Arthritis in Hands Questions and Answers
If you are experiencing arthritis in your hands, come to Golden State Medical Center in San Ramon, CA today to find a remedy for your ailment! We have experienced professionals to help you relieve pain and get you on the road to wellness! Contact us today to get in touch with a specialist or book an appointment online.
Our hands are infinitely important in our day-to-day lives, allowing us to perform tasks like writing, driving, eating, drinking, and even talking. These essential prehensile organs have incredible strength that can grip, grasp and grab. In fact, for many professionals, they could not imagine doing their job without their hands. Because we use our hands nearly every minute of the day, they can be subjected to wear and tear. Any one of the 20 joints in the hand can develop arthritis, which is joint inflammation. This can lead to weakness, less gripping force and even deformities.
How do you know if you have arthritis in your hand?
Symptoms of arthritis in the hands differ slightly depending on the type of arthritis, although common symptoms include:
- Pain in the hands and fingers
- Swelling in the hand/wrist joints
- Stiffness in the joints and hands
- Weakness in the hands
What types of arthritis affect the hands?
There are several types of arthritis, and each one affects the hands and its joints differently. These include:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis — Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks the joints, which results in inflammation. Symptoms can be gradual or come on rapidly and include stiffness, pain, and swelling in the hands, wrists, ankles, elbows, shoulders, neck, or jaw.
- Psoriatic Arthritis — This type of arthritis is directly linked to psoriasis, which is an inflammatory skin condition that can cause the skin to develop a scaly rash. Psoriasis can cause the fingers to swell and consequently result in arthritic symptoms.
- Gout-Induced Arthritis — When the joints experience an accumulation of uric acid crystals, gout occurs. This build-up can happen for two main reasons: by either eating foods high in purines (which increases the body’s production of uric acid), or because the body makes too much uric acid that the kidneys cannot process.
- Lupus — An autoimmune disease, lupus can affect the joints, causing inflammation. There are countless symptoms that a person with lupus might experience, common ones include hair loss, headaches, anemia, fatigue, and swelling/inflammation of the joints.
- Osteoarthritis — The only type of arthritis that does not stem from inflammation, osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder and occurs due to wear and tear on the joints.
How do you identify and manage arthritis in your hands?
Identifying arthritis in the hands can be done by looking for its common symptoms, which are described above. Managing hand arthritis depends on the type of arthritis that is present, and options can also vary per patient. These include:
- Non-Surgical Treatments, including:
- Lifestyle changes, including exercise and diet modifications
- Medication to address inflammation and pain
- Reducing swelling and pain by applying ice
- Bracing to decrease pain and increase function
- Steroid injections for symptom relief
- Surgical Treatments, including:
- Joint Replacements
- Joint Fusions
- Partial Joint Fusions
What causes arthritis in hands to flare-up?
The cause of an arthritis flare-up varies depending on the type of arthritis, including:
- when treatments are tapered or stopped
- infection or poor sleep
- overdoing an activity
- trauma to the joint
- bone spurs
- repetitive motions
- cold weather
- a change in barometric pressure
- an infection
- weight gain
- injury to the skin
- certain medications
- bacterial infections, specifically strep throat
- alcohol intake
- weather changes
- strenuous physical activity
- high-purine foods like shellfish or beer
- becoming dehydrated
- experiencing sudden changes in kidney function
- local trauma to a joint
At Golden State Medical Center, we care about your health, which is why we offer treatments for arthritis in the hands. Our medical professionals can help you reduce your symptoms and improve your strength and range of motion. Call us today to book an appointment for hand arthritis treatment, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 2551 San Ramon Valley Blvd Suite 108, San Ramon, CA 94583. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from San Ramon CA, Dublin CA, Blackhawk CA, Danville CA, Alamo CA, Diablo CA, Dougherty CA, Tassajara CA, Livermore CA, and Pleasanton CA.