Should I See A Doctor
Its common to have aches and pains in your muscles and joints from time to time. This may especially be true if you take part in unusual or strenuous physical activities.
So, how can you tell the difference between the early signs of arthritis and normal pain and stiffness? And, how do you know when you should see a doctor about your symptoms?
If you have swelling or stiffness that you cant explain and that doesn’t go away in a few days, or if it becomes painful to touch your joints, you should see a doctor. The earlier you get a diagnosis and start the right type of treatment, the better the outcome will be.
Here are some other things to think about that might help you decide whether you need to see a doctor:
Arthritic Conditions Associated With Trigger Finger
Arthritis of any kind can cause inflammation in the joints, and that inflammation is not necessarily isolated and contained. The tissues of the hand and fingers are interconnected, and inflammation in one area of tissue can have cascading effects, including trigger finger.
Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout are three types of arthritis linked to trigger finger.
1.Rheumatoid arthritis People who have rheumatoid arthritis have painful joint inflammation. The inflammation occurs when the immune system attacks the delicate lining that surrounds a joint.
2.Psoriatic arthritis Like people who have RA, people who have psoriatic arthritis have painful joint inflammation. The inflammation caused by psoriatic arthritis primarily occurs where tendons and ligaments attach to bone tissue. These attachment points are called entheses.
If psoriatic arthritis causes a finger or thumbs tendon enthesis to become inflamed, the connected tendon sheath may also become inflamed, causing trigger finger.
Research suggests that trigger finger may be a risk factor for psoriatic arthritis.1,2 If you have trigger finger and have other risk factors or signs of psoriatic arthritis, talk to your doctor about getting screened for the disease.
Can You Do Anything About Hand And Finger Joint Pain
Everyone experiences the occasional painful hands and sore fingers, but when osteoarthritis strikes, it can put a hold on many aspects of your life.
âAs osteoarthritis progresses, you may lose some hand mobility, like the ability to grasp and hold objects,â says Dr. Robert Shmerling, clinical chief of rheumatology at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and senior faculty editor at Harvard Health Publishing. âOver time, osteoarthritis can make the joints deformed, so itâs harder to open and close your hands.â
Recommended Reading: What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis In Your Fingers
You And Your Rheumatologist: A Lifetime Partnership
If you have inflammatory arthritis, it is imperative that you see a rheumatologist on a regular basis to monitor your health and customize your treatment. Rheumatologists are medical doctors with special training in the care of people with joint diseases and autoimmune diseases. They are different from orthopedists, who are trained in surgery and who may also be involved in the care of people with inflammatory arthritis when medical treatments are not enough.
How do you know whether to start with a rheumatologist or orthopedist? If you have ongoing joint discomfort without chronic swelling or other symptoms, such as fatigue, you may be able to see an orthopedist first. But if your joint pain is accompanied by warmth, swelling, other signs of inflammation, fatigue or discomfort in other parts of your body, a visit to a rheumatologist may be in order. Your primary care physician can guide you.
Because inflammatory arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can affect multiple parts of your body, you may need to see other specialists, too, to keep your symptoms in check and maintain the best quality of life possible.
To prepare for your visit with a rheumatologist:
Your rheumatologist may choose from a variety of treatment options for inflammatory arthritis, depending on the type and severity of your disease, such as:
If you or someone you know is living with a chronic inflammatory condition, learn about the different available at HSS.
Elevate The Affected Fingers
Poor circulation is one of the key reasons behind swelling in any part of the body, including the fingers.
To reduce swelling due to poor circulation, elevate your hands and fingers above your chest level. This will help improve blood circulation and provide relief from discomforts like swelling, inflammation and pain.
Keep the swollen fingers elevated above your chest level. You can sit on a sofa, put a few pillows on its arm rest and rest your hand on it.
To keep the fingers elevated while sleeping, put a few pillows under your hands.
Keep your hands and fingers elevated for 30 minutes a few times a day.
Read Also: How Many Tylenol Arthritis Can You Take
How To Treat Swollen Fingers
We use our fingers almost constantly and even a slight swelling or pain can cause a lot of discomfort, or worse, make it hard to use the swollen finger at all.
Fingers swell for a lot of reasons and many of them are harmless. Typically, it is the result of inflammation or fluid buildup.
This can be due to an insect bite, an injury like a sprained or jammed finger, a rash, fluid retention, an infection, exposure to extreme temperature, high salt intake or hormonal changes in the body.
It can also be a result of an underlying health problem, such as bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, cellulitis, ganglion cyst, fungal infection around the nail, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and septic arthritis, to name a few.
Along with swelling, there may be other symptoms, such as redness, bruising, fatigue, pain, lumps along the finger, numbness or tingling sensations from nerve compression, reduced range of motion, stiffness and swollen joints.
Mild cases of finger swelling heal with time. To reduce swelling and pain faster, you can try some home remedies.
However, if the swelling is accompanied by severe pain, a weak grip or a fever, consult your doctor immediately as it can be due to severe trauma or a serious underlying problem.
