Arthritis in Hands Questions and Answers
If you are suffering from arthritis in hands, then contact Integrative Medical Group of Texas in Austin, TX. Our dedicated and kind professionals are experienced in arthritis in treating hand arthritis. For more information call us or schedule an appointment online.
Our hands are essential prehensile organs that allow us to grasp, grip and grab. They assist us everyday in nearly every task, from eating and drinking to writing and driving. When they are in perfect health, they perform their job effortlessly, oftentimes without us even thinking twice. However, due to their high amount of motion and physical activity, they can sometimes be subjected to deterioration, such as wear and tear over time or due to an inflammatory response. Arthritis is a common cause of hand weakness and can limit one’s strength and mobility.
How do you know if you have arthritis in your hand?
Common symptoms of hand arthritis include:
- Dull or burning joint pain
- Morning pain and stiffness in hands
- Swollen joints in hands
If arthritis has affected the hands for some time, symptoms are present more often or worsen, including:
- Pain changing from dull to sharp
- Pain may cause sleeping problems
- Pain may cause patients to use their hands differently to reduce discomfort
- Inflamed tissue surrounding affected joint
- Crepitus (grating, grinding, cracking or clicking) when bending fingers
- Fingers cannot fully open and close
- Small bony nodules form on the middle joint or at the top joints of the fingers
- Finger joints become large, deformed and abnormally bent, making the hands weak and less able to accomplish day-to-day activities
What types of arthritis affect the hands?
Several types of arthritis can affect the hands, including inflammatory and degenerative types, such as:
- Osteoarthritis — Also known as degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects the hands. It causes the cartilage to break down and wear away, which can result in pain, stiffness, loss of movement, and physical deformities. Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the wrist, the joint at the base of the thumb, and the joints at the middle and top of the fingers.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis — Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes the joint lining to swell, causing pain, stiffness, loss of function and weakness. It is an autoimmune disease that affects the synovium, the lining of the joint. Normally, the synovium produces a lubricant that allows cartilage to easily slide against each other. Eventually, the inflammation destroys the cartilage at the end of bones and then erodes the bone itself, causing the joints to lose their shape and alignment.
- Psoriatic Arthritis — Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that affects the skin and joints and is common in people with psoriasis. In psoriatic arthritis, the fingers become swollen, which may be accompanied by joint pain and morning stiffness. In many cases, it is similar to rheumatoid arthritis, however, it may only involve several fingers instead of the entire hand.
How do you identify and manage arthritis in your hands?
Arthritis in the hands can be identified by recognizing its symptoms, which have been described above. To manage hand arthritis, physicians may use a wide variety of treatments, including:
- Non-Surgical Treatments, such as:
- Lifestyle changes, such as exercise
- Medication to address inflammation and pain
- Applying ice to reduce swelling and pain
- Bracing or splinting to decrease pain
- Steroid injections for symptom relief
- Surgical Treatments, such as:
- Joint Replacements
- Joint Fusions
- Partial Joint Fusions
What causes arthritis in hands to flare-up?
The three biggest causes of flare-ups of hand arthritis are eating inflammatory foods, over-exercising or doing the wrong exercises, and stress. Recognizing when these flare-ups occur is vital to avoiding exacerbating activities or foods and is the first step in preventing arthritic hand flare-ups.
At Integrative Medical Group of Texas, we care about your health. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating hand arthritis and can help you reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Call us today to book an appointment for hand arthritis treatment, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 6905 West Gate Blvd Suite A, Austin, TX 78745. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Austin TX, Sunset Valley TX, Hays TX, Rollingwood TX, Bee Cave TX, Manchaca TX, West Lake Hills TX, Buda TX and South Austin, TX.