Can anything help Relieve or Improve Arthritis in the Hands?
As we age, osteoarthritis usually starts to show up in our hands… specifically at the base of our thumbs. Is there anything that will prevent this from happening? If we already suffer from arthritis in our hands, what can we do to feel better?
Unfortunately, I get these types of question a lot! Thankfully, there are a few things we can do to decrease the inflammation in our bodies and help move in the direction of positive change. Try some of the suggestions below.
Reduce Inflammation First
Any ‘-itis’ in the body is heat. So, first and foremost, cooling that inflammation is key. Sitali inhale is wonderful for that — inhaling through a rolled tongue or like you are sipping through a straw. This is systemically cooling for the body.
You might even look into supplements such as boswellia (the frankincense plant), SAMe or turmeric curcumin. These are all good for the joints! Just make sure you talk with your doctor or healthcare provider first to make sure you don’t have any contraindications.
Some Mindful Practices
These are good practices that can be incorporated into your weekly routine:
- Abhyanga and Garshana – body brushing and oiling – helps to increase blood and lymphatic circulation. When you oil the hands try to rub the fingers like you are ‘milking’ them, if that makes sense.
- MELT classes or some kind of other myofascial release practice can release compression in the joints. For example, gently roll your hands and forearms on a tennis ball to release the fascia. This can elongate the joints when that compression is released.
- Be mindful of weight-bearing on the hands. Spread fingers wide and press through base knuckles of the hands as well as the finger tips to spread the weight evenly throughout the hand.
- Gentle movement linked to breath is SO powerful! Be mindful of the alignment of your hands as you do so. Remember, if full extension or full flexion of the joints is painful, just do what feels okay. Normally, the range of motion will increase over time. Check out the video below!
Gentle Yoga Movements for Osteoarthritis of the Fingers and Hands with Justine Shelton, Certified Yoga Therapist, E-RYT500
Did you know Osteoarthritis often sets into the hands first? Why? Because those are the joints we use most often! Here are a few Finger and Hand movements (aka “Yoga snacks”!) to bring in circulation and provide pain relief to your stiff joints. Led by Justine Shelton, AVI-Certified Viniyoga Therapist specializing in Gentle Yoga Therapy for Joint Health and Back Care.
Fortunately, as much as the body can deposit calcium/bone in the bones and joints, it can also take it away. I am a strong believer that that body can work in the direction of positive change… we just need to encourage and help it!
Try out one or more of the suggestions above. Or pass along this information if you know someone who suffers from arthritis in the hands. I hope some of this helps!
Co-Founder, Yoga Vista
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Online Workshops related to this Topic:
Online Workshop: Gentle and Chair Yoga for Arthritis from Head to Toe
Arthritis is quite prevalent in the 50+ population. Unfortunately, no matter where Arthritis is located, it can be very debilitating and painful. This Workshop focuses primarily on Osteoarthritis with a brief discussion on Rheumatoid Arthritis. Starting from head to toe, Sherry Zak Morris, C-IAYT and E-RYT, will teach you about the common issues and symptoms of Arthritis. In addition, she provides Yoga pose modifications for anyone suffering from Arthritis.
CREDITS: Author, Justine Shelton, Certified Viniyoga Therapist
Editor, Maria Perez, Certified Yoga & Group Fitness Instructor