Osteopathic Arthritis Hand Exercises

Patients seeking out the help of an osteopathic physician for their arthritis most commonly seek whole body treatments. Water exercises and different stretching routines are prescribed and patients report good outcomes.

Yet what happens when the arthritis is in the hands and thus cannot really be treated via water exercises? There are still a variety of osteopathic hand exercises for arthritis.

    • Patients need to learn proper hand relaxation techniques. Osteopaths usually couple them with specific breathing exercises to further the whole body relaxation and to prevent any bodily tension from being translated into clutched hands. Focusing attention and care on the relaxation of the hand readies it for the exercises that will take away some of the arthritis pain the patient is experiencing.

    • The first exercise requires the patient to stretch the finger of the hand as far as they will go. This might require a bit of flexing. In addition, the fingers should be as close together as the patient can bear. At first this might feel a bit awkward, but as the patient attempts this stretch more often, it will actually help to limber up some of the joints.

    • Osteopaths advise patients to do these hand exercises frequently and slowly. There is nothing to be gained by only doing them sporadically and most certainly there is no need for any kind of breakneck speed. Instead, it is a good idea to incorporate them into an evening relaxation routine, or even do these exercises while watching television or waiting for a bus.

    • Another osteopathic exercise the patient with arthritis in the hand should attempt is the bending of the joints. The middle joint of each finger needs to be bent and the patient may consider doing so either while forming a fist or while the hand is open, depending on the comfort level. Once again the focus is on flowing motions rather than abrupt or speedy attempts at achieving this kind of joint cooperation.

    • Some osteopaths employ the use of soft balls around which the patient may mimic the fist. This helps when there is some disfigurement of the hand or if the joints are able to bend to different levels. It is up to physician and patient to work together in an attempt to find the kinds of exercises and props that make the most sense.

Another component that cannot be overlooked is the osteopaths holistic approach to whole body wellbeing. This will cause the physician to discuss nutrition, supplementation, and also sleep as well as the use of painkillers with the patient.

Unlike a M.D., a D.O. (doctor of osteopathic medicine) most likely seeks to avoid the use of painkillers unless it is absolutely necessary.

Even then she or he is going to be judicious in the strength of the prescription as well as in the duration of time this kind of pain management will be continued. Patients appreciate this reluctance to prescribe and it is for this very reason that osteopathic medicine is becoming so popular in recent years.