Osteoarthritis in the hands, also known as osteoarthritis or osteoarthritis, occurs due to wear and tear on the cartilage of the joints, increasing friction between the bones of the hands, which leads to symptoms of pain and stiffness, making it difficult to perform sensitive movements and day to day activities. In the most advanced cases, there may be formation of nodules in the middle of the joints.
In addition, arthrosis in the hands can produce changes in the bones and tissues around the joint that keep it together and support the muscle and the skin, which causes inflammation and pain.
Arthrosis can be quite limiting, especially when it affects both hands, so if you have any symptoms, you should consult an orthopedist or a rheumatologist to carry out the diagnosis and indicate the appropriate treatment.
The symptoms of arthrosis in the hands usually develop slowly and develop with time, and include:
- Pain in the Handswhich can be more intense when waking up and decreasing during the day, without embargo, with the development of the illness and pain can occur throughout the day;
- Stiffness in the joints of the handswhich is perceived more after waking up after staying too long without moving las hands;
- Increase in the sensitivity of the joints of the hands, which can be sensible to apply a light pressure on the joint or around it;
- Loss of flexibilitywhich makes it difficult to carry out simple movements such as holding an object or writing, for example;
- Hinchazón de los fingerscaused by inflammation around the joint;
- Hormigueo de las manos or fingerseven at rest.
Furthermore, it is possible to observe the formation of nodules in the joints, such as the Heberden nodule, which forms in the joint at the end of the fingers; and the Bouchard’s node, which is formed in the joint in the middle of the fingers.
The diagnosis of arthrosis in the hands is carried out by the orthopedist or rheumatologist, based mainly on the symptoms described by the person; in addition to the evaluation of the personal and family history of health.
The doctor usually indicates the performance of complementary exams such as X-rays, in which bone alterations are evaluated; computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging to verify the degree of wear of the joint and, in this way, confirm the diagnosis and indicate the best treatment.
Causes of arthrosis in the hands
Arthrosis in the hands is mainly caused due to repetitive strains, being more common that it occurs in people who use a lot of the articulations of the hands, such as Albanians, seamstresses, people who perform domestic work or athletes who practice sports that include the use of I work in my hands.
This condition is more frequent in people who have family members with arthrosis, people in the third age and women in menopause, due to the natural aging of the cartilage.
Asimism, inflammatory or autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, in addition to metabolic diseases such as hemochromatosis, can favor the stiffness of the joints of the hands, resulting in the manifestation of arthrosis.
How is the treatment performed?
The treatment for arthrosis in the hands is carried out according to the symptoms presented and has the objective of relieving pain, improving stiffness and helping to improve movement.
The treatment must be prescribed by the doctor and can be carried out through:
1. Use of medication
Medications for the treatment of arthrosis in the hands and fingers include analgesics such as paracetamol or anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen, which help to control pain and inflammation in the joints.
Another drug that the doctor can recommend is duloxetine, an antidepressant, which is also indicated for the treatment of chronic pain caused by arthrosis of the hands and fingers. See more medication options for arthrosis.
Physiotherapy for arthrosis in the hands helps to strengthen the muscles around the joint, increases flexibility and reduces pain. This treatment must be guided by a physical therapist who will indicate the most suitable exercises according to the stage of arthrosis and individually. The physiotherapist can also recommend exercises to perform at home as a complement to the physiotherapeutic treatment, in addition to recommending the application of hielo in the zone to relieve the symptoms of arthrosis.
3. Infiltration in the joints
Infiltration in the joints of the hands can be performed with the injection of corticosteroid drugs or hyaluronic acid, and must always be indicated by the doctor who performs the person’s follow-up.
The injections of corticosteroids in the joints help to improve the pain and can be applied from 3 to 4 injections a year. To administer the corticoid, the doctor anesthetizes around the articulaciones de la mano or de los fingers y after injecting the medication.
In the case of the injection of hyaluronic acid, which is a substance similar to a component normally found in the joints and which acts as a cushioning agent, it helps to lubricate the painful joints of the hands or fingers, so it helps in the relief of pain.
Surgery for arthrosis in the hands or fingers is indicated for a small number of cases in which the treatments are not effective or when one of the joints is seriously damaged. However, it is not possible to guarantee that the surgery completely eliminates the symptoms and the person could continue to feel pain and stiffness in the hands or fingers.
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