Think of all the things your hands do in a single day. They’ve served you faithfully since the day you were born and often get neglected and overworked. Is it any wonder that you have wrist and hand pain?
Perhaps you work on a computer all day. Or maybe you work with hand tools all day long. Repetitive motions like this can cause inflammation, pain, and nerve damage. Let’s take a look at the causes, symptoms, and, most importantly, the remedies you can try at home.
Why Do You Have Wrist and Hand Pain?
There are many types of arthritis, and many of them cause inflammation and pain in your hands, fingers, and wrists.
Arthritis is a degenerative joint and tissue disease, but you can do some natural things to minimize its symptoms. Did you know that there are more than 100 different types of inflammatory condition?
The ones that most commonly affect the hands include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Spondyloarthropathie, juvenile arthritis, and psoriatic Arthritis.
A median nerve controls movement and feeling in your wrist, thumb, and first three fingers. The median nerves run from your forearms, wrists, and hands through the carpal tunnels. A network of tendons shares the carpal tunnels and allows your hands to move.
Repetitive hand and wrist motions can cause your carpal tunnels to become inflamed and pinch your median nerves. You will usually experience numbness, weakness, tingling, or pain in your wrist and hand when the median is pinched. Medical specialists call this condition carpal tunnel syndrome.
Statistics say that as many as 10 million Americans are affected by carpal tunnel syndrome each year. If you are a woman, you are more apt than a man to develop this condition. Carpal tunnel syndrome also tends to affect more middle-aged and senior people than younger ones.
If you work in a technical field, factory, musician, or have any other job that requires repetitive hand and wrist motions, you are more likely to be bothered with this painful condition. However, carpal tunnel syndrome has common symptoms of other joint and nerve disorders, so a specialist must diagnose it. Fortunately, carpal tunnel syndrome is easily treatable, often with natural remedies.
Ten Remedies to Try for Easing Pain in Your Hands and Wrists
These remedies are easy to practice, and you can do them in your home, office, or anywhere you want. Most of them can be done in a sequence throughout your day. Here are ten remedies for painful hands for you to consider.
1. Give It a Rest
One of the main reasons you may have wrist and hand pain is that your hands are tired. When you have a job that keeps your hands in continual motion, they are bound to react with pain and exhaustion. How can you be kind to your hands and wrists and give them a rest?
Do you ever notice tingling, numbness, or pain in your hands, wrists, or fingers? Make it a practice to rest and stretch your hands a few minutes for every hour you work. You can also give your hands a break using ergonomic equipment, especially if your job involves repetitive hand movements, like typing.
2. Use a Support Brace
If you are bothered by chronic hand and wrist pain, perhaps you need some support. When your hands, wrists, and fingers make repetitive motions for hours at a time, the constant wrist bends inflame your carpal tunnels. Your pinched nerves can even bother you at night and interrupt your sleep.
Consider wearing a support brace during the day and when you are working. You can find these braces in most pharmacies and department stores, and they aren’t that expensive. They fit snugly around your wrists and hands and keep them in a comfortable neutral position, allowing your hand nerves a chance to rest and heal.
3. Try Stretching Exercises
Have you discovered how stretching exercises like Pilates and yoga tone your muscles and each tension and pain in your body? The same principle can apply to your hands, wrists, and fingers. Just a few simple hand exercises each day may relax tense muscles and joints to alleviate hand pain.
Take a few minutes every day to gently bend your wrists up and down, allowing your fingertips to point to the ceiling then to the ground. Now, gently move your wrists in a circular motion a few times to the right and then to the left. The last step is to spread your fingers as wide as possible and then clinch them into a fist at least ten times.
4. Change Your Sleeping Position
Do you often awaken with numbness or a tingling sensation or bothersome wrist and hand pain? It could be that you are sleeping in an awkward position and don’t realize it. This is especially true if you are a stomach sleeper.
You may frequently lie on your hands and twist your wrists in painful positions while sleeping at night, which presses on the median nerves. Try sleeping on your side or your back or find a way to lie comfortably without pinching your hands and wrists. Changing your sleeping position may ease the morning hand pain.
5. Alternate Heat and Cold
Whenever you have a strain, sprain, or other pains in your body, you often find blessed relief with heat or cold treatment. When it comes to carpal tunnel or arthritis pain in your hands and wrists, alternating between the two may help you. Each treatment has different effects, so what may be good for you today may not be tomorrow.
A covered ice pack held on your forearms for 10-15 minutes at a time can help reduce inflammation and acute pain in your hands and wrists. If your hands, fingers, and wrists feel stiff and achy, heat may be the answer. Use what’s best for you.
There’s nothing like a soothing massage to relax your muscles, ease tension, and alleviate pain. The good news is that you can offer your hands and wrists the same benefits. You can massage your own hands or have your sweetheart do it for you, which is a bonus.
Hold your left hand with your right hand and gently massage the hand’s center, clear out to the fingers. Rub softly on either side of your wrist, as well as the front and back. After you’ve eased the tension in your left hand, switch to your right hand, and repeat these steps.
7. Increase Your Vitamin B6 Intake
The B vitamins are an essential part of your energy and well-being. Vitamin B6 is especially necessary for brain health, metabolizing protein, and regulating hormones. Preliminary studies suggest that B6 may help wrist and hand pain because of its pain sensitivity reduction properties.
You can find Vitamin B6 supplements in the drugstore, but most people get enough from a healthy diet. Overindulging in B6 can be toxic to your body, so try getting what you need from food. Spinach, bananas, and some fish are rich sources of B6 and other essential nutrients.
8. Modify Your Diet
The Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus believed that we are what we eat, and modern research agrees. Did you know that a diet high in sugar, refined carbs, and saturated fat can cause inflammation throughout your whole body? Poor eating habits can exacerbate wrist and hand pain caused by overuse and inflammation.
Do your body a favor and eliminate junk foods as much as possible and replace them with healthy whole foods. Include anti-inflammatory foods in your diets such as fatty fish, berries, green leafy veggies, nuts, and refreshing water. Not only will you notice less pain in your hands and wrists, but you may lose weight and feel better.
9. Use Herbal Remedies
Until modern times, people couldn’t run to a medical specialist for every pain and illness. Instead, your ancestors depended on Mother Nature’s bounty of herbs for their medicine and home remedies. While some of these remedies have been proven ineffective or even harmful, many herbal remedies are backed by scientific research.
If you are bothered by chronic wrist and hand pain, consider herbs with strong anti-inflammatory properties, such as turmeric, white willow bark, or devil’s claw. Have a hot cup of green tea each day to help reduce the inflammation. Before you take these or any other herbal supplement, discuss it with your primary healthcare provider.
10. Consider Acupuncture
For centuries, Ancient Chinese medical practitioners recommended acupuncture for inflammation, pain, and many disorders. According to the concepts of acupuncture, your entire body is mapped in lines called meridians that correspond to nerves and energy flow. Little needle points can stimulate blocked meridians and restore vitality to the body.
Studies suggest positive results for using acupuncture for carpal tunnel syndrome and other pains in the hands. Your healthcare provider can help you locate a licensed and experienced acupuncture practitioner near you. It’s worth a try to relieve the problem, and some insurance plans will cover the cost.
You only have one set of hands, so it’s essential to take care of them the best you can. If you have hand and wrist pain due to injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, or arthritis, you can take pain relief steps. Talk to your primary healthcare provider about other natural remedies or treatments that are best for you.