Symptoms of Arthritis of the Hands

Common symptoms of hand arthritis:

  • restriction of movements;
  • pain;
  • 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.

Diagnostics

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.

Treatment

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.

Prevention

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.

Posted by Oksana Belokur, Doctor,
specially for Ortopediya.pro

Useful v >

Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that primarily affects small joints. Therefore, the defeat of this disease of the hands is a common occurrence. Many people think that curved thickened fingers are a sign of old age. But arthritis of the hands can appear at any age. After all, this disease is caused in most cases by infection. If several joints are affected, they speak of the development of polyarthritis.

A feature of inflammation of the joints of the fingers of the fingers is that the disease progresses rapidly and leads to complete immobility of the hand. The patient loses not only working capacity, but also the ability to serve himself in ordinary life. Therefore, the main thing is to timely detect the disease and begin its treatment. If you follow all the recommendations of a doctor, you can stop the destruction of the joints.

Why does arthritis of the hands develop

People after 50 years are most susceptible to inflammatory joint diseases, because at this time metabolic processes slow down, blood circulation is disturbed, cartilage wears out. Most often, women suffer from arthritis, which is associated with hormonal disruptions and a large load on the fingers.

At risk are people with bad habits, leading the wrong lifestyle or having excess weight. Not the last role in the development of the disease has a hereditary predisposition. In addition, finger arthritis is considered a professional disease of seamstresses, jewelers, tennis players, people working on a computer.

All this leads to malnutrition of the cartilage, microtrauma of the joints and the development of inflammation. And such factors can provoke it:

  • injuries – bruises, fractures, sprains;
  • low immunity;
  • large physical stress on the joints;
  • hypothermia;
  • allergic reactions;
  • operative interventions;
  • tuberculosis, streptococcal tonsillitis, tonsillitis, flu or SARS;
  • gout, rheumatism, diabetes mellitus, psoriasis, sexually transmitted diseases.

How is the disease manifested

To start treatment on time, you need to know the symptoms of arthritis well. They differ slightly in different forms of the disease, but there are common signs. If you see a doctor when the first symptoms appear, inflammation can be quickly removed and bone destruction can be prevented.

  1. The main symptom of arthritis of the hands is pain. At first it appears only in the morning and passes after a while. Patients describe it as an ache in the fingers. Sometimes a tingling sensation or burning sensation may appear. Over time, the pain becomes stronger, disturbs during any physical exertion, and at rest, even at rest.
  2. Other characteristic symptoms of arthritis are stiffness in movement, especially in the morning. Unlike arthrosis, it disappears after the development of fingers or massage. Sometimes, when you move your fingers, a creak is heard.
  3. The last sign of inflammatory joint damage is a change in appearance. The fingers swell, the skin stretches and becomes hot. Affected areas turn red. Sometimes under the skin visible seals – nodules. In the last stage, the joints are completely deformed, and the fingers are bent.
  4. In addition, other symptoms are possible: fever, chills, weakness, insomnia.

Arthritis Classification

Finger arthritis can be acute or chronic. Acute more often occurs when an infection enters the joint cavity. The chronic course of the disease occurs after injuries, with metabolic disorders or in people whose hands are subjected to increased stress.

If one joint is inflamed, they speak of ordinary arthritis, but almost all the small joints of the fingers are usually affected on the hands. This is the so-called polyarthritis.

In addition, several types of disease are distinguished, depending on the cause of its occurrence.

  • infectious – when bacteria enter the joint cavity;
  • exchange – with the deposition of salts;
  • rheumatoid – in the presence of autoimmune pathologies;
  • post-traumatic – arising from a long-standing injury;
  • risartritis – the so-called disease that affects only the thumb.

Features of treatment

Such a disease requires a mandatory visit to a doctor. Only after diagnostic procedures and determining the cause of the inflammatory process can the correct treatment be prescribed. The prognosis of recovery depends on the patient’s efforts. It is necessary not only to apply the treatment methods prescribed by the doctor, but also to make changes to your lifestyle:

  • reduce the burden on the fingers, you may even have to change professional activities;
  • it is impossible to make sharp movements with a brush, to lift weights;
  • need to get enough sleep;
  • the diet recommended by the doctor must be strictly observed;
  • you must drink at least 1,5-2 liters of water every day;
  • in addition to the therapy prescribed by the doctor, you can treat the disease with folk remedies.
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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What medicines are used

In most cases, it is necessary to treat arthritis with the use of special medications. You can not choose them yourself, guided by advertising or the advice of friends. All medicines are prescribed by a doctor, depending on the nature of the inflammatory process, the type of arthritis, stage of the disease. Usually several groups of drugs are used.