Here are the top 10 ways to treat swollen fingers.
Hand & Finger Fitness To Stop Pain & Stiffness After Surgery Or Arthritis Bob And Brad Demonstrate How To Stop Hand And Finger
Fingers and hands have many small joints that need to work together fluidly to allow everything from. I dont know if he has any diffilcuties with his deformity, but i hope he hasnt yet and. A fusion of the finger joint is an extraordinarily effective means of eliminating the. Treats over 6 different conditions depending on how its worn on the we take our fingers for granted until a simple injury or the onset of arthritis in your finger or thumb affects how you use your hand. Crooked fingers ligament injury carpal tunnel syndrome plantar fasciitis arthritis being used treats watch videos. We will experience finger joint pain in our thumb when we flex or straighten it . The finger splints can look different and this is just how one can look like. Finger arthritis afflicts millions of americans, but there are ways to treat the pain and swelling. If there deformity is not much or is due to underlying pathology like arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis etc then. Crooked fingers can be straightened by reconstructive surgery which can be done by plastic surgeons. Some people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis may not be able to straighten a finger joint, which can make grasping difficult or putting on gloves downright impossible. Crooked fingers is the solo project of singer/guitarist eric bachmann. International cricket umpire billy bowden, famous for his crooked finger of doom, is fronting this years arthritis new zealand orange appeal.
Also Check: How Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect Your Skin
The Right Tool For The Job
Some items are made with your swollen and stiff joints in mind, like easy-grip pens, spring-action scissors, and nonslip jar openers. Trade in your glass mixing bowls for lighter plastic or melamine versions. Have lever-style faucet handles installed so you donât have to grip and turn for water in the kitchen and bathroom. Look for storage with lids that lift off or flip open easily. Avoid small parts or complicated latches.
Hand Pain Is Worse With Activity
This type of hand pain tends to occur in osteoarthritis , a degenerative disorder where the cartilage that cushions the end of a joint breaks down over time. Joint symptoms of OA are more likely to be exacerbated by repetitive or overuse and effort, explains Dr. Lally for example, gardening or crafting.
In RA, on the other hand, pain and stiffness tend to come with lack of use and after periods of inactivity, such as when you wake up in the morning after being still all night.
Another way to distinguish the two: swelling in your hand and wrist is hard and bony in OA boggy and squishy in RA, says Dr. Albayda.
You May Like: What Can You Get For Arthritis
Other Conditions That Can Cause Hand Pain Include:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Rheumatoid arthritis can raise your risk of this condition, but many other factors can contribute as well, including anatomy of your wrist, nerve-damaging diseases and possibly repetitive hand motions. Its tricky because you could have carpal tunnel syndrome that is related to RA or not at all related to RA.
Managing Hand And Wrist Pain
Research shows it is effective for providing symptom relief for people with carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that causes numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand because of a squeezed nerve in the wrist.
A study reported in 2017 in the journal Brain found people with carpal tunnel can experience improvements in pain and numbness using acupuncture. In addition, researchers suggested acupunctureâwhen done correctlyâcan also offer long-term benefits and continued improvements in hand function.
These findings could hold promise for hand pain associated with arthritis.
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Arthritis Pain In Hip
How To Handle Possible Surgery
If mobility problems or pain from osteoarthritis becomes so severe it affects your quality of life, then surgery may be necessary. Here, the damaged cartilage in the joint is removed and the bones then fused together. Another option is joint replacement, which involves removing the damaged joint and replacing it with an implant. But keep in mind that surgery is not a miracle cure. âIt doesnât reverse the damage caused by osteoarthritis, and you donât regain normal function. And with fusion, you lose all motion at that joint,â says rheumatologist Dr. Robert Shmerling, at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
There are a large number of vitamins, minerals, and herbs that are thought to help people manage their arthritis symptoms, but some of them are not supported by science. Here, we take a closer look at supplements and vitamins thought to aid people with arthritis and whether there is research to support those claims.
Avoid Working Through The Pain
The most important thing to remember is to avoid working through the pain. Pain is a sign that you need to stop what you are doing, take a break from the task, and modify the task so you can perform it in a pain-free manner.
To find an excellent doctor who is right for you, please call our Physician Referral Service at 866.804.1007.
Don’t Miss: Is Physical Therapy Good For Arthritis
Exercises To Relieve Arthritis
The following exercises increase blood flow to cartilage, bringing it the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and prevent further breakdown. Consult your healthcare provider before starting these exercises to make sure theyre appropriate for you.
If so, the exercises are easy to do and can ease your arthritis pain:
The stronger your muscles are, the more weight they will be able to handle. Like other types of exercise, hand exercises won’t “work” overnight. But they should with time and repetition.
