Arthritis in Fingers
Arthritis refers to the condition where the joints become swollen, thus resulting to severe pain. Arthritis in fingers usually affects three joints in the fingers, causing it to become inflamed. Such condition results to restricted hand movements and this can greatly affect the regular activities of an individual. If you are unable to move your fingers and moving it causes pain, this can be an indication that you are suffering from arthritis. The range of motion of the fingers is often restricted. However, applying the right treatment to the condition can help you manage it effectively.
Nature of the Condition
There are various types of arthritis but in most cases, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis affects the fingers. As most people know, the joint is the point of contact between two bones. The end part of the bones is covered with a cartilage, a tough elastic tissue. An osteoarthritis condition in the knuckles and fingers is due to the gradual degeneration of this covering, the cartilage. The wearing and tearing of the cartilage results to a friction between the bones, and when the bones rub against each other, this causes inflammation. Finger arthritis may occur in the fingers and toes and this is the consequence of a traumatic injury that severely damaged the cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, usually displays symptoms of finger arthritis in its acute stage and these results to the gradual pain and swelling of all the other body joints. The treatment for this condition depends on which type affects the person.
Remedies for Arthritis in Fingers
When dealing with finger arthritis, there are several ways on how you can manage the condition and alleviate the symptoms.
- Oral Medicines: there are medications that can be prescribed to you to manage the pain and inflammation that is associated with your condition, like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. These anti-inflammatory drugs can provide symptomatic and temporary relief against finger arthritis. However, these should not be consumed for a long period since it can aggravate the symptoms once you stopped consuming it.
- Cortisone Injections: cortisone shots can be administered directly to the affected joint. This will help relieve the symptoms of arthritis in fingers. The injections were proven effective in alleviating the pain and discomfort due to the condition and its effect usually last for several weeks.
- Ice Therapy: applying ice cubes into the affected joints can also help minimize the inflammation, thus improving the range of movement of the fingers. Patients who are suffering from different arthritic conditions have shown positive responses towards this home remedy.
- Heat Therapy: this is considered as another effective method of treating finger arthritis. Application of heat on the affected area can greatly reduce the stiffness of the joints. You can also dip your hands in warm water or use a heating pad to apply head into the inflamed joints.
- Ginger: there are certain herbal remedies that can also help you manage the symptoms of arthritis in fingers, such as the use of ginger. Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties and consumption of it can help reduce pain and swelling due to arthritis. You can consume ginger tea or add it to your recipes to help you reduce the inflammation due to the condition.
Exercises against Arthritis in Fingers
If the above-mentioned remedies helped the symptoms subside, your physician might suggest that you practice hand exercises that can help reduce the stiffness of the joints in your fingers. Exercises like bending the third and middle joints and stretching them can help strengthen the muscles in your fingers. You may also be asked to practice spreading your fingers wide apart and bringing them back close together can be very effective in improving your fingers’ range of motion. You can also use kneading dough for this exercise routine. Another effective exercise is to try touching the tip of your thumb with different fingers. Do this one at a time to exercise the joints of your fingers individually. These simple exercises are proven beneficial against arthritis in fingers and in increasing the flexibility of your fingers.
In case none of these treatment methods helped in easing pain and discomfort due to arthritis in fingers, surgery might be recommended to treat the condition. There are various surgical procedures available for arthritis, but the commonly used procedure for finger arthritis is the joint replacement procedure. In this, the damage surface in the joint is removed and will be replaced by a device that is usually made of metal or plastic. The replacement joint will provide free movement to the fingers and this may last for 15 to 20 years. However, this will only be suggested if all options are tried and none of it provided relief against the condition. This should also be discussed with your physician thoroughly before administered.