The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is often called just “arthritis” because of its commonplace nature. Osteoarthritis is caused by the wearing-down of the protective cartilage in our joints between the bones, so it tends to appear most often as we get older and in athletes.
Arthritis can affect any joint, including your hips, knees, shoulders, and hands. Nothing makes you realize just how much you rely on your hands for daily activities quite like the development of hand arthritis and its associated debilitating pain. What was once a smooth movement becomes a painful ordeal.
Hand arthritis requires proper management in order to relieve uncomfortable symptoms. Let’s talk about the symptoms of hand arthritis and who can help you find relief, so you can get back to your pain-free life again.
What Are the Signs of Hand Arthritis?
While not all patients with hand arthritis will experience symptoms, it is important to note that it’s a progressive disease and therefore requires medical treatment to help stifle its progression. Some of the most common initial signs include the following:
Early hand arthritis pain feels dull and persistent, and it gets worse after continued normal use of the hands. Actions like grasping and gripping suddenly become painful – even lifting a glass to drink or turning a doorknob can be difficult.
Hand arthritis pain often begins the moment you wake up in the morning. You may feel stiffness in your hands and wrists while trying to get ready for the day, like getting dressed and brushing your hair.
Warmth and Swelling
If your hands and wrists have any swelling or feel warm to the touch, then these symptoms may be due to the inflammatory response of hand arthritis. The breakdown of cartilage triggers inflammation, causing warmth. The swelling worsens if you attempt to use your hands beyond what they can handle, which is very little stress.
If you notice that your hands and fingers feel crunchy and you get a sensation of grating, that’s because your bones are rubbing against each other – no longer fully protected by cartilage in the joint. This is called crepitus. Without special treatment by a hand doctor, the bones may eventually undergo changes that lead to deformity of the hand.
Treatment for Hand Arthritis in Palm Beach County
Our hand surgeon here at South Palm Orthopedics, Dr. Steve Meadows, is highly trained and experienced in the latest treatments for upper extremity issues of all kinds, including hand arthritis. For over 25 years, our medical team has helped our patients regain pain-free functionality of their arms and hands.
If you have any questions or you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Meadows, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (561) 496-6622, or request an appointment now by filling out our easy-to-use online form. We are conveniently located in Delray Beach on Linton Boulevard near Military Trail, and we look forward to seeing you here.