Thursday, September 29, 2022

What Can You Do For Arthritis In The Hands

Arthritis Bumps On Fingers: Is There Any Help

Arthritis In Hands – Critical Basics To Know If You Want To Be Pain Free

The struggle with arthritis is often an invisible one, but when arthritis bumps appear, thats no longer the case.

Are you seeing these new bumps growing on your hands near your joints and wondering what you can do?

While there is no cure for arthritis, which is of course the culprit for the bumps, there are treatment options that can help manage them.

There are a couple of types of arthritis that are commonly known to cause these bumps rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Lets start by understanding the different make-ups of the bumps caused by each type.

For Hands And Fingers

There are a number of things you can do at home to help relieve your symptoms. Once you meet with your doctor, they can make a diagnosis and help you develop a treatment plan suited to your needs.

You may also find relief by:

  • massaging the affected areas
  • applying a hot or cold compress to reduce swelling
  • wearing hand splints to help stabilize and protect your wrist and fingers
  • taking regular breaks when typing or writing
  • performing hand and wrist exercises to help stretch and strengthen the muscles

Symptoms Of Arthritis In Hands

You already know what arthritis symptoms you’re experiencing in your hands and fingers, but let’s break the most common symptoms own here.

For both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, the symptoms are very similar. Both kinds of arthritis can create the following symptoms:

  • ache and/or pain in the hands
  • ache and/or pain in the fingers
  • ache and/or pain in the wrist
  • ‘stiff’ finger joints
  • ‘warm’ finger joints
  • reduced range of motion

Symptoms are not the problem with hand arthritis. Symptoms are not the cause.

That seems like common sense, but for some reason humans tend to focus on the symptoms.

But you may want to shift your focus to the CAUSE of the symptoms. Because if you just deal with the symptoms, you’ll never fix the mechanism that is causing those symptoms.

You want to reverse the arthritis mechanic, as opposed to just suppressing the symptoms (that leaves the mechanism to progressively get worse over time.

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You Are Not Alone: Finding Support For Ra In The Hands

How does RA in your hands and fingers affect your daily life? Has your rheumatologist found the right medication to manage your symptoms? What helps you successfully get through each day? Share your tips and experiences in a comment below or on myRAteam. You’ll be surprised how many other members have similar stories.

Are Glucosamine And Chondroitin Supplements Helpful For Treating Osteoarthritis Of The Hand

The delicious cure for arthritis pain

Supplements are not reviewed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration . They are not required to undergo the same rigorous clinical trial methods that medications must undergo in the U.S. Some clinical trials show benefits with pain relief however, there is no proof that these supplements slow the progression of osteoarthritis. If you plan to try these, always check with your healthcare provider before using supplements. These products may interfere with medications you currently take.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Dull or burning joint pain, morning stiffness, swollen joints in your hand are all symptoms of arthritis. Many types of arthritis could affect your hands. Many treatment options are available depending on your exact arthritis type. Medications can reduce joint pain and swelling. Researchers are still working on ways to slow the progression of osteoarthritis. See your healthcare provider if you think you have arthritis in your hands. They will perform a complete exam and offer you a complete treatment plan, which includes hand exercises, use of hot and cold packs, other lifestyle tips and traditional treatments including medications, braces/splints, steroid injections and surgery.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/06/2021.

References

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Do I Have Arthritis In The Hands

Arthritis is not always easy to diagnose. Most patients have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Pain: Itis an early symptom of arthritis, in most cases as morning pain and stiffness. Activities that once were easy, such as opening a jar or starting the car engine become difficult due to pain in the hands
  • Swelling: This symptom is characterized by a series of signs that include pain, redness of the skin, and warmth. Warmthupon touch is due to the bodys inflammatory response.
  • Crepitations: When the articulation crepitates, it can be due to damaged cartilage surfaces rubbing against one another.
  • Other signs and symptoms: Other include joint tenderness, instability, effusion, limitation of range of movement and wasting of the muscles.

But even if you have these symptoms in your hands, you dont necessarily have arthritis. You will need several exams, including blood tests, X-rays, rheumatoid arthritis serology, and you may also need more advanced exams, as in joint aspiration.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Hand Surgery

Recovery time depends on many factors, including the severity of your condition, type of surgery you had, the skill of your surgeon and your compliance with therapy. Most people can return to their activities about three months after joint reconstruction surgery. Your team of caregivers can give you the best estimate of your particular recovery time.

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Exercise #: Wrist Stretch

Dont forget about your wrists, which can also get sore and stiff from arthritis. To exercise your wrist, hold your right arm out with the palm facing down. With your left hand, gently press down on the right hand until you feel a stretch in your wrist and arm. Hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat 10 times. Then, do the entire sequence with the left hand.

Reducing The Strain On Your Hands And Wrists

How Do I Get Rid Of Arthritis In My Hands?

We use our hands a lot in daily life. If you have osteoarthritis in your hands or wrists, taking some time to think about how you use them, and how you could reduce the strain on them, can bring great benefits. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use your hands, just that you should think about ways of using them differently.

