Find easy to understand information about arthritis in fingers here in order to manage the problem effectively. Arthritis is a painful condition when the cartilages between joints in our body become worn out. The cartilage serves as a lubricant and cushion for the joints. Without the cushioning effect, the joints will rub against each other and cause inflammation and joint pain. Various forms of arthritis will develop in different way which will disable us to perform simple action such as gripping, grasping things and even the strength to move the hands.
A few common forms of arthritis in fingers are psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis pain and rheumatoid arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is related to the skin condition psoriasis which causes pain in the distal joints near the fingernails. Osteoarthritis is the infamous type of arthritis as a result of having worn out cartilage between the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is cause by deficiency in the bones. The patients will feel stiffness in fingers particularly in the morning. It may lead to more deformities of the hands such as the fingers may gradually shift away from the thumb.
The symptoms of the above mentioned arthritis in fingers are listed below.
- Pain in the joints. The joints become swollen, red and warm.
- Numbness and stiffness in fingers
- Lumps, nodules and bone spurs will develop around the knuckles.
- The hands will appear deformed.
- Difficult to execute motion like opening jars, gripping and twisting object.
Arthritis in Fingers – Early Treatment to Prevent Surgery
The patients with arthritis in fingers may escape surgery if early treatment is effective in managing the symptoms. Change of diet is necessary to avoid food which can cause inflammation. Intake of joint supplement with chondroitin and glucosamine may be helpful to slowdown wearing out of cartilage between the joints. Heat and ice treatment, anti-inflammatory medications, and cortisone injections are ways to reduce stiffness and pain to facilitate movement of the hand. Seek consultation and treatment from a doctor in order to receive the appropriate treatment. The doctor may work with a physical therapist to assist you to find a splint to help to support and control movement of the hand with arthritis.
Exercises intended to build strength helps to keep the hands healthy. Regular simple exercises like shoulder shrugs, stretching and shaking of fingers, wrist and arms also improve blood flows and reduce your risk of getting arthritis. Although the pain and stiffness may discourage you to carry out physically demanding activities, it is important to keep your body and hands active. Swimming, tai chi and other low impact exercises are highly recommended for patients to manage the symptoms of arthritis in fingers.
If you have bumps on your finger joints you may have early signs of arthritis. About two years ago, a friend of mine who is in her 40’s came to me for advice about arthritis. Her doctor had told her that her neck was like she was 65 years old. Not only did she have arthritis in her neck, but in her feet as well. My friend is passionate about horse riding – how much longer will she be able to do that?
Both my parents had arthritis – my father’s was in his feet and hands, my mother’s in her back. My husband has arthritis in his knee – a result of a rugby injury and having cartilage removed. Arthritis is both painful and debilitating.
What causes arthritis?
There are two types of arthritis – osteoarthritis (the most common, caused by wear and tear) and rheumatoid arthritis (inflammation of the joints due to an autoimmune disease). According to Doctor Ray Strand “over 70% of the people over 50 years of age have some degree of degenerative arthritis “.
Joint fluid from an inflamed joint, contains excessive free radicals. To counter free radical damage we need to consume a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and to supplement with optimal levels of antioxidants which include Vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, Vitamin D and Vitamin C. It is also advised to consume glucosamine which supports healthy cartilage.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease – caused by a virus or bacteria. The immune system becomes confused and it attacks itself rather than the bacteria or virus. The joints become inflamed causing chronic inflammation, pain and swelling; and the joint fluid which is usually thick becomes thin, so the cartilage becomes less protective.
My horse-riding friend is a ‘health nut’ – she eats organic food and has a healthy lifestyle. But that hasn’t been enough to prevent Osteoarthritis. My suggestion is to add advanced-quality broad spectrum nutritional supplements – antioxidants, multi-vitamins, multi-minerals, glucosamine and omega-3 to a healthy lifestyle to support healthy joints and bones. And to also continue with exercise to maintain fitness, muscle strength, heart health, relieve pain and stiffness and to get better quality of sleep.
