Rheumatoid arthritis can affect any joint in your body. Every bone in your body is lined with soft synovial substance that acts as a cushion between the bones and the joints. Once arthritis develops in your body, it would gradually wear away the cartilages and synovial lining, causing rubbing of bones leading to sharp pain. It would also cause stiffness in the affected joints and it becomes difficult for you to move the joint as before.
Hands are no exception when it comes to arthritis. Hands are largely used by humans for writing, typing and performing various tasks like eating, cooking and playing instruments. When the joints of your hands get affected with arthritis, you may not be able to use your hands as before for lifting any objects or for typing in your laptop. Doing even the simplest task like opening the door, can become very difficult for you. Synovial tissue lining is responsible for coating and lubricating the joints to give flexibility. Once this tissue is destroyed, the joints become rigid and fail to move easily.
Arthritis can largely affect your finger joints and wrist joints. Some of the major symptoms of arthritis in hands are throbbing pain while using hands, finger pain and stiffness of fingers. The joints of hands and fingers become warm and tender and in severe cases it would cause deformity of fingers. Arthritis in hands can also cause numbness in your hands. For some people it would take several minutes even for making small movement with hands or fingers due to arthritis. In addition, arthritis can cause fever, fatigue and long lasting pain on your hands.
What exactly triggers arthritis is not known. Arthritis does not spare rich and poor and occurs evenly in all races and ethnic groups. It is believed to occur due to environmental and genetic factors. Increase in certain hormones can trigger arthritis and this is more during pregnancy and breastfeeding stage.
No special test is needed to diagnose arthritis in hands, since your doctor can detect easily by physical exam of affected hand.
Complications of Arthritis in Hands and Fingers :
Swan neck deformity is common among people with arthritis in hands. There would be an imbalance in the shape of your finger when the base of the finger along with outermost joint bend together, resulting in swan neck position. This type of deformity can make it difficult for you to move your fingers. Severe form of arthritis in hands can disable your fingers and you may not be able to do even simple tasks like holding a glass or button your shirts.
With necessary treatment like using splints you can regain function. Another form of deformity called boutonniere deformity is caused due to arthritis in hands. It causes bending of middle finger joint and extending of other finger joints leading to complicated shape. This can be treated with finger splints or ring splints.
Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Arthritis In Hands :
- Though arthritis cannot be cured completely, still you can effectively manage the symptoms by medications and exercise.
- Take prescribed drugs and do regular exercises as advised by your doctor.
- Wearing finger splints can relieve excess of pressure from the joints of your fingers.
- Practice yoga/meditation and relaxation techniques to overcome stress.
- In severe cases, if the functions of your fingers are totally disabled, surgery can be done to restore and improve function.