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About Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis occurs from wear and tear of function over a long period of time. It mostly occurs in women over the age of 70. The effects occur when cartilage in the fingers and hand joints break down and cause pain. Inflammation and stiffness in the joints, particularly in the thumbs.

  • When your hands become cold, they become frigid and your joints experience stiffness and pain.
  • Paraffin wax dips can offer relief from stiff achy joints. These units can be purchased to be used at home.
  • Medications come over-the-counter, or by prescription in the form of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory or NSAIDS.
  • Diet and nutrition are as important (if not more so) than medications dealing with forms of arthritis.
  • Foods to avoid are red meat, processed foods, sugar, nightshades, gluten, flavor enhancers and lactose to experience decrease pain levels.
  • Some medications come in cream form and can be applied to the outside, where capsules address the symptoms from the inside.
  • Hand Therapist can be extremely helpful in improving strength, dexterity and flexibility.
  • In extreme cases of knee and hip arthritis, a joint replacement surgery may be in order.
  • A doctor may recommend injecting medication directly into the affected joint in order to help lubricate the joint.

When we work hard with our hands over a long period of time in our life, Osteoarthritis is a common old age symptom many women and men experiences. Let us list a few occupations that affect using our hands.

Occupations that use scissors:

  • Hairdressers
  • Barbers
  • Dog groomers

Tradesmen that work with their hands:

  • Bricklayers
  • Tile setters
  • Carpenters
  • Mechanics

Construction Workers:

  • Framers
  • Roofers
  • Finishers
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers

The use of our hands is very important in accomplishing tasks in our everyday lives. We take the function of our hands for granted very easily until something happens and we have difficulty using them, such as:

  • Getting dressed
  • Buttoning a shirt or blouse
  • Brushing our teeth
  • Combing or brushing our hair
  • Opening or shutting a door
  • Picking up objects
  • Feeding ourselves
  • Opening a sealed package

When the day comes that our bodies become physically unable, and we have to rely on others to help us; we have reached a very humbling time in our lives. Some of us handle it well, and others have a very difficult time. Old age is not something any of us can escape unless God calls our name and we return home at an early age. I pray when this time comes in my personal life, I handle it with dignity and grace, and never become a burden to my children, but always a joy and blessing.