Arthritis leg pain is a result of metabolic or degenerative arthropathy that occurs in or in the vicinity of ankles, knees, feet and hips joints. Those who suffer from degenerative joint pains experience pain in their joints when actively using them. On the other hand those suffering from psoriatic joint pain, gout and rheumatoid joint pain undergo bout of pain even when the joints are at rest.
Arthritis in general affects the body joints and musculoskeletal system. Arthritis leg pain can be because of leg problem arising due to rheumatoid joint pain condition. Another form of joint pain condition that is concentrated in leg to produce same type of joint pain is osteoarthritis. The general symptoms of arthritis leg pain are
Swelling – The possible joints pain condition produce a swelling around the joint. With a simple glance inflammation may either be seen or not seen but can be felt. Anti-inflammatory medications are used to ease the swelling from joint pain conditions.
Pain – Pain is a most common symptom of deteriorated joint condition in leg. The pain may be dull or severe depending on the type of joint pain condition. The pain arises from bone or muscles within the leg. In that case stretching gives relief from pain.
Walking difficulty – With time cartilages and joints in the leg deteriorate that makes walking difficult. Pain in the knee joints is the cause of person not able to walk.
Stiffness – Joint deterioration with swelling and pain add up to cause stiffness in the leg. Stiffness in the leg may be felt in the morning after sleep or when sitting or standing for too long.
When you have painful joint condition two major things happen. First the joint tissue or cartilage is deteriorating that produces change in the complete structure of the joint. This further affects rest of the skeletal system as everything is connected. Second in order to accommodate the pain in the body you may start sleeping or walking in different way.
Another painful joint condition in your body can be arthritis finger. Since each hand has 27 bones, there are number of joints in fingers. Also the normal daily work is dependent on fingers. There are two types of painful joint conditions found in fingers same as found in leg. Also the symptoms of arthritis finger are more or less the same as stated above.
Since cause and the symptoms of the painful joint conditions in leg and arthritis finger are almost the same, their treatment is in general the same. The treatment includes anti-inflammatory medications, ice and heat treatment, diet adjustments that are joint supporting foods, supplements, weight control and exercise.
To deal with arthritis leg pain and painful finger joint condition you have to work with combination of therapies and diet with an aim to reduce inflammation. Reduction in inflammation will reduce the pain.
Stenosing tenosynovitis is more commonly known as trigger finger arthritis. There is a misconception that the trigger finger is the pointer or index finger when it comes to this kind of arthritis. This is because the index finger is particularly used in pulling the trigger of a gun. But the truth is arthritis trigger finger can occur in any finger of the hand.
What Is It?
Trigger finger is actually a “snapping” or “popping” of a finger of the hand as it is closed or opened. The snapping is the reason why it was called trigger finger in the first place. This condition is more commonly found in the index, middle and ring fingers. And the snapping is readily heard upon attempting to flex the fingers while making a firm grip. There is a sudden stuttering of the digit as it closes then snaps close instead of the usual smooth way.
Sometimes, the affected finger cannot any more stretch back into position and there is a locking in that position so that the other hand will have to help it towards extension. Upon extension, another snap is heard. Pain accompanies the snapping, leading the patient to the doctor.
The popping of the finger is the hallmark of trigger finger and is usually worse in the morning upon getting up. But as the condition worsens, the popping becomes more regular. In the worst scenario, the bump or swollen part of the tendon may lock in place so that it gets stuck there.
What Causes Trigger Finger?
So how do we get this condition? Actually, trigger finger is an inflammation of the tendon that pulls the finger to a closed position upon flexion. It may also be caused by scarring in the same tendon. Most of the time, it comes in isolated cases. In this particular case, though, trigger finger comes with other symptoms within the hand that accompanies rheumatoid arthritis in the area.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an abnormal condition that is caused by wear and tear or overuse. So prolonged use of the fingers can eventually lead to micro-injuries that may later on swell and lead to trigger finger. Aside from this, rheumatoid arthritis has been found to be a hereditary condition where it runs in families. Therefore, adding wear-and-tear may trigger it onset or exacerbate the already-present condition.
