Your hands are constantly at work, and they are an integral part of everything you do! But our hands can be injured or limited by painful joint pain such as arthritis, significantly reducing your ability to move and function in everyday life.
Arthritis and joint pain affects millions of people around the world. In the U.S. alone, more than 52.5 million adults report having doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and it is estimated that by the year 2040, about 78 million adults will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Many people can’t or don’t want to use medication to relieve the extreme (sometimes debilitating) pain caused by arthritis, and studies have found that a hands-on approach can naturally relieve arthritis pain symptoms.
This hands-on approach is known as hand therapy, where an occupational or physical therapist will perform rehabilitative, manual therapy to the hands and upper extremities. According to an article from altMD.com, “Hand therapy helps to maintain movement through hand exercises … It offers acute or chronic pain management techniques, desensitization as a result of nerve injury or trauma, sensory re-education following a nerve injury, a personalized exercise program designed to increase dexterity and manual strength, and most importantly, an opportunity to retrain a person to handle the tasks of everyday life—any household or personal task, whether it is personal hygiene care, or vacuuming, or washing dishes.”
Hand therapy incorporates a variety of techniques such as mobilization and stimulation of soft tissues, hand exercises, re-training, stretching and even splinting to help you regain comfort and functionality in your hands, pain-free!
The benefits of hand therapy for arthritis treatment are particularly notable: