Tackling Arthritis in the Hands.
Arthritis in the hands can be painful and unsightly, but there are things we can do to help.
1. Make a Fist: Slowly bend your fingers to make a fist, keeping the thumb on the outside of the fingers. Be gentle, don't squeeze too hard. This is very good if the hands feel stiff.
2. Finger Bends: Bend your thumb down toward your palm. Hold it for a couple of seconds. Straighten your thumb back up. Then bend your index finger down toward your palm. Hold it for a couple of seconds. Then straighten it. Repeat with each finger on the left hand. Then repeat the entire sequence on the right hand.
3. Thumb Bend: Bend your thumb inward toward your palm. Stretch for the bottom of your pinky finger with your thumb. If you can’t reach your pinky, don’t worry. Just stretch your thumb as far as you can. Hold the position for a second or two, and then return your thumb to the starting position. Repeat 10 times. Then do the exercise with your right hand.
4. Finger Lift: Starting with your thumb, lift each finger slowly off the table—one at a time. Hold each finger for a second or two, and then lower it. Do the same exercise with every finger of the left hand. After you’re done with the left hand, repeat the entire sequence on the right hand.
5. Table bend:Place the pinky-side edge of your left hand on a table, with your thumb pointed up. Holding your thumb in the same position, bend the other four fingers inward until your hand makes an “L” shape. Hold it for a couple of seconds, and then straighten your fingers to move them back into the starting position. Repeat 10 times, and then do the same sequence on the right hand.
6. Making an 'O': Start with your left hand pointing straight up. Then, curve all of your fingers inward until they touch. Your fingers should form the shape of an “O.” Hold this position for a few seconds. Then straighten your fingers again. Repeat this exercise a few times a day on each hand. You can do this stretch whenever your hands feel achy or stiff.
7. Finger to base of thumb stretch: Bring each finger to the base of the thumb or as close as possible and hold for three seconds, repeat two times and then repeat on the other hand.
8. Wrist Stretch: Don’t forget about your wrists, which can also get sore and stiff from arthritis. To exercise your wrist, hold your right arm out with the palm facing down. With your left hand, gently press down on the right hand until you feel a stretch in your wrist and arm. Hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat 10 times. Then, do the entire sequence with the left hand.
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition, so eating foods that are known to reduce inflammation will have a beneficial effect on the pain and stiffness of arthritic hands. Try to add as many as possible of these anti inflammatory foods into your daily diet.
Anti Inflammatory Foods
Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, mackerel and fresh tuna are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation. Should be aiming to eat fatty fish 3 times a week.
Good oils like olive oil, flax oil, hemp oil and walnut oil all have a benefit to reducing inflammation but should not be cooked with. Vegetables oils are oxidised when cooked with especially frying and hence form trans fats which are pro inflammatory. the best oil to fry with is coconut oil which is stable at high temperatures.
Dark red and purple berries are rich in antioxidants and anthocyanin which are antiinflammatory, such as cherries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries.
Green leafy vegetables
Broccoli rich in vitamin K and C and calcium, also contains a compound called sulforaphane all shown to be beneficial in arthritis.
Green tea is rich in polyphenols and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), antioxidants believed to reduce inflammation and joint damage in arthritis.
Nuts are rich in protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E and immune boosting alpha lipoic acid, as well as filling protein and fibre. They are heart healthy and beneficial for weight loss.
Garlic, Onions and Leeks are members of the allium family. Studies seem to show people who regularly eat these show fewer signs of early osteoarthritis.
"7 Hand Exercises To Ease Arthritis Pain". Healthline. N.p., 2016. Web. At:
http://www.healthline.com/health/osteoarthritis/arthritis-hand-exercises#TableBend7 [Accessed:3 Apr. 2016.]
"12 Best Foods For Arthritis | Slideshows | Arthritistoday.Org". Arthritis.org. N.p., 2016. Web. At:
http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/arthritis-diet/best-foods-for-arthritis/best-foods-for-arthritis.php [Accessed:3 Apr.2016.]