Talk To Your Doctor About Surgery Options
If pain is unrelenting or there is loss if function in the hands, your rheumatologist may refer you for a surgical evaluation, particularly when theres an anatomic defect that can be corrected, says Dr. Albayda.
Surgery may involve removal of inflamed joint linings, tendon repair, joint fusions, or joint replacements. Depending on the joint involved, the degree of damage, and other factors, you hand surgeon will determine the most appropriate treatment to help correct deformities, relieve pain, or improve function.
What Is Arthritis Of The Hand
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.
Q How Much Glucosamine Do I Need
A. Arthritis is a very common problem among the Americans. According to the statistics, around 22.7% of the American adults are diagnosed with some forms of arthritis, such as gout, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and others..
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How Is Hand Osteoarthritis Diagnosed
It’s often possible for your doctor to diagnose osteoarthritis of the hand from your symptoms and a simple examination, without any need for tests. Although x-rays will show changes in the shape or structure of the joint, they’re often not needed to confirm the diagnosis. Blood tests are sometimes helpful if there’s any doubt about whether it’s osteoarthritis or another type of arthritis that’s causing your symptoms.
Sometimes gout can affect the hands and this can look very much like osteoarthritis. If your doctor thinks it may be gout then they’ll want to check your urate levels through a blood test. Urate is a waste product which is normally flushed out of the body through the kidneys. But if it builds up it can form crystals in the joints, leading to sever pain and swelling.
It’s less common for the joints where your fingers meet your hand to be affected by osteoarthritis, so if you have pain and swelling in these joints your doctor may ask for blood tests to check for rheumatoid arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis can also affect the hands and may look similar to osteoarthritis. There are no blood tests et present for psoriatic arthritis, but this type of arthritis is linked to the skin condition psoriasis. Your doctor may therefore ask if you or anyone in your family have a history of skin problems.
Treatment For Hand Arthritis In The Greater Chesapeake
If you have a hand injury or chronic condition such as arthritis, turn to the experts at Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder. Our team of hand experts have a profound understanding of the complex networks of blood vessels, nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones that make up the hand and fingers.
We understand how important pain-free hand and finger motion and function is to daily activities, including work, self-care, sports, and leisure. Our orthopedic and plastic surgeons specialize in hand surgery, and we can offer state-of-the-art nonsurgical and surgical care to treat a full range of hand and finger injuries and conditions.
Call us today to schedule a consultation with our at or request an appointment online now for any of our Greater Chesapeake locations. We look forward to helping you feel less pain in your hands and regain hand motion and function, so you can get back to doing what you love.
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What Is The Difference Between Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis
The primary difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis is the nature of the disease. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that is the result of increased wear and tear on joints. Osteoarthritis may produce inflammatory symptoms as well but primarily destroys joint cartilage over time.
Osteoarthritis Of The Hands
Get more information about the causes, symptoms and treatments of hand OA, which is very common and can be debilitating.
About half of all women and one-quarter of all men will experience the stiffness and pain of osteoarthritis of the hands by the time they are 85 years old. A degenerative disease that affects all the tissues of a joint, OA leads to the breakdown over time of the smooth, protective cartilage on the ends of bones, so bones rub together, causing pain. The 29 bones of your hands and wrists come together to form many small joints that can be affected by OA.
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Tenosynovitis In The Hands
In addition to encapsulating joints, synovial tissue also surrounds most tendons. Tendons connect muscles to bones. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause a tendonâs synovial sheath to become inflamed, a condition called tenosynovitis. The inflammation is not always painful but can lead to tendon damage.
In the hand, flexor tendons allow a person to bend their fingers. When a fingerâs flexor tendon is inflamed it can cause the middle knuckle to get stuck in a bent position. This condition is called trigger finger.
At least one study suggests that tenosynovitis of flexor tendons is a strong predictor of rheumatoid arthritis.5
Inflammation of the flexor tendon or tendon sheath in the hand can lead to trigger finger and may be an early indicator of rheumatoid arthritis. Read Trigger Finger
What Causes Swollen Hands In The Morning
Because the causes of swollen hands and fingers in the morning can vary, itâs important to understand the exact cause of the swelling before considering what kind of treatment to seek. Causes can include:
1. Dehydration: The most common cause for swollen hands when you wake up in the morning is fluid retention. If you donât drink enough water each day, your body can go into dehydration mode when you sleep. What that means is the body holds on to the fluids as a result, your hands and fingers, and in some cases, your feet swell because of water retention.
2. Sleep posture: How you sleep can lead to swollen hands and fingers in the morning. If you toss and turn when you sleep, itâs possible that you could bend your wrist and cause swelling.
3. Arthritis: Swelling related to arthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints. The swelling and stiffness due to arthritis can last for a few hours after you wake up it tends to affect the smaller joints, like those in your hands.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of arthritis that causes the finger joints to swell. Psoriatic arthritis causes swelling in the fingers and joints while osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage between your finger joints degenerates. Cervical or neck spondylosis is a form of arthritis that affects the neck, but, it can creep into the fingers.
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Exercises That Help Relieve Arthritis In The Fingers And Hands
If someone is pain free, it is critical to keep joints in good range of motion. Simple shoulder shrugs, wrist, and finger range of motion exercises help keep joint range of motion, says physical therapist Charles J. Gulas, PT, PhD, GCS, dean of the School of Health Professions at Maryville University of St. Louis. Being pain free is the key, Gulas stresses, especially when doing exercises intended to build strength. When pain acts up, rest and pain management may be a better bet.
