Metacarpophalangeal Joint Pain

Janice CarsonJanice Carson

There are numerous causes for joint pain and it can occur in various parts of the body. Metacarpophalangeal joint pain is a common issue worth a closer look.

Metacarpophalangeal Joint Pain

The body’s skeletal system relies on the joints in order to maintain proper range of motion, and few joints are more widely used that then metacarpophalangeal joints. Also known as MC or MCP joints, these are basically the knuckles where the hand bones connect to the loner middle bones of the fingers. As a result, they’re used more than nearly any other joint in the body often hundreds of times per day. That means that they’re also very susceptible to overuse and to other types of pain causing issues.

Metacarpophalangeal joint pain can be caused by a number of different problems.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – This is by far the most common cause of this type of joint pain. It’s an autoimmune disease that erodes the cartilage, tendons, and connective tissues within the joints. It’s a serious issue and one that there is no real known cause for. It can occur in mild forms or in very serious, debilitating forms.
  • Osteoarthritis – This is the type of arthritis most people have. It’s caused by a breakdown of cartilage within the joint caused by repetitive use. Over time, the cartilage can begin to breakdown and the cushioning it provides may vanish. When this happens, the bones can grind against one another and pain as well as major inflammation can occur. It’s a serious issue as well.
  • Gout – Gout usually begins in the big toe but also occurs in the metacarpophalangeal joints. This is an issue where the body can’t process the uric acid it produces. The buildup of the acid leads to the deposit of hard crystals in the joint which will cause pain, swelling, and other serious issues.

Since major metacarpophalangeal joint pain can lead to difficulty performing daily functions and may lead to a number of other problems, it’s important to identify the cause of it and start working towards a solution. A doctor will usually be able to diagnose you after a few simple tests, and from there the process of determining which method of treatment is right for you will be much easier.

It’s a simple matter to let a doctor identify the root cause of your MCP joint pain, and there are numerous options for managing it ranging from natural supplements to exercises and beyond.