  1. In the acute course of the disease and in order to relieve pain during exacerbation of chronic arthritis, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used. Ketonal, Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, Indomethacin and other drugs reduce swelling and pain. Additionally, ointments with the same effect are used: “Dolgit”, “Fastum gel” and others. They have fewer side effects, and unlike tablets, they can be consumed for a long time. But all these drugs do not treat, but only relieve symptoms.
  2. In the last stages of the disease, drugs that restore cartilage are needed. These are medicines that contain chondroitin and glucosamine. You need to take them for a long time, because the joints of the hands are restored slowly.
  3. Pathological processes in the joint cavity often occur due to insufficient nutrition and blood supply to tissues. Therefore, drugs that dilate blood vessels are prescribed. Most often, these are injections of Trental, Actovegil or Teonikol.
  4. Purulent or infectious arthritis is treated with antibiotics only. Penicillins or macrolides are prescribed. Often used funds from other groups. The new drug “Minocycline” is very effective in relieving inflammation and killing bacteria. The instruction notes that it affects the tissues of the joint, helping them recover.
  5. To maintain the patient’s immune system and enrich the body with nutrients, vitamin complexes, preparations with calcium and thiamine, brewer’s yeast and plant-based dietary supplements are used.
  6. In the most severe cases, intra-articular injections of corticosteroids, such as Cortisone, are used. If another treatment is ineffective, antimalarial or antitumor drugs, such as Methotrexate, may be prescribed.

Physiotherapy and exercise therapy

Hand arthritis treatment should be comprehensive. In addition to tablets and ointments, physiotherapeutic methods are necessarily used:

  • acupuncture;
  • massage;
  • magnetotherapy;
  • electrophoresis;
  • ultrasound;
  • paraffin treatment;
  • mud applications.

A very important place in the treatment of arthritis is therapeutic gymnastics. It needs to be done regularly. For example, such exercises: rolling the ball with the palm of your hand, clenching your fingers into a fist, raising your fingers one at a time, sorting out the rosary and others. The main thing is that gymnastics does not cause pain and helps to cope with stiffness in movements.

Folk methods

In the complex treatment of the disease, alternative treatment is often used. There are many methods: rubbing, compresses, ointments for joints, but you can apply them after consulting a doctor.

  • Compresses can be made from grated onions, cabbage leaf, wormwood broth, mashed potatoes or clay.
  • Sore joints are rubbed with mint leaves, tincture of green chestnut peel, fir oil or a mummy solution.
  • Finger arthritis is easily treated with folk remedies, because for these joints it’s easy to make healing baths. They add turpentine, St. John’s wort essential oil, a decoction of poplar leaves or apple cider vinegar.

Preventive measures

It is believed that arthritis should be treated throughout life. During remissions, when tablets are not taken and ointments are not used, certain rules must be adhered to.

  1. Diet is very important for the prevention of exacerbations of the inflammatory process. It is necessary to exclude salt, fatty and spicy foods, sorrel, onions, and eggplant from the diet.
  2. You need to lead a healthy lifestyle: give up bad habits, get enough sleep and exercise.
  3. Exacerbations can be prevented by folk remedies: drink decoctions of currant leaves, birch buds, horseradish root, thistle juice.
  4. Reduce the load on the hands and avoid hypothermia.

The consequences of arthritis of the fingers

In the case when the disease develops in the elderly or after an injury, the main unpleasant consequence is the bending of the fingers and deformation of the hand. This leads to loss of performance and disability of the patient. It is also dangerous when arthritis becomes chronic. In this case, pain occurs periodically, and the process of destruction of bone tissue proceeds unnoticed.

Only timely treatment can stop the progression of the disease. Serious complications are possible with the transition of arthritis to the last stage. In this case, not only joints are affected, but also the nervous system, blood vessels, and kidneys.

It is believed that arthritis cannot be completely cured. But with a timely visit to a doctor and the implementation of all his recommendations, you can maintain efficiency and reduce the frequency of seizures. In the fight against this disease, it is very important that the patient constantly takes care of the health of his joints.

Types and signs of arthritis of the fingers, hands, shoulder and elbow joints

Arthritis is an inflammatory pathology that affects the joint. Most often, the upper limbs are affected, especially the hands and fingers. The risk group includes women who are sick 5 times more often than men. Often arthritis leads to a loss of working capacity, because of which a person becomes disabled. Therefore, this pathological process must be treated extremely carefully.

