Individuals who are eager to ease arthritis pain may think it’s time to see a hand doctor. But while this may be true, it’s important to first understand how arthritis affects this part of the body and the ways in which you can try to manage the discomfort that comes with it.
So, let’s examine this common disease that can afflict sufferers both young and old. That’s right, arthritis can manifest in just about anyone even if certain demographics are more susceptible to this affliction.
Arthritis is a term that refers to inflammation of the joints. Someone can experience any of nearly 100 different forms of this disease, but where the hands are concerned, you could be dealing with swelling, pain, stiffness and a restriction of movement in the hands and wrist area.
The symptoms that come with arthritis might be felt infrequently or with chronic discomfort. You may experience a flare-up every few weeks or months or it could be something that bothers you far more often.
Since there is still a lot for us to learn about the cause of arthritis and the frequency in which it can affect the body, this is a disease that can be a challenge to successfully diagnose. You might show symptoms associated with the disease and still could have something else. On the other hand, an arthritis diagnosis could be rather straightforward, once all other issues are ruled out.
Your doctor and/or a rheumatology specialist will examine the joints of your hands and wrists to find any signs of swelling or tenderness in these areas. X-rays and blood tests may also be utilized and you will be asked questions about your medical history.
Arthritis Prevention Tips
You can’t rely on any one sure-fire cure to relieve arthritis pain in your hands. Many of the treatment options that are suggested for dealing with and managing arthritic discomfort are focused on early diagnoses and preventive measures. A few things to know about arthritis and who is more likely to get it, your genes can make your more likely to suffer this disease as can gender as women typically develop some type of arthritis more often than men.
There are ways to reduce