Try these range-of-motion exercises to keep your hands, fingers, and thumbs flexible and to ease symptoms of arthritis in the fingers and in the hands overall:
- Close your fist and then gradually open your hand, stretching your fingers out, then close slowly into a fist again.
- Make circle motions with your thumb, keeping it straight.
- Stretch your thumb away from the palm of your hand, then use it to touch each fingertip.
Repeat these exercises 3 to 10 times daily. Stop if you feel pain in a joint or if you’re experiencing additional pain once youre done. Some people find that doing these hand exercises under warm water is helpful. If you have osteoarthritis, you may need to wear a splint, wear a compression glove, or use another type of support to help reduce wear and tear on your joints during your daily activities. Ask your doctor or a physical therapist to recommend the type of device that may help you.
Watch: Getting Started On Rheumatoid Arthritis Medications
This video is part of an educational project from researchers at Yale University, Berkshire Medical Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Hospital for Special Surgery, CreakyJoints and the Global Healthy Living Foundation, and ArthritisPower. It was made possible with support from the Rheumatology Research Foundation. Watch more videos from this series here.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you suspect you may have RA or if you have any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to speak to your healthcare provider. As mentioned previously, RA can lead to significant issues in the lungs, eyes, nerves, and blood vessels. In fact, it may even lead to death overtime if left untreated.
Fortunately, RA can be effectively treated with the proper medication in a large percentage of individuals. Because of this, it is crucial to be evaluated by a qualified practitioner who is skilled in treating the disease.
Fingers Swell Like Sausages
Psoriatic arthritis is another form of inflammatory arthritis that can cause painful, swollen joints that are warm to the touch. Psoriatic arthritis, however, is more likely to also cause sausage-like swelling in the fingers and toes .
Also, pain and stiffness in the first knuckle of the finger tends to occur in psoriatic arthritis, as well as osteoarthritis, but rarely seen in RA, says Dr. Lally.
Read more here about psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
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What You Can Do
Arthritis is a common condition with many treatment options. Because it worsens over time, it’s best to seek medical care early. Even if you think your hand pain is mild, make an appointment with your doctor. You can perform exercises, wear arthritis gloves, and take medications to manage the symptoms.
What Will Happen If You Ignore It For Too Long
Make no mistake, if not addressed for too long, the situation will become progressively worse. The joint pain will worsen if not treated and, soon, the situation might become so bad that it becomes visible even to a layman. For those who still might need some convincing that the situation is serious, it might be worth looking up what the hand may start to look like if things escalate.
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About Carex Health Brands
Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.
Q What Causes Pain In The Finger Joints
A. Imagine your fingers aching every time you use them. That could be awful. You cannot push a key on your laptop, complete a message on your Android phone, hit those guitar chords, thoroughly and thoroughly clean your body or the plate you used last night..
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Three Common Types Of Arthritis Of The Hands
Despite being classified as a single ailment, arthritis of the hands can be caused by a number of different factors and conditions.
Risk groups are determined based on your: age, sex, ethnicity, or even genetic predisposition.
Nonetheless, there are three conditions that stand out as the root cause of this medical predicament.
The first common origin of arthritis of the hands is the so-called osteoarthritis. The simplest way to describe this problem is as wear and tear. Due to normal joint use, genetic predisposition, post-traumatic, and bad luck, the cartilage breaks down and wears away. This is painful and can cause swelling as well as limited range of motion. It can affect almost any joint in the hand, but most commonly, it affects finger joints and the base of your thumb.
This is an inflammatory, autoimmune disease where the body mistakenly attacks normal joints and, as a result, the cartilage breaks down. This often affects the small joints of your wrists, hands, and fingers. Another thing worth mentioning is that it has a tendency to affect both sides of your body. This means that pain will be present in both hands simultaneously.
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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When Rheumatoid Arthritis In The Hand Is Serious
Experts estimate 90% of people who have RA have symptoms in at least one hand joint.6,7 While prompt and aggressive treatment can typically prevent the worst outcomes, RA in the hand can be a serious cause for concern if:
- Damage to joint tissues causes bones to become malaligned. This malalignment can result in hand deformities and prevent the hand from functioning normally.
- It prevents a person from being able to care for themselves, particularly if they live alone.
- It leads to severe carpal tunnel syndrome. Advanced carpal tunnel causes numbness and/or tingling and weakness in the thumb and associated fingers, and can result in permanent nerve damage if left untreated.
In any of these cases, consultation with a medical professional is advised.
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 doesnât mean you shouldnât 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 donât 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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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.
Treatment For Swollen Hands In The Morning
Regardless of what causes your swollen hands and fingers in the morning when you wake up, there are a number of things you can do to wave goodbye to the pain.
- Raise your hands above your head for 3.5 minutes
- Give yourself a hand massage or, better yet, have someone else do it for you
- Perform hand exercises to get your muscles moving
- Ice your hands, it reduces swelling
- Drink lots of water during the day
- Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink
- Avoid salty and processed foods
- Ask your health practitioner about anti-inflammatories
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How Are Wrists And Hands Affected By Arthritis
Any joint in your fingers, thumbs, knuckles and wrists can be affected by arthritis. Many different types of arthritis can affect your hands and cause joint pain, swelling and stiffness. People with hand arthritis often find their grip weakens and it becomes harder to do fine movements, such as turning a key or tying shoelaces.
Find out about aids and equipment that can make everyday tasks easier. Learn ways to protect your hands and manage your symptoms.
Q What Supplement Works Best For Joint Pain
A. Some consequences of aging those grey hairs and crows feet, for instance merely change the way we look. As we age on the outside, our joints and ligaments also get older, which often leads to joint pain. And unlike changes to our skin and hair..
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