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Hand Arthritis Treatment in Illinois

Joint Pain & Inflammation Treatment

Human hands are comprised of many small bones and joints, facilitating flexible movement and fine motor manipulation. The joints rely on the cartilage and natural lubricants to move freely, cushioning the space between bones and providing smooth surfaces for them to glide on. Hand arthritis develops as cartilage wears away or breaks down, causing inflammation, pain and joint stiffness. Although aging is a primary risk factor for developing hand arthritis, it may also set-in as the result of a sports injury or fracture.

Cause of Arthritis of the Hand

Several types of arthritis may strike hand joints, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of the disease, commonly manifesting hand symptoms. This type of arthritis gradually worsens, typically first appearing in middle age or beyond. Because joints are prone to wear, most people experience some degree of osteoarthritis, due to aging. As it progresses, pain, swelling and limited range of motion may occur. Osteoarthritis in the hand sometimes makes it hard for affected individuals to manipulate small objects.

A family history of arthritis increases risk for developing the condition and wear caused by job-related overuse or athletic injury can accelerate its onset.

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs across the entire body, but the small joints of the fingers may be among the first to show signs of disease. Aside from genetic disposition, the cause of the inflammatory autoimmune disease is not always known.

Description of Arthritis of the Hand

Arthritis results from degradation or injury to joints and surrounding soft tissue. As joints wear over time or experience acute trauma, cartilage and joint tissue become less effective cushioning bone contact. Hand and wrist joints are frequently affected by arthritis inflammation, causing pain and stiffness. A history of broken fingers or wrist fracture can contribute to the onset of arthritis in the hand.

Symptoms of Arthritis of the Hand

Arthritis in the hand may present some or all of these symptoms:

  • Joint pain that may feel “dull,” or a “burning” sensation
  • Morning pain and stiffness
  • Pain is aggravated by activity or increased joint use, relieved by rest
  • Joint pain increases over time
  • Pain may intensify with weather changes
  • Swelling of the affected joint
  • Joints surrounding affected joint may become more mobile than normal
  • Joint may feel warm
  • May experience a sensation of grating or grinding in affected joint
  • Support structures of joint may be unstable or “loose”
  • Joint may appear larger than normal
  • Small cysts may develop in certain cases
  • Cysts may cause ridging or dents in the nail plate of the affected finger

Schedule a consultation with an experienced, orthopedist today by calling (630) 584-1400.