Problems of the Elderly
is a disease caused by degeneration due to repetitive usage. It is common
among the elderly, and can affect the knee and finger joints.
Osteoarthritis of hand
of hand is mainly due to aging of the finger joints, decreased secretion
of synovial fluid and thinning of cartilage. Improper postures and activities
like the carrying of heavy objects increase stress on the finger joints,
worsening the condition and leading to more pain.
symptoms include joint pain, swelling, warmth and stiffness of fingers.
Prolonged inflammation leads to reduced activity of fingers, and can result
in muscle weakness and wasting. If there is also improper posture and
activity, there may be permanent joint deformity.
is no cure for Osteoarthritis of hand. Rest and painkillers can help to
relieve the pain. However, drugs should be used as advised by a doctor
to minimize side-effects. By adopting finger joint protection techniques
and adaptive method in daily life, it is possible to reduce pain and inflammation,
and prevent further deterioration or permanent deformity of the fingers.
Caring Tips for Osteoarthritis of Hand:
acute inflammation, support and elevate the hand by using a firm pillow
or folded towel in bed so as to relieve symptoms.
overuse of the diseased hand.
If necessary, use elastic bandage to relieve swelling and fix the
hand in a desired position.
hand exercise can help to improve circulation and reduce joint swelling
Make a fist gently, then open the hand fully but slowly. Repeat 20
times and do this one to twice daily.
chronic inflammation, gentle massage can improve circulation. Elevate
the hand, then use the well hand to massage the diseased hand from
the fingertips to the wrist and elbow. Continue for 15-20 minutes.
Repeat two to three times daily.
Ice therapy and Heat therapy:
the appropriate method according to the symptoms. In general, use ice
treatment for acute condition; and heat treatment for chronic condition.
(please refers to the pages on 'Heat therapy' and 'Cold therapy')
Apply the therapy two to three times daily for 15-20 minutes, to help
improve circulation and reduce the inflammation. In case of queries, consult
a doctor or physiotherapist.
Finger Joints Protection
not ignore pain
the finger joints are painful, stop the activity immediately to reduce
pain and avoid unnecessary damage to the joints.
not maintain the finger joints in the same position for too long to
avoid stiffness and pain. Stretch and relax areas that are tired or
proper posture of finger and avoid certain positions
prolonged bending of the fingers and turning movements e.g. turning
water tap and wringing towel.
larger and stronger joints
the larger and stronger joints for heavy work, e.g. use a shoulder
bag or knapsack instead of a carrying bag.
energy loss at work
Organize your work and procedures. Leave time for rest by alternating
different activities. Use assistive appliances e.g. buy minced meat,
using washing machine, choose shoes without shoestrings or with velcro.
between rest and activity
work and leisure activities by taking short breaks and alternate between
heavy and light activities throughout the day. You may need to take
longer breaks when the joints become painful.