Natural help for osteoarthritis: devil’s claw root
If the osteoarthritis of the fingers has not yet progressed, it may help to change strenuous activities at work or at home. Another option is to take anti-inflammatory painkillers such as diclofenac or ibuprofen. Painkillers should only be taken after consulting a doctor, as they pose health risks. Stomach diseases, but also liver and kidney damage can be possible consequences of regular intake. Herbal anti-inflammatory medications such as devil’s claw root are also worth trying. These have a positive effect on the formation and breakdown of cartilage tissue. According to the guide magazine Apotheken-Umschau, however, the plant extract only works after being taken for several weeks. Here, too, a doctor should be consulted.
Heat is beneficial for osteoarthritis of the fingers
In addition to drug and surgical treatment, the Barmer GEK health insurance fund also recommends heat therapy for hand osteoarthritis. Hot fango packs, hand baths with various additives, wraps or infrared radiation and electrotherapy are used. But even if the heat is beneficial, the thickening and curvature of the affected wrist will not go away.
Injections and surgeries can be harmful
A treatment option for advanced osteoarthritis of the hand is injections of cortisone, hyaluronic acid, or orthokine into the middle joints, terminal joints of the fingers, or saddle joint of the thumb. The purpose of these injections is to reduce friction and wear on the finger joint and to reduce inflammation. Hyaluronic acid preparations cost between 20 and 270 euros per ampoule, three to five injections are generally necessary. Although injections provide short-term relief from symptoms, adjacent cartilage and synovia can also be damaged. In addition, cortisone, for example, also affects hormonal balance, which can lead to unpleasant side effects. Therefore, injections are not used to prevent the disease.
Osteoarthritis of the fingers: finding the right therapy
In addition to conventional treatment methods, there are various alternative treatment methods such as acupuncture, magnetic field therapy, cold applications or biostimulation with soft laser. According to the health insurance company Barmer GEK, some of these therapeutic methods are not scientifically recognized, but individuals find them useful. Each patient must therefore decide for himself which therapy he wishes to try and whether he is prepared to bear the costs. Compulsory health insurance does not cover the costs of injections or alternative treatments. If you opt for acupuncture, you must take into account that the statutory health insurance fund will only pay for up to four indications. If no treatment method works, an operation for arthrosis of the fingers can be a solution. Reinforcement with wires or screws is a good idea for finger joints. Silicone or pyrocarbon prostheses, on the other hand, are suitable for osteoarthritis of the middle finger joints.