Our founder and inventor of the Uccello Kettle Andy De Petra, had psoriatic arthritis in his hands. We understand the issues he and other sufferers have getting through daily life. It can be difficult with pain and stiffness in your thumbs, knuckles and wrists. Arthritis in the hands and wrists can make things very difficult.
The good news here is that there are several ways you can make simple lifestyle adjustments to live more comfortably with this condition.
Exercise your hands
Employ specific hand exercises to help maintain flexibility, strength, and range of motion in your hands and fingers. Here are three simple exercises to consider:
- Hold your hand in an open, natural position. Then, move your thumb to the base of the pinky finger, or as far as you can go. Repeat this movement several times on each hand.
- Hold your hand in the air, keeping the fingers upright and close together. Then, bend the middle joints of your fingers. Gradually return your fingers to the original position and repeat. Perform this exercise on both hands.
- Again, hold your hand in the air, keeping the fingers upright and close together. Next, make a “c” shape with your fingers. Gently come out of the position and repeat. Perform this exercise on both hands.
Staying active is important when it comes to hand and wrist arthritis, but you should also take periodic rests. If you are a hair stylist or working on a computer keyboard for example, schedule rest breaks to give your hands a reprieve.
Use heat or cold for comfort and swelling
Generally, heat helps stiffness and tired muscles and cold helps alleviate sharp pain and decrease swelling. Experiment with the options below to see whether heat, cold, or a combination of the two provides you relief.
Heat helps increase circulation. You may find that heat therapy can help calm the pain and stiffness, helping with your mobility and comfort. The trick is to figure out what type of heat therapy works best for you. Here are some examples:
- Moist heat is most beneficial for some people. You can buy a moist head pad for example, at a pharmacy.
- A paraffin bath is a warm bath of wax that provides heat to your hands. This device can be purchased at beauty supply stores and major retailers, such as Amazon.
- Heat wraps adhere to the hand and provide an extended duration (i.e., 6 to 12 hours) of low heat throughout the day. These wraps are available under brand names such as Thermacare and many other generic brands.
- You can also use a hot water bottle that can be easily filled with your Uccello Kettle too.
A warm shower may also help reduce stiffness.
- Use an ice pack or apply a cold pack to the affected region for 10 to 20 minutes. Be sure to cover the pack with a towel or cloth to prevent ice burn.
- Take an ice bath. Plunge the affected area into a bath of ice and water.
Your physician and/or occupational therapist may have input on which therapy will best fit your needs.
Always consult a medical professional when starting a new exercise regime.