Hand arthritis is the most common form of arthritis that mainly affects the fingers. As in most forms of arthritis the joints become inflamed resulting in pain. Essentially, a joint is made up of two bones that are covered by cartilage and are conjoined together moving smoothly across each other. If this smooth surface becomes damaged or wears out over time, arthritis will result
Hand arthritis is specifically painful and debilitating due to the fact that hands have nineteen bones and eight small bones that has several small joints. The more common forms of hand arthritis include osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Further causes of hand arthritis might include psoriasis, gout and infection.
Hand osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on the hand joints over time resulting in inflammation and pain. Normally it is a result of this wear and tear, however it can also be the result of a specific hand injury. Hand osteoarthritis arthritis generally develops either along the bottom of the thumb, the wrist, the end joint that is closest to the tip of the finger and the middle joint of the finger.
The most common symptoms of hand arthritis are pain, swelling and reduced movement resulting in diminished grip and pinch strength. The doctor or physician will also examine all other joints to help aid the diagnosis of hand arthritis. The doctor can also determine the severity of the hand arthritis by observing the clinical appearance of the hand. Further to this X-rays will be utilized to further identify the severity of hand arthritis by seeking potential bony outgrowths.
There are various treatments and forms of reducing the pain of hand arthritis. Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory medications will normally be the first treatment utilized for hand arthritis. Resting the hand is also crucial in terms of re-habilitating the area- a hand or wrist support may be required to aid this re-habilitation.
Physical therapy for hand arthritis has also proven to be very effective as a treatment option. There are specific exercises, which can help in loosening the stiffened joints caused by the hand arthritis. Steroids can also be injected locally into the affected area, however this is only a form of pain relief, and certainly not a long-term treatment option for hand arthritis.
Surgery is most certainly the last resort as a treatment option for hand arthritis. The doctor or physician will seriously evaluate the patient’s health, age, weight and risks of complications before recommending hand surgery as a viable treatment option for hand arthritis.
Hand arthritis can be an extremely debilitating condition, however with proper diagnosis by your doctor or physician the symptoms can be effectively managed and rehabilitation can take place. Like most forms of arthritis early diagnosis is the key to aiding recovery in hand arthritis.