Do your hands often feel stiff and achy? Do you find it challenging to make a fist or grip things tightly? If so, you might have arthritis. Arthritis is a severe condition that affects millions of people in the United States. It can cause joint pain and inflammation, making everyday activities like cooking, cleaning, or writing challenging. We will discuss the signs of arthritis in the hands and ways to treat this condition!
Types of Arthritis in Hands
Also known as degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis is the standard form of arthritis. It happens when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. This condition affects the wrists, fingers, and thumb.
2) Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is inflammatory arthritis that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks the lining of your joints. RA can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of joint function. When your bones and joints are affected, it can make everyday tasks difficult. RA commonly affects the wrists and hands.
3) Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriasis is a condition that causes raised, red, scaly patches on your skin. About 30% of people who have psoriasis also develop arthritis called psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis can cause swelling and pain in your joints and tendons. It can also lead to the development of pitted, discolored nails and changes in the nails’ shape.
If you have psoriasis, you must see a doctor if you notice any changes in your nails or joint pain, as these may be signs of psoriatic arthritis.
Who Are More Prone to Arthritis in Hands?
While arthritis can affect people of any age, gender, or race, certain groups are more at risk. These include:
- People over the age of 65
- Obese individuals
- Those with a family history of arthritis
Common Symptoms of Hand Arthritis
1) Pain and Stiffness
4) Loss of Range of Motion
5) Numbness or Tingling
Ways to Treat Arthritis in the Hands
1) Injections: If you have arthritis in your hands, you may be a candidate for steroid injections. These can help relieve pain and inflammation. Steroids are a type of anti-inflammatory medication.
They can be injected into the joints in your hands.
2) Hand exercises: Several hand exercises can help relieve pain and stiffness from arthritis. One example is the “finger abduction” exercise. Hold the hand out before you do this exercise with your fingers pointing up. Spread the fingers apart as far as you can. Then, return to the starting position. Repeat this ten times.
3) Topical treatments: Several topical treatments can help relieve pain from arthritis. These include creams, gels, and patches. They may be applied directly to the skin over the painful area.
4) Splinting: Wearing a splint can help support the joints in your hand and relieve pain. A splint is a device placed around the affected joint to keep it from moving.
5) Changes in activity: If you have arthritis, you may need to change your activities. You may need to avoid activities that stress the joints in your hands. Or, you may need to modify how you do certain activities.