People use few other body parts as frequently as their fingers. That's why soreness in hands and associated joints not only cause pain, but also frustration. Understanding the causes behind sore fingers and heeding some recommendations for easing that soreness can aid in a quicker recovery and bring you back to using those digits in no time.
Stretch those muscles. Whether your finger pain is associated with arthritis or strained muscles that come from working at a keyboard all day, movement is key. The Mayo Clinic recommends the following methods: Separate and straighten fingers until you feel a stretch, then, keeping hand in alignment with wrist, hold for 10 seconds. Next, bend end and middle knuckles of fingers, while keeping your hand and wrist in the same position. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat for up to five reps on each hand.
Soothe joints with heat. Thermal agents can often lower pain in fingers and decrease muscle tightness. Possible heat remedies include hot packs, hot water bottles, or an electrical blanket or pad. Treatment temperature for hot packs should not exceed 131 degrees. For hot water bottles, fill about halfway with hot water between 115 and 125 degrees. Keep water bottle and/or electrical blanket on fingers until pain lessens. Water bottles and heating pads may need to be covered by a protective toweling so as not to burn the area.
Exercise entire body. According to a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, a common misconception is that relaxing is the cure for tender joints. Instead, physical activity and a healthy lifestyle have been proven to greatly reduce finger joint pain. A low-impact exercise like swimming, which does not put pressure on joints but raises blood flow to ligaments, muscles and tendons, is recommended. Also ask your doctor about undergoing physical therapy where your specific finger pain can be targeted.
Find the right medication. Some over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen can reduce pain and inflammation. Dietary supplements including glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, may also slow the progression of cartilage loss. Cortisone shots are also an option in helping to reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Consult your physician to discuss which treatment might work best for you.