Compression can be your friend when it comes to pain in the hands. It may not seem like a good idea to apply pressure to an area that is overly sore, but studies show that wrapping or applying a sleeve to the area can boost blood circulation and relieve stiffness in the joints. You can use an elastic bandage to wrap around your hand to help control inflammation and pain, or there are special “gloves” available. These gloves are designed to fit snugly around the hands, knuckles, and fingers and are specifically made for people who suffer with hand pain from arthritis or other injury. You should be able to find them in most medical shops or online. If you don’t have an elastic band or a compression glove, sometimes an ordinary tube sock can work just as well. The elasticity in the band should act like an elastic wrap. Just make sure that it’s clean, especially if there are any open wounds; you don’t want the area to become infected and lead to more inflammation and pain. If the muscles in the hand are sore from overuse, compression can be used to put pressure on the muscles that are stretched. This pressure will allow the muscles to grow back together the right way, and possibly help them grow faster. Mud compression (Balneotherapy) is basically a “mud bath” that has been shown to apply pressure and feed minerals to the body, and is a beneficial way to decrease inflammation and improve blood circulation. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go to the spa to get this treatment; there are companies that sell “mud compresses” that can be used at home. The compresses are all contained in covered packs, so you shouldn’t worry about getting the mud on your skin or clothes. Treatment with mud compresses have been shown to temporarily relieve pain in patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knees, and has been gaining reputation for treating pain and inflammation in the hands.
Some important things to remember about compression are:
- The compression wrap or glove should never be wrapped really tightly. They should be snug and comfortable on the hand, but not so tight that they cause more pain.
- Some people who are in a lot of pain find that even light compression causes some pain, if you experience this, it may be wise to talk with your doctor about whether compression is right for you or not.
- Your physician will be able to tell you more about how compression treatment works and what kind of treatment is specific for you.