Symptoms of Arthritis in the Hands
Several types of arthritis can affect the hands, fingers, and wrists. They can lead to swelling, pain, and even loss of function. The wrist and hand have many small joints that work together to permit motion. This includes the fine motion you need to perform activities like tying a shoelace, writing, threading a needle, and more.
When arthritis affects the joints, it can make such simple activities quite difficult. Arthritis can have more than one cause and can develop in many areas of your hand and wrist. Left untreated, the bones that make up your hand and wrist joints can lose their normal shape. This can lead to further limits in hand motion and more pain.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is the tenderness and swelling of one or more joints. There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis. Healthy joints should move easily due to the slippery, smooth tissue known as articular cartilage. This tissue provides a smooth gliding surface for the joints and covers the ends of bones. Produced by synovium, which is the joint lining, the tissue feels and looks like oil.
Some of the common symptoms of arthritis include pain in your joints when you rest or move, stiffness, and swelling. Others include deformity, weakness in your grip, changes in the shape of your wrists, hands, and fingers, and reduced function.
Arthritis of the Hand
The common sites for hand arthritis are the base of your knuckles, thump, top joint, and second joint of your fingers. The most common types of hand arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. The condition can make it difficult to carry out your daily tasks, such as holding items, writing, getting dressed, washing, and more.
Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation in the joints and results from an autoimmune condition. Osteoarthritis stems from degenerative changes or wear and tear in the cartilage. Psoriatic arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune condition that often triggers skin symptoms. Also, it is a form of osteoarthritis that can result from injury.
Common Symptoms of Arthritis in the Hands
One of the earliest symptoms of this condition is joint pain. This may be a burning sensation or dull pain. It often occurs after increased use of the joints in your hand, such as heavy grasping or gripping. You may not experience the pain immediately. Rather, it may present hours later or even the following day. Also, morning stiffness and pain are typical.
When you subject the affected joints to greater stress than they can bear, swelling may occur to prevent further use of the joints.
Changes in Surrounding Joints
If you have advanced thumb base arthritis, changes in the neighboring joints may occur. Essentially, they may become abnormally mobile.
You may experience some warmth when you touch the arthritic joint. This is due to your body’s inflammatory response.
Other symptoms of arthritis in the hands include:
Looseness and crepitation in the affected joint
Small cysts at the end of your fingers
To learn more about arthritis, contact Clark Plastic & Hand Surgery at our office in McKinney, Texas. You can call 469-675-3659 today to schedule an appointment.