My osteoarthritis is beginning to affect my hands


I have had osteoarthritis in my left knee for over ten years now. I managed it by going to the gym but my right foot also has it and I get a tightness at the back of my calves and knees when I walk more than a few hundred yards. Of course, the gym is not an option now. I have an exercise bike in my bedroom but it's ancient and jeeps sticking, plus I keep slipping off the saddle so it's hardly ideal.

I am over 70 and practically housebound for the foreseeable future as I also have Type 2 diabetes.

Lately my hands have been very painful too; notably the third finger on my right hand and the fourth finger on my right. it even hurts to wash them, which we are all doing more of these days by necessity. I also wake up most mornings with my thumb and first two fingers numb even though I've slept om my other side.

It's worse in bed though and every morning I wake up with a searing pain in both hands and specifically around the joints mentioned. Can anyone recommend a way to alleviate this pain? I can't use NSAIDs because of a history of stomach ulcers and apparently ibuprofen cream is not recommended because of Covid 19. I do have Capsaicin cream but am not sure if it will help. Any advice would be gratefully received as I am a journalist and need my hands to get me through.


  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,466

    Don’t tell me it’s one hand clapping now! Haha. I find that painful hands and wrists are the most frightening because they impinge on everything we do. I find that heat helps, my wife makes up wheatbags, all shapes and sizes, a thicker material works best, you can buy bags of wheat at pet food suppliers. . Gloves, fingerless mitts, lined pockets etc etc all get used, I tend to wear gloves a lot more these days. You can get charcoal or chemical hand warmers if you prefer?

    Put the wheat bag into the microwave for about two minutes with an old mug with 1/2” of water in, the wheat will absorb the steam and stay warm for about half an hour, use all evening if necessary but be careful of the heat. Analgesic creams will help at night.

    I don’t do any specific exercises but do find it better just to keep doing things, in general, always plenty to do round our house to take my mind off arther. I tend to steer away from walking sticks, I.e. putting weight down through my hands.