The human body is a fragile object. No matter how minor a problem, it can always lead to bigger issues. If left unaddressed, they can lead to a condition affecting the quality of life. Of course, this applies to all body parts, even our hands. Among the many issues our hands face, arthritis in the fingers is among the more common ones.
Arthritis is when the cartilage discs between joints break down, resulting in swelling and pain. This can be caused by aging, overuse, or joint injury. There are three types of arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PA), and osteoarthritis. While all are seemingly the same, their effects are different from each other because there are instances when tendons and ligaments are affected. Because of this, one must know the signs of arthritis and treatment options.
Symptoms of Arthritis in the Fingers
Aside from pain and swelling, other signs of arthritis include:
Stiffness around the joints is one of the most common signs of arthritis. This is because joints experience a general lack of movement, causing stiffness and causing one to experience discomfort.
The joint deformity occurs when the cartilage around the joints breaks down, and the bones aren’t held in place. With this, they can move and cause the joints to become less stable.
Bone spurs can develop between the joints if the bones gradually grind against each other. This can cause pain since the spaces of the joints are being filled up.
Mucous cysts form when the joints are constantly swollen. This causes the joints to become stiff, making them feel like they are being filled with a lump.
Frequent Popping Sounds
Popping sounds are relatively common, especially when you stretch or repeatedly pop your fingers. However, if the popping sound is heard frequently when there isn’t any activity, it could be a symptom of arthritis.
When there’s an onset of arthritis, you may feel warm around your joints. This is because of the inflammation and swelling around the affected area.
While getting arthritis is a daunting thought, the good news is that different treatment options are available. These include:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) relieve pain and inflammation. However, there are times when steroids are prescribed because of the severity of the condition.
In some cases, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are prescribed because they not only relieve pain and inflammation but also slow down the breakdown of the cartilage.
Physical therapy can help in the management of arthritis. It is one way to slow down the progression of the condition. It allows the joints to move and stay flexible and relaxes the muscles in the affected area.
Additionally, it can help by improving the strength of the muscles to support the joint. It can also help the muscle become more flexible to enhance the range of motion.
Surgery is a last-resort option, and it’s rarely used because of how invasive it is. It removes the affected part of the joint, making way for more cartilage to grow again. This can provide relief, but it will also result in losing mobility in the affected joint.
In some cases, joint replacement surgery is performed. This involves replacing the affected joint with either a prosthetic joint or transplanting the affected area with another part of your body.
If you want to prevent arthritis in the fingers, exercise is vital. You will want to keep your hands and fingers as much as possible, but don’t overdo it. Also, take note of any activities you do and see if they are causing pain. If they are, you’ll want to stop or avoid them altogether.
Additionally, you will want to avoid certain activities that can cause the condition. These include overusing your fingers, especially if they perform the same work. You will want to ensure you’re not overusing any part of your fingers, whether it’s your thumbs, index, or middle finger.
Hand arthritis is not a condition you want to have, but it should be taken seriously. It’s better to have it treated early before it becomes more severe. With proper treatment, one can reduce the pain and discomfort. All that matters is seeking medical attention to ensure that you can take the best course of action.
If you’re looking for arthritis specialists in New Jersey, the Center for Arthritis and Osteoporosis is the place for you! Our healthcare specialists will ensure that your condition is managed appropriately through extensive and comprehensive treatment programs. S