In many cases, arthritis occurs as a result of injury or as a result of getting older. It can cause moderate to severe pain, swelling, and loss of mobility. When arthritis occurs in your hands, it can be very difficult to deal with because we use our hands for so many of our daily activities.
The term “arthritis” refers to the partial or total loss of the cartilage in your joints. Cartilage serves as a sort of shock absorber for your joints, so as it degrades over time it can cause a lot of pain associated with movement.
There are several types of arthritis and each requires slightly different approach to treatment. Some of the most common types are: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
In this type of arthritis, the cartilage in your joints starts to break down at a steady rate. During the process, the pain in your hands will gradually increase, eventually causing significant discomfort. Usually, osteoarthritis is directly related to age, but it can also be the result of a traumatic injury.
Treatment for osteoarthritis may include:
- Steroid injections
- Anti-inflammatory and pain reducing medications
- Wearing a sleeve or splint during the night
- Joint fusion
- Joint reconstruction
Several factors contribute to treating osteoarthritis, including your medical history, the severity of your osteoarthritis, and the amount of pain you are experiencing.
If you are experiencing pain, loss of strength, or loss of mobility in your hands, you should see one of our orthopedic specialists before the problem gets worse.
With rheumatiod arthritis, the tissue surrounding your joint becomes inflamed, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. The swollen tissue can affect the functionality of your tendons as well, causing them to burst in some severe cases.
Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis includes:
- Surgery to repair ruptured tendons
- Pain- and inflammation-reducing medication
- Education about hand exercises that might lessen pain
- Joint replacement
- Joint fusion
Talking to an orthopedic hand specialist will help you understand what is going on in your body so you can manage the condition appropriately. Your orthopedic specialist will be able to diagnose the problem and suggest the best treatment for you. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment today; your arthritis will be much easier to treat at an early stage before it has a chance to get worse.
Though fibromyalgia is not a type of arthritis, its symptoms, especially when exhibited in your hands, can be very similar to the symptoms of arthritis. Fibromyalgia is generalized muscular pain and fatigue, which can also be accompanied by swelling.
There is not a direct cause for fibromyalgia, but, by seeing an orthopedic specialist, they can rule out the possibility of other conditions and can suggest a treatment plan.
Some common treatments of fibromyalgia include:
- Pain-reducing medications
- Education about exercise techniques that might help
- Relaxation techniques
If you are experiencing unusual pain in your hands, call to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists today.