Older people and younger people alike commonly suffer from hand arthritis. While it may be natural to develop arthritis because of old age, arthritic hands can also result from past injuries and even genetics. There is no known cure for this disease, but detecting symptoms of hand arthritis early on can help minimize the damage by planning treatments and preventive care.
Common Symptoms of Hand Arthritis
1. Sharp Pain in the Joints of the Fingers and Wrists
The most common symptom of arthritis is sharp pain upon movement of the affected part. Affectation on the fingers or wrists can be referred to as hand osteoarthritis.
2. Finger Stiffness in the Morning or During Cold Weather
There are times, however, when pain is not apparent but there is difficulty in hand movement. Hand stiffness in the morning or during cold weather is a symptom associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Numbness in the hands is also experienced by those who suffer from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This happens, most commonly, after doing strenuous activities. While this symptom doesn’t always prove the condition, it is advisable to track how frequent the numbness occurs.
4. Hand Grip Weakness and Slower Wrist Movement
In some cases where hand arthritis is caused by injury or simple wear and tear, the hands cease to function normally. Hand grip may loosen and wrist rotations may be slower or limited. Some people may find themselves having trouble opening a bottle, jar, or wringing towels.
5. Swelling and Redness Around the Finger and Wrist Joints
Inflammation is often a red flag for arthritis as it also brings with it other symptoms like stiffness and joint pain. Red and swollen joints often feel painful or tender and can be warm to the touch.
6. Growth of Bumps and Lumps Around the Joints
Bony lumps or nodes that appear at the finger joint (notably at the middle finger joint) are symptomatic of hand arthritis. Small cysts may grow around the nail area of the affected finger and may cause limited finger flexibility.
7. Changes in Skin Color and Appearance of Dry Patches
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that manifests on the skin. Watch out for changes in skin color and waning complexion on the palms. Dry patches that appear very close to the joint areas and/or to fingertips can be of concern. Flaky skin around the nail area is also a sign of psoriatic arthritis.
Treatment and Pain Management
It is possible to rehabilitate the hands and manage the pain although there is no known cure for arthritis. Preventive care should be done to help ease the pain and avoid further damage.
1. Seek Doctor’s Advice to Identify the Type of Hand Arthritis
Identifying the type of arthritis will help in the creation of the appropriate treatment plan.
2. Follow the Treatment Plan as Prescribed by Doctor
Treatment plans may vary for each patient and may involve taking anti-inflammatory medication, lifestyle and diet change, and/or physical therapy. It is important to follow the doctor’s advice and to consider natural or more conservative treatment options.
3. Eat Foods That Promote Muscle Health and Bone Repair
Eating healthy is also a big part of the rehabilitation process and may aid with slowing down the progression of hand arthritis. Foods rich in Omega-3 like fish and soybeans promote good muscle health and blood circulation. Foods like garlic and orange have anti-inflammatory properties that help keep joints and cartilage healthy.
4. Take Supplements with B-Vitamins, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin
Taking supplements with B-Vitamins will promote better blood circulation and keep the nerves healthy. Supplements with Glucosamine and Chondroitin assist in the healing process and rebuilding of joints. They can also help reduce pain.
5. Wear Assistive or Protective Gear If Necessary
Patients should avoid activities that involve squeezing or other stressful movements to prevent inflicting more injury to the damaged hand. It is also advisable to wear protective hand gear like finger splinters during the healing period, or assistive hand gloves for everyday use.
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Hand arthritis is a degenerative disorder, but that doesn’t mean that its progress cannot be prevented. Maintaining a healthy body with proper diet and supplements can help keep symptoms at bay and delay degeneration. More importantly, listening to your body is the key to early diagnosis and treatment.
Do you know other tips good for treating or managing hand arthritis? Share them with us in the comments section below!
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