Painful hands

I have Osteoarthritis which was diagnosed several years ago. Recently my hands and wrists are very painful. (as well as other joints). Worse when I wake up.

The only thing my GP will give me is Fenbid Gel and Co codamol. These dont seem to work. Can anyone suggest any other treatment to releive the pain. Thanks.


  • Hi @cookiesdad

    Thank you for posting on the forum.

    I’m sorry to hear that your hands and wrists are very painful. There is a cream called Capsaicin that’s only on prescription, it’s drug-free, effective and a very well-tolerated painkiller. It works mainly by reducing a pain transmitter which is in the nerves. It builds up in the system and people usually notice that there is a difference within a week or so of starting it. It can be very effective for OA of the hands, this may be worth a try so do ask your GP about this.  

    Keeping your hands moving is important, do seek the advice of a physiotherapist, occupational therapist or hand therapist who will be able to give you exercises specific to the joints in need.

    Applying warmth to your hands can be beneficial, sometimes popping your hands into warm water when you wake up can be helpful, especially if you wake up with stiffness in the morning.

    You are very welcome to call our helpline: 0800 5200 520 (weekdays 9am - 6pm) here we can take our time to talk things through informally and in confidence.

    I have given you a link to our Osteoarthritis of the hand and wrist information which may be useful. If you would like more responses from the online community, please repost on the ‘living with arthritis’ forum.

    I hope this is of some help.

    Best wishes


    Helpline team

  • pammi69
    pammi69 Member Posts: 36

    Take Circummin tablets, helps with inflammation. NOT Tumeric tablets

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 661

    Hi @cookiesdad

    I find that compression gloves help. You could get them from an NHS occupational therapist or buy them. I get mine from Amazon - look for VITTO compression gloves. Like you my hands are worse in the early morning.