How to Reduce Chronic Hand Pain

The hands are extremely complex appendages, made up of many bones, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Various injuries or disorders can trigger extreme pain in these many parts, making it difficult to function normally. Hand surgeons offer these suggestions to help you cope with chronic hand pain.


Pain medications can come in many forms, such as injectable steroids, oral medications including narcotics or anti-inflammatories, and topical gels to be rubbed on tender hands. These treatments can offer excellent relief, but may also result in hazardous side effects such as addiction, increased tolerance, digestive tract irritation, or allergic reaction.

Supplements and Natural Aids

For a more homeopathic direction, dietary changes can help ease your hand pain. Pineapples are a source of Bromelain, an anti-inflammatory agent reportedly helpful to arthritis sufferers. Shellfish provides Glucosamine, shown to improve joint function. A diet high in fish and Omega-3 fatty acids can help minimize inflammation and stiffness in joints. Hand surgeons can recommend the right combination of these substances and even direct you to these supplements in pill form.

Heat & Cold Therapy

Those suffering from chronic hand pain, especially arthritis, can often find relief in warm, cold, or alternating packs on painful hands. Cold can reduce swelling, while warmth will increase blood flow and flexibility to the joints. Be sure to limit the time period for each compress to around 20 minutes each, and never apply ice directly to your skin.

Braces and Gloves

One very simple way to improve pain in the hands is by wearing a brace or fingerless gloves. Braces provide compression and support, or immobilize joints if necessary. If you suffer from Raynaud’s disease or arthritis, the added warmth of wearing fingerless gloves helps keep hands warm yet functional.

Exercise or Physical Therapy

Though it may sound counter-intuitive, getting hands moving may actually reduce your pain. Flexibility and strengthening exercises and even massage increase mobility, provide comfort and keep joints fluid.


Depending on the cause of your chronic hand pain, hand surgeons may be able to provide you relief through surgical methods. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, tendon problems, and many other afflictions of the hands could see major improvement or resolution through minimally invasive means.

There are many excellent ways to reduce your chronic hand pain that can be tailored to your condition. Consult with hand surgeons to discuss the best combination of treatments for your needs.

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