Arthritis is a medical disease of the joints that causes stiffness due to inflammation. As a result, it causes pain and swelling and restricts joint movement. The primary symptoms of arthritis are a reduction in the range of motion, pain when using limbs affected by arthritis, swelling of the affected areas, and tenderness.
Arthritis occurs in approximately 24% of U.S. all adults (50% for people over 65). Some risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing some types of arthritis. It has no specific cure and can be long-term or lifelong. Although there is no cure there are effective treatments to reduce discomfort and increase range of motion. Hand pain treatment in Rocky Mount NC is now available.
What Causes Arthritis?
Arthritis has four major causes:
Family Medical History. Some types of arthritis run in families and one is more likely to develop if immediate family members have been affected.
Age. The risks of some types increase with age as the joints succumb to wear and tear.
Previous Injury. Damaged joints are more likely to develop arthritis later in life.
Obesity. Extra weight places additional stress on the joints, particularly the knees, spine, and hip.
Types of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis. This is the most common type of arthritis. It is the result of wear and tear on the joint’s cartilage. When the smooth cartilage is damaged, the result can be bone grinding against bone, causing pain and restricted motion. The joint may become inflamed and swollen if the cartilage is severely damaged.
Rheumatoid arthritis. This type is an autoimmune disorder and is the second most common type of arthritis. The body’s immune system attacks the membrane that encloses all the joint parts. As a result, this membrane becomes inflamed and swollen. This disease can eventually destroy cartilage and bone and affect various body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.
Other types. Less common types of arthritis include gout, septic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Arthritis in the Hands
The four areas of the hand attacked by arthritis are:
Base of the thumb, where the thumb meets the wrist
Middle joints of the fingers
Top joint of the fingers nearest the nails
Early symptoms include:
Dull or burning joint pain, presenting hours or even a day after increased use
Pain and stiffness in hand in the morning
Swollen joints in fingers
The longer a person has arthritis, the more severe the symptoms become and can include sharp pain in joints, grating and grinding when bending fingers, fingers can’t fully open or close, bony nodules on middle joints, and joints becoming red and tender.
There is no cure for arthritis. However, treatment is implemented to decrease pain, increase mobility and improve quality of life. Different treatments will work for different people. Treatments can include medications, hot and cold compresses, joint immobilization (splinting affected joint), massage, acupuncture, and surgery. Work with your doctor to experiment and find the treatment that brings you the most relief.
Carolina Regional Orthopaedics, P.A.
Are you experiencing hand pain from arthritis? Carolina Regional Orthopaedics, P.A. can help. After a thorough examination, our doctors will develop a treatment plan to suppress arthritis affecting the hands and other joints of the body. We offer the best hand pain treatment in Rocky Mount NC. Contact us today at 252-443-0400 and set up an appointment.