Arthritis in the upper extremities affects the fingers, hands, shoulders and elbow joints. There is still a classification dividing the pathology into the following types:

  • Infectious. From the name it is clear that inflammation is caused by the penetration of a pathogenic microorganism.
  • Exchange or gouty. This systemic disease is caused by an accumulation of uric acid.
  • Rheumatoid. Almost always, this type in the beginning develops in the fingers, gradually moving to large joints.
  • Post-traumatic.
  • Proximal, distal, medium, depending on the location of the process.
  • Rhizarthritis, affecting exclusively the thumb of the upper limb.

Often a secondary form is diagnosed, which is a reaction of the body to an allergic reaction or a violation in the immune system. If we talk about the hands, then most often the disease develops in the metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints. This is due to the fact that many people perform small manual work.

In every tenth patient with pain in the elbow, an inflammatory process is detected, leading to the gradual destruction of the affected area. In this case, arthritis can spread to other joints.

Pathology of the shoulder is also dangerous by degeneration and degeneration of cartilage. The affected joint ceases to function normally over time, leading to disability. Therefore, it is so important to seek medical help in a timely manner.

Causes

The inflammatory process in the fingers or hands is caused by the following numerous factors:

  1. Age-related changes. After 65 years, 8 out of 10 people suffer from the disease. In old age, joint wear accelerates, cartilage undergoes mechanical damage, metabolism slows down, impaired blood circulation worsens the nutrition of the cartilage structure.
  2. Gender. Women are several times more likely to suffer from arthritis than men because of the presence of a special gene in their DNA. In addition, during menopause, the hormonal background is significantly disturbed. Such changes adversely affect articular and bone tissues.
  3. Injuries received. Various bruises, cracks and fractures heal, but leave mechanical damage on the joints, which subsequently leads to the disease.
  4. Professional activity. Arthritis of the fingers and hands most often affects seamstresses, jewelers, hairdressers, tennis players and other people whose work is directly related to the constant tension of the upper limbs.
  5. Genetic predisposition. This is especially true for women.
  6. Weakening of the protective properties of the body.
  7. Infectious pathologies, hypothermia. Even ordinary sore throat of a bacterial nature with improper treatment is complicated by inflammation of the articular tissues due to the spread of pathogenic microorganisms.
  8. Allergic reactions.
  9. Constant nervous strain, stressful situations.
  10. Presence of diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriasis, genital infections, rheumatism, tuberculosis or gout.

The form of brachial arthritis depends on the causes of the appearance of pathology. The post-traumatic appearance develops after suffering fractures, dislocations, sprains, bruises that disturb blood circulation. The rheumatoid type occurs with a decrease in immunity, an infectious disease. Osteoarthritis affects the elderly, athletes, movers.

The above factors lead to the development of inflammation of the elbow joint. However, this form of the disease is sometimes caused by problems with the digestive system, food poisoning, chronic upper respiratory tract diseases, autoimmune pathologies, vitamin deficiency, viral hepatitis, syphilis, and malignant neoplasms.

The secondary type is often diagnosed with the formation of purulent masses. It is important to perform the correct diagnosis to identify the true cause of the development of inflammation of the joint tissue, since the main emphasis of therapy is on eliminating the provoking factor.

clinical picture

The main symptom of arthritis is pain. At the initial stage, the pain syndrome is mild, appears in the morning during prolonged immobility of the joint, quickly passes if you perform motor manipulations with your hand. The character of discomfort is burning, tingling, aching.

Changes in weather conditions, atmospheric pressure also lead to an exacerbation of the pathological process. The affected hands are constrained, the movement of the fingers is difficult, especially after waking up. The skin on the knuckles, over the affected area turns red, becomes hot. Due to swelling and thickening of the fingers, the hands resemble pillows.

An increase in body temperature, fever signals the development of rheumatoid, infectious arthritis. The movement of a diseased joint causes a specific creak, a crunch that should not be confused with clicks considered normal. Nodules sometimes appear under the skin. Sometimes the patient’s weight decreases significantly, fatigue occurs, the general condition worsens, and the hands become like a spindle.

Inflammation of the fingers and hands of the upper limbs is divided into four stages. At the first stage, morning stiffness appears, quickly passing. At the second stage, bone erosion develops, the pain syndrome intensifies, there is a crunch, swelling, difficulty in movement does not go away even during the day, which reduces the ability to work.

The third stage is characterized by the destruction of cartilage. The defeat of the hands is symmetrical, in the fingers the painful sensations become unbearable. At the last stage, the joint structures fuse together, leading to disability.

