Video:Dealing with Arthritis In Your Handswith Dr. Nader Paksima
Arthritis of the hands can be managed by keeping your hands active and improving general health. Learn several other ways you can deal with arthritis in your hands with tips from a hand surgeon.See Transcript
Transcript:Dealing with Arthritis In Your Hands
Hi I’m Dr. Nader Paksima, Orthopaedic Hand Surgeon at the NYU Langone Medical Center for About.com. In this video, I will be discussing about dealing with arthritis in your hands.
Keep Arthritic Hands Active
So there are some things you can do to help your arthritis if you have arthritis of your hands. You want to avoid any heavy activities with your hands. Now you should stay active. So things like playing the piano or using those Chinese medicine balls to get activities with your hands -- those are all good things.
It is good to use your hands and do things with them, but you really want to avoid doing anything that would put a significant amount of pressure on your hands or puts a twisting type of force on your hands.
Ergonomic Evaluations for Arthritis
Now a great thing to do is to sit down with an occupational therapist or a hand therapist to get what’s called an ergonomic evaluation. They can help you find devices, simple things, that can help you. For example, they can help you find items that help you open jars without a lot of force and twisting activities to open jars. Those types of things can help make your everyday life much easier.
Improve General Health to Treat Arthritis
There are also things that you can do that will improve your general health and also help you improve your arthritis. It turns out that there are even hormonal reasons for osteoarthritis or wear-and-tear arthritis.
So, for example, if you control your weight and decrease the amount of fat that you have, that decreases the amount of estrogen that is produced in your body and that can actually help relieve your arthritis pain or even prevent arthritis.
Medications for Arthritis
The other things that are really exceptional right now are the medications that we have. There are medications now that can stop deforming arthritis. A big part of what hand surgeons used to do was to take care of deforming arthritis from rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and those types of inflammatory diseases.
Right now we’re pretty much not doing those surgeries anymore. This is the kind of thing that we’re happy not to see any more. But you should definitely speak to your physician about the types of medications that can prevent deforming arthritis from setting in.
Thanks for watching. To learn more about arthritis, please visit About.com.