Arthritis in Fingers

Arthritis In Fingers – Diagnosis and Treatment

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.

Are Bumps on Finger Joints Signs of Arthritis?

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 and Arthritis Finger Symptoms Are Similar

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.

Arthritis Trigger Finger – What is it and What Can You Do About It?

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.

Arthritis: What to Do About Painful or Swollen Fingers

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.