Wednesday, September 28, 2022

What Does Arthritis In Your Hands Feel Like

How Is Jia Treated

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

When JIA is diagnosed early and treated appropriately, it can usually be managed effectively. There’s no cure, but there’s 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. It’s rare that joints get damaged in a person’s teens, but surgery can repair damaged joints if needed.

Hand Osteoarthritis Home Remedies

These home treatments can help:

  • Exercises. Your doctor or physical therapist can show you what to do to improve strength and range of motion and to ease pain.
  • Assistive devices. Special pens, kitchen utensils, and other tools with big grips may be easier to use.
  • Ice or heat. Ice may reduce swelling and pain. Heat, like a warm washcloth or a paraffin bath, can loosen stiff joints.
  • Skin treatments. Medicated creams can give relief when you rub them on sore joints. Gels with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also help.
  • Supplements. Many people take glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for OA. Researchers are still looking into whether they help. Ask your doctor if they’re OK to try.

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 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.

Read Also: Living With Arthritis In Back

When Hand Or Wrist Pain May Mean Arthritis

Learn about the various causes of hand or wrist pain, including different kinds of arthritis.

Many forms of arthritis and related conditions that affect different parts of the hands. Common symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling or numbness in the wrist and fingers. Pitted nails, painful ulcers or thickened skin that makes bending the fingers difficult may also occur. Here are some diseases that affect the hands.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Also known as wear and tear arthritis, OA is a chronic condition caused by the breakdown of the cartilage, which cushions the ends of the bones where they meet to form joints. This breakdown causes the bones to rub together, causing stiffness, pain and loss of joint movement.

In hand OA, the joints most commonly affected by OA are the wrists, the joints at the base of the thumb, the middle finger joints and the joints closest to fingernails. In the finger joints, OA can lead to the formation of nodes .

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by a faulty immune system that primarily attacks joints . The result can be joint pain, swelling, inflammation and loss of function. RA commonly affects the wrist and finger joints. RA usually affects the same joint on both sides of the body . If untreated, the disease can cause joint deformities that make it difficult to use the hands.

Juvenile Arthritis

Lupus

Psoriatic Arthritis

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

What Arthritis Pain Feels Like

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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What Is Osteoarthritis Of The Hand

Hand osteoarthritis is inflammation that causes pain and stiffness in your joints. It usually happens in three places:

  • The base of your thumb, where it meets your wrist
  • One of the joints closest to your fingertips
  • The middle joint of a finger

There’s no cure, but there are a lot of ways to protect your joints and feel better.

Without treatment, osteoarthritis gets worse over time. Itâs important to get a diagnosis and a treatment plan as soon as possible.

What Does Osteoarthritis Feel Like

Osteoarthritis is a mechanical form of arthritis. It is caused by wear and tear. It results from joint degeneration and is, therefore, more prevalent among the old. Joints can deteriorate over time during your lifetime. With this type of arthritis, you experience joint pain and stiffness and these may also come and go. Any joint can be affected. However, the knees and hips are prone to more risk. The pattern is not particularly symmetrical. The joints are not usually hot or red and some people may experience swelling and feel sore.

The symptoms may be intermittent and can be triggered by your activity level or climate, like rainy weather. The symptoms, however, do not cause extreme flare ups and you normally should not feel very unwell. With osteoarthritis, your joints feel as though they are creaking or grinding.

The pain feels worse with joint use and it becomes better with rest. When you rest the joint, it may feel stiff. The bones affect your gait and posture. You may feel pain with activities like staircase use and getting up from a seated position. The pain also interferes with your daily activities and exercise.

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What Happens When Someone Has Jia

People with JIA may have pain and stiffness that can change from day to day or from morning to afternoon. These symptoms can come and go. When the condition becomes more active and the symptoms worsen, it’s known as a “flare” or a “flare-up.”

JIA often causes only minor problems, but in some cases it can cause serious joint damage or limit growth. Although JIA mostly affects the joints and surrounding tissues, it can also affect other organs, like the eyes, liver, heart, and lungs.

JIA is a condition, meaning it can last for months and years. Sometimes the symptoms just go away with treatment, which is known as remission. Remission may last for months, years, or a person’s lifetime. In fact, many teens with JIA eventually enter full remission with little or no permanent joint damage.

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What Modifications Can Help Ra Sufferers

How Can You Tell If You Have Arthritis In Your Hands And Fingers?

People who have RA may find that they lose manual dexterity, which can make many tasks more difficult. These are a few of the modifications that can make it easier to perform everyday tasks:

  • Add accessories to doorknobs so they can be turned more easily.
  • Use velcro fasteners on clothing instead of buttons.
  • Switch to lightweight versions of household pots and pans.
  • Add foam padding to pens and pencils to make them easier to hold.

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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.

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, thereâs 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?

Read Also: How To Reduce Arthritis Swelling In Fingers

Symptoms Of Arthritis In The Hand

Many different types of arthritis can affect the hand. If you have any type of hand arthritis, you may notice joint pain and:

  • Swelling in your wrists, fingers, and/or knuckles
  • Redness and warmth in the skin over your wrist and knuckle
  • Nodes or bony growths at or near the affected joints of the hands
  • Symptoms that are worse in the morning or after lots of activity

Read more about Recognizing Osteoarthritis in the Hand

Carpal tunnel syndrome can also cause symptoms that are worse in the morning, so that is not necessarily a distinguishing symptom.

People who have autoimmune arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, may also feel tired and/or unwell.

