Wrists and hands

Chippy Member Posts: 3
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:10 in Living with arthritis


Recently developed osteoarthritis in my hands, and having problems with my wrists. All early days at the moment, so awaiting x-rays and then seeing where that takes me.

I'm a self employed carpenter and finding it rather difficult to continue working at the moment

So a little bit worried about what the future holds


  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,486

    Hi @Chippy welcome to the Online Community.

    I see from your post that you have recently been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in your wrists and hands. As a carpenter I can really understand that would be a big worry. Being self employed is a doubled edged sword isn't it?

    You may have already read this information from the main Versus Arthritis site, but just in case I am going to pop it here for you to read:

    This too might be worth a look as exercise is very much recommended for our joints:

    Please do take a look around the forum and join in wherever you feel comfortable the most popular category after Say Hello tends to be Living with Arthritis.

    Best wishes


    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,608

    Ouch! That's a tough one in your job. Exercises will help but i wonder if one of the many supports now available would too. In view of your job I'd ask for guidance from a physio or occupational therapist as to which, if any, might be best and when to use ie working or resting. Good luck.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • noddingtonpete
    noddingtonpete Moderator Posts: 835

    Hi @Chippy you could try and get some Capsaicin cream from your doctor and apply to your hands, I find it helps me. Be careful to avoid contact with eyes or mouth though as it's made from Chillies.

    I tend to apply it and then put compression gloves on over the top so avoids contact and the gloves help as well.

    Best wishes


    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 391

    Hi Chippy

    Having had issues with my hands, wrists and a trapeziectomy I can appreciate how you feel. I was a PA until I retired using a keyboard all day so although different occupations, the issues are the same.

    If you are able to get an appointment with a specific hand therapist rather than a general physio that would be better for you.

    I would suggest a thumb/wrist support - not one of the massive ones that cover the whole hand and wrist but a shorter one that goes round the thumb and wrist. Searching the popular selling sites for wrist supports should show you the right option.

    Using any cream on your hands in my opinion is not beneficial as we're always washing our hands.

    Wearing gloves to keep your hands warm will help - you can get good thick thermal gloves that are fingerless and help you to continue working. Putting a 'hot hands' or something similar inside your gloves/support is also good. You can get them as a pack of two from most shops at around £1, last for about 12 hours and are brilliant. I swear by them and buy them in bulk from selling sites - they work out about a 1/3 of the price of buying them separately.

    You can also get physio dough (like play doh) in various strengths which you can sit and twiddle with whilst watching the tv - use the lowest strength one to start with and just pull it to bits and squash. I wouldn't recommend anything of a higher strength until you have seen a physio/hand therapist. You can also get little exercise balls, again different strengths to use and again wait until you've seen somebody but these again you can ue whenever you have idle hands.

    Do persevere with getting the help you need and stress to everybody that your job relies on you having the full use of your hands.

    A final tip - if you are offered injections into your thumb/wrist, insist on having them as 'guided' (they're done under x-ray, ultrasound to get the right place for the needle to go into). The first one I had was done 'freehand' by the surgeons team and was so painful I collapsed!

    Hope this helps

    Love n hugs


  • Chippy
    Chippy Member Posts: 3

    Unfortunately it appears that the wrist and hand problems are linked to something else, as just had an ultrasound that shows a 6cm mass on my right kidney and possibly some bits in my liver as well. Not sure if I have two separate things going on or if it's all part and parcel of the same thing.

    Bit of a shock to the system

  • CarylW
    CarylW Moderator Posts: 233

    Hi @Chippy

    I can imagine how shocked you must be to learn about these additional issues. I hope you will soon have an appointment with a doctor who may be able to explain things further for you.

    Please do continue to post and we will all try and help, but you might also want to use the helpline and talk to someone in person? Unfortunately it isn't open again until Monday.

    Do keep in touch with us - we will offer all the support we can.

    Best wishes


    Need more help? Call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm