Arthritis is a disorder that occurs when there are damages to joint surfaces. This can affect the fingers, causing an array of uncomfortable symptoms such as swelling and stiffness. There are two main types of arthritis in fingers, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in fingers, also called wear and tear arthritis. It occurs when the regular cartilage in the fingers is worn away, exposing the bone at the joints. By contrast, rheumatoid arthritis in fingers is an autoimmune systemic disorder that can inflame the soft tissue surrounding the joints.
In either case, symptoms of arthritis in fingers include loss of motion, stiffness, joint pain, tenderness, and swelling. Those who have osteoarthritis may develop lumps around their knuckles. These can become enlarged, stiff, swollen, and uncomfortable. If you have rheumatoid arthritis in fingers, you may experience further deformities of the hand and experience fatigue, fever, and general malaise. Fortunately, there numerous treatments out there that can help ease the symptoms of both types of arthritis in fingers. It’s helpful to take a look at these to determine which may work for your needs.
Doctors and physical therapists tend to turn to lifestyle changes and herbal supplements before they will suggest surgery to treat arthritis in fingers. The best course of action will depend on the type of arthritis that you are suffering from, how long it has been going on, and the severity of the damages. Some of the most effective types of treatments for arthritis in fingers can include joint supplements, such as glucosamine or chondroitin. These are both elements of cartilage in the joints, and can help repair the damage of osteoarthritis. Cortisone injections are another potential remedy for arthritis in fingers, reducing inflammation.
Exercises can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis in fingers. Hand therapy is generally performed by a physical or occupational therapist, and will include exercises designed to strengthen joints and improve flexibility. Splints can help with arthritis in fingers, because they can help allow the joints to relax by taking pressure off of them. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to bring about relief from arthritis in fingers or to repair deformities caused by rheumatoid arthritis, however. A finger joint fusion is a way to prevent motion in an affected joint, alleviating pain and helping to remove deformity. The first step towards determining which treatments may be right for you is to have a thorough evaluation with your doctor.