When the shoulder is affected, the local temperature rises, it is difficult for the patient to raise his hand, any movement of the joint is accompanied by a crunch. In advanced cases, the cartilaginous structure in the shoulder is deformed. Inflammation of the elbow leads to the same symptoms. Another patient may note nausea, vomiting, muscle aches.

If pathology is not treated, then the soft tissues are scarred, which is why the hand is fixed in a specific position. Recovery is extremely painful. Sometimes ulnar arthritis leads to phlegmon, bursitis, ankylosis, diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

In the early stages, the pathology can be completely eliminated. If you start therapy in the second stage, then you can achieve a stable remission while maintaining mobility. In advanced cases, the disease often leads to disability, so it is important to consult a doctor if there is slight discomfort in the morning.

Arthritis is caused by a huge number of reasons, so there is no specific prevention. To eliminate the main provoking factors, it is necessary to correctly and completely treat any infectious diseases, eat right, take vitamin complexes, do joint exercises, control weight and eliminate bad habits.

How is arthritis of the hands treated, and what is the prognosis of treatment?

Since the disease does not develop due to heredity, and not quickly, in children such a disease is very rare (although theoretically likely). Most often they encounter him after 40-45 years.

1.2 Both hands are affected, or can arthritis affect only one wrist?

The disease in most cases is localized in only one wrist. But if the cause of the development of the disease was an autoimmune systemic process, then there is a risk of damage to the joints of both hands.

2 Degrees of Arthritis Brushes

Arthritis of the wrist joint is divided into several types, based on the degree of disease progression. The higher the degree of the disease, the less likely it is to cure it successfully (even surgically).

  1. The first, the most simple. The mobility of the limb is preserved in full, patients report only very mild pain with a pronounced load on the limb. Usually at this stage the symptoms are ignored, as they appear weakly and not constantly.
  2. Second: medium. There are quite severe pains, possibly even at rest. There may be difficulties with the work of the affected limb, which may be associated with the onset of the inflammatory process.
  3. Third: heavy. Strong and lingering pains occur, mobility is impaired (up to the complete immobilization of the joint). Inflammation covers the entire joint and nearby tissues (including muscles, ligaments).

In approximately 80% of cases, patients go to the doctor only at the second stage of the disease. Despite the aggravation of the prognosis, successful treatment is still possible at this stage, including only by the medication method (without surgery).

2.1 Possible consequences of the disease

If untreated, a complete loss of the working capacity of the affected joint is possible. That is, arthritis of the hands can lead to disability. In rare cases, this can happen very quickly (within 1-3 months from the onset of the disease, if purulent / septic lesions are the cause).

There is a risk of disability even if treatment is started on time and in full. However, with the right treatment, it may take decades before such an outcome.

The defeat of small joints in the radiograph

Therefore, even if the progression of the disease is completely stopped by the doctors, they will be able to slow down the development of the disease, and the patient can work normally with his hands until the end of his life.

In case of arthritis of the wrist joint, the patient is postponed from military service due to the severity of the disease.

3 Symptoms of wrist arthritis

There may be problems diagnosing the symptoms in the early stages of the disease. The fact is that in the early stages the disease practically does not manifest itself.

Common symptoms that appear regardless of the cause of the disease:

  • wrist pain, usually felt strongly in the morning, and may disappear 30-40 minutes after waking up,
  • a feeling of numbness, stiffness, if the wrist is not bent for a long time, the feeling disappears if you stretch the joint by actively moving it (this symptom can often be noticed when working at the computer),
  • articular creak (crepitus) heard during movements (flexion, rotation of the hand),
  • redness of the affected wrist, sensation of heat, development of swelling (edema can occur even in the early stages of the disease).

Specific symptoms (indicating different causes of the disease):

  1. If purulent arthritis became the cause, then the patient will have a high temperature (fever from 39 degrees and above), chills, general signs of intoxication.
  2. If rheumatoid arthritis became the cause, then in most cases two joints are affected immediately (symptoms will be felt immediately on two hands). The temperature may increase slightly (up to 37-37.5), weakness, sweating (up to profuse sweats) and sleep disturbance can be felt.
  3. If the cause was metabolic arthritis, then most patients have a lesion of the entire hand. Gouty nodules are visually marked on the wrist, bone tissue destruction processes quickly begin.
  4. If the cause is chronic systemic arthritis, in most cases there is minimal symptomatology and a slow development of the disease. Therefore, with this form, you need to visit a doctor every 2-3 months and monitor the condition of the joints.