In 2005, it has been found that most of the patients with rheumatoid arthritis come with symptoms of swelling around the tendons of the palm, later on leading to trigger finger. The onset of this condition is gradual and is more commonly seen in women with the fourth finger being the most commonly involved. Studies also prove that trigger finger does not come from heavy use but with light constant use of the area.
How Can It Be Treated?
If we do get trigger finger, what can we do treat it? There are home remedies available for the treatment of this condition and for most types of arthritis in general. Doing passive stretching of the hand and fingers toward extension is a good way to prevent the formation of adhesions in the area and to improve blood circulation as well. Putting ice intermittently in the area for 15 minutes or more actually lessens the swelling that goes with inflammation. The most important is activity modification where the movements that causes more symptoms should be avoided altogether.
But of course in most instances, trigger finger cannot be treated by home remedies alone. Doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs that are very helpful for the healing of the part involved. Usually, drugs like ibuprofen, diclofenac and naproxen are given to patients. The fastest relief is the injection of a local cortisone around the affected tendon.
Splinting the area is also a solution to prevent usage of the tendons. This will prevent the worsening of the inflammation.
There are cases when even after 2 cortisone injections, there is no relief for the patient. This is when surgery is required to remove the scarred or inflamed tissues. Almost half the number of patients respond to cortisone injection. Those who don’t resort to surgery. Although with little risk, there are cases that recur after the operation. But this is only done if the rest of the treatment therapy have been tried but were not successful.
If you feel that you are starting to show symptoms of arthritis trigger finger, do not panic. Consulting the doctor is still the best remedy. It is better to catch the condition while it is still beginning. The later you go to a doctor, the more likely that you are going to undergo surgery. So don’t be scared, see your orthopedic doctor right away.
A friend of mine thought she broke her finger. It had swollen up and was painful to the touch. We talked to someone known as an expert regarding this and it turns out the finger was not broken. It had calcium deposits on the joints… the early signs of arthritis. In fact, as he checked her fingers it turns out that each finger had pain to varying degrees. The most painful being the finger she had noticed as swollen and thought was broken. Hearing this, I took careful notes to not only help my friend, but to also make this information available to our readers. Some may disagree with the following, but our expert assures me that it is the case. Over time, we can get calcium buildup on the joints and it can cause swelling and painful joints. If left unchecked, this can then develop into arthritis.
Fortunately, there’s two simple things we can do to help with this condition.
The first is to do a “finger joint massage.” Finger joint massage sounds simple, and it works. Have a spouse or friend grab each joint and rotate the finger slowly and gently in a circular pattern. Start with the finger joint closest to the knuckle, slightly pull outward from the hand and rotate the finger around for 120 seconds. Then do the next joint on the same finger, also for 120 seconds. Do every finger in succession, even if only one finger is in pain. Do this entire procedure once per day.
You’ll find that with finger joint massage, it can be very painful at first and 120 seconds will seem like a long time. After a few days of this,from what I’ve seen, the pain will subside.
What happens when you do this, is that the massage is breaking down those calcium buildups on the joints and will eventually help the body to cleanse itself in the finger joint area. Pretty soon those fingers can get back to moving around without all that extreme pain.
The second thing to do is get a good “joint” formula at the health food store. Trader Joe’s has their own brand that is inexpensive and of high quality, they call it “Joint Support.” There’s many good joint formulas on the market, where they’ll have glucosamine, chondroitan and MSM. These work well, just be sure to start slowly by taking a pill or capsule once per day. If you experience a rash or other strange contraindications, it could be from the MSM, and if that happens, you’d have to get a formula with just the glucosamine and chondroitan.
This article is not meant to give medical advice, but practical experience from what I’ve seen. If you have a condition that will just not go away and/or becomes extremely painful, get proper attention and see your medical provider.
Arthritis in the hands is one of the most crippling forms of arthritis. It can not only slow you down but can often prevent you from doing the things you want to do. Added to this is the fact that it is often the most painful form of this disease. There are many types of this disease that can affect your hands and fingers.
