Types Of Hand Arthritis: Symptoms And Risk Factors
Are you experiencing discomfort or pain in your hands? Arthritis could be the top suspect. It’s a condition that causes pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the body’s joints, affecting millions of people, and can occur in different forms, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.
While it’s true that arthritis is likely to happen as you age, the condition can still occur in those as young as 18 years old. Understanding the symptoms and risk factors of hand arthritis is crucial for proper management and treatment.
As a specialist in hand arthritis treatment in Singapore, we want to raise more awareness about this issue. So, we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide.
Common Types Of Hand Arthritis
Do you know that about half of all women and one-quarter of all men will experience the stiffness and pain of hand osteoarthritis by age 85? Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in your joints wear down over time.
The symptoms of hand osteoarthritis typically include pain in your affected joints, especially during gripping movement such as writing, typing and grasping objects. Swelling and tenderness may also be present around your affected joints, and there may be a grating sensation or sound when your joints move.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the joints in your hands and fingers, causing inflammation and damage. At its core, rheumatoid arthritis of the hands occurs when your immune system, designed to protect your body, mistakenly attacks the lining of the joints in your hands.
This results in inflammation, which can cause a range of symptoms that can significantly impact your hand function and daily activities, ranging from joint pain and stiffness to swelling and weakened hand muscles. These symptoms can lead to reduced grip strength, making it difficult for someone to perform strenuous tasks.
Psoriasis arthritis is inflammatory arthritis that often occurs in individuals who already have psoriasis, a skin condition characterised by red, scaly patches on the skin. Psoriasis is a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the skin cells, causing an overproduction of skin cells. In severe cases, the joints are affected, too.
The symptoms of hand psoriatic arthritis can vary from person to person. Common signs include joint pain, swelling, stiffness in the fingers or wrists, and changes in the appearance of the nails, such as pitting, yellowing, or separation from the nail bed.
Risk Factors For Hand Arthritis
Misalignment Of Joints Or Hand Trauma
When you injure your hand, by fracturing or dislocating it, the normal alignment of your joints can be affected. Joints are like hinges that allow your hand bones to move smoothly. When a joint is disrupted due to an injury, however, the bones may shift. This misalignment can create added pressure and stress on the joints in your hands, increasing the risk of developing arthritis.
Genes may also increase your chances of developing hand osteoarthritis. Researchers suspect that the A2BP1 and TBGF1 genes may increase a person’s susceptibility to hand osteoarthritis.
As mentioned, your risk of developing hand arthritis increases as you age. This is because the cartilage in your hand joints may wear down over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced hand function. Ligaments and tendons in your hands may also become less flexible, further contributing to the development of arthritis.
If you have a job requiring repetitive hand movements, you are at a higher risk of developing hand osteoarthritis. Taking breaks and practising hand exercises can reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Seeking Treatment For Hand Arthritis In Singapore?
Dealing with hand arthritis can be challenging, but the good news is that various treatment options are available. Whether you’re experiencing osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or psoriatic arthritis, seeking professional medical care is crucial for proper management.
At Spire Orthopaedic, our team of orthopaedic specialists is ready to help you. We’re committed to delivering comprehensive care, from providing an accurate diagnosis to offering personalised treatment plans. Contact us today!