If you often wake with pain and stiffness in your fingers, we have 5 simple strategies that can help get you moving and reduce your pain.  It is not uncommon for finger joints to feel sore as we get older.  Old injuries, arthritic conditions, or simple wear and tear to joints can means the structures around the joints that give us stability and allow easy gliding, don’t work as efficiently. 

1. Keeping hands warm when you are in colder environments is a good place to start.  This can be at work if you are in air conditioning that is a little on the cool side, or when out and about in areas where it might still be crisp in the mornings.  These hand warmers are a good place to start, and they give up to 10 hours of heat.  Really great for people travelling to colder areas on holidays, or to visit family.  We have these in stock in our rooms if you need some.

handwarmers

(Image courtesy of www.practitionersupplies.com.au)

2. Gloves are another way to keep warm, but they have an additional bonus of giving support to joints and decreasing swelling that might also be affecting movement.  Gloves are particularly helpful in this situation if the glove has an elastic property.  There are lots of different types of gloves, so be sure to try a few out.  Some gloves are thicker, and this means they may not allow you to move as well.  We have a few styles to try, so let us know if you would like to come and try them on.

glove

3. Daily soaking in warm water for approximately 5-10 minutes and then squeezing a light sponge can really get stiff fingers moving, and the warm water is great for managing pain.  We recommend just a sponge that you would use to wash the car with – and remember the smaller you cut it down, the easier it is to squeeze.

watersoak

4. A paraffin wax bath is a great addition to a home if you find your fingers are stiff each day.  The wax bath can stay on each day and it is a great way to get moving in the mornings.  Just put your hand into the wax bath and then rest with the wax in place for another 10 minutes.  The heat from the wax will help thin the synovial fluid inside the joint to allow movement to occur more freely.  If you are not sure if this would help, we have a wax bath that you can come and try before you buy.

5. Being mindful about how you complete activities.  Use handles that widen your grasp, instead of having to hold small items really tightly, which will decrease pressure on your small hand joints. 

peeling

For more tips around modifying activities, we have a Joint Protection Booklet available for sale in our rooms, or online here.  These books are free for patients that make appointments to see us.