Monday, October 2, 2023

What Causes Arthritis In Your Fingers

Here Are Several Signs Of Arthritis In The Hands:

Arthritis Of The Fingers – Everything You Need To Know – Dr. Nabil Ebraheim
  • Pain and stiffness in your joints, especially the hand and wrist, when you wake up in the morning.
  • Swelling and pain in your hands and fingers as well.
  • The skin on your hands may be red and inflamed.
  • It hurts to use your hands or muscles.
  • Your hand pops or makes a grating sound when you move it.
  • Loss of muscle mass on your hands.
  • Little, bony bumps on your hands.
  • The skin on your hands is warm.
  • Deformed hands.
  • Fever, if you have an infection.
  • Psoriatic arthritis in your hands.
  • If you are experiencing any of these signs, it is advised to contact your primary care provider. They can discuss and diagnose arthritis, along with treatment options for you as well.

    There are several treatments for those with arthritic hands. Arthritis in hands is not untreatable.

    Arthritis In Hands: Signs Complications And How Can You Manage It

    More than likely, you know of at least one person who has arthritis. Its quite a common condition. Or even, you probably have it. Its common, yes, but not quite well understood. There are different types.

    The pain you get from pain may not be frequent but it may cause reduced motion in your affected joint, some deformity and even in terms of function.

    Arthritis affects almost any joint in your body but it mostly affects your hand and wrist. So, hand arthritis which is also known as rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder that affects the joints in your hands.

    How Is Jia Treated

    When JIA is diagnosed early and treated appropriately, it can usually be managed effectively. Thereâs no cure, but thereâs a lot doctors can do to ease the symptoms of JIA and prevent or limit damage to joints.

    For some people, taking medications like ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce inflammation. Some patients need to take a weekly medication called methotrexate. Newer medications such as etanercept, adalimumab, abatacept, and tocilizumab can keep the immune system in check and control the disease far better than was possible a few years ago. For arthritis flare-ups, doctors may also use medicines called corticosteroids , but they try to limit these to avoid side effects.

    Physical therapy exercises that improve flexibility and the use of heat can help people with JIA control symptoms. Itâs rare that joints get damaged in a personâs teens, but surgery can repair damaged joints if needed.

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    Evaluation Of Pain In A Single Joint

    Acute monoarticular joint pain requires rapid diagnosis because infectious arthritis requires rapid treatment.

    Clinical evaluation should determine whether the joint or periarticular structures are the cause of symptoms and whether there is joint inflammation. If signs of inflammation are present or the diagnosis is unclear, symptoms and signs of polyarticular and systemic disorders should be sought.

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    Recognizing Symptoms Of Arthritis In The Hands

    Hand cramps: Symptoms, causes, and home remedies

    Women are more likely than men to have arthritis in their hands, and often people experience arthritis symptoms in their hands before other signs of arthritis show up. Different forms of arthritis affect the hands in different ways. For example, psoriatic arthritis, a type of arthritis related to the skin condition psoriasis, is most likely to cause pain in the joints closest to the fingernails , while in osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, cartilage can wear down in all the joints in the fingers and thumb. Symptoms of arthritis in the hands may include:

    • Pain in some or all of the joints, including joints of the fingers, wrists, and thumbs
    • The growth of bony knobs on finger joints
    • Numbness in fingers
    • Swollen, red, or warm joints
    • Stiffness in the fingers, especially in the morning in patients who have rheumatoid arthritis
    • Growth of lumps, or nodules, under the skin of the hands in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
    • Fingers that look like swollen sausages in patients with psoriatic arthritis
    • Difficulty with motions that require gripping and twisting, such as opening jars

    The progression of arthritis in the hands can actually be measured. People with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis lose bone density, which can be measured with bone-density scanning, while the joint damage of osteoarthritis can usually be seen on X-rays.

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    Can Arthritis In The Hand Be Prevented

    Arthritis cant be prevented. However, you can watch for symptoms of arthritis as you age and see your healthcare provider if you notice changes in your joints. You can also take steps to control factors that you can control. Eat healthy to nourish your body and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts more stress on your joints. Dont smoke. Smoking increases your risk of arthritis.

