If you have hand pain because of something like carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, or a hand injury, there are several ways you can help ease it. Try a treatment at home like heat compresses or hand creams that relieve pain. If your hand continues to hurt, visit your doctor to see if physical therapy, steroid injections, or surgery is an option. If you have arthritis, stretching your hands can be a helpful way to relieve pain as well.
[Edit]Doing Basic Home Treatments
Ice your hand for 15-20 minutes to reduce inflammation. Icing your hand will help a hand injury as well as some cases of arthritis. Either place an ice pack on your hand for about 20 minutes before taking it off for at least 20 minutes, or set your hand in an ice bath for 10-15 minutes a couple times an hour at most. The ice will help reduce inflammation and numb some of the pain your hand is feeling.
Avoid leaving your hand in the ice bath for longer than 15 minutes, or leaving an ice pack on your hand for more than 20 minutes, as this can mess up the circulation in your hand.
Use a heat compress for 10 minutes to soothe aches in your hand. Apply a heat compress, such as a warm washcloth or heated pad, to your hand and hold it there for 10-15 minutes. Dipping your hand in warm water is also a good way to help reduce any pain you’re feeling, stretching your fingers gently in the water to help strengthen them and prevent stiffness.
Heat compresses work well for arthritis.
Try soothing your hands when you’re washing the dishes, flexing your hands and fingers under the hot water to help reduce any pain.
Use warm water with a temperature between .
Rub a hand cream on your hands that targets pain. There are specific creams on the market that you can apply to your skin to help soothe pain in your hands related to carpal tunnel, arthritis, and many other conditions. Look for a pain-relieving cream and rub it onto the area that’s hurting, following the instructions that come on the packaging.
For example, you might use Bengay pain relieving cream or Aspercreme, which have an active ingredient of methyl salicylate to relieve pain.
You can find pain relieving hand creams in big box stores, drugstores, and online.
Place a splint on your hand to help keep your hand from moving. This can ease pain caused by a hand injury or carpal tunnel. Many times, purchasing a hand splint or brace that fits your hand size is a good way to reduce pain as it keeps your hand from moving around. Wear the splint whenever you feel pain, or whenever you do an activity that has caused your hand pain previously.
Wearing a splint overnight can prevent your pain from worsening. Expect to wear your splint for at least 4-8 weeks before you’ll notice improvement.
Avoid wearing a hand splint or brace all the time, as this can make your muscles weaker by not being used as often.
Using a splint can also help wrist pain that’s caused by radiating pain from tennis or golfer’s elbow.
Visit your local drugstore or big box store to find a hand splint in the right size, or ask your doctor to give you one.
Take a pain reliever for a quick way to relieve hand pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin are great for easing hand pain of all kinds. Follow the dosage instructions on the specific pain reliever you decide to take, making sure you take the correct amount depending on your age and/or weight.
Avoid taking pain relievers too often for your hand pain, and instead only take medication when the pain is preventing you from doing things.
For adults, a typical ibuprofen dose is , while a typical dose of aspirin is .[Edit]Getting Medical Treatments
Go to the doctor immediately if you caught a fall with your hands. When you fall down, it’s normal to catch your fall by extending your hands out. If your hand pain started after a fall, see your doctor for a same day appointment or go to an urgent care center. Your hand may be broken, which requires immediate treatment.
If you have pain in your wrist near the base of your thumb, it’s especially important to see your doctor. You may have a scaphoid bone fracture.
Your doctor will do an X-ray to find out if your hand is broken. If it is, they may give you a splint or thumb spica cast.
Visit the doctor if your hand pain doesn’t get better after 1-2 weeks. If you’re doing things like using a hand splint and icing your hand but your pain still isn’t getting better, it’s time to visit the doctor. They’ll be able to examine your hand and see if a treatment needs to be done, such as cortisone injections or even surgery.
Call to schedule an appointment to meet with your doctor.
The doctor may take an X-ray of your hand or do basic hand exercises to see what’s wrong.
An orthopedic physician is also someone you might see instead of your regular physician.
See a specialist to get steroid injections to ease certain hand pains. If your doctor examines your hand and determines that the pain is being caused from something like carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis, then steroid injections may help. A hand orthopedic or sports medicine provider will use an ultrasound to guide them as they inject cortisone into your hand, which helps reduce inflammation and pain. Ask your doctor if this is an option that would help your hand.
