Osteoarthritis of the fingers and hand: natural treatments

Although osteoarthritis of the fingers and hands affects more women at the age of menopause, the disease can occur much earlier. Indeed, there are other causes than the wear associated with aging. Find out everything you need to know about digital osteoarthritis (definition, symptoms, causes, etc.). And follow our advice to limit the degeneration of the cartilage of the fingers and the hand. All natural solutions to no longer have to suffer from deformation due to osteoarthritis. Grandmother’s remedies, good gestures to apply on a daily basis, foods to eat or to avoid… Everything you need to know to calm pain in a completely natural way!

What is osteoarthritis of the fingers and hand?

Osteoarthritis of the fingers, formerly called digital osteoarthritis, is common in women over 50. This benign degeneration is considered diffuse osteoarthritis because it can spread to other joints.

On the other hand, there are three different forms of the disease:

  • osteoarthritis of the fingertips (distal interphalangeal osteoarthritis) is the most common form. The area is then swollen;
  • proximal interphalangeal osteoarthritis is a rarer deformity that affects the first and second phalanges;
  • finally, rhizarthrosis or osteoarthritis of the thumb is common because it affects one in six women after 50 years. It is observed at the base of the thumb.


Osteoarthritis of the fingers and hands is manifested by an embarrassing and unsightly deformation in the joints, by significant pain as well as by stiffness in the joints. This can cause discomfort when grasping objects.

But the disease remains mild and usually does not cause serious complications. Moreover, most often, the patient no longer feels any pain after a few years.

However, in rare cases, the pathology can reach an advanced stage with severe bone damage. Acute pain then appears in flare-ups. And they are interspersed with remission episodes of variable duration.

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The causes

Osteoarthritis of the fingers is due to a degeneration of the cartilage. The disease occurs with age and wear.

Note that the pathology does not result from the cracking of the fingers. This remains a widespread idea, but has nothing to do with osteoarthritis.

On the other hand, there is often a mechanical cause behind osteoarthritis of the fingers. It is then a question of repeated movements and gestures in a professional or leisure setting. For example, seamstresses are often prone to this cartilage degeneration.

Finally, you should know that obese people are more affected by the disease because of systemic factors.

Natural treatments for osteoarthritis of the fingers and hand

finger massage

Massaging your fingers and practicing exercises, in addition to support from a physical therapist, can improve the strength and mobility of the fingers.

Massage your fingers every day for a few minutes. To do this, stretch each of the fingers from the base to the end.

Actions to avoid

Do not strain your hands while carrying heavy loads. Also avoid repetitive movements that will amplify the pain.

On a daily basis, spare your joints by banishing prolonged or intense efforts.

Plants to use

To reduce the pain of osteoarthritis of the fingers, use turmeric. This plant is an excellent natural anti-inflammatory.

You can also incorporate blackcurrant tea or white willow bark decoction into your diet.

Finally, know that nettle is known for its action against pain related to osteoarthritis. Apply a few leaves to the affected area for a few days.

Attention, before resorting to one or other of these plants, it is advisable to seek the advice of your doctor or a phytotherapist because there are contraindications.

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The heat

To relieve pain, heat is recommended. Apply local heat to the affected area.

Glucosamine and chondroitin dietary supplements

Glucosamine and chondroitin are two substances recommended to protect cartilage and slow down its degradation. They are to be taken orally.

This daily background treatment consists of 1500 mg of glucosamine and 1200 mg of chondroitin. Take the treatment two to three times a day.

The first positive effects of the cure (no more than three months) will be visible within 2 to 8 weeks.

Be careful, there are risks of allergies to shellfish. And on the other hand, people who are prediabetic, diabetic or treated with anti-vitamin K should not use this natural treatment.

good oils

Consume a mixture of olive oil and organic rapeseed oil, first cold pressing in your dishes and raw vegetables. These two products offer a perfect balance of omega-3 and -6.

On the other hand, avoid sunflower or grapeseed oils because they are very rich in inflammatory omega-6s.

Foods to eat and avoid

Diet also plays a determining role. Consume without moderation walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, lamb’s lettuce, spinach. You can also opt for mackerel, sardines or anchovies in the fish department.

On the other hand, it is preferable to reduce or eliminate saturated fats such as butter, dairy products, cheese or meat.

And as far as antioxidants are concerned, eat fruits and vegetables, legumes and oilseeds, favoring red fruits, prunes, figs, kiwi, cabbage, radishes, garlic, onions, tomatoes…

Finally, since obesity can explain the onset of the disease, it is better to favor foods with a low glycemic index. Thus, consume little refined foods such as rice, bread, white pasta, puffed cereals or bars, sweets, pastries… Instead, prefer whole grains, dried fruits and homemade gluten-free pastries.

wintergreen essential oil

Aromatherapy is an effective natural solution to soothe a painful joint.

Use essential oil of wintergreen up to two drops diluted in a little vegetable oil. Then apply to the affected area.

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Note, you can also use essential oils of lavandin, exotic basil and eucalyptus citriodora (2 drops to dilute in vegetable oil).

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