How to Ease Arthritis Pain in Fingers?

Q: I am having a very difficult time with my hands left thumb. I heat it, have tried compression gloves and take over the counter NSAIDs. Any suggestions on how to ease arthritis pain in fingers?
Expert Answer

Finger arthritis is a condition in which the joints of the fingers may get painful, stiff, or may swell up. It is important to take proper care and medication to get relief from this disease. You can do the following to reduce* the pain due to arthritis:

Try Splinting

Ease Arthritis Pain

If you have finger arthritis you should try splinting. It will help you relax your joints and give them some rest. It helps your fingers relive the pain by supporting the joints that cause it. But it is very important to be careful while splinting because if you do it in a wrong way it can cause much more pain. Also, make sure you do not do it for a long time.

Ice & Heat Treatment

Ice and heat treatment can be helpful in improving* the range of motion and the stiffness of the joint. Applying ice pack around the painful joint can help in minimizing the swelling. Regular application of the pack will decrease* the swelling and will help to control the pain.

Heat treatment on the joints can help you loosen the tissues and relax them. Things that can be used for this treatment are:

  • Heating pad
  • Hot towel
  • Heating tissue

But see to it that you do not use them for a long period of time.

Take Anti-Inflammatory Medication

A check on the arthritis pain in fingers in the initial stages can go a long way in treating the disease and avoiding surgery. Taking anti-inflammatory medicines can help you reduce* the pain, swelling, and inflammation in the fingers. You may be either given an over the counter medicine or a prescription medicine for it. Initially, medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin are suggested while medicines like the following can be prescribed at a later stage for relieving the pain:

  • Aleve
  • Advil
  • Celebrex

Exercise Your Fingers

Exercising your fingers can help you to a great extent in reducing* the pain in the fingers. It can also help you extend your range of motion. There are a lot of exercises that you can do to strengthen your finger muscles and improve* the flexibility of your joints. You can bend your knuckles, stretch your fists, and thumb to keep them moving easily.

One simple exercise that you can do is the finger walk. In this exercise, you can keep your hand down on an even surface and start moving your fingers one by one towards your thumb. Another exercise is keeping your hand straight and forming an “O” by touching the thumb with each fingertip at a time.

Avoid Lifting and Carrying Heavy Loads

Patients with finger arthritis are suggested to keep using their fingers to prevent them from getting stiff and inflexible. But they are advised not to lift heavy load as this can aggravate the problem.


The medication for arthritis joint pain in fingers depends on a lot of factors like the extent of pain, overall health of the person, and other similar factors. The treatment and the medication also depend on the expectations of the patient. Apart from the anti-inflammatory medicines, patients can be given joint pain supplements and cortisone injections.

In some cases, surgery comes out as a better option for treating finger arthritis. Surgery is normally suggested by the doctor when neither the medicines nor the exercises help in relieving the patient from the pain.

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Contributor : Kelly Everson (Consumer Health Digest)

Kelly Everson is an independent editor, an award-winning writer and an editorial consultant in the health and fitness industries. Currently, she is a contributing editor at Consumer Health Digest.

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