Characteristics Of Knuckle Pain & Swelling
Knuckle pain can be stabbing, sharp, dull or throbbing. The knuckle pain can be mild to severe in intensity and can occur only at a specific time of the day or when the patient performs certain activities. Depending on the cause of the knuckle pain, it can increase or decrease with movement. It can be very difficult to move the knuckle if there is severe knuckle pain and swelling occurring as a result of traumatic injuries. Sometimes, knuckle pain and swelling occurring as a result of injury can be localized to only a single knuckle. In some cases, many knuckles can be affected. Inflammation in the knuckles can also cause knuckle pain and swelling. Medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, which is a chronic autoimmune disease, and is characterized by joint inflammation, will also cause knuckle pain and swelling.
There may be acute knuckle pain, which is recent in origin or chronic knuckle pain which develops slowly. Knuckle pain and swelling can also occur from chronic medical conditions which affect the entire body, such as vascular disease, arthritis, cardiac problems, kidney disease and diabetes. Cancer of the bones or soft tissues is a rare and potentially fatal cause of knuckle pain and swelling.
Recommended Reading: How To Keep Arthritis From Getting Worse
Are There Different Types Of Finger Arthritis
is the most common type of finger arthritis. OA is also called degenerative joint disease because it is caused by wear and tear on your joints as you age. In OA, the protective tissues in your joints deteriorate with time allowing bare bone to rub on bone. This cause joint pain and swelling.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can also cause finger arthritis. Typically, RA will follow the same pattern in each of your hands and will affect the same joints on both sides.
Other possible causes of finger arthritis include:
- Traumatic arthritis, which occurs after a hand injury
- , which occurs with a skin condition called
- Gout, which most often affects the big toe but can sometimes affect the fingers. involves sudden flare-ups of pain, swelling and redness.
- , which is caused by an infection in the joint
Early Signs And Symptoms Of Arthritis In Knuckles
Pain, swelling, and tenderness are usually considered as early signs and symptoms of knuckle arthritis. Tiny bumps pop out on the top knuckles of some of the fingers, and fingers become stiff. Other possible signs and symptoms may include:
- Patients usually complain of deep, aching joint pain that is worsened by the grip and pinch activities
- Stiffness in the fingers especially in the mornings
- Swelling, especially in the spaces between the large knuckles, is often present
- Limited range of motion or loss of motion in fingers
- Stretched or shiny skin
- Skin pitting: Skin that dimples or pits after pressing on the affected area for a few seconds
- Warmth or redness of the affected area
- Visible deformity
Recommended Reading: What Foods To Avoid With Gouty Arthritis
What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis In The Hands
Early symptoms include:
- Dull or burning joint pain, appearing hours or a day after increased use of your hands.
- Morning pain and stiffness in your hand.
- Swollen joints in your hand.
If you’ve had arthritis in your hand for some time:
- Symptoms are present more often.
- Pain may change from dull ache to sharp pain.
- Pain may wake you up at night.
- Pain may cause you to change the way you use your hand.
- Tissue surrounding your affected joint may become red and tender to the touch.
- Youll feel grating, grinding, cracking or clicking when bending your fingers.
- Your fingers cant fully open and close.
- Small bony nodules form on the middle joint of your fingers or at the top joints of your fingers .
- Your finger joints become large and deformed and abnormally bent, leaving your hands weak and less able to accomplish everyday tasks.
What Is Dactylitis Or Sausage Fingers
Dactylitis occurs due to inflammation known as tenosynovitis. This means that, unlike typical joint swelling that only affects the knuckle of a finger or toe, dactylitis causes inflammation of your entire finger or toe.
The puffy nature of the inflammation can make these digits look like sausages. Severe dactylitis can make your fingers so rigid that you can no longer make a fist.
Also Check: Does Heat Make Arthritis Worse
Causes Of Arthritis In The Hands
Arthritic conditions can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and tenderness in the small joints of the hands and fingers.
Inflammatory arthritis conditions, like RA, psoriatic arthritis, gout, and ankylosing spondylitis cause inflammation. Symptoms of inflammation include redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. In general, OA is degenerative, rather than inflammatory.
Our fingers are important! We use them constantly, all day long: to brush our teeth, to send emails, to cook our meals. When arthritis affects the fingers, everyday tasks become difficult and painful. So what can we do when our finger joints begin to cause problems?
This article provides more information about arthritis in the fingers, what causes it, and what you can do to help keep your fingers moving.
Verywell / Cindy Chung
Possible Reasons You Cant Straighten Your Finger
If youre experiencing an inability to straighten your finger, the cause is likely one of these four possible reasons. At the crux of determining which of these is causing the problem, its important to determine if it stems from a trauma-related injury or not.
Lets take a look then at these four possible causes and spend some time investigating the more serious problems.
Also Check: What To Do For Arthritis In The Shoulder
You May Like: What Specialist Treats Rheumatoid Arthritis
The Little Finger Is Bent And Cannot Be Straightened
My mother is 51 years old, both of her pinky fingers are bent 1 finger segment and cannot be straightened. X-ray tests have been done but the results are normal , blood tests have been done and the immune results are normal and finally physiotherapy has been done for 14x but the results are still the same finger can not be straightened. In this case, does my mother need to have a CT scan / MRI scan? What specialist doctors can be recommended for what my mother experienced? thanks.
Read Also: Are There Tests For Arthritis