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Arthritis can be a frustrating and painful chronic disease. When you have arthritis in your hands, the pain and stiffness associated with it can be debilitating.
Once-simple everyday tasks like buttoning your shirt, working a doorknob, or opening a jar can become difficult, if not impossible. This disruption in your abilities can reduce your quality of life.
More and more research is showing the benefits of massage for arthritis.
Here we will explore massagers to relieve the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis in the hands.
- First experience. I have chronic joint pain due to Ehlers Danlos hypermobile syndrome (hEDS), so I have a collection of self-massages. I have also included products that I have personally tried and benefited from.
- Cost. This list includes products from a variety of prices to provide options for all budgets.
- Expert advice. Peer-reviewed research, clinical studies, and certified medical advice guided these choices.
- Security. None of these products has been the subject of a recall or class action lawsuit.
- Variety. There are many types of manual massagers (manual, electric, compression, etc.), so the characteristics of these products are unique from each other.
- Online reviews. Using my trusty Fakespot Chrome extension, I have filtered the products with suspicious or falsified reviews. I have gone through the reviews of the common themes and have included the most relevant ones below.
Best Acupressure Hand Massager
- Price: $$$
- Customer calls: 4.3 Stars out of 4,500 Amazon Reviews
The Lunix LX3 Electric Hand Massager is a premium model with lots of exciting bells and whistles to try. Personalize your relief by choosing from 6 massage and intensity levels, with optional heat up to 107 ℉.
This massager uses compression acupressure therapy, which can help blood circulation and reduce numbness. The Lunix LX3 comes with a bonus manual massager and charges via USB.
Best heated hand massager
- Price: $$
- Customer calls: free delivery and free returns within 30 days
In addition to massage, the Comfier Cordless Hand Massager offers both heat and compression options. Choose from three options each for pressure, intensity and heat for your hand massage.
This massager is designed to wrap the whole hand, so you can soothe your knuckles, fingers and palm at the same time. The internal battery is rechargeable using the supplied USB cable.
Best Cold Therapy Hand Massager
- Price: $
- Customer calls: long-lasting cold and no dripping (as with ordinary ice)
Freeze the rollerball for 2 hours for up to 6 hours of cold relief. The large rubber grip makes it easy to hold in your palm – especially important if you have arthritic hands.
The ball is made of food grade stainless steel and filled with non-toxic cooling gel. Once cool, you can use the ball to massage your hands, wrists, or any part of your body that needs relief.
As a bonus, you can also use it for 20 minutes of hot therapy by placing your ball in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
Best Versatile Hand Massager
- Price: $$
- Customer calls: ideal for rehabilitation and physiotherapy of stroke patients
This unique Healsmile hand massager looks like a fingerless glove wrapped around a rubber ball. While it might sound a little odd, it is a powerful hand massager. It’s especially good for people with limited dexterity or those recovering from stroke or hand surgery.
To use this massager, attach the wrist strap (with built-in aluminum bar holder), insert your fingers through the finger loops and grip the textured ball. Use the wired remote control to activate the vibrating massage, choose from 5 intensity levels and activate the heat setting.
Best manual massager
- Price: $
- Customer calls: valued for its portability and relief
This inexpensive manual massager is lightweight and portable, perfect for storing in a purse, car, or office drawer.
I have a massager similar to this one and I like to use it after typing a lot. The company’s website claims that this massager can increase grip strength, finger mobility and flexibility, and fatigue, while reducing inflammation, pain, and fatigue.
The magnetic cooling roller ball on one end can be used to massage anywhere on the body including the face.
- Professional massage. If you need something more hardcore than self-massage (like arthritis in your hand makes self-massage painful or impossible), consider getting a professional massage. There are massage therapists who specialize in chronic pain, arthritis, and trigger point work. Ask your friends, doctor or physiotherapist for recommendations.
- Hand exercises. Hand exercises can help improve hand muscle strength, improve hand function, and increase flexibility. Discover seven hand exercises for arthritis here.
- Heat. Thermotherapy is also recommended by The Arthritis Foundation. Heat can relieve stiff joints, relieve muscle pain, and increase circulation. Several of the massager choices above include a heat feature.
- Ice. Cold therapy is a common way to reduce symptoms. Check out some benefits of ice for arthritis and joint pain here.
Arthritis of the hands can be difficult to manage, but there is hope. Be patient with yourself as you explore all of the different options for dealing with your pain and stiffness. Self-massage can be a beneficial tool in arthritis management, but it is not the ultimate solution.
Think of self-massage as a tool for your arthritis relief toolkit. The more techniques and products you try, the more knowledge you will have about the best solutions for you. Good luck and your pain relief toolbox is overflowing.