Know that the injections may only temporarily relieve the pain. Typically, the effects of the steroid injections will last 1-2 weeks up to a few months.
Don’t get steroid injections too often, as they can affect your joints or tendons with repeated use. Talk to your doctor about how often you should get steroid injections.
Ask your doctor if surgery is recommended to ease your hand pain. If you have a severe hand injury or carpal tunnel syndrome that just won’t go away, surgery may be your best option. Discuss getting an MRI so your doctor can determine if you may need surgery. Then, talk to your doctor about what the surgery would entail, what the recovery would be like, and about any costs or other concerns you have.
The MRI will show if you have ligamentous damage.
It’s best to use surgery as a last option when it comes to relieving your hand pain, as it’s the most invasive.
The exact type of surgery right for you will depend on your specific hand pain.
Consider getting several different doctor’s opinions before committing to surgery.
Go to an occupational therapist to learn exercises that will help your hand. An occupational therapist is great for helping you strengthen your muscles or ligaments that might be causing you pain. They’ll assess your hand to see what the issue might be, and then they’ll show you exercises you can do at home or with the therapist to begin helping your hand.
Check in with your doctor to see if they think occupational therapy would help your hand pain. They may also be able to refer you to a occupational therapist that they think would be a good fit.[Edit]Stretching Your Hand
Do a towel stretch by twisting a towel in opposite directions. Hold the ends of a towel in each of your hands. Next, twist the ends of the towel in opposite directions like you are wringing water out of the towel. Hold the stretch for 1-2 seconds, then release the towel to complete 1 stretch.
Twist with both hands at the same time.
Do 10 stretches in the same direction, then reverse directions and do 10 more.
Make a fist with your hand to flex your hand muscles. Start by stretching out your fingers so your hand is straight. Bend your fingers in towards your palm, creating a fist. Instead of squeezing once your fingers are bent inwards, slowly expand your fingers back out so they’re straight again. Do this several times for both hands.
Avoid creating too tight of a fist by squeezing your fingers, as this isn’t a necessary part of the stretch and could increase your hand pain.
An alternative to this exercise is to gently squeeze a stress ball.
Curve your hand to stretch it into a ‘C’ or ‘O’ shape. Starting with your fingers stretched out, pretend as if you’re about to grab something and move your hand into a ‘C’ shape. Once you’ve mastered this, continue moving your fingers together to create an ‘O’. Release your fingers to relax them before doing this exercise again. Repeat the stretches for both hands.
Do each shape 3-4 times for each hand.
Practice lifting your fingers to strengthen and stretch them. Place your hand flat on a table or stable surface so your palm is facing down. Slowly lift up one finger at a time, focusing on lifting it as far up as you can while keeping the other fingers and your palm on the table. Do this with each finger on each hand, slowly lowering them back down once they’ve been lifted.
Try to lift each finger 2-3 times per hand.
Stretch your thumb by bending it into your palm. Relax your hand so that your palm is facing you. Bend your finger in towards your palm, trying to get it to touch. Once you’ve bent it as far as possible, stretch it back outwards slowly. Repeat this exercise several times for both hands.
If your thumb can’t reach your palm completely, just stretch it inwards as far as it will comfortably go.
Rest your hand by taking a break if an activity is causing it pain. If you’re doing something like working on the computer and notice that your hand starts to hurt, take a break from whatever activity you’re doing until the pain goes away. This gives your hand and wrist a rest and hopefully helps prevent the pain from growing worse.
Doing repetitive movements using your hands is what often contributes to hand pain, so try to do different activities throughout the day to prevent your hands from becoming stiff or sore.[Edit]Tips
Add anti-inflammatory foods like fish oil, garlic, walnuts, berries, or Vitamin C to your diet to help reduce hand pain.
Dipping your hand in therapeutic paraffin wax may also ease your pain. You can buy a paraffin wax treatment machine at your local drug store or online.[Edit]References↑ https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/ice-packs-vs-warm-compresses-for-pain
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Plastic and silicone bags are pretty durable, so it’s important to keep them clean before you use them again. While most plastic and silicone bags can be hand washed or cleaned in a dishwasher, they need to be dried out completely to prevent any mold or mildew from building up later on. To keep the bags sanitary, use a drying rack or clothesline to air-dry them completely.
