There are different types of finger arthritis, including distal interphalangeal (DIP), osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. All can cause severe inflammation and pain because the cartilage has worn down between the finger bones. According to the article "A Patient's Guide to Arthritis of the Finger Joints" by Handuniversity.com, a reputable resource run by orthopedic doctors, "pain usually only causes problems when you begin an activity. Once the activity gets underway, the pain eases." Treatment usually includes a combination of rest, ice, heat, medication, and exercise.
Things You'll Need
- Ice pack
- Ibuprofen (e.g., Advil or Motrin)
- Heating pad
- Finger splint
Limit the use of your finger for a few days. Use a finger splint to relax your joint. Take two ibuprofen pills every 4 to 6 hours until your inflammation and pain are gone. Elevate your finger above your heart as often as possible to reduce swelling and pain.
Apply an ice pack directly to your finger so that it is compressed against the source of pain. Keep the ice pack in place for 15 or 20 minutes. Repeat the ice treatment about every 3 to 4 hours for the first 48 to 72 hours or until your inflammation has subsided.
When your inflammation has subsided, apply heat or use a heating pad several times per day to promote blood flow to the finger.
When your inflammation is under control, slowly bend the end and middle joints of your fingers while keeping your knuckles and wrist straight. Straighten them back up. Repeat 10 times.