Identifying symptoms of arthritis in hands vs other areas can often be confusing. Both doctors and patients often misdiagnose arthritic signs as carpel tunnel syndrome. While carpel tunnel can often exist in conjunction with rheumatoid arthritis, as a standalone condition the severity and treatment approaches are handled differently.
As we get older we typically tend to lose some of the vitality we had in
our youth. Senior citizens with arthritic conditions find dialing a
phone number seemingly impossible, properly placing a stamp on an
envelope is a challenge, and engaging in hobbies like gardening, playing
board games has become an unlikely feat.
Symptoms of arthritis in hands vs other areas seem more debilitating because we depend so much on our hands.
While it may appear to you that your life is forever changed due your condition, rest assured that you can continue to participate in life’s activities that you love. With the right exercises, treatment, and aids you can plant your dream garden, put together a great family scrapbook, among many other interests while living
Hand pain and discomfort can easily be detected and should be taken seriously in order to avoid further degeneration of the joints. The hope is to detect the condition early so you can seek treatment early. Here are some of the major signs that should prompt you to make a doctor’s appointment:
Pain: The more you use your hands you begin to notice a burning sensation or dull pain on or around the joints of your wrist or fingers. This is one of the most common signs to occur, and often happens later in the day from your hands being busy.
Warmth: Arthritis enflames the joints in your fingers and hands, therefore, your actual skin will feel warm to the touch.
Swelling: You’ll notice increased size in the painful areas and joints. This is our body’s natural protection against further use of the hand.
Cysts: called “mucous cysts,” they occur at the upper joints of the fingers, and indicate joint degeneration.
Once you’ve been given a definitive diagnosis, it’s time to discover that arthritis treatment for hands can be life changing. There are several different approaches and they can be summed up into two major categories: surgical and nonsurgical.
Surgical Treatments: Joint replacements, joint fusions, joint reconstructions are all options depending on your individual case. Surgical options should be secondary to nonsurgical attempts that didn’t prove successful.
Nonsurgical Treatments: Medications, injections, and splints can all be options to look at prior to going down the road of surgery. While medication cannot rebuild your cartilage, it can aid in relieving pain and bringing some functionality back to your hands.
Injections can help to alleviate pain either short or long term, and splints help to support your joints so that you can use your hands in every day tasks.
Symptoms of arthritis in hands should never be ignored and should be taken seriously and followed up by a doctors appointment. Be sure to note all the symptoms, and any other sensations you feel in your hands.
This will help to avoid a misdiagnosis. The sooner your condition is treated, the sooner you can get back to feeling comfortable and enjoying the activities you love.
You may also be interested in the related pages listed below.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons"Arthritis of the Hand"