What Does Arthritis Pain Feel Like

Zilaxo Advanced Pain Solution: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis pain patterns are not similar. To determine the type of arthritis you suffer from, your doctor will usually ask you to describe the pain you feel using questions. You will be asked how it impacts your life and overall body function, the times it mostly occurs, and how bad it often gets. You may be asked to rate it on a scale of 1-10. The following are words used by patients to describe arthritis pain:

  • Sharp or shooting.
  • A hot or burning sensation.
  • An ache that is felt deep in the joint.
  • Throbbing.

Read Also: Arthritis In Arms Symptoms

Which Joints In The Hands Are Affected By Ra

The joints that connect your fingers to your hands are among the ones most often affected. You are also likely to experience symptoms in the the joints between your wrist and forearms and the middle knuckles in your fingers. The outermost joints are the least likely to be affected by RA. Usually, people will not start feeling pain there until the joints further down the hand have been affected.

Other Early Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Numbness or Tingling

This is most common in the fingers and extremities. It may progress to a burning sensation in some casesthis is called carpal tunnel syndrome. Another common sign is a squeaking or crackling noise from the hands or feet.

Joint Swelling

Inflammation is a big part of RA, and it is often mild early on. The joints may be larger than usual or warm to the touch, and this may last anywhere from a couple days to a few weeks. As the condition progresses, these episodes will increase in frequency.

Fatigue and Weight Loss

In some cases, the first symptom of RA is unusual feelings of tiredness. This may come weeks or even months before you see other symptoms, and may appear in waves before disappearing again for periods at a time. Fatigue may also lead to weight loss that has little other explanation.

Stiffness

Common in the morning for multiple forms of arthritis, stiffness may last anywhere between a few minutes to a few hours. Degenerative types of arthritis are usually short-lived, while longer periods of stiffness is more indicative of inflammatory arthritis and RA. In addition, joint stiffness in smaller joints generally signals RAthese symptoms can flare up seemingly at random, often beginning in the hands.

Range of Motion Limitations

Mild Fever

A fever by itself is likely just a fever, but one that is accompanied by other symptoms may indicate the presence of RA. A severe fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, however, is likely unrelated.

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Arthritis In The Toes

Arthritis in the toes is often the result of wear and tear of the cartilage in the toe joints or inflammation of the toe joints. The big toe is most often affected by arthritis, but other toes can also be involved.

Common symptoms of arthritis of the toes may include pain that can take hours or days to resolve and swelling and inflammation in and around the toe joints. Both RA and PsA can cause significant pain and swelling. However, with PsA, the toes become so swollen that they can resemble sausages .

Additional symptoms of arthritis in the toes might include:

  • Restricted range of motion due to swelling or cartilage damage
  • Development of bone spurs, which can further restrict movement
  • Difficulty and pain with bending the toes
  • A toe that might bend permanently downward
  • Pain that worsens with weight-bearing activityrunning, walking, climbing stairs, etc.
  • A bump formation or sore
  • Pitted, separated, thickened toenails
  • Curling of toeshammertoe or claw toe

What Is Arthritis Of The Hand

What Your Hand and Finger Pain Is Telling You | William Seitz, Jr., MD

Arthritis is a disease that attacks the tissues of your joints. A joint is where two bones meet. Arthritis can attack the lining of your joint or the cartilage, the smooth covering at the ends of bones. Eventually the cartilage breaks down, the ends of your bones become exposed, rub against each other and wear away. You have many joints in your hand, therefore its a common site for arthritis to happen.

Arthritis of the hand causes pain and swelling, stiffness and deformity. As arthritis progresses, you cant use your hands to manage everyday tasks as you once could.

Read Also: Home Remedy For Arthritis Pain In Hands

Changes In Surrounding Joints

In patients with advanced thumb base arthritis, the neighboring joints may become more mobile than normal.

Thumb extension deformity. This patient has lost mobility at the base of the thumb due to arthritis. The next joint closer to the tip of the thumb has become more mobile than normal to make up for the arthritic joint. Normally, the thumb does not come to a right angle with the rest of the hand.

Work Posture And Body Mechanics

  • Organize your work so that you can change your position occasionally while maintaining a comfortable posture.
  • Position your work so you do not have to turn excessively to either side.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed when your arms are hanging by your sides.
  • When using a keyboard, keep your forearms parallel to the floor or slightly lowered and keep your fingers lower than your wrists. Allow your arms and hands to move freely. Take frequent breaks to stretch your fingers, hands, wrist, shoulders, and neck. If you use a wrist pad during breaks from typing, itâs best to rest your palm or the heel of your hand on the support, rather than your wrist.

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

Recommended Reading: How To Ease Arthritis

How Will It Affect Me

The symptoms of hand osteoarthritis can vary between different people and over time. You’ll probably have good days and bad days. You may find this depends on what you’re doing, but sometimes there may not be any obvious reason.

If the joints are inflamed then they’re likely to look swollen and red and to feel warm and tender to the touch. You’re likely to have pain, especially when using your hands but sometimes even while resting. Swelling can also cause the soft tissues around a joint to stretch, which can make your hands feel weak or unstable.

As we use our hands such a lot in daily life, pain, stiffness or poor grip strength can cause problems with a wide variety of tasks and activities including:

  • opening jars and cans
  • holding a pen or cutlery
  • doing up buttons or zips
  • handling money
  • shaving, brushing your teeth, or drying yourself after a bath or shower.

Hand osteoarthritis often tends to ‘burn out’ after a time. It may be painful for a few years and then the pain may improve, especially if only the small finger joints are affected. Any firm, knobbly swellings or nodes that have developed will remain though. And the range of movement in the joints doesn’t always improve even when the pain does.

Sometimes the weather, especially cold weather, can make your symptoms worse. However, the weather won’t affect the long-term outlook or how the condition progresses.

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