Symptoms of arthritis in the initial stages are often ignored. The patient may attribute them to fatigue, the onset of a cold (in which there may also be pain), or not to pay attention at all.

3.1 Diagnostic methods

  • visual examination, palpation of the joint, physical tests for mobility,
  • radiography
  • computed or magnetic resonance imaging (depending on what the cause of arthritis is suggested by doctors),
  • biochemical analysis of blood and urine,
  • axillary lymph node analysis may sometimes be required to identify possible infections.

It is very useful if the patient independently monitors his feelings and remembers them. In particular, you need to pay attention to the feeling of heaviness, pain, swelling.

3.2 Which doctor should I contact?

If wrist arthritis is suspected, you need to see a therapist. If the symptoms do not indicate another disease, he will refer you to a rheumatologist. Instead of a therapist, you can go to a traumatologist or surgeon.

Further, narrow-profile specialists can be assigned to the patient, depending on what the cause of arthritis involves a rheumatologist. The patient can be referred to an infectious disease specialist, urologist, endocrinologist, sometimes to a vascular surgeon.

4 Treat Arthritis Brush: A List of Methods

Hand arthritis treatment is always a complex therapy using several methods. At first, only non-invasive techniques are used, but if they become ineffective, they can prescribe an operation.

  1. Drug therapy.
  2. Physiotherapeutic procedures.
  3. Diet.
  4. Exercise therapy.

Arthritis most often affects people in the older age group (over 55)

Drug therapy involves:

  • taking antimicrobials (antibiotics),
  • taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs,
  • taking vasodilators (only during remission, when there is no inflammation),
  • taking chondroprotectors, drugs for the restoration of cartilage,
  • intake of mineral and vitamin complexes.

Physiotherapeutic treatment involves:

  • ultrasound therapy, quartzization,
  • electrophoresis using medicines,
  • acupuncture,
  • hirudotherapy
  • massage procedures (not often prescribed).
  • exclusion of spicy and fatty foods from the diet,
  • exclusion of alcoholic beverages,
  • the inclusion in the diet of garlic, nuts, fruits and vegetables, sea fish, apples, buckwheat, rice, wheat and oatmeal.

To develop a joint, it is usually recommended to perform simple gymnastics daily: bend-unbend the wrist and rotate with brushes.

Please note: the methods for treating arthritis of the hands in the exacerbation phase and in the remission phase are seriously different. A universal treatment regimen does not exist.

4.1 Treatment in the acute phase

After confirming the diagnosis of exacerbation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory therapy is prescribed. Their reception allows you to reduce the intensity of pain and inflammatory processes in the shortest possible time (within 1-2 days).

If oral administration of NSAIDs does not help, drugs are injected into the lesion (in the periarticular tissues). Then the patient’s brush is immobilized and maintenance therapy in the form of injections of vitamins is carried out.

The purpose of this therapy is to transfer the disease into remission. It is in the remission stage that a full-fledged therapy is carried out.

4.2 General information about arthritis of the wrist joint (video)

4.3 Treatment in remission

The main treatment regimen is prescribed precisely in the phase of remission. Inflammation is minimized, which allows the use of treatment methods that are contraindicated during the exacerbation phase.

The following methods are used:

  1. Taking drugs based on glucosamine and chondroitin. Usually prescribed for 3-4 months. Designed to restore the hyaline cartilage of the affected joint.
  2. Taking vasodilator drugs to enhance blood circulation to the affected joints. Theonicol, Trental, or Actovegil are usually prescribed. Drugs are administered intramuscularly or intravenously.
  3. Reception of antimicrobial agents. Antibiotics are prescribed only if it is clearly established that pathogens have become the cause of arthritis.
  4. As part of maintenance therapy, vitamin-mineral complexes and biological additives are prescribed.
  5. A diet may be prescribed (especially for autoimmune / endocrinological causes of the disease).

In the absence of positive dynamics, corticosteroid drugs and antimalarial drugs can be prescribed to the patient. However, this is a backup technique that is prescribed only for very good indications (since it is potentially dangerous for its side effects).

5 Prognosis for treatment and patient condition

With an early visit to a doctor and correctly diagnosed, the prognosis is conditionally favorable. Even if the disease cannot be completely cured, it can be introduced into a stable and prolonged remission. In this case, the lifestyle will not change, unless you have to periodically take medication, visit a doctor and monitor the condition of the joints.

And vice versa: late treatment threatens with disability or the development of a chronically active form of arthritis of the hands. In this case, the patient will experience frequent pain, poor mobility, and will be forced to use supportive drugs more often in large dosages.

