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Best Arthritis Products for Arthritic Hands

Verified by Kiera Powell, R.N. and written by Chad Birt on Thu Oct 07 2021.
Medically Verified

Factors like repetitive stress, the natural aging process, and genetics all increase the risk of arthritis and specifically, arthritic hands. In fact, it’s estimated that 4 in 10 Americans will develop arthritis of the hands during their lifetime. While there’s no cure, there are a variety of arthritis products that can reduce pain, encourage mobility, and prevent more serious complications. This guide highlights some of our top-selling products for arthritic hands.

The human hand is a marvel of engineering that features 27 bones, 27 joints, dozens of muscles, and more than 100 ligaments and tendons. These hard and soft tissues work together to facilitate routine activities like writing, holding utensils, opening jars, twisting, and grabbing, but they can experience wear-and-tear damage over time.

What types of arthritis affect the hands?

There are several types of arthritis that affect the hands, including:

Osteoarthritis

A degenerative condition that causes your cartilage—a soft, cushion-like substance that pads the joints—to wear down and degrade. Ultimately, this causes your bones to rub against one another, resulting in stiffness, inflammation, swelling, and pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis

An autoimmune disease. It causes your immune system to attack the synovium, a connective tissue that lines your joints. As the condition progresses, it causes the joints to swell and deteriorate, resulting in severe discomfort, and in some cases, deformity.

Psoriatic arthritis

Occurs in people with psoriasis, a chronic skin condition. Many individuals with this type experience hand inflammation and stiffness in the mornings, after waking up.

Post-traumatic arthritis

A type of osteoarthritis that occurs due to a previous injury. If you’ve broken a hand, wrist, or finger in the past, you’re at risk of developing this condition.

What are the symptoms of arthritic hands?

Common symptoms of arthritic hands include:

  • Pain

  • Joint swelling, stiffness, or deformity

  • A weak grip

  • Reduced dexterity and function

  • Changes to the shape of your hands, fingers, or wrists

If it worsens, you might also experience difficulty performing routine tasks like bathing, brushing your teeth, using the toilet, or cleaning up around the house.

When should I visit a doctor about arthritic hands?

Everyone suffers from joint pain on occasion, but if your symptoms last for more than three days or you experience several episodes of joint pain during the course of the month, it’s important to make an appointment with your healthcare provider. The sooner you are officially diagnosed the sooner you can take actions to address the symptoms and prevent them from getting worse.

How are arthritic hands treated?

Treatment of arthritic hands usually involves a combination of healthy lifestyle changes, prescription medication or pills, at-home exercises, and activity modification to improve comfort and daily living. There are other therapeutic methods as well, such as hand stretches and massages.

Your individual care plan will depend on several factors, including your age, medical history, and the severity of your symptoms. Your primary care physician might also recommend at-home products to make daily life easier and alleviate chronic pain.

What are some of the best arthritis products for arthritic hands?

Here at Carewell, we carry a number of products for arthritic hands. Below, we’ve highlighted seven of our best sellers:

1. McKesson folding hand-held reacher

If you have arthritic hands, picking up items you’ve dropped can seem like an Olympic feat. This folding hand-held reacher from McKesson extends your wingspan by 26 inches. The device supports the use of all four fingers and the pistol trigger requires just 7 oz. of pressure.

2. IMAK compression glove

These compression gloves from IMAK help relieve aches, pains, and stiffness caused by arthritic hands. Compression garments are made of materials like elastin and nylon. They place mild pressure on the joints which increases circulation, reduces swelling, and promotes healing for pain relief.

3. Biofreeze professional topical pain relief

Arthritis flare-ups can strike at any time. This topical gel from Biofreeze is clinically formulated to provide long-lasting joint pain relief.

4. McKesson therapy putty

This therapy putty from McKesson is perfect for at-home stretches and hand strengthening exercises. Routine use can increase flexibility, improve strength, and prevent stiffness.

5. Icy Hot pain-relieving cream

Icy Hot is a topical cream categorized as a counterirritant. Counterirritants contain ingredients like menthol, methyl salicylate, or capsaicin. These products cause mild sensory sensations (like hot or cold), preventing pain signals from reaching your brain.

6. Padded aluminum finger splint

Many people with arthritic hands experience pain when gripping or squeezing objects. Finger splints support and protect the joints in your fingers and thumb. By modifying your fingers’ range of motion, it’s possible to reduce swelling and irritation.

7. Spillproof Drinking Cup

This cup won’t spill even when turned upside down, so it’s a great addition to have. It’s also usable with any style of straw and is dishwasher safe.

What if I have questions about arthritis products?

Finding the right products for arthritic hands takes some trial and error. If you have questions about any of the products we carry, please reach out to our friendly Care Team by calling (855) 855-1666 or sending an email to support@carewell.com.

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Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance B2B and B2C medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.