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Arthritis can be a frustrating and painful chronic condition. When you have arthritis in your hands, the pain and stiffness associated with it can be debilitating.
Daily tasks like buttoning your shirt, working on a doorknob, or opening a glass can become difficult or even impossible. This disruption of your abilities can affect your quality of life.
Research is increasingly showing the benefits of massage for arthritis.
Massage is even recommended as a treatment by the Arthritis Foundation.
Here we explore massage devices for relieving the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis of the hands.
- First hand experience. I have chronic joint pain due to hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) so I have a collection of self-massage machines. I have also included products that I have personally tried and benefited from.
- Costs. This list includes products from a wide variety of price ranges to provide options for all budgets.
- Expert advice. Peer-reviewed research, clinical trials, and certified medical advice guided this selection.
- Safety. None of these products have been recalled or the subject of a class action lawsuit.
- Diversity. There are many types of handheld massagers (manual, electric, compression, etc.) so the properties of these products are unique.
- Online reviews. With my trusted Fakespot Chrome extension, I filtered out products with suspicious or fake reviews. I’ve sifted through reviews for general topics and listed relevant ones below.
Best hand acupressure massager
Lunix LX3 wireless handheld massager
- Price: $$$
- Customer opinions: 4.3 stars from over 4,500 Amazon reviews
The electric handheld massager Lunix LX3 is a high-end model with lots of exciting bells and whistles to try out. Customize your relief by choosing from 6 massage and intensity levels, with optional heat of up to 107 ° C.
This massager uses compression acupressure therapy, which can increase blood flow and reduce numbness. The Lunix LX3 comes with an additional manual hand massager and is charged via USB.
Best heated hand massager
Wireless hand massager Comfier with heat
- Price: $$
- Customer opinions: Free shipping and free returns within 30 days
In addition to the massage, the wireless Comfier handheld 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 entire hand so you can soothe your knuckles, fingers and palm at the same time. The internal battery can be recharged using the supplied USB cable.
Best hand massager for cold therapy
iECO Cryosphere cold massage rollerball
- Price: $
- Customer opinions: prolonged cold and the absence of drops (as with normal ice)
Freeze the rollerball for 2 hours for up to 6 hours of cold therapy relief. The large rubber handle makes it easy to hold in the palm of your hand – especially important if you have arthritic hands.
The ball is made of food-safe stainless steel and is filled with non-toxic cooling gel. Once it’s cold, you can use the ball to massage your hands, wrists, or any other part of the body that needs relief.
As a bonus, you can also take advantage of this for 20 minutes of heat therapy by soaking your ball in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes.
Best all-round hand massager
Healsmile Electric Hot Compress Recovery Massager
- Price: $$
- Customer opinions: ideal for rehabilitation and physiotherapy for stroke patients
This unique Healsmile handheld massager looks like a fingerless glove wrapped around a rubber ball. While it may look a little strange, it is a powerful handheld massager. It’s especially good for people with reduced dexterity or for those recovering from a stroke or hand surgery.
To use this massager, attach the wrist band (with built-in aluminum bar mount), insert your fingers into the finger loops and grab the textured ball. Use the wired remote control to turn on the vibration massage, choose from 5 levels of intensity and activate the heat level.
Best manual massager
Lure Essentials acupressure massager for fingers and wrist
- Price: $
- Customer opinions: praised for its portability and ease of use
This inexpensive manual massager is lightweight and portable, perfect for keeping in a purse, car, or desk drawer.
I own a similar massager and like to use it after a lot of typing. The company’s website claims that this massager can increase grip strength, dexterity and flexibility of fingers, and fatigue while reducing inflammation, pain and fatigue.
The cooling magnetic roller ball on one end can be used to massage anywhere on the body, including the face.
- Professional massage. If you need something harder than self-massage (e.g. if your hand osteoarthritis 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 physical therapist 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. Heat therapy is also recommended by the Arthritis Foundation. Heat can relieve stiff joints, relieve muscle pain, and promote blood circulation. Some of the massage devices mentioned above have a heat function.
- Ice cream. Cold therapy is a common way to relieve symptoms. Check out some of the benefits of ice cream for arthritis and joint pain here.
Arthritis of the hands can be difficult to treat, but there is hope. Be patient with yourself as you explore all of the different options available to treat your pain and stiffness. Self-massage can be a useful tool in treating arthritis, but it’s not the be-all and end-all.
Think of self-massage as a tool for your arthritis relief toolkit. The more techniques and products you try, the more knowledge you have about the best solutions for you. Good luck and may your pain relief toolkit overflow.