This drug could treat hand arthritis pain

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Do you ever find yourself struggling with simple tasks like buttoning a shirt or opening a jar because of hand pain?

This isn’t just an inconvenience—it could be a sign of hand osteoarthritis (OA), a condition that affects the joints in our hands, causing pain and making movement difficult.

It’s a common issue, with half of all women and a quarter of all men experiencing it by the age of 85. But it’s not only the elderly who are affected; this condition can start causing problems much earlier.

For a long time, those suffering from hand OA had limited options for managing their pain. However, recent research from Monash University and Alfred Health brings promising news.

A well-known drug, methotrexate, commonly used to treat other forms of arthritis, has shown potential in treating hand OA.

Methotrexate has been around since the 1980s, mainly used for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. The recent study led by Professor Flavia Cicuttini, an expert in joint research, decided to test its effectiveness on hand OA.

Over six months, participants were given a weekly dose of 20mg of methotrexate. The results were encouraging—those on methotrexate reported significant improvements in pain and stiffness in their hands compared to those who took a placebo. The improvement wasn’t fleeting; it continued throughout the six months.

This discovery opens up new avenues for managing hand OA, a condition that has been challenging to treat. The research team isn’t stopping here, though.

They’re eager to explore further, looking into how long the relief from methotrexate can last, the best ways to use it, and whether it can also reduce joint damage over time.

This is particularly important for women, who often start experiencing the pain and stiffness of hand OA around menopause.

The journey to fully understanding and validating methotrexate’s role in treating hand OA is still ongoing. Yet, this research shines a light of hope for those who suffer from this condition.

It suggests that relief, and a return to doing everyday tasks without pain, might soon be more achievable.

This story is not just about a drug finding a new purpose; it’s a testament to the power of scientific exploration and the ongoing quest to improve quality of life for those with chronic conditions.

For many, the findings from this study represent more than just scientific data; they’re a sign that the future might hold less pain and more freedom in the simple movements that make up our daily lives.

For those interested in health advancements, this research underscores the importance of looking at existing treatments with fresh eyes.

And for anyone dealing with hand OA, it’s a reminder that science is continually working toward solutions that can make a real difference in their lives.

The findings from this study are detailed in The Lancet, marking a big step forward in the fight against hand osteoarthritis and offering a glimpse into a future where managing this condition could be much more straightforward.

If you care about pain, please read studies about how to manage your back pain, and Krill oil could improve muscle health in older people.

For more information about pain, please see recent studies about how to live pain-free with arthritis, and results showing common native American plant may help reduce diarrhea and pain.

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