Rheumato >

Rheumatoid arthritis of the fingers is one of the most unpleasant pathologies. Every fifth modern person faces it, and often ignores the first appearing symptoms. The inflammatory process systematically affects the joints, causing irreversible degenerative processes. Bone, cartilage tissue suffers, and the skin condition deteriorates sharply. Without complex treatment, a person loses the ability to perform normally even simple self-care activities.

General information

Rheumatoid arthritis of the fingers is an autoimmune chronic disease resulting from the negative effects of a number of factors. It manifests itself as inflammation of the synovial membrane, the main task of which is to cover, protect and nourish cartilage. In some cases, the disease appears outside the joints, then, in addition to them, internal organs, for example, kidneys, lungs, and heart muscle, also suffer.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis in the hands. In addition to him, traumatic, gouty, infectious-allergic and osteoarthritis are diagnosed. The autoimmune nature of the disease, which is associated with a malfunction in the body’s defenses, distinguishes precisely this variety from the rest.

Varieties of the disease

Rheumatoid arthritis has many conditions, but the type that affects the hands is considered the most common. The pattern of joint damage stands out among the rest. It can spread to the wrists, hands, but not affect the joints that are in close proximity to the nails. Particular attention is paid to this factor, if necessary, to differentiate the pathology and distinguish it from osteoarthritis, which extends primarily to the joints adjacent to the nail plate.

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect not only the hands, but also the joints of the jaw, neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, legs, ankles. It usually does not extend to the spine, so the neck area is more likely an exception. An important feature of the disease is symmetry, that is, both parts of the body are affected simultaneously. If inflammation develops on the right hand, on the left it also will not keep itself waiting. Reasons for the appearance

Rheumatoid arthritis most often affects the fingers, and they are affected symmetrically. This is one of the brightest signs that allows you to detect and diagnose pathology in time. Women are more likely to suffer from pathology, due to the tendency to monotonously perform small uniform work, for example, embroider, clean and cut products during cooking, print texts in the office. Strengthens these negative factors sharply changing hormonal background of a woman. Estrogen deficiency during menopause leads to destructive processes in the osteoarticular system.

A colossal load is placed on the fingers every day, although many people do not even notice it. Starting from the self-service process associated with tying shoelaces, buttons, opening caps with toothpaste and shampoo, ending with professional activities. All this gradually leads to abrasion of the cartilage tissue and the appearance of problems with the fingers. The etiology of rheumatoid arthritis is poorly understood, but doctors know for sure that it begins to develop as a result of an attack of internal systems by immune cells that form in large numbers.

The critical mass provokes the destruction of healthy tissues, taking them for foreign bodies. What is capable of provoking such a malfunction in the body is not completely understood, but as an assumption, the following factors are called:

  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Prolonged chronic inflammation in the body.
  • Pathogens of viral nature (hepatitis B, chickenpox, mumps, cytomegalovirus).
  • Bacterial infections (syphilis, tuberculosis, sepsis, yersiniosis).
  • Constant stress or frequent hypothermia of the body associated with professional activities.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome. It provokes a number of negative processes in the body, which can cause the development of various pathologies.
  • Failures in the thyroid gland, with the further development of gout or diabetes.
  • Long-term use of medicines, strong drugs.
  • Permanent residence in an area with poor ecology, where a large accumulation of toxins is concentrated in soil, water and air.
  • Age-related changes in the body, exacerbation of chronic diseases in the off-season.
  • Professional activities related to the chemical industry, the constant impact on the body of toxins and other harmful factors.
  • Vibration, tapping or other mechanical impact on the hands, their constant hypothermia.
  • Multiple or single injuries sustained in everyday life, sports or at work, which could not be fully cured.

All these circumstances serve as a kind of impetus for the formation of a large number of immune cells, their accumulation in the body, which provokes various autoimmune diseases. The history of several such provoking factors is the basis for determining the nature of the pathological process, which allows the doctor to choose the right course of therapy. Before starting it, the patient is primarily recommended to adjust his lifestyle and eliminate all the moments that can affect the quality of recovery. For example, change jobs, wear warm gloves in winter, etc.

The first symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis of the hands

Rheumatoid arthritis begins gradually, so the first symptoms often go unnoticed. They are rarely directly related to joints, and can be attributed to general overstrain or fatigue. But it is the identification at the initial stage that allows you to start treatment on time, stop the progression of the inflammatory process, and effectively relieve the patient of chronic pain. What signs make rheumatoid arthritis suspected?

