Common symptoms of hand arthritis:
- restriction of movements;
- swelling and redness in the affected joint;
- joint enlargement, swelling.
Symptoms of arthritis of the hands depend on the stage of the disease, as well as the causes of its appearance.
There are 4 stages of the development of the inflammatory process:
- I degree. At this stage, the symptoms of arthritis of the fingers are absent, but the specific manifestations can be guessed about the disease. In the morning there is a stiffness of movements, for example, it is difficult for the patient to turn the tap with water.
- II degree. Since patients rarely seek medical help at the initial stage of damage to the joints of the hands, the symptoms become pronounced. Crunch appears when moving with a brush or fingers, joints hurt and increase in size. Stiffness bothers not only in the morning, but also in the afternoon.
- III degree. Polyarthritis of the fingers is manifested by deformation of the joints. The pain becomes strong and unbearable. The skin in the affected area turns red and hotter, movements – more constrained. All signs pass after taking painkillers.
- IV degree. Of the signs, it can be noted – joint articular cartilage and complete immobilization of the fingers. A person loses self-care skills, he is assigned a disability group.
You should consult a doctor as soon as morning stiffness appears.
Arthritis of the joints of the fingers can occur in acute and chronic form. Both species differ in symptoms.
Finger polyarthritis in the acute phase is manifested by severe pain and fever. The chronic form of arthritis of the hands develops slowly, therefore, the symptoms are mild. But the disease is considered incurable.
Depending on the etiology of origin, polyarthritis of the hands is:
- Infectious. It is caused by an infection that can get into the joint during an injury, after surgery, or through blood.
- Gouty. Arthritis of the thumb caused by gout. The disease is characterized by a paroxysmal course.
- Rheumatoid arthritis of the hands. First, small and then large joints are affected. Rheumatoid arthritis of the fingers is accompanied by stiffness in the morning, which lasts for 30 minutes. In the chronic form of rheumatoid arthritis of the fingers, the first symptoms may be absent until the destruction of the joint begins and it is no longer possible to save it. More About Rheumatoid Arthritis →
- Post-traumatic arthritis of the small joints of the hands. The inflammatory process occurs due to trauma.
- Psoriatic. Along with the symptoms of joint inflammation, signs of psoriasis appear.
In advanced cases, rheumatoid arthritis of the fingers leads to deformation of the articular joints. Rheumatoid arthritis of the hands is dangerous for its consequences. Without treatment, the likelihood of joint destruction and disability is high.
Which doctor treats arthritis of the hands?
Finger polyarthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis of the fingers, is treated by a rheumatologist. Consultation with a traumatologist, immunologist and other specialists may be required.
To make an unmistakable diagnosis, the patient must undergo a comprehensive examination, which includes laboratory tests (blood for the rheumatic factor) and instrumental diagnostic methods.
An important role in the examination is played by the results of radiography, ultrasound examination, MRI and CT.
Finger arthritis treatment should be started with simple recommendations:
- provide sick limbs complete peace;
- perform therapeutic exercises daily;
- rest at night for at least 8 hours;
- follow a diet prescribed by a doctor;
- drink a sufficient amount of liquid (at least 1,5 liters).
Finger polyarthritis is treated with medication, physiotherapeutic procedures, massage and exercise therapy.
A medication for arthritis looks like this:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Diclofenac and Ibuprofen are suitable, local remedies are Voltaren or Fastum gel.
- Chondroprotectors. For example, Chondroitin.
- Vitamin and mineral complexes. Suitable products that contain vitamin E and C, as well as calcium, zinc, copper and selenium.
The treatment of arthritis of joints of infectious origin is carried out only with the help of antibacterial therapy. Penicillin will do.
If you have not treated arthritis in your arms at the initial stage, then with the destruction of the joint can not do without endoprosthetics.
Physiotherapeutic procedures increase the effectiveness of medicines. Hand arthritis is treated with ultrasound, electrophoresis, warming, phonophoresis and magnetotherapy. After these procedures, pain, inflammation and stiffness in the joints are reduced.
Exercises for arthritis of the fingers:
- clench and unclench your fist;
- with the tip of your thumb to touch the index, middle, ring and pinky;
- place your palms on a horizontal surface and lift your fingers in turn.
It is necessary to repeat physical therapy daily. Each exercise – at least 10 times. Classes should be abandoned during the period of exacerbation.
For prevention, you must follow these recommendations:
- lead a healthy lifestyle;
- strengthen immunity, take vitamins, temper;
- do sport.
For infectious diseases and injuries, be sure to contact the hospital. The earlier the disease is detected and treatment is started, the more favorable the prognosis.
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.
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