Rheumatoid arthritis is often the cause of this problem. This is one of the most complex types of these ailments. Because it is mainly caused by dysfunction of the immune system it is the most difficult to treat. However there are some natural treatments that can help you get relief from the inflammation and pain of this condition. They can also help you to get more mobility in your hands and fingers.
5 tips to help you overcome arthritis pain in your hands:
- Caster Oil: this is a common oil that can be purchased in many stores or even online. Be sure to get the pure one with no additional additives. Massaging a little of this oil into your affected joints can help you to get relief from the pain and get better mobility in your fingers and hands. Note that you do not need too much of this oil for it to be effective. It is quite a heavy oil so when you apply it, rub it in well by massaging the hand and allow a few hours to soak in. Applying it at night before sleeping is a good policy. There are two reasons that it works; due to its heavy viscosity it keeps your hand warm and increases blood flow to the hand. You need to massage the hand joints well to work in the oil. Massage is very soothing for the joints.
- Good diet: diet is very important when you are suffering from any disease including arthritis. Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet. This includes whole grain foods and plenty of fruits and vegetables. It is also wise to reduce junk food and maintain your weight. This will help to keep you in good health and enable you to overcome arthritis pain better.
- Gentle exercise: when you are in pain it is easy to stop moving your joints. This will lead to increased stiffness and pain. It is wise to give your hands and fingers gentle exercise to keep them mobile.
- Massage: massaging your joints gently will help you to get relief from pain and increase mobility. You can use oil or just plain massage. This will work because it helps to loosen up muscles and calm nerves. It will transfer energy and warmth to the joints.
- Improving your immune system: It is important to take care of your immune system as this is the system that helps you combat diseases. When it gets out of balance in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis it is necessary to take care of it. You can do this by eating foods that are high in antioxidants and antitoxins. these types of foods are fruits and vegetables, preferably raw. Nuts like peanuts and walnuts are also good for helping the immune system.
Our hands and wrists have a lot of small joints that work together when we move them. When a joint in these is affected by arthritis, is makes it hard for us to move the whole hand or wrist. That being mentioned, it also means that hand arthritis may occur in different and multiple areas.
While hand arthritis is commonly disregarded by many, it is America’s leading condition that leads to disability. Arthritis is mostly common to people who are over the age of 40, however, it can also occur to those in their early twenties. Even the healthy ones have the possibility of suffering from hand arthritis.
Below are the symptoms of hand arthritis.
- The first symptom is a mild pain in the joint, experienced as a “dull” or “burning” feeling. The pain increases as one continues to move the affected joint. The pain becomes more and more distinguishable after a few days. The pain is mostly noticed in the mornings. The affected area shows stiffness in the mornings, too.
- The area affected may swell when the joint is moved as it used to be. These joints can no longer handle the same pressure and stress. Swellings indicate that they are being overexerted.
- The joint affected will feel warm. This is because of the inflammation inside.
- Joints near the arthritic joint may be affected, they may become move movable than normal, or they may also affected if the hand is not well taken care of.
- Crepitation, or the “grinding” kind of sensation in the joint affected may be experienced. Damaged cartilages, due to a trauma or disease, will rub against each other.
- There are also instances when the joint feels “loose”. When this is experienced, it means that the arthritis is caused by damage in the ligaments.
- There are also advanced cases where the joints affected appear larger than their normal size. This condition is called hypertrophic, and is an advanced case of hand arthritis.
- Small cysts may start to develop when arthritis begins to affect the fingers’ end joints.
When the above mentioned symptoms are noticed, visit a professional and seek help. The first treatments for hand arthritis may vary, according to age, or according to the stage of the condition. The following are some of the treatments that can be done as soon as any of the symptoms discussed above is noticed.
- Exercise your hands and wrists. You can ask a professional about this. Get two boxes of bolts or nuts. Fill one of the boxes and leave the other one empty. Grab a handful of bolts or nuts, whichever you prefer, carefully hold them, and transfer them to the other hand, making sure that you are neither gripping too tightly or too loose. Try this exercise until the other box is full. This helps in exercising the joints in the hands and wrists.
- Stop smoking. Smoking has been proven to increase one’s risk in arthritis. A healthy diet will also help in decreasing the risks.
