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Here are a few common ways arthritis can disrupt your life.
- Can no longer do small tasks with your hands.
- Your grip is not as strong as it once was.
- You find your hands and fingers get numb.
- Stabbing pain and swelling make it hard to use your hands.
- Constant aches and pains can understandably cause frustration, anxiety, and depression.
- Diminished job performance prevents you from completing daily tasks.
- Running errands, managing finances, and taking care of others feels overwhelming.
- Can affect your mood and make you feel worthless.
- Hurting all the time makes it tough to do chores, care for the kids, and help financially.
- When you’re always in pain, sleep is disrupted.
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What parts of the hand are most affected by arthritis?
The four areas of your hand attacked by arthritis are:
- The base of your thumb, where your thumb meets your wrist.
- Your knuckles.
- The middle joints of your fingers.
- The top joint of your fingers nearest your nails.
Who gets arthritis in their hands?
You are more likely to get arthritis in your hands if:
- You’re older. Osteoarthritis is commonly seen after age 50. Rheumatoid arthritis typically first appears between the age of 35 and 50.
- You’re a woman.
- You’re overweight.
- You’ve had previous injuries to your hand. If you’ve dislocated or broken any joints in your hands or fingers, you are more likely to develop arthritis.
- You’ve inherited genes that cause the development of arthritis.
How is arthritis in the hand diagnosed?
At Schrock Medical we will provide a full ortho and neuro. exam and make the diagnosis of arthritis of the hand by examining your hand and with X-rays. X-rays show loss of bone cartilage and formation of bone spurs.
How is arthritis in the hand treated?
Treatment options depend on the type of arthritis, stage of arthritis, how many joints are affected, your age, activity level, the hand affected (if it’s your dominant hand) and other existing medical conditions. A good example is cold laser therapy for muscle aches and pains, along with IV therapy for added nutrients that might be missing from one’s diet. MedWave has also been very affecting in treating small joint pain, like arthritis.
Goals of treatment are to:
- Decrease joint pain and stiffness.
- Improve mobility and function.
- Increase your quality of life.
- In the case of rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis, to slow the progression of the disease.
Treatment options include splinting/bracing, medications, injections, non-drug approaches, chiropractic care and rehab. therapy.
How to manage chronic arthritis in your hands and fingers:
- Exercises — strengthening and stretching — to reduce symptoms and improve function. Our rehab. therapist will work with you to prescribe the exercises best suited for your hand arthritis.
- Hot and cold packs. Cold can help reduce pain and swelling. Heat can help reduce stiffness. Apply for no longer than 20 minutes at a time.
- Rest. Regular rest periods can help relieve pain and inflammation in your joints.
- Healthy eating and managing inflammation.
- Weight loss if you’re overweight.
- Smoking cessation. Smoking increases your risk of developing arthritis.
Don’t let chronic arthritis destroy your life anymore. You can live a healthy, normal life again and get back to the joy and happiness you once had.