Your gift will fund support services for people living with arthritis and help us to continue researching for better treatments and cures.
The hands are a common site for arthritis. When the joints in the hand and wrist become arthritic, it can make our every day activities very difficult.
Luckily, there are treatments available to help. Read on to learn more about the range of health professionals that might form part of your Healthcare Team and help you manage your hand or wrist arthritis.
Speaking with your GP or Rheumatologist about the different medications that can treat the underlying cause of your arthritis is an important starting point. Your doctor can also talk to you about the many health professionals which can help to prevent or treat your hand arthritis.
Occupational therapists (OT's) can show you ways to make activities of daily living (such as cooking and showering) easier and to take pressure off your joints. An OT can:
Physiotherapists can advise you on exercise, posture and ways to relieve pain. They may also use treatments to keep your joints and muscles flexible. A physio can:
Hand therapists are occupational therapists or physiotherapists who have undertaken further education and assessment to specialise in upper limb conditions and injuries. This includes conditions affecting the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. A hand therapist can:
If you and your doctor think you may require surgery, your doctor will refer you to an orthopaedic surgeon.
An orthopaedic surgeon specialises in diagnosis and surgical treatment of bone, muscle and joint disorders. The surgeon will discuss your need for surgery and other management options with you.
Common types of surgery for arthritis of the hands include:
Download Surgery for Arthritis for information on when to talk to your doctor about surgery and how to get prepared.
Our Find a Specialist page provides links to the websites where you can search for certian health professionals in your local area.
In Queensland, you can access most health professionals publically and privately. Some health professionals may require a referral from your GP, while others can be seen without a GP referral.
To see an allied health professional (like a physiotherapist or occupational therapist), you can also speak to your GP about organising a GP
GP management plans (GPMP) and team care arrangements (TCA) can help people with a chronic health condition to access needed care from a
range of allied health professionals.
Related information and resources on our website
Areas of the body (wrists & hands). Arthritis Australia (MyRA) https://myra.org.au/article/your-arthritis-what-ra/areas-body-wrists-hands
Surgery for arthritis. Arthritis Australia (2018). https://www.arthritis.org.au/how-we-can-help/information-sheets-and-booklets/get-information-sheets/Surgery-for-arthritis.pdf