- Strengthen your body with exercise, without overexerting yourself.
- Herbal supplements that can make the cartilages healthy can be taken.
Hand Exercises to Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain
Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful disease that attacks the joints and usually begins in the hands. Typically, the joints of the hands and the feet are usually the first to succumb to rheumatoid arthritis. Hand and finger exercises can help reduce pain and maintain a good range of motion for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Even if you are not diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, hand and finger exercises can help you maintain joint health and flexibility.
Increase wrist joint flexibility and reduce arthritis pain by stretching out your hand. Hold your hands out in front of your body with the palms down. Try to point your fingers and thumb upward toward the ceiling while keeping your palm parallel to the floor. Stretch and hold this position for 5 seconds. Repeat 2 or 3 times.
Hold your hands out with your palms pointed toward the floor. Bend each finger toward the floor from the first joint closest to the hand. Try to move only one finger on each hand. Try to keep the middle and end joints of each finger straight and try not to bend your wrist. Repeat this movement up to two times each day.
With your hands in the same position, palms pointing down toward the floor, bend each finger from the first joint toward your palm. Sometimes it is easier to perform this exercise using first one hand and then the other. Keep your wrist straight and try to keep the middle and end joints of each finger straight. Turn your hands over so that your palms are facing the ceiling and repeat the exercise. Repeat twice each day.
Make an “O” shape with each finger and your thumb. Begin with your index finger and touch it to your thumb to make the “O” shape. Continue with each finger and then repeat the exercise with the other hand. This exercise can be repeated up to 10 times each day.
Hold your hands out straight in front of you with your palms pointed down toward the floor. Spread your fingers out slowly until they are spread as far apart as you can spread them. Then, make a fist without relaxing your hand. Hold your fist closed for up to 5 seconds. Repeat the exercise twice each day.
Flex your fingers daily to lessen the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and increase flexibility and hand mobility. Your strength will also increase as the joints become more flexible and hand muscles develop.
Arthritis in Hands
There are many small joints present in hand and wrist, which function together to produce motion. These joints are essential to perform most of our day-to-day activities like threading a needle or tying a shoelace. It would be very difficult to perform our daily activities if these joints are affected by arthritis. Arthritis can affect various parts of the hand and wrist. There are multiple causes, which develop arthritis in hand. Recent research reveals that one out of every five individuals live in the United States has not less than a joint with the signs or symptoms of arthritis. Nearly 50 percent of the arthritis sufferers are under age of 50 years. It is the major cause of impairment in the United States. It characteristically occurs either from disease or from trauma.
The cartilage acts as natural shock absorber, which renders a smooth gliding layer for the joint. All the arthritic joints drop off cartilage. If the cartilage turns damaged or worn, or is destroyed because of disease or trauma, the joint becomes severely painful and find it very difficult in performing mobility. The body ties to compensate for the disoriented cartilage. It produces synovial fluid in the synovium (joint lining), which strives to behave as a cushion; however, it also induces the joints to swell. This activity limits motion. The swelling stimulates stretching of the capsule (joint covering), which induces pain in the joints. Over a period of time, when the arthritis is not cared for, the bones present in the joint may lose their regular shape. This forces more pain in the joints and it further restricts motion.
Arthritis of the hand can be diagnosed by a physician by testing the hand and by taking X-ray. Specialized studies with the help of recent equipments like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are normally not required. Occasionally, a scan in the affected area would be very helpful. The bone scan would support the physician to diagnose arthritis even at an early stage; however, the X-rays would not show the early arthritis. There is another procedure called arthroscopy, by which a physician can view the joint by direct examination. During this procedure, the physician puts in a tiny camera into the joint to observe inside. It allows the most clear-cut picture of the joint without making a huge incision. However, this is an encroaching operation and must not be utilized as an ordinary diagnostic tool.
Arthritis of the hand and wrist can be treated through injections, medication, splinting, and surgery. However, the efficiency of the treatment is based on how far the disease is progressed; how many joints have been affected; the activity level, age, and other medical considerations of the patient; whether the affected hand is a dominant or a non-dominant one.