The Hand arthritis affects the various joints of the Hands like wrists, fingers and thumbs. In this the cartilage, wears out due to various reasons. The cartilages are soft tissues that are responsible for the joint movement. This causes the joint bones to rub together, wear out and cause pain and discomfort.
Various joints of the hands when under the Arthritis condition start to pain and cause discomfort.
The common symptoms of the Hand Arthritis are:
- Pain in all of the hand joints (wrists, fingers, thumbs)
- Visible hand deformity in severe conditions (development of lumps)
- Inability to bend Hands
- Swelling around the joints
- Pain on Hand movement
- Stiffness in Hands
- Loss of motion
- Weakness in the hand
- Cracking sounds when moving the hand
Causes of the Hand Arthritis
Women are most likely to get Arthritis than men. The most common causes associated with Hand arthritis include:
- Routine work that stress the Hand joints
- Hobbies that involve much use of the Hand joints
- Excessive use of tools that put pressure and repetitive hand joint motions (like, drilling, excessive use of mouse or keyboards)
- Age factors, i.e. older the person, greater the chances to get the condition
- Other arthritis conditions like RA (rheumatoid arthritis)
- Family history of arthritis
Diagnosis of the Hand Arthritis
A physical examination is conducted by the doctor on all of the hand joints. The patient generally develops swollen nodes or lumps around the hand joints. Redness around the joint and range of motion is looked for while diagnosing the condition.
X-rays of the various joints are to be taken to find out the extent of wearing out of the joint bones and cartilages. These X-Rays help in finding out the severity of the conditions.
Family history, other injury history also needs to be examined for the correct diagnosis.
MRI or other tests could also be recommended to study the symptoms that are causing the pain. Though, these tests totally depend upon patient to patient.
Treatment for Hand Arthritis
Arthritis conditions worsen overtime and a timely treatment is must to relieve pain. The non-surgical treatment must also be suggested by doctors. These options help in relieving the pain. Though, these work only on mild to moderate arthritis conditions. Some of the common non-surgical treatment options are:
- Applying heat or ice pads at regular intervals to relieve pain
- Hand therapy to ease pain
- Restricting pain causing motion
- Medication (Drugs and Injections), to be taken after consulting a doctor
- Using splints to restrict motion and relieve pain
- Resting the hand to help healing
Surgery involves, either fusing the bones of the joint together thus creating a stronger and stable joint OR removing the damaged joint and replacing it with an artificial implant. The surgery techniques or types depend upon the joints affected (whether a wrist, finger or thumb) and the severity of the damage.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for any arthritis treatment and the recovery. Though, prevention is the best cure. A treatment should be sought at the early symptoms of Hand Arthritis. Restricting pain causing motions, hand exercises, regular checkups are all a part of treatment.
Recovery after treatment
The mild conditions might see relief within a month. For non surgical treatment the recovery time depends upon patient to patient and the severity of the condition. A chronic arthritis takes a long time to heal.
Recovery from some arthritis conditions demand change in lifestyle. Pain medication is advised after the surgery. A slight hand movement exercises could be suggested while in the recovery period. These exercises are recommended prevent stiffness and gain back the lost motion. The exercise must be done in an experienced guidance and should be started only after the suggested gap time after surgery.
Various hand joint splints are recommended to be used over extended time period. This helps in healing the joints and supports the hand movements.
The Upper Limb Clinic, Thane west, is dedicated clinic for all diseases related to Knee, Hand, Shoulder, Elbow and Hand. Contact us today for Hand Arthritis condition to get better and accurate treatment.