Hand pain from arthritis? This may help

Too much cholesterol LDL can block the flow of blood cells, resulting in thickening and hoarding of artery walls, a disorder well known as arteriosclerosis.
The culprit which causes high cholesterol is the plaque in the arteries. Whenever the LDL is not flowing properly, LDL becomes high, and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is getting low.
With the restriction of blood flow, our heart gets less oxygen and nutrient, also the rest of the body including our brain, which needs about twenty-five percent oxygen and nutrient to survive.
Controlling the flow of cholesterol in our bloodstream is important in the prevention of heart disease.
The desirable range of cholesterol suggested by the health professional is two hundred milligrams per deciliter of blood flow.
Water can play a critical role in the circulation of our blood. Drinking enough water can thin the blood making it a natural way to help blood pump more smoothly.
Drinking plenty of pure water can contribute to keeping your blood vessels clean.
Exercise along with a healthy diet is an important contribution to the lowering of cholesterol; we need to drink an adequate amount of water to replenish our system, to provide equilibrium.

That’s why the first CMC joint may be the most underappreciated joint in the body.

How do you know if you have first-CMC arthritis?

Common symptoms include

  • aching at the junction of your thumb and wrist
  • pain that worsens with use, such as using keys, writing, or opening a jar
  • poor ability to function, including weakness of grip
  • a bony prominence over the joint, often due to extra bone growth
  • pain at rest and/or at night if the arthritis is severe.

Your doctor may suspect osteoarthritis of the first CMC based on your symptoms and physical examination, but an x-ray can confirm the diagnosis.

What treatments can help?

Treatment options for osteoarthritis of any joint, including the first CMC, are limited. And they don’t always work well. In the most recent US guidelines for hand or thumb osteoarthritis, only the following are strongly recommended:

  • wearing a brace or splint (called an orthosis)
  • exercises designed for this joint
  • educational programs that encourage people to manage bothersome symptoms
  • anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen.

A brace, exercise, and education are typically provided through occupational therapy, a form of physical therapy focused on hand and wrist functions essential to activities of daily life, such as bathing or getting dressed. Yet, the impact of occupational therapy had not been comprehensively evaluated.

A new study confirms the effectiveness of occupational therapy

The study enrolled 180 people with first-CMC osteoarthritis. Their average age was 63 and 80% were women.

Half were randomly assigned to receive occupational therapy (including education, exercises, braces, and assistive devices) while the other half only received information about osteoarthritis.

The results demonstrated that a three-month course of occupational therapy effectively relieved pain at rest and after exercise, and improved grip strength and function.

This study is among the best research evaluating occupational therapy for this condition. However, it had some limitations. Treatment assignments were not blinded: participants knew if they received occupational therapy or not, so expectations and the impact of the placebo effect could have affected the results. The study lasted just three months, so the impact of occupational therapy over the long term was not assessed.

What other questions about first-CMC osteoarthritis should be answered?

Despite how common this form of osteoarthritis is and how much trouble it causes, many questions remain. It would be helpful to know:

  • Why does osteoarthritis develop in the joints of the hand in the first place?
  • How can osteoarthritis be slowed, stopped, or reversed?
  • How long does the improvement provided by occupational therapy last in people who have osteoarthritis of the first CMC?
  • If symptoms improve after an initial course of occupational therapy and come back later, will repeat treatments work as well?
  • Does occupational therapy work as well for men with this type of arthritis as it does for women?
  • Does it work as well for severe arthritis as for milder cases?
  • What elements of occupational therapy are most important, and are they widely accessible? For example, is bracing more important than exercise, and are certain braces or exercises better than others? Are experienced occupational therapists readily available for most people with this condition?

The bottom line

If you live long enough, chances are good that you’ll develop osteoarthritis of the joint that helps make the amazing opposable thumb work smoothly. Hopefully, we’ll have better treatments before that happens. Though it’s reassuring that occupational therapy can help, the holy grail for anyone who might develop osteoarthritis is a treatment to prevent it, stop it from getting worse, or even reverse its damage. Fortunately, there are researchers hard at work to discover such treatments.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

2 Corinthians 13:9 For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete.

Colossians 1:28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.

Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.

2 Corinthians 10:15-16 not boasting beyond our measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but with the hope that as your faith grows, we will be, within our sphere, enlarged even more by you, so as to preach the gospel even to the regions beyond you, and not to boast in what has been accomplished in the sphere of another.

2 Thessalonians 1:3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;

2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Ephesians 1:17-18 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

Ephesians 3:16-19 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, read more

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