Although it may not be possible to completely stop arthritis within the hands, oral medications, anti-inflammatory drug injections and splinting may help reduce or alleviate pain, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Surgery on the hands, such as joint fusions, is also an option for pain relief.
Anti-inflammatory oral medications can work to alleviate or reduce pain from arthritis in the hands, but this treatment option does not reverse any joint damage or restore joint cartilage, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can reduce inflammation, swelling and pain from arthritis. Long-lasting anesthetic and steroid injections are another option to relieve pain from arthritis in the hand. The injections may be repeated, but most physicians limit the number of injections a person can receive due to potential side effects that can weaken ligaments and tendons.
Pain from arthritis in the hands often worsens during activity and when stress is placed on the affected joints, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Splints can help support the joints and should be worn when the joints hurt or during activity that uses the hands heavily, such as lifting, grabbing, gripping or even typing.
The typical last resort for the treatment of arthritis in the hands is surgery to repair joint, cartilage or tendon damage, suggests the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.