Osteoarthritis in my right hand

Moi Member Posts: 4
edited 22. Sep 2023, 09:57 in Living with arthritis
Hi my name is Moira and I’ve recently been told I have osteoarthritis in my right hand knuckle . Looking for ways to keep it fit n healthy for as long as I can .


  • noddingtonpete
    noddingtonpete Moderator Posts: 826

    Hello @Moi and welcome to the Community. We are a friendly and supportive group and I hope that will be your experience as well.

    I hope you don't mind but I moved your comment to a new discussion so that hopefully more members will connect with you to share their support. In the meantime have a look at the following from our website which might be of use.


    Please keep posting and let us know how you are getting on.

    With best wishes,

    Peter (Moderator)

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

  • Loggiemod
    Loggiemod Member Posts: 198

    Hello @Moi have you tried Capsaicin cream? I normally put it on my hands and base of thumbs and then put compression gloves over the top so that I don't get the chilli in my eyes or mouth.

    Hope it helps

  • Moira
    Moira Member Posts: 71

    Hi from another Moira with arthritis in both hands.

    I'm awaiting an op. on my left and right thumbs. My fingers are a nightmare and we have had to get a new wedding ring (well 2 actually since things have progressed!)

    However, I was sent to occupational therapy (physios) and they gave me great exercises which really help. It was the best thing. I have physio putty (like Blu-tak but not so messy) which you can use while watching TV or listening to the radio (I have even used it in church!). You can buy it on line - it comes in 3 strengths. I suggest starting with the easiest first.

    Compression gloves don't do anything for me now, although I did use them at the beginning. I have splints now that I use when things are bad. The OT measured me for the correct ones. I have found this regime very useful. See if your GP/specialist can refer you to OT/physio.

    I don't use the capsaicin cream as it irritates my skin but I do use Voltarol.

    It's frustrating because it's difficult now for me to play piano and guitar, although ukulele is easier.

    Good luck with finding exercise that suit you. Keeping moving without putting too much strain on the joints is the best thing.

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 358

    I did once have a stiff and painful little finger for ages but I kept using it. The knuckle grew a bit of extra bone and has been ok ever since. However, that was when I didn't have any arthritis anywhere, and maybe the system was more able to fight back and fix it.

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 390
    edited 23. Sep 2023, 05:16

    Hi @Moi and @Moira

    I have had arthritis in my hands and wrists for a long time with a trapeziectomy in 2020.

    A few tips that I found to work best for me after a lot of pain, trial and error that you might find useful

    Don't waste your money, otlr time, on creams. We are constantly washing our hands so it's literally pouring money down the drain.

    Hot and cold work well. I find using hot hands or little hotties brilliant. They're air activated packets of loveliness. You can try them as a packet of two from most shops and if they work for you, buy then in bulk from online shops. A lot cheaper that way too. Putting them inside a pair of fingerless gloves enabled me to continue working as a PA using a keyboard all day. They last about 12 hours. Handy also for just squeezing when watching TV. You can get rechargeable ones but these do get extremely hot and you couldn't keep them in your gloves all day. Far too big. When you wash your hands plunge them into a sink of cold water for a couple of minutes. . This improves your circulation in your hands. You could also freeze the expired girl hands/little hotties in a plastic bag in a freezer for the cold option.

    Compression gloves never worked for me. I have a lovely lady who makes me pretty fingerless gloves. You can also get cheapish thermal fingerless gloves from outdoor shops which are very good

    Purchase some therapy putty and balls. They come in different strengths and brilliant for sitting and playing with, kneading, pulling, squeezing and stretching while reading or watching tv. Start with the softest. The balls are egg shaped and perfect for fiddling with. Both of these strengthen your hands

    My kindle became my best friend as I can listen to books instead if having to hold one physically. I much prefer real books but I just can't hold then anymore

    If you must wear a splint, don't wear it all day. You must keep your hands moving, sounds daft but when something hurts we protect it. Don't buy the ones that go halfway up your arm either. Go for one that wraps around your wrist and across the palm and the thumb. Available as left or right. The ones I use are by atesso and are brilliant and reasonably priced. Other makes are available

    Exercises can be as easy as sliding your thumb down your little finger and moving across your fingers. Pick up smallthings by pinching your fingers - buttons, marbles, coins etc. Alternate this with sliding them to the edge if the table to pick them up. Jigsaws are brilliant therapy! I've spent many sleepless nights doing these when my hands are bad.

    If you have a double sink, place your kettle between them to fill it . Hug a cold kettle to carry from a to b

    Don't carry heavy things or plates of food in one hand. Use both!

    Don't be too embarrassed to get someone to cut your food up. This can be one of the most painful things to do and was hard for me to ask for help with - especially in a restaurant. We are also allowed to drop our table manners to just use a fork when you're having a really bad day.

    If you have to have an injection into your hand ask if it can be guided rather than freehand. The first one I had was so painful I ended up collapsing in pain when I got home. You'll have to wait a bit longer for it but trust me, it's worth it.

    These are just a few suggestions for you to try. Please tag or message me if you need any help or support. I promise to get back to you asap if you do.

    @Moira try and keep up with the guitar, even if it's only five minutes a day it will be better for you if you can. I managed to survive type all day and was thankful to be able to keep working three days a week. The days I didn't work my hands were worse.

    Love n hugs

    Trish xx

  • FClayton
    FClayton Member Posts: 17

    Thank you Trish, that’s really good to know. Things are progressing steadily with me & those are great tips to help. I have found the adaptive cutlery really good. The knife is super sharp so needs very little pressure, get a few odd looks when I unwrap my own cutlery when not at home but I don’t care!

  • SueLyn
    SueLyn Member Posts: 20

    Trish thanks for your comments about splints. I have OA in both hands and carpal tunnel in left. Ive had various splints whuch I only use at night but none I have are all that good, I’ll look up Atesso to see what they have to offer. I also like the idea of squeezing a small soft putty ball, where can I get these, and do you have any personal branded ones you can recommend. I get bad pins and needles and numbness in my left hand where I have the carpal tunnel, so that is my main concern. I do take omega 3 supplements but not sure if they are really helping. I’ve also got some exercises to do which I have done on YT for my arthritis, but guess you have to do them regularly to get any sort of improvement. Sue

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 390

    Hi @SueLyn

    If you just search on Amazon or somewhere like that for therapy putty and therapy balls you should get a good selection. Get the multi packs with different strengths.

    I just take a daily multi vitamin and yes, unless you do the exercises regularly they won't do much for you.