Compression gloves (also sometimes referred to as therapy gloves) will provide your hands with the optimal compression and support to reduce wrist joint pain and speed your return to full health.
Compression gloves are available in many varieties and styles, including open finger, copper infused and many others.
Benefits Of Compression Gloves
People wear compression gloves for a host of reasons including improved blood circulation, help with hand or wrist arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome and relief from stiff and/or swollen wrists. We will briefly discuss each of these below.
We suggest that anyone contemplating the use of therapy gloves without any other medical advice, diagnosis or treatment should discuss their decision with a doctor before proceeding. Although there is some evidence that they can provide relief from pain and other symptoms of the conditions below, their inappropriate use can be ineffective or even counter productive in some situations.
Improved Blood Circulation
Compression gloves will improve blood circulation through your wrists and hands, and this can help with a myriad of hand/wrist problems, including wrist sprains and tired wrists. Improving the supply of nutrient rich and freshly oxygenated blood will help any injury to heal faster and will help tired wrists to recover their freshness that much sooner.
Having said this, however, compression gloves offer probably the greatest utility to those suffering from arthritis of the wrist or hand. Rheumatoid arthritis is especially believed by some to be helped by wearing these gloves. For this reason, compression gloves are sometimes also known as arthritic gloves.
Compression gloves are believed to help relieve the symptoms of wrist arthritis through several mechanisms. Many of them supply warmth to the wrists, hands and fingers, which is known to be of value in relieving arthritic pain and stiffness and improving wrist range of motion.
In addition, the compression from arthritis gloves helps to relieve the swelling that sometimes afflicts those with wrist arthritis.
In addition to wrist or hand arthritis, one of the most common reasons for wearing compression gloves is to reduce pain, tingling and other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. They do this by retaining the natural heat of the body as well as by providing support and compression. The compression is particularly effective in reducing the nightly tingling and numbness that is characteristic of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Wrist Stiffness / Swelling
In addition to their benefits to those suffering from carpal tunnel, compression gloves provide compression, warmth and support to relieve the discomfort of stiff and/or swollen hands.
They accelerate oxygen delivery to the hand muscles and speed the removal of metabolic waste, thus bringing quicker pain and swelling relief to those suffering from these symptoms.
Patients suffering from arthritis of the hands can also experience similar benefits.
Study Of The Effectiveness Of Compression Gloves In Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
The study was both randomized and controlled and used two prominent compression gloves brands and spanned 39 patients suffering from hand synovitis related to rheumatoid arthritis.
Wrist Pain & Stiffness
After 7 days of compression glove treatment, both glove brands were found to subjectively decrease wrist pain and stiffness compared to the control group.
These results were found to be significant at the 5% level, meaning that there is a less than 5% chance that they could have been observed among the participants in the study in the absence of any underlying effect of wearing compression gloves. In other words, the probability that this could have been a false positive result was less than one in twenty.
Similar benefits in terms of alleviating wrist pain were found among those wearing either brand of compression glove.
Finger Joint Swelling
The authors found that wearing compression also yielded benefits for the participants in terms of reduced swelling of the proximal finger joints. The gloves were also found to improve range of motion, rate of finger motion and grip strength. These results were all found to be significant at the 5% level.
Once again, the benefits were found to be similar among those wearing either brand of compression glove.
Note Of Caution
The authors also struck a note of caution by observing that 12 of 13 patients also suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome experienced worsening of symptoms after wearing the gloves for one night.