  • Pain They appear when you try to move the joint, it is especially pronounced in the morning hours, with time, when you open and squeeze the brush, it passes. As the disease progresses, the pain begins to torment the patient even at rest.
  • The appearance of burning. Some patients complain of tingling, discomfort in the joints, which also indicates the onset of the inflammatory process.
  • Discomfort and stiffness. Affected brushes are increasingly beginning to cause concern, their movements become limited, and difficulties arise in performing simple tasks.
  • The effect of a “narrow glove.” Moving your hands becomes difficult, as if they were wearing something narrow.
  • Hypersensitivity. Affected limbs respond to weather changes, dampness, and atmospheric pressure drops. The pain appears for no apparent reason.
  • Redness of the skin. A local temperature increase in certain places is also evidence that the inflammatory process has begun in this place.
  • Swelling. It may appear immediately or as the disease progresses. At first, patients notice a slight increase in the volume of soft tissues, which does not allow them to wear rings of a suitable size. As progression, edema becomes a common condition.
  • Characteristic sound. When moving with fingers, the patient notices the appearance of a slight crunch, creak, clicks. This is not an independent sign, and is always evaluated in conjunction with other manifestations.
  • Deformation processes. The fingers as the pathology progresses change in shape, curvatures, bumps, nodes on the joints appear.

In addition to this symptomatology, at the initial stage, patients can notice their causeless weakness in the morning, damage to the internal organs of an unclear etiology, temperature, rash. A specific sign of rheumatoid arthritis is the deformation of the joints of the type of “walrus flippers”. The curvature of the hands takes a characteristic shape, which allows you to make a diagnosis already with a visual examination of the patient.

Diagnostic procedures

The doctor can make an initial diagnosis on the basis of patient complaints and examination. But only the obtained results of hardware research can confirm it.

After treatment, the patient is prescribed:

  • X-ray of the hands. This is an accessible and informative way to get all the necessary data for diagnosis and the appointment of appropriate therapy. The picture is taken in two projections, which allows you to see the degree of destruction of the joints of the fingers.
  • Arthroscopy Minimally invasive diagnostic method, which is not always used, but only if indicated. A special device is inserted into the joint through a puncture, and allows the doctor to see the full picture.
  • CT or MRI. They are prescribed for soft tissue lesions and the need to clarify the condition of the patient as a whole. Detailed images provide specialists with maximum information.
  • Ultrasound of the joint. An ultrasound examination is also prescribed only if necessary to differentiate the pathology.
  • Blood tests. The leukocyte level, ESR, hemoglobin index are determined. This allows the doctor to clarify the presence or absence of an inflammatory process in the tissues, to identify acute phase indicators, rheumatoid factor, in the presence of uric acid, they are diagnosed with gouty arthritis.

When examining an x-ray, it is extremely important for the doctor to understand how porous the bone and joints are, whether there is a decrease in the joint clearance, whether erosion is observed on the articular surfaces, or other defects that will eventually lead to the loss of motor function. The study also allows you to determine the presence of subluxation and dislocation of the joint, which indicates chronic arthritis.

Types and signs of arthritis of the fingers, hands, shoulder and elbow joints

Arthritis is an inflammatory pathology that affects the joint. Most often, the upper limbs are affected, especially the hands and fingers. The risk group includes women who are sick 5 times more often than men. Often arthritis leads to a loss of working capacity, because of which a person becomes disabled. Therefore, this pathological process must be treated extremely carefully.

Arthritis in the upper extremities affects the fingers, hands, shoulders and elbow joints. There is still a classification dividing the pathology into the following types:

  • Infectious. From the name it is clear that inflammation is caused by the penetration of a pathogenic microorganism.
  • Exchange or gouty. This systemic disease is caused by an accumulation of uric acid.
  • Rheumatoid. Almost always, this type in the beginning develops in the fingers, gradually moving to large joints.
  • Post-traumatic.
  • Proximal, distal, medium, depending on the location of the process.
  • Rhizarthritis, affecting exclusively the thumb of the upper limb.

Often a secondary form is diagnosed, which is a reaction of the body to an allergic reaction or a violation in the immune system. If we talk about the hands, then most often the disease develops in the metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints. This is due to the fact that many people perform small manual work.

In every tenth patient with pain in the elbow, an inflammatory process is detected, leading to the gradual destruction of the affected area. In this case, arthritis can spread to other joints.

Pathology of the shoulder is also dangerous by degeneration and degeneration of cartilage. The affected joint ceases to function normally over time, leading to disability. Therefore, it is so important to seek medical help in a timely manner.