    Finger And Wrist Arthritis Prevention

    While there is no one way to prevent the development of finger and wrist arthritis, you can reduce your risk by making healthy lifestyle choices and avoiding joint stress. Be sure to:

    • Avoid tobaccoSmoking damages cartilage and joint tissue, making it more likely that youll develop osteoarthritis.
    • Maintain a healthy body weightWhile obesity isnt likely to directly affect the finger and wrist joints, it can cause high blood pressure and exacerbate swelling.
    • Perform hand exercisesRegular stretches and exercises can help keep your fingers and wrists flexible and increase range-of-motion.
    • Reduce joint stressMaking ergonomic adjustments when typing, writing or lifting heavy objects can help relieve joint stress and prevent long-term damage.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis Of The Hand

    Pain is the most common presenting symptom of osteoarthritis of the hand. It usually progresses in intensity over time. In the beginning the pain may occur only with activity and be relieved by rest. Late in the disease, the pain may be a constant, dull ache.

    Stiffness of the joint is also a common complaint. This is due to the excess synovial fluid that builds up in the joint. Stiffness is usually worse in the morning or after a long period of inactivity.

    The joints of the hand may become widened, enlarged, and deformed. Bony lumps, called nodes, may grow on the finger joints. Heberdens nodes occur on the joint closest to the fingertip, and Bouchards nodes can be found on the middle finger joint. Digital Mucoid Cysts, which are a subtype of Ganglion Cyst, may occur on the joint closest to the fingertip as well.

    Hand Surgery For Arthritis

    Hand arthritis: what are the main symptoms?

    Get more information about types of hand surgeries that are used in rare cases to treat arthritis in finger joints to relieve pain and repair damage.

    Arthritis can take a heavy toll on hands, causing pain, deformity and disability. Yet surgery to repair the damage from hand arthritis is relatively rare. One reason is that finger surgery has a high complication and failure rate. It can also sacrifice mobility for pain relief. The two main surgical options for hand arthritis are fusion and total knuckle replacement .

    Types of Hand Surgery

    Arthrodesis involves fusing the bones of the joint together, creating a stronger, more stable and essentially pain-free knuckle, but one with little flexibility or movement.

    Arthroplasty involves removing the damaged joint and replacing it with an artificial implant. The goal is to relieve pain and restore shape and some function in the hand. However, the results are usually less satisfactory than with hip and knee replacements. One problem is that hinged finger implants donât fully replicate normal finger motion. Most are made from silicone rubber, which is flexible but breaks and slips easily. Some studies have found that up to 30 percent of silicone implants fail within 10 years, making them a poor choice for younger patients. âSometimes even the best artificial joint is not as good as a banged-up real joint, so you have to be very careful, notes Jose Ortiz Jr., MD, a hand surgeon at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

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    How Is Arthritis In The Hand Treated

    Treatment options depend on the type of arthritis, stage of arthritis, how many joints are affected, your age, activity level, the hand affected and other existing medical conditions.

    Goals of treatment are to:

    • Improve mobility and function.
    • Increase your quality of life.
    • In the case of rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis, to slow the progression of the disease.

    Treatment options include splinting/bracing, medications, injections, non-drug approaches and surgery.


    Splits or braces support and protect the affected joint, reduce deformity, provide joint stability, lessen strain, and promote proper joint alignment. Your healthcare provider, occupational therapist or hand therapist will discuss splinting/bracing options, how and when to wear them and how long to wear them .


    Steroid injections

    Steroids reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Steroids are usually used if medications dont control inflammation or if the inflammation is limited to a few joints. Injections are administered directly into the affected joint. Because steroids can weaken tendons and ligaments, injections are repeated only a few times.

    Other management strategies

    A complete treatment plan for arthritis of the hand includes these additional approaches:


    If nonsurgical treatments no longer provide relief and the cartilage at the ends of your bones has worn away, surgery may be an option. There are several approaches:

    Other Causes Of Joint Pain

    There are many causes of joint pain other than arthritis, Dr. Cotter says, such as injury and overuse, bursitis and tendinitis .

    Joint pain can also result from abnormal pain processing, which occurs in conditions such as fibromyalgia.

    Because joint pain and swelling can have many different causes, she stresses that obtaining the correct diagnosis is the most important part. You have to learn the cause of the joint pain and swelling in order to treat it correctly. Treatment options can vary widely, so its important that you dont try to fix your joint pain or swelling on your own.

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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.

