December 14, 2020 at 8:32 pm · drsahai · 0 comments
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a body-wide condition. But, it commonly affects the hand and wrist. Inflammation causes swelling and pain in the wrist and finger joints. Grip strength can also be weakened. The pain can be debilitating. This can interfere with daily tasks, like getting dressed and work. Knowing how to manage pain will improve your life.
Visit an Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapists have specific training. They can help you improve hand strength and also dexterity. They can spend more time with patients than physicians. This allows them to better learn your routines. They can offer products and alternative actions to better help you. You can learn to perform daily tasks without pain.
An occupational therapist can help you with doing activities such as:
Using hand-friendly tools to Making wardrobe adjustments, so dressing is done with ease. Plus, arranging the kitchen to reduce hand strain when cooking Crafts, sports, and other activities that use your hands
A referral to an occupational therapist comes from your doctor. Additionally, you can also obtain one if you have been to a rheumatologist or hand surgeon.
Wear a Splint
Immobilizing the hand is the best way to ease the pain. Wearing a splint also provides stability. There are many different splints available, such as:
- Single finger splints keep your finger straight. These are good for trigger finger or swan’s neck deformity.
- Splints that fit over your thumb and wrap over your wrist and palm. These support the carpometacarpal joint. This relieves joint strain at the base of the thumb.
- Large splints that keep fingers and wrist immobilized. These are often worn during sleep. These are good for those who make fists when they sleep.
How to Choose The Right Splint for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
You can get splints through prescription or over-the-counter. Choose one that is recommended by your rheumatologist, surgeon, or doctor.
- Voice Controlled Software. Typing is a top cause of hand strain. You can prevent this by using voice-controlled software. There is software that lets you convert talk to text. It is usually already installed on your computer or laptop.
- Taking RA medications. It is in your best interest to take any medications as prescribed. Rheumatoid arthritis medications are more effective in this way. Missing a dose can cause stiffness and pain. If you are busy, get a pill organizer or set reminders. RA medications do a better job when taken as directed.
- Change your Diet. What you eat influences inflammation and your RA symptoms. Sugary and high-fat foods are reported to worsen symptoms. On the other hand, anti-inflammatory foods improve symptoms. Foods like berries and leafy greens should be a part of your diet.
- Focus on What You Can Do. It is frustrating when pain prevents you from doing something. Instead of getting upset, focus on what you can do. This is better for you physically and emotionally. Avoiding stress is a natural way to prevent inflammation. Depending on the severity of your pain, there will be things you can do in moderation. Instead of 18 holes of golf, you can do 9. Be grateful for what you can do and not upset about what you can’t do.
If you are struggling with your Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms, talk to your doctor. They can evaluate your situation and recommend treatment. RA cannot be cured, but pain can be managed. Your daily life does not have to be put on hold. If treatment does not bring relief, surgery can also be an option.