Fingers are an essential part of our body and perhaps the busiest as fingers are used almost throughout the day whether in office or at home doing household chores. Therefore, even a slight swelling or injury to the fingers may cause a lot of pain and discomfort and impair a lot of the activities of daily living.
Every finger has three joints. Swelling of these finger joints is usually due to inflammation of the tissues surrounding these joints. The root cause for swollen finger joint is an injury to the joint itself like hyperextension of the fingers or a crush injury. An insect bite, fluid retention, exposure to extreme temperatures can also cause swollen finger joints. Onset of arthritis is also one of the causes of finger joint swelling.
Additionally, conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, ganglion cyst, or an infection may also result in swollen finger joint. Associated symptoms include pain and reduced motion of the fingers which will make it that much more difficult to use the fingers.
The swelling of the finger joints can be decreased to a great extent by medications like antiinflammatories and exercises but there are also certain home remedies through which one can get rid of swollen finger joints.
What To Do For Swollen Finger Joints?
To begin with, you can try an over the counter analgesics or anti-inflammatory of choice like Tylenol or ibuprofen to calm down the pain and inflammation. Tylenol is an analgesics and helps to reduce pain and not inflammation. Ibuprofen and Naproxen are anti-inflammatory available on the counter and helps to reduce swelling of the finger joint. The joint swelling reduces as the inflammation is treated with ibuprofen or naproxen. Pain also become less severe and tolerable as the joint swelling is reduced and joint movements are improved. Sometime home remedies help to improve the function of the swollen finger when tried while one is taking anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen. Home remedies that can be beneficial are as mentioned below:
Ice/Hot Packs: This is perhaps the best and most favored home remedy for swollen finger joints. You can alternate ice and hot packs on the affected finger. You can start with icepacks and apply it on the affected finger for 15-20 minutes to calm down the swelling and inflammation. This can be alternated with hot packs which can also be applied to the affected finger for 15-20 minutes for reduction of swelling and inflammation. It should be noted here that both ice and heat therapy should never be done simultaneously as it may result in development of blisters.
Elevation: Swollen Finger Joints caused by poor circulation can be addressed by elevating the affected hand above the level of the chest to calm down the swelling and inflammation. The affected hand needs to be kept elevated even while sleeping for best results.
Oil Massage: Massaging the affected finger with warm oil is also an effective home remedy for swollen finger joints. A warm massage relaxes the sore muscles and improves blood circulation in the affected finger. It also facilitates drainage of fluid in case if fluid retention is the cause of Swollen Finger Joints. All you need to do is warm some mustard oil and apply it on the affected finger.
Use the thumb and one finger of the unaffected hand to gently massage the area and rub the oil all over the affected finger. Do it for about 5 minutes several times a day till you get rid of Swollen Finger Joints. In case if massaging causes increased discomfort then stop the process and consult a physician for a more serious cause like a fracture causing swollen finger joints.
Exercises: Exercising the affected finger also helps in calming down the inflammation and reduces the swelling. Exercising the fingers increase blood circulation in the affected area and decreases fluid retention. It also helps relax the sore muscles in the affected Finger Joints. The best exercise for Swollen Finger Joints is the flexion exercise. Close all the fingers and form a fist and maintain this position for about a minute or so. Then gently start opening the fist and extend the fingers one by one till all the fingers are open. Repeat this process several times a day for best relief from swollen finger joints.
Compression: Compressing the affected finger is yet another way of controlling the swelling. It helps in preventing the swelling from worsening and also helps prevent any fluid retention. All you need to do is wrap the finger with an elastic wrap or a bandage. Keep the bandage on till the time the swelling comes down. You can remove the bandage for sleeping purposes. Make sure not to wrap the bandage very tight that it stops the blood circulation.
Turmeric: Turmeric is well known home remedy for many ailments. It is a natural antioxidant and antiinflammatory and helps in reducing swelling and inflammation. All you need to do is mix half a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a teaspoon of olive oil and make a paste of it. Apply the paste over the affected finger and allow it to dry. Then clean the area with lukewarm water. Do this at least twice daily to get rid of swollen finger joints.
Note: In case if there is no reduction in the swelling despite medications, exercises and the home remedies mentioned above, then you need to consult a physician to identify any other cause and formulate a treatment plan for swollen finger joints.
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