[Edit]Cleaning out the Reusable Bags
Throw out any bags that were used to store raw meats or known allergens. Check the label of your bag, or try to recall what it was used to store previously. If your bags came into direct contact with raw poultry, meat, or any other possible source of foodborne illnesses, be sure to discard them completely. The same rule applies to bags that held possible allergens for your household.
For instance, if someone in your household is allergic to peanuts, you’d want to throw out a reusable plastic bag that once held peanut brittle.
Damaged or torn bags also shouldn’t be reused.
Flip your bags so they’re inside-out. Find the bottom edge of your plastic bag and push it upwards, pulling it past the zipper or seal. Double-check the edges and corners of the bag to ensure that they’re completely inside-out so you can clean the plastic surface more thoroughly.
Fill a basin with cool or lukewarm water and a pea-sized amount of dish soap. Pour lukewarm or cool water into a sink, basin, bucket, or other small container. Next, take the dish soap of your choice and pour a tiny amount into the basin. Use your hand or a long utensil to stir and agitate the water until suds form.
Use a sponge to clean off the inside of the bag. Dip a clean sponge into the sudsy water and begin wiping down the plastic bag. Focus on any big spills or messes sticking to the plastic, then move your sponge around the rest of the plastic surface. As you wipe, try to get the bag completely spotless.
Rinse off the surface with cool or lukewarm water. Wring out your sponge over the sink or container, then soak it with clean tap water. Remove the bag from the sudsy basin, then wipe down the surface with the clean sponge. Try to get rid of any visible suds until the bag is completely clean.You don’t want to leave any suds on the outside of your bag, or the soapy residue could rub off onto whatever you store in the bag later.
Wash your bags in the dishwasher if you don’t want to hand wash them. Arrange your plastic bags over the racks in your dishwasher, then set the machine to a regular cycle. Don’t choose a heated dry setting or a cycle that uses hot water, as these could damage and melt your plastic bags.
If your bags are still wet when they come out of the dishwasher, you can always air-dry them!
You can use whatever dish detergent you have on hand; however, keep in mind that gentler detergents may help your plastic bags to last longer.[Edit]Air-Drying Your Bags
Turn your plastic bags right-side-out. Push the bottom edge of your bag downward so it goes past the zipper or seal. Next, use your fingers to press along the edges and corners of the bag to ensure that it’s back to normal. At this point, examine the item to make sure that the wet portions of plastic are along the inside of the bag.
Arrange your damp plastic bags over a bag drying rack. Place your homemade or store-bought bag drying rack on a countertop, table, or other flat surface in your living space. If you don’t have a drying rack on hand, look for any spokes, hooks, or other sturdy objects that you could drape the bag over. You could also place a chopstick in a drinking glass and drape your bag over that.For instance, a mini birdhouse could work as an impromptu drying rack.
You can purchase bag drying racks online. These items can be wooden or metal, and are composed of multiple spokes that you can drape your plastic bags over.
This method works best for Ziploc-style plastic bags. You can try drying your silicone bags this way, but a dishwasher is probably more efficient.
Place your bags on a clothesline if you don’t have a drying rack handy. Arrange the bottom seam of your damp plastic bags on an outdoor clothesline, then secure the top of the bag into place with a clothespin. Only clip 1 side of the bag onto the clothesline so it can stay open and air-dry completely.
If you don’t have a lot of room outside, you can set up an indoor clothesline instead.
You can line-dry both plastic bags and reusable grocery bags.
Wait until the inside of your bags are dry to the touch. Check on your bags on an hourly or daily basis to see if they’re dry. If you see any leftover moisture or water droplets in your bags, leave them on the rack or clothesline for several more hours. Leave your reusable plastic or grocery bags be until they’re fully dry to the touch.
If you use your bags when they’re still damp, you could be setting yourself up for unwanted mold or mildew later.
Wipe out your bag with a microfiber cloth if it’s still damp. If your bag is taking too much time to air-dry, place a folded microfiber cloth inside. Seal or zip the end of the bag, then shake and squeeze the cloth inside of the plastic. Continue doing this for around 30 seconds, or until the inside of the bag is completely dry. Then, you can remove the cloth and use the bag again![Edit]Things You’ll Need
Mild laundry detergent
Drying rack (optional)
Bag dryer (optional)
Clothespins (optional)[Edit]References↑ https://thetakeout.com/should-you-wash-and-reuse-ziploc-bags-1836855749