Arthritis can be a depressing and painful chronic condition. When you have arthritis in your hands, the associated pain and stiffness can be debilitating.
Once-common daily tasks, such as buttoning your shirt, knocking on doors, or opening a jar can become difficult or even impossible. This disruption of your power can reduce your quality of life. Increasingly, research is showing the benefits of massage for arthritis.
A 2011 study sought to determine the benefits of massage for reliable source hand pain. Compared to a control group, participants had less pain and greater grip strength after 4 weeks of massage therapy. The massage therapy group further improved their anxiety, depressed mood, and sleep disturbance rates.
A 2017 study of 18 participants with osteoarthritis of the knee found that massage was beneficial for pain relief. It further found that massage provides a feeling of empowerment due to relaxation, improved quality of life and improved ability to complete daily tasks.
Massage is even recommended as a treatment by the Arthritis Foundation. Here, we will explore massages for the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis of the hands.
9 of the best hand massagers
- Lunix LX3 Cordless Hand Massager
Best range of features
The Lunix LX3 is cordless, lightweight, and rechargeable and comes in two colors: black and white.
Lunix claims that this product is 100% adjustable to a person’s own needs. The company prides itself on high quality customer service.
Features of this hand massager include:
- six levels of massage and intensity
- a soft interior cushion
The device is based on acupressure therapy and reaches optimal temperature in 8 minutes. Additionally, the company includes a finger massager with each purchase.
This product is available for around $139.97 on Amazon.
- HoMove Hand Roller Massager
Best palm compression intensity options
This model features a roller massage for the fingers, air pressure, and acupressure therapy to help increase blood circulation.
Other features include:
- three massage modes
- three finger roller intensities
- three palm compression intensities
- a 360-degree full massage
- an optional heat setting
- a 20-minute treatment timer
The device is available for around $109.99 on Amazon.
- Purology LXB Hand Massager
Best soft cloth interior
The company claims this model is a universal size and can massage the hand, including the wrist, fingers, and palm.
The massager has the following features:
- six modes and intensity options
- an optional heat function
- two vibration levels
- a soft cloth interior for comfort
- pre-set 15-minute treatment
- a 1-year warranty
Moreover, the massager is cordless, portable, and rechargeable, with a charging time of 4–6 hours and the charge lasting a few days. The massager also includes hand therapy balls.
The product costs around $89.99 on Amazon.
- Comfier Cordless Hand Massager with Heat
Customer Callout: Free shipping and free return within 30 days
In addition to the massage, the comfy cordless hand massager boasts both heat and compression options. Choose from three options for pressure, intensity and heat for your hand massage.
This massager is designed to wrap the whole hand, so that you can soothe your nose, fingers and palate at once. Internal battery is rechargeable using the included USB cable.
- Gaiam Restore Hand Therapy Exercise Ball Kit
Best massage ball kit
A slightly different style of hand massager, the Gaiam ball kit is designed to exercise the hands and fingers. The company claims the balls help relieve pain and stiffness and increase flexibility.
The kit includes three balls with varying levels of resistance — soft, medium, and firm — and comes with an exercise guide.
The kit is available for around $12.98 on Amazon.
- CINCOM Rechargeable Hand Massager
Best kneading massage
CINCOM claims that this rechargeable model targets specifically acupuncture points and can massage the fingers, hand, and wrist.
Additional features include:
- a kneading massage with four massage heads
- air compression
- two optional infrared heat settings
- separate hole for the thumb to rest during the massage
- rechargeable battery that can last for 3–4 hours
- a 15-minute timer
This hand massager is lightweight and portable, and a person can use it while charging.
The product costs around $64.59 on Amazon.
- iECO Cryosphere Cold Massage Roller Ball
Customer Callout: Chronic cold and lack of drizzle (like regular ice)
Freeze the roller ball for 2 hours up to 6 hours to relieve cold therapy. The large rubber grip makes it easy to hold on to the palm of your hand – especially important if you have arthritis.
The ball is made of food-grade stainless steel and filled with nontoxic 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 soak your ball in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes and use it for 20 minutes of warm therapy.
- Lure Essentials Finger & Wrist Acupressure Massager
Customer Callout: Appreciated for its portability and comfort
This inexpensive manual massager is lightweight and portable, perfect for storing in a purse, car or desk drawer.
I own a massager like this, and I like to use it after typing a lot. The company’s website claims that this massager can reduce inflammation, pain and fatigue as well as increase grip strength, finger mobility and flexibility and fatigue.
The cooling magnet roller ball at one end can be used to massage any part of the body, including the face.
- Roleo Hand Massager
Best for saving energy
For this hand massager one has to roll their hands between the rollers. It does not use any electricity, so it may be suitable for those who want to reduce their household energy consumption.
It is also suitable for the wrists, fingers, and arms.
- adjustable pressure
- ridged durable rollers
- suction cups and rubber feet for stability
The massager is suitable for most hand sizes and can also provide a foot massage.
It is available for around $56.97 on Amazon.
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Health benefits and risks
A trusted source at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) says that massage therapy is effective in managing many health conditions and improving well-being.
A 2021 study found that machine-based hand massage therapy has helped reduce anxiety in people waiting for surgery.
According to NCCIH, abnormal side effects of massage therapy may include nerve damage, blood clots, and bone fractures. The NCCIHT Trusted Source also states that there are some risks involved in getting a massage from a trained massage therapist.
To reduce the risk of injury, individuals should make sure that they are using their hand massage properly.
Alternatives to hand massagers
Professional massage. If you need something more difficult than self-massage (such as arthritis of your hands 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, doctors or physical therapists 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 ease stiff joints, relieve muscle pain and increase circulation. Some of the above massager picks include a thermal feature.
Ice. Cold therapy is a common way to reduce symptoms. Here are some benefits of ice for arthritis and joint pain.
Arthritis of the hands can be difficult to manage, but there is hope. Be patient with yourself as you explore different options for managing your pain and stiffness. Self-massage can be a useful tool for managing arthritis, but it is not the end of it all.
Think of self-massage as a tool in your arthritis relief toolkit. The more strategies and products you try, the more knowledge you will have about the best solution for you. Good luck, and your pain relief toolkit may be over.
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