Hand arthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and it can be both painful and disabling. The smooth functioning of the hand multiple small joints is necessary to produce fine motion. When the joints of the fingers or wrist are affected by arthritis, activities of daily living can become difficult to perform.
Learn more about hand arthritis, its treatments and most importantly, how you can remain independent even when affected by disabilities.
Common Causes of Hand Arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Post-traumatic arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Septic arthritis (infection)
- Signs of inflammation: swelling, warmth, redness
- Decreased grip and pinch strength.
To diagnose hand arthritis, the doctor will study the clinical appearance of the hand to help determine the severity of the arthritis. Also, X-rays can help show the different characteristics of hand arthritis like narrowing of joint spaces and the development of bony outgrowths along the joint spaces.
There are many different therapies available for minimizing pain and restoring hand function.
- Medication: The typical treatment for hand arthritis is the use of anti-inflammatory and analgesic medicines. Many can be found over-the-counter, like topical creams, aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Other medicines requires a prescription.
- Supplements: Glucosamine, chondroitin and fish oil (omega-3) can help in dealing with pain and inflammation.
- Exercises: Hand therapy is essential in restoring hand function. There are many exercises for the hand that help loosen up the small joints.
- Hand rest: It may be necessary during severe flare-ups.
- Hand support: Wearing of hand and wrist support can help in reducing arthritis symptoms.The splint helps to ease the stress placed on joints by motion. Splints are worn during painful periods.
- Steroid injections: They can certainly help eradicate pain for weeks to months, but it does not cure the disease.
- Surgery: It is the last resort for treating hand arthritis.
Keeping your Independence
Depending on someone else for the most basic tasks is something we all want to avoid. When you suffer from disabilities due to your hand arthritis, the use of appropriate assistance devices become critical in maintaining your independence. With the right tools, you can easily perform daily tasks such as writing, peeling and cutting food, buttoning a blouse, etc. Investing in arthritis supplies is definitely not a luxury!
The best place to shop for assistance devices online is ArthritisSupplies.com.
Hand arthritis is best managed and treated using various methods. It is advisable that you consult your doctor to find out about the optimal strategy for your pain management.
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