Hand and Wrist Osteoarthritis (OA)

Get Relief From Hand, Fingers and Wrist Pain

Are your hands, fingers and wrists causing you bother?

You may be experiencing:

  1. Pain and Discomfort – particularly on movement (sore finger joints incl. from Heberden’s nodes)
  2. Swelling and Tenderness of the fingers and wrist
  3. Limited Movement

Managing Hand, Fingers and Wrist Osteoarthritis (OA)

Effective ways of dealing with hands, wrists and fingers osteoarthritis include: 

  1. Activity modification 
  2. Immobilisation of the hand or bracing 
  3. Exercises and stretching
  4. Medication and injections 
  5. Radiotherapy
  6. Surgery – fusion or joint replacement

Low-dose radiotherapy treatment can relieve all the symptoms of fingers, wrist and hand osteoarthritis, and get you back to your normal activities.

Radiotherapy treatment (also known as the external beam radiation therapy) is a way to reduce inflammation and pain in the fingers, wrists and hands. This leads to improved function in the hand, fingers and wrist joints so that you can do the things that you need to with your hands and wrist – moving them properly with less stiffness and pain in the hand, wrist and fingers. 

What is Low Dose Radiotherapy?

Low-dose radiation therapy treatment is a specialised technique that reduces pain and inflammation of the hand using very low dose and carefully controlled radiation. 

Unlike the stronger radiotherapy used in cancer treatment, much lower doses of radiation are used to treat fingers, wrist and and hand arthritis / OA. The use of low radiation levels ensures that the treatment is very safe.

This is a non-invasive treatment that does not involve any injections or surgery. It is exclusively focused towards the affected areas of the aching finger knuckles and wrist joints, and does not affect the rest of the body.

It’s given as an outpatient, so that you can keep on doing your normal activities without needing a break during treatment. Since it is very low dose, it tends to have only very mild (if any) side effects.

A typical course of radiotherapy involves 6 treatments given over 2 to 3 weeks. Each treatment, delivered as an outpatient, takes less than 10 min. About 70% of patients may need a 2nd course of radiotherapy to maximize the benefits.

When should I consider Radiotherapy for Hands, Wrist and Fingers OA?

Persistent pain and inflammation

If you still have pain in your hand and wrist despite using self-help treatments (eg. immobilisation of the hand or bracing) and medicines.

Medications aren't enough

Where simple pain relief and anti-inflammatory drugs aren’t working well enough or are causing side-effects .

Symptoms are getting worse

If you notice increased aching and discomfort in your wrist, hand or finger knuckles.

You do not want surgery

If you are not suitable, for instance due to personal choice or other health conditions.

How Can Radiotherapy Help Fingers, Hand and Wrist Arthritis / OA?

  1. Pain Reduction

Recent research shows that low-dose radiotherapy reduces pain from hand, fingers and wrist osteoarthritis in around 7 out of 10 people.

  1. Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Scientific evidence shows that radiotherapy reduces joint inflammation, leading to reduced swelling in the affected hand and wrist joints. This reduction helps reduce pain and improves joint function.

  1. Improved Mobility

People having radiation therapy treatment for hand, wrist or fingers OA may report substantial improvements in overall hand joint performance, which can include increased ease of movement, allowing for greater hand and wrist mobility.

  1. Addresses Multiple symptoms

Radiotherapy can help with various symptoms such as swelling, stiffness, and discomfort in the fingers, hand and wrist joints. This can improve overall quality of life for those dealing with hand and wrist joint problems.

  1. Sustained and Long-lasting Benefits

Some studies suggest that the benefits of radiotherapy, especially in hand joint pain reduction, may last over a considerable period, resulting in long-lasting relief.

Is Radiotherapy Treatment for Hand, Wrist and Fingers Osteoarthritis Safe?

Low-Dose Radiotherapy treatment is a very safe treatment for hand, fingers and wrist osteoarthritis. This is due to various factors:

Low-Dose Radiotherapy

This ensures effective treatment with very few side effects.

Precise Treatment

Radiotherapy is focused towards only the specific areas of the hand, wrist and fingers causing trouble. This way, the surrounding areas are not affected by the treatment.

Mild Side Effects

Low-dose radiotherapy typically causes only very mild redness or perhaps some dry skin in the treatment area of the hand.


Radiotherapy treatment is a non-surgical way to treat osteoarthritis in the hand and wrist joints. This allows you to avoid the risks involved in invasive surgery.

Treatments for osteoarthritis-Radiotherapy-UK

What are the Side Effects of Radiotherapy for Hand, Fingertips and Wrist Arthritis?

Radiotherapy is a straightforward outpatient procedure which doesn’t need an anaesthetic, injections or surgery. You can easily schedule it around your regular work or other activities.

Before starting radiation therapy for your hands OA, we’ll thoroughly discuss any potential side effects with you. We will provide comprehensive information about the risks and benefits of the fingers and wrist osteoarthritis treatment, so that you can make the best decisions possible.

The side effects of low dose radiotherapy for wrist and hands arthritis tend to be very mild. These can include:

  • Skin Reactions

You may get a bit of redness, dryness, or irritation in the treated area of the hand and wrist. Typically, these effects disappear a couple of weeks after finishing the treatment.

  • Tiredness

Sometimes people feel a bit tired during or after the treatment. However, this tends to settle down once the treatment has finished and energy levels usually improve quickly after that.


Do You Have Any Questions?

Explore detailed answers to common queries on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

Taking the First Step towards Easing Your Hand, Fingers and Wrists Pain

Expect a quick response within one working day. If you would like to set up an appointment, we will do our best to accommodate your preferences.

Initial consultations for the treatment of arthritis of the hand, fingers and wrist are available in Nottingham, London, or Guildford for your convenience. And for follow-up treatments, we have centres across the UK in places like Nottingham, Birmingham, London, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Elstree, Chelmsford, Bristol, Windsor, Guildford, Maidstone, Southampton, and Portsmouth.