Finger Arthritis Basics

Finger arthritis is a disease that makes the fingers painful, swollen and stiff. The wearing down of cartilages are an effect of age and the harmful toxins we expose our bodies to. Explore the benefits of rest, drugs and self care to manage the symptoms of finger arthritis in the following article.

Finger arthritis is triggered by the wear and tear of the cartilages that support the finger joints in the hands. An interesting indicator is a peculiar pain felt at the finger joints when the hand is closed into a fist. Researchers are of the opinion that finger and thumb arthritis is more common because there are as many as 27 bones in each hand. Also, the hands are always at use for something or the other and therefore are more exposed to injury and pain.
Finger Arthritis

Types of Finger Arthritis

There are two types of arthritis that affects the fingers. They are:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Finger osteoarthritis contributes to the wearing down of the cartilages between the finger joints. On the other hand, finger rheumatoid arthritis signals other types of destruction for the joint that includes inflammation and pain.

Causes of Finger Arthritis

Studies reveal that arthritis finger joints are marked with pain and some amount of deformity. When theses features begin to worsen instead of getting better, it may require a surgical treatment for the finger joint.

The most common causes of finger arthritis are listed here below:

  • Degenerative arthritis or osteoarthritis which is marked by the breakdown of cartilages between the joints.
  • A prior injury to the joint. For example, a sprain or a fracture. Such injuries can also change the alignment of the bones and may cause deformities.

Trigger Finger and Finger Arthritis

The “trigger finger” is also known as “stenosing tenosynovitis”. It is a condition determined by the snapping of the digits in the hands. The trigger finger usually occurs while griping an object or when the hand is closed into a fist. The digits seem to shake and then suddenly the fingers close. This effect is called the trigger finger.

Inflamed tendons initiate the trigger finger condition. Researchers explain that swollen tissues pull the affected digits towards the palm. This results in the snapping effect. Experts claim that trigger finger can occur due to an underlying illness associated with swelling and pain like rheumatoid arthritis.

Symptoms of Finger Arthritis

The symptoms of finger arthritis are listed here below:

  • Pain experienced at the joint
  • Warm and inflamed joint
  • Stiff joint
  • Total loss of movement
  • Finger deformities

Diagnosis for Finger Arthritis

The diagnosis for finger arthritis entails a series of cross examination and analysis. The doctor starts with the medical history of the patient and continues with a physical examination. After identifying the probable causes or injury for the finger pain, the doctor would recommend X-rays for the fingers. Sometimes rheumatologists use magnetic resonance imaging to diagnose finger complexities.

When all the results are obtained the doctor recommends a suitable and effective treatment for curing the symptoms of finger arthritis.

Treatment for Finger Arthritis

The treatments available for curing finger arthritis symptoms are listed here below:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be given to control the inflammation and pain at the joint.
  • Cortisone injections can be given directly into the finger joint for immediate and temporary relief.
  • Reducing the activities of the finger joint can help reduce the inflammation and pain.
  • Hot or cold therapy whichever suits you best.
  • Hand therapy performed by an occupational therapist. The therapist focuses on certain movements and finger exercises that reduce the stiffness of the joint.
  • Occasional splint treatment to relax and rest the finger joints.
  • Topical rubs can also reduce pain and swelling to considerable extents.

Ensure that you seek the doctor’s advice and recommendation before taking any medication or treatment. The symptoms of finger arthritis are critical and need to be treated immediately. Your therapist or doctor can help control the symptoms and maximize the health of your fingers through different options.

To begin with drugs or injections work well for controlling the symptoms. The doctor can later refer other effective treatments for managing the menace of finger pain, inflammation and stiffness.

When to consult a doctor?

Any finger deformity or pain should be discussed with a doctor. Never have medicines on your personal account. Seek the guidance and assistance of a professional therapist or doctor to get rid of the symptoms of finger arthritis.

Hands are absolutely essential to pursue any activity we choose to do in this world. Pay attention to the needs, rest and health of your fingers. Do not overwork your fingers and engage in physical therapies to keep your fingers healthy and strong.