It may be helpful to see an occupational therapist or hand therapist, who will be able to offer a lot of useful advice on this. But many people discover for themselves different ways of doing things that help to ease the strain on their joints. Examples include:

  • using gadgets such as electric tin openers or tools with softer, chunkier handles that don’t need such a tight grip
  • using a backpack or shopping trolley to avoid carrying heavy bags in your hands
  • taking more frequent breaks from tasks that put more strain on your joints or switching between harder and easier jobs
  • using both hands for some of the tasks that you normally do one-handed
  • having taps or door handles changed for those that are easier to use
  • looking out for easy-to-handle fastenings when choosing clothing or shoes.

Find out more about looking after your joints.

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Tips For Dealing With Arthritis Pain In Your Hands

Arthritis in the hands in a painful condition.

Arthritis, though a normal part of aging, is nonetheless uncomfortable at best and extremely painful at worst. While it may be frustrating to deal with this condition and its symptoms day after day, you are not helpless. In addition to medical treatment, there are also natural ways that you can work through some of the pain.

If you are living with arthritis pain in your hands, try these five tips for relief:

1. Limit movementOne of the simplest ways to limit the pain caused by arthritis is to identify the movements that make the symptoms worse and put a pause on activities that require those activities, at least for the short term. A doctor may recommend wearing a splint for a while to help immobilize the area that’s causing you pain.

2. Use ice and heatHot and cold may be opposites, but both can provide arthritis pain relief.

“An ice massage can do wonders for pain caused by physical activity,” Scott Burg, DO wrote for Cleveland Clinic. “Take a piece of ice and rub it in a circular motion over your painful joint. Just don’t do it for more than five minutes at a time so you don’t irritate your skin. You can use an ice pack with a cover, too.”

For heat, Burg recommended soaking your painful extremities in warm water.

4. Exercise your handsThere are a number of hand exercises that can provide relief from arthritis pain in the hands. For example, Mayo Clinic recommends the following stretch:

Make A Few Wardrobe Changes

Minor changes to your wardrobe can reduce strain on your hands, helping to ease your overall pain and stiffness. For example, try wearing:

  • Shoes that slip on or use Velcro rather than shoelaces
  • Shirts that pull over the head rather than button up
  • Pants that have elastic waistbands rather than snaps and zippers

Other lifestyle changes can also be helpful. For example, when cooking, use a jar opener, lightweight pots and pans, and kitchen utensils with large handles. An occupational therapist can give you additional ideas on how to reduce strain on hand joints.

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How Do You Know If You Have Hand Arthritis

If you cant make a fist and hand arthritis is suspected, your doctor will examine your hands and joints.

They may take X-rays to identify any cartilage loss or the formation of bone spurs. They will also review your family medical history to inform their diagnosis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis In Hands And Fingers: What You Need To Know

How to manage hand arthritis pain

Rheumatoid arthritis , a chronic inflammatory disease, can strike anywhere in the body. Most frequently, RA attacks the small joints of the hand, fingers, and wrists. This makes it difficult to perform daily activities, such as tying a shoelace or gripping a coffee cup.

Approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. have rheumatoid arthritis. Women are three times more likely than men to develop RA and its complications of the hand and finger joints, which are often the first place RA appears.

More than 5,600 members of myRAteam report crippling joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and deformities in their hands. These symptoms not only hurt them physically, they also affect their self-esteem, work, and overall quality of life.

My hands hurt so bad theyre useless most days, said one member. I cant make a fist or bend my deformed fingers at all. Not being able to use my hands has taken a toll on me, another lamented. Yet another member shared, I’ve been told I have the hands of a 90-year-old at age 57.

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Medications For Thumb Arthritis

Medications used for pain include over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, and injectable medications.

OTC medications that can help with pain include acetaminophen , nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , and supplements.

OTC NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen . NSAIDs in high doses may cause health problems, so be sure not to take more than is recommended on the package or by your doctor.

There are supplements with some evidence of efficacy. These include glucosamine and chondroitin, which are available as pills and powders. Additionally, capsaicin skin creams applied to the thumb may help relieve pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Hand/wrist

Rheumatoid arthritis of the hand is most common in the wrist and knuckles. Often the joints feel hot and look red. The disease is symmetric, thus what occurs in one hand usually occurs in the other.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand/Wrist

  • Sudden inability to straighten or bend a finger
  • Numbness and tingling in hand
  • May hear a squeaky sound as they move their hands and fingers
  • May feel a snap or locking sensation in the hand and fingers
  • Deformity in which the middle finger joint becomes bent
  • Deformity where the end of the finger is bent and the middle joint over extends

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand/Wrist Treatment Options

There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but medications are available that slow the progression of the disease. Optimal care involves a team approach among the patient, physicians, and therapists. The care of the rheumatoid patient requires not only a hand surgeon but also a hand therapist, rheumatologist, and the patientâs primary care physician. The rheumatologist is often the physician that monitors and decides the specific type of medicine that is felt to be the most effective for the patientâs stage in the disease process.

