist, fingers, and palm
- Improves blood circulation
- Helps reduce pain
Self-Help Devices To Reduce Swelling In Hands From RA
The use of self-help devices such as zipper pullers and long-handled shoehorns helps ease the stress on your joints caused by daily activities and ultimately reduce swelling in hands from RA.
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- Provides assistance in buttoning small buttons.
- Equipped with a non-slip handle that provides a secure grip and enabling independent dressing
- It has a cushioned handle that is wide enough to allow for greater control when securing buttons, zipping pants, jackets, and other clothing.
- Its steel zipper hook makes zipping easy.
- The hook slides into most zipper pull for added convenience.
Prevention of Swelling In Hands From RA
- Sleep – the ability to have a good night’s sleep improves your pain and your ability to manage it. Problems sleeping may increase the level of stress hormones that can aggravate flares.
2. Avoid Overexertion – overexertion can trigger inflammation and arthritis flare as well as increase fatigue.
3. Low- impact Exercises – helps improve muscle strength and protect your joints.
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- It provides a low-impact workout while sitting.
- Gentle on joints with 8 levels of resistance.
- Includes a built-in monitor that tracks your exercise.
- Use of Natural Anti – Inflammatory Herbs and Spices – Adding anti-inflammatory herbs and spices to your food would help ease pain and reduce swelling.
Best Anti- Inflammatory Herbs and Spices:
- Ginger – has rich anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling.
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- Its natural properties help reduce muscle and joint pain.
- Studies show that it is effective in reducing symptoms of arthritis.
- Lowers blood sugar levels and improve heart function.
Also has the ability to stop inflammatory molecules that cause pain and inflammation.
- Thyme – its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties help with RA symptoms
- Turmeric– Rich in anti-inflammatory properties and also has an analgesic effect.
- Green Tea– contains polyphenols that help reduce inflammation of the joints.
It protects your joints and gives changes in immune responses that would ease the severity of RA.
- Cinnamon – helps prevent cell damage from free radicals.
Also helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels
- Eat Healthy – Making healthy food choices may assist in reducing pain and inflammation of the joints.
The recommended diet for people with RA should consist of 67% plant-based foods including vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
RAPM’s Recommendation: The Rheumatoid Arthritis Healing Plan: A Holistic Guide and Cookbook for Inflammation Relief – Buy Now
- A three-part approach to managing RA.
- Contains 75 healing recipes, 2 meal plans, and information about life with RA.
- Manage Weight– Extra weight puts extra stress on your joints, especially your knees, hips, and low back. Losing weight gives those joints some relief.
RAPM’s Recommendation: Water Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis – Buy Now
- The book provides an explanation of how water exercises can help manage pain and inflammation of the joints while maintaining mobility and staying fit.
- Relaxation Techniques
- Stress can affect your joint pain and swelling.
- Studies have shown that prompting a relaxation response can activate nitric oxide that can counter the release of stress hormones.
Types of Relaxation Response
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation or Body Scan– A deep relaxation technique used to control stress and reduce symptoms of chronic pain. It is based on tensing or tightening one muscle group at a time and then followed by a relaxation phase that releases the tension.
- Mindful Breathing – Taking long, slow, and deep breaths for several minutes.
- Yoga – Provides customized exercises that improve chronic pain, mood, and quality of life.
- Tai Chi – a Chinese Martial Art that combines gentle movements with deep breathing. It is believed to improve symptoms of RA.
** Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program
RAPM’s Recommendation: Yoga Therapy for Arthritis – Buy Now
- The book goes beyond the traditional yoga routines to provide customized techniques specifically for people living with RA.
- Helps not only the people living with RA but also the ones caring for them.
- Plant Oils and Essential Oils– Plant oils like black currant seed and evening primrose contain Omega 6 fatty acids that help improve function and reduce pain.
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- Pure and natural – No additives, no alcohol, no fragrance added
- Has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling
- Has analgesic properties to improve pain.
9. Quit Smoking – Smoking weakens the bones. When you stop smoking, you are helping yourself keep your bones strong and healthy.
Although there is no cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis, there are many ways to improve one’s quality of life.
Know your trigger points and avoid them.