OA hands

Hello, this is my first post.

I have OA in both hands and wrists, mainly the right. I have an IMAK compression glove for my thumb joints, but now I am looking for something that helps my fingers too.

Apart from issues at work (physiotherapist, but not MSK or Orthopaedics/Rheumatology) I struggle using tools for all sorts of things, from decorating to crochet. Anything needing a strong grip especially.

There are lots of products online, but I don’t have a hand therapist pal who could advise. Does anyone have anything that they would recommend.

Many thanks in advance


  • Chris_R
    Chris_R Moderator Posts: 764
    edited 18. Aug 2023, 17:14

    Hi @TraceyCardew

    welcome to the online community,so glad you have found us.

    You write that you have Osteoarthritis in both hands and wrists and have a compression glove for your thumb joints,but are looking for something to help your fingers as your grip is no longer strong enough to hold tools and other things that need a firm grip to use

    Here are a few links that may help.

    Hope these links are useful to you.Please keep in touch and tell us how you get on and do go onto our forums to chat to others who will understand what you are going through as everyone has some form of arthritis.

    All the best Christine

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

  • FClayton
    FClayton Member Posts: 17

    I’m in the same situation, I have found large grip utensils helpful, especially with baking. Electronic gadgets (tin opener, cheese grater etc) and Ezigrip pens. I find the worst thing is accidentally whacking my knuckles on anything hard - instant crippling pain. There are a lot of things available to help but you do have to search quite a bit.

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 390
    edited 20. Aug 2023, 08:22

    Hi @TraceyCardew and @FClayton

    I sufferered with an arthritic thumb for about five years prior to my trapeziectomy in 2020 and now have an Arthritis wrist

    Try to keep the hands mobile. The worst thing you can do is immobilise them but I realise how difficult this is. The best kinds of supports you can get are the small ones that support your thumb only with velcro strapping around the wrist going across the palm up to your thumb . I used these when working as a PA three days a week and on a keyboard all day. Do not use the ones that go half way up your arm and hold your hand rigid.

    Purchase some therapy putty off of one of the online sites. They come in different strengths and set of each is helpful. Start with the softest and simply sit and play with it when watching TV. Same as a child would with play dog, pull, stretch, squeeze, roll up etc.

    Purchase therapy balls from one of the online sites. Again they come in different strengths with the same colour coding as the putty. They're like eggs that sit in your hands perfectly. Again, just sit and play with it with one hand.

    As well as these, simple exercises like taking your thumb to your little finger and slide from tip to the base and repeat on all fingers. Again this can be done sitting watching TV

    Picking up small items like buttons and coins by sliding with one finger to the edge if a table and then pinching it to pick it up.

    These will all help maintain strength and mobility.

    However, you may need a referral to an MSK team and a surgeon to repair it. Make sure you get an x-ray to prove it's arthritis.

    Apart from my advice on keeping it mobile the rest of these were from my hand therapist post op but equally will helo with mobility but the referral is the most important.

    I did have to stop knitting and crocheting before surgery but was back at it within six months. - albeit slowly but did keep working all the way through to surgery and was back at work within four weeks.

    Good luck and please let me know if you need anything else.

    Love n hugs

    Trish xx

  • Moira
    Moira Member Posts: 71

    I agree with Trish 100%. All the exercises she suggests were given to me by my OT.

    Mind you haven't returned to knitting and crochet!! But then all my fingers are also affected.

    I keep my exercises going though, through thick and thin, and that really makes a difference. Targeted movement that is designed for folks like us, certainly helps.

    I wouldn't be without my physio putty - great when watching TV to sit and do the exercises.

    Good luck.