  • social information if applicable

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Hand Osteoarthritis Causes And Risk Factors

Osteoarthritis was once thought to happen because of wear and tear on your joints. Doctors now know thereâs more to the story.

On the ends of your bones, there’s a layer of smooth material called cartilage. It helps cushion your joints and allows them to slide easily. But over time, the cartilage gets worn down. The bones rub against each other, causing the symptoms of OA. The wear and tear can also cause other tissues in the joint to make inflammatory cells, which damage it more.

Certain things can make you more likely to have hand OA:

  • Age. The older you are, the higher your odds.
  • Sex. Compared with men, women are twice as likely to get it.
  • Ethnicity. Rates are lower in African Americans.
  • Weight. Thinner people are less likely to get it than those who have obesity.
  • Injuries. This includes broken and dislocated bones.
  • Changes in your genes. Your parents might have passed down a higher chance of OA.
  • Joint problems. This includes infections, loose ligaments, overuse, and joints that arenât aligned the way they should be.

What causes flare-ups?

Treatment For Thumb Arthritis

Hand Arthritis & How to Treat It (with Dr. Suzanne Elton)

Osteoarthritis in the thumb is the most common form of arthritis that affects the hands. Osteoarthritis results from the breakdown of joint cartilage and the underlying bone. It can affect the basal joint, which is the joint near the wrist and the fleshy part of the thumb. This joint normally allows you to pinch, pivot, and swivel your thumb for hundreds of tasks every day.

In people with thumb arthritis, the cushion-like cartilage inside the joint breaks down over time. This causes the bone to rub against bone. Symptoms of thumb arthritis can become crippling, partly because the thumb is needed so often each day. Decreased grip strength, decreased range of motion, and swelling and pain throughout your hand may occur. You may find it difficult to open jars, twist open a doorknob, or even snap your fingers.

If you have arthritis in other joints like your knees, hips, or elbows, it may make thumb arthritis more likely. Women are more prone to thumb arthritis, especially those with very flexible or lax thumb ligaments. Statistically, women are more likely than men to develop thumb arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is another type of arthritis that can develop in the basal joint.

Arthritis is different in each individual. There are a variety of treatments that may work for your particular symptoms.

Initial treatment options involve:

  • splinting
  • steroid injections

If these methods do not relieve pain and improve function, the joint may need to be reconstructed with surgery.

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What Outcome Can I Expect If I Have Arthritis In My Hands

There is no cure for arthritis. However, you can usually manage mild to moderate symptoms with a combination of medication and non-medication approaches. Surgery may be an option if other treatments fail or the arthritis in your hands is severe. Your healthcare provider will explain what outcome you can expect for your type and severity of arthritis, your age, other existing medical conditions and other factors.

Advanced Glycation End Products

AGEs are inflammatory compounds that can accumulate in tissues, particularly as someone ages. An article in Patient Education explains that people with diseases such as diabetes and RA often have increased AGE levels. So, reducing AGE levels may help reduce inflammation.

Fat and sugar both increase AGE levels in the body. Some food processing methods and high temperature cooking also increase the AGE levels in food.

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Simple Ways To Manage Hand Osteoarthritis

When osteoarthritis affects your hands, everyday activities such as opening jars and using a cell phone can be difficult. Arthritic joints in the hands or wrists may be painful, stiff, and weaker than normal. Thankfully, there are many ways to help manage this condition.

Osteoarthritis in the hand or wrist joints can make it hard to open jars or grip objects. SeeRecognizing Osteoarthritis in the Hand

Read on to learn 5 simple strategies for coping with osteoarthritic pain in the hand.

Foods High In Purines

What is the Difference Between Osteoarthritis and ...

For people who have gout, a doctor may advise a low purine diet combined with the medication.

Purines are substances in foods that the body converts to uric acid. Uric acid can build up in the bloodstream, causing a gout attack. According to the , the following foods are high in purines:

  • red meat

What a person eats can help:

  • reduce inflammation levels in the body
  • a person maintain a moderate weight
  • promote tissue health and healing
  • a person avoid specific trigger foods
  • Usually, inflammation protects the body from harm by helping defend against bacteria and aiding wound healing. However, when inflammation persists for an extended period, chronic symptoms can develop.

    What a person eats has an impact on inflammation levels. Some foods are inflammatory, and others are anti-inflammatory.

    According to the Arthritis Foundation, numerous studies show that anti-inflammatory foods can reduce arthritis pain and progression.

    A persons body weight also influences inflammation levels. Fat cells produce cytokines, which are immune cells that increase inflammation.A person can use diet to maintain a moderate weight, which may help with inflammation and also reduce pressure on the joints.

    Finally, some types of arthritis have specific trigger foods. For example, foods that are high in purines

    Consuming the following foods may benefit people with arthritis.

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