You can treat pain in the knuckles or hand by using cold applications. This involves using an icepack, or a bag of ice to reduce the swelling, inflammation and pain inside the hand. You can purchase an ice pack at any department store or athletic/medical store, and they are fairly inexpensive. If you do not want to purchase one, then a bag of frozen peas works the same way, or you can make your own ice pack at home. Just add 3 cups of water and 1 cup of rubbing alcohol into a sealable bag, and mix together really well. When it reaches a “slushy” look, place the bag in the freezer and wait for it to freeze solid. Then, you can use the ice pack just like you would use a store-bought one, and once it thaws out from use, you can refreeze it to use for the next application.
Some things to note about cold therapy:
- Do not leave ice on the area for more than 30 minutes at a time.
- If you start to feel worse after the first few minutes, immediately remove the ice pack and find another solution.
- Always keep a towel, cloth, or even an article of clothing between your skin and the ice application. Leaving the ice pack directly on the skin can cause a topical burn or cause further damage to the area. If this happens, an infection could develop on the top of the damaged area.
- If you are sensitive to extreme temperatures, soaking the hand in cool/cold water can be beneficial, but it may take longer to notice an improvement in your symptoms.
- Consult with your physician to determine if cold applications are right for you; not everyone benefits from this treatment option.