Our hands are amazing structures: works of art really. They have the ability to perform amazingly fine work, and yet when clenched into a fist, can bludgeon a man to death! For most of us though, they fulfill our need to grip, squeeze, hold and manipulate objects without ever having to think about them. Until, that is, they start to malfunction at which point we suddenly realize how precious normally functioning hands are.
Inflammatory arthritis affects many joints of the body and the hand is one of the more common sites that it can flare in. Generally speaking there is no "cure" for the problem, but relief can be found from divers treatments:
- Simple analgesia such as paracetamol
- Steroid joint injections
- Disease modifying medications for those with Rheumatoid Arthritis
One of the alternative therapies - Chondroitin Sulphate - has just been found to help in reducing pain in inflammatory arthritis of the hand, which is good news indeed. But before you scour the Net for your supple of Chondroitin Sulphate for your painful hands, here are a few more points to consider:
- It took 3 months of treatment before its beneficial effects appeared: NSAIDs work almost immediately.
- The size of the trail was relatively small and would need a much larger trial to confirm the findings.
- It had no significant impact on morning stiffness of the hands.
- It did not improve the grip strength in the hands.
- Chondroitin Sulphate is generally well tolerated but does have a mild anti-coagulant effect so sohuld be used with care by those already on "blood thinners".