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    When To See A Doctor For Hand Pain

    Arthritis at the base of the thumb â Hand Therapy Group

    It is advisable to schedule an appointment with your doctor for any of the following hand pain symptoms:

    • Hand pain accompanied byfeverand signs of infection: Especially following a puncture wound
    • Inability to move or bend fingers or wrist
    • Pain that does not improve over several weeks

    Hand pain symptoms can be debilitating and greatly impact your daily life. Several steps can be taken to treat the pain, particularly if you have a known condition like arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

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    Osteoarthritis Of The Hand

    Osteoarthritis often affects three main areas of your hand:

    • the base of your thumb
    • the joints closest to your fingertips
    • the middle joints of your fingers

    Your fingers may become stiff, painful and swollen and you may develop bumps on your finger joints. Over time, the pain may decrease and eventually disappear altogether, although the bumps and swelling can remain.

    Your fingers may bend sideways slightly at your affected joints or you may develop painful cysts on the backs of your fingers.

    In some cases, you may also develop a bump at the base of your thumb where it joins your wrist. This can be painful and you may find it difficult to perform some manual tasks, such as writing, opening jars or turning keys.

    Page last reviewed: 19 August 2019 Next review due: 19 August 2022

    Reducing The Strain On Your Hands And Wrists

    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 doesnt mean you shouldnt 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 dont 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.

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    Early Signs Of Arthritis In Fingers

    Arthritis will affect approximately 67 million people in the United States by the year 2030, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 4. Two main types of arthritis affect the fingers. Osteoarthritis is a condition caused by the progressive breakdown of cartilage that provides padding between bones in the joints 3. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to mistakenly attack joint tissues. Early signs of arthritis in the fingers include pain, warmth, swelling, stiffness and weakness.

    If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

    Heart Disease Risk Increases With Ra

    Arthritis Of The Fingers types and patterns – Everything You Need To Know – Dr. Nabil Ebraheim

    One of the most concerning conditions that can evolve in people with RA is cardiovascular disease, especially ischemic heart disease, in which thereâs a reduced blood supply in the heart.

    Other cardiovascular issues people with RA are at increased risk for include heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, and atrial fibrillation.

    Its crucial that people with RA continue to be monitored for heart disease risks by their general practitioner or cardiologist. In a review of preventative measures for people with RA, published in June 2020 in the journal Nature Reviews Rheumatology, the authors noted that catching risk factors early, such as high blood pressure or high blood lipids, is especially important for preventing a serious cardiac event.

    In addition, people with RA are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes another cardiovascular risk factor as those without RA, possibly because the inflammation of RA affects blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.

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    What Drives Ra Inflammation

    While the cause of RA is still not fully understood, researchers and doctors do have a few likely suspects. Risk factors include smoking and certain genetic factors, says Joseph Huffstutter, M.D., a rheumatologist at Arthritis Associates in Hixson, TN. RA can occur at any age, but is most common in females between 30 and 50 years old.

    inflammation include pain, swelling, redness, and stiffness, especially in the small jointsthink your hands, wrists, and knees, says Dr. Blumstein. With RA, you may be at risk for other diseases and health problems, as well: It can have implications on a persons risk of other conditions such as heart disease and stroke, and cancer risk , he adds.

    The common thread here is that, as a joint is affected by RA, there is thickening of the joint lining called synovitis, explains Dr. Huffstutter. The synovitis is inflammatory cells producing enzymes and pro-inflammatory cytokines that destroy the joint, if left untreated, he adds.

    Beyond smoking and/or having a genetic predisposition, inflammation can also be caused by environmental triggers, viral infections, hormones, stress, diet, and microbiome changes, says Dr. Ashima Makol, M.B.B.S, a rheumatologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

    Osteoarthritis Of The Knee

    If you have osteoarthritis in your knees, both your knees will usually be affected over time, unless it occurred as the result of an injury or another condition affecting only 1 knee.

    Your knees may be most painful when you walk, particularly when walking up or down hills or stairs.

    Sometimes, your knees may “give way” beneath you or make it difficult to straighten your legs. You may also hear a soft, grating sound when you move the affected joint.

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    What Type Of Hand Surgery Is Most Commonly Performed On The Specific Joints Affected By Arthritis

    • Base of the thumb: Where your thumb and wrist join. Common surgical options include removing part or all of one of the trapezium bone , tendon transfer or joint fusion.
    • Knuckles : Joint replacement is almost always considered for this repair. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause serious damage and disability to your knuckles.
    • Second joint of your finger : Osteoarthritis commonly causes stiffness and loss of motion. Joint replacement or fusion are considered for these joints. Because you use these joints frequently, there is a chance your implant could wear out. In this case, your provider may recommend further surgery.
    • Top of finger joint : Joint fusion is commonly used to treat arthritis in this joint.

    Hand Pain Is Worse With Activity

    Pin on Hand Pain

    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.

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