Causes

The inflammatory process in the fingers or hands is caused by the following numerous factors:

  1. Age-related changes. After 65 years, 8 out of 10 people suffer from the disease. In old age, joint wear accelerates, cartilage undergoes mechanical damage, metabolism slows down, impaired blood circulation worsens the nutrition of the cartilage structure.
  2. Gender. Women are several times more likely to suffer from arthritis than men because of the presence of a special gene in their DNA. In addition, during menopause, the hormonal background is significantly disturbed. Such changes adversely affect articular and bone tissues.
  3. Injuries received. Various bruises, cracks and fractures heal, but leave mechanical damage on the joints, which subsequently leads to the disease.
  4. Professional activity. Arthritis of the fingers and hands most often affects seamstresses, jewelers, hairdressers, tennis players and other people whose work is directly related to the constant tension of the upper limbs.
  5. Genetic predisposition. This is especially true for women.
  6. Weakening of the protective properties of the body.
  7. Infectious pathologies, hypothermia. Even ordinary sore throat of a bacterial nature with improper treatment is complicated by inflammation of the articular tissues due to the spread of pathogenic microorganisms.
  8. Allergic reactions.
  9. Constant nervous strain, stressful situations.
  10. Presence of diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriasis, genital infections, rheumatism, tuberculosis or gout.

The form of brachial arthritis depends on the causes of the appearance of pathology. The post-traumatic appearance develops after suffering fractures, dislocations, sprains, bruises that disturb blood circulation. The rheumatoid type occurs with a decrease in immunity, an infectious disease. Osteoarthritis affects the elderly, athletes, movers.

The above factors lead to the development of inflammation of the elbow joint. However, this form of the disease is sometimes caused by problems with the digestive system, food poisoning, chronic upper respiratory tract diseases, autoimmune pathologies, vitamin deficiency, viral hepatitis, syphilis, and malignant neoplasms.

The secondary type is often diagnosed with the formation of purulent masses. It is important to perform the correct diagnosis to identify the true cause of the development of inflammation of the joint tissue, since the main emphasis of therapy is on eliminating the provoking factor.

clinical picture

The main symptom of arthritis is pain. At the initial stage, the pain syndrome is mild, appears in the morning during prolonged immobility of the joint, quickly passes if you perform motor manipulations with your hand. The character of discomfort is burning, tingling, aching.

Changes in weather conditions, atmospheric pressure also lead to an exacerbation of the pathological process. The affected hands are constrained, the movement of the fingers is difficult, especially after waking up. The skin on the knuckles, over the affected area turns red, becomes hot. Due to swelling and thickening of the fingers, the hands resemble pillows.

An increase in body temperature, fever signals the development of rheumatoid, infectious arthritis. The movement of a diseased joint causes a specific creak, a crunch that should not be confused with clicks considered normal. Nodules sometimes appear under the skin. Sometimes the patient’s weight decreases significantly, fatigue occurs, the general condition worsens, and the hands become like a spindle.

Inflammation of the fingers and hands of the upper limbs is divided into four stages. At the first stage, morning stiffness appears, quickly passing. At the second stage, bone erosion develops, the pain syndrome intensifies, there is a crunch, swelling, difficulty in movement does not go away even during the day, which reduces the ability to work.

The third stage is characterized by the destruction of cartilage. The defeat of the hands is symmetrical, in the fingers the painful sensations become unbearable. At the last stage, the joint structures fuse together, leading to disability.

When the shoulder is affected, the local temperature rises, it is difficult for the patient to raise his hand, any movement of the joint is accompanied by a crunch. In advanced cases, the cartilaginous structure in the shoulder is deformed. Inflammation of the elbow leads to the same symptoms. Another patient may note nausea, vomiting, muscle aches.

If pathology is not treated, then the soft tissues are scarred, which is why the hand is fixed in a specific position. Recovery is extremely painful. Sometimes ulnar arthritis leads to phlegmon, bursitis, ankylosis, diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

In the early stages, the pathology can be completely eliminated. If you start therapy in the second stage, then you can achieve a stable remission while maintaining mobility. In advanced cases, the disease often leads to disability, so it is important to consult a doctor if there is slight discomfort in the morning.

Arthritis is caused by a huge number of reasons, so there is no specific prevention. To eliminate the main provoking factors, it is necessary to correctly and completely treat any infectious diseases, eat right, take vitamin complexes, do joint exercises, control weight and eliminate bad habits.

Shishkevich Vladimir

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews. It specializes in the treatment of diseases in orthopedic, traumatological, vertebrological profiles

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