Over the years, a great deal of information on arthritis has been published, so much so that it might be difficult to tell the difference between fact and fantasy.
Contrary to common misconceptions, arthritis isn’t a singular condition; it’s a group of diseases. The term is used to describe inflammation or condition of the joints. It has over a hundred different varieties of the illness, each with its own set of symptoms and appearances.
Your wrists and finger joints are affected by arthritis in the hands. Swelling, discomfort, stiffness, and a limited range of motion are possible symptoms. You may have these symptoms regularly or not have a flare-up for days or even weeks. Over time, you may also develop chronic discomfort, making it difficult to carry out simple tasks.
In the following paragraphs, you can learn more about different types of arthritis in the hands and ways to prevent them.
Breaking Down the Types of Arthritis that Affect the Hands
Arthritis of the hands can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Some of these types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile arthritis.
- Osteoarthritis (OA): This is a common kind of arthritis and is a chronic illness. With it, the cartilage that protects the ends of your bones at the joints breaks down. As the cartilage degrades, your bones brush against each other in the joint area. If you have this condition, you may experience stiffness, soreness, and a lack of joint movement, to name a few symptoms.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: In most cases, your immune system defends you against illness. However, rheumatoid arthritis is triggered by an immune system attack on the body. You will most likely experience pain, swelling, inflammation, and loss of function in addition to joint deterioration. If the inflammation goes on, it can lead to abnormalities and make it difficult to use your hands.
- Juvenile arthritis: This condition comes in various forms, all of which cause discomfort and swelling in the hands and wrists. Arthritis can be caused by injuries like fractured bones in the hands. Ligaments or tendon damage in the hand or wrist can also be a cause. Even though the damage has healed, these areas may have become weaker, making them more prone to arthritis in the future.
Observing Preventative Measures for Arthritis
Arthritis has no known cure. In reality, most arthritis in hands treatments are geared toward early detection and prevention. A significant family history of arthritis, as well as genetics, can raise your chances of acquiring arthritis. Women are also more likely than men to develop the condition.
You can strive to develop lifestyles to avoid getting arthritis yet still get it. You can, however, take steps to lower your risk, like maintaining a healthy body mass index and quitting smoking (if you already do). When playing sports or engaging in recreational activities, do your best not to hurt your hands.
Be sure to avoid harming your joints if your job includes a lot of pushing, tugging, or lifting large objects. If your profession requires a lot of typing, make sure you have a decent posture. Get a special keyboard, wrist cushion, or pad if necessary.
Taking Better Care of Your Hands
Moving your hands and fingers can assist your ligaments and tendons to stay flexible and synovial fluid to work better. To strengthen muscles and ease stiffness and pain, do regular hand exercises or go to a specialist for hand therapy. Finger flexing and bending, finger touching, and finger sliding are all simple exercises that can help keep your fingertips limber.
Arthritis is common. It has a wide range of effects across the body and can affect any major joint. However, it’s possible to prevent it by following the advice above. Maintaining a healthy level of physical activity while also taking extra steps to avoid injury is critical not only for avoiding arthritis but also for your general physical well-being.
If you’re looking for a hand specialist in Jacksonville, you can find a reputable one at North Florida Hand and Wrist. We are a state-of-the-art surgical facility with dedicated practitioners whose primary goal is to ease any hand or wrist discomfort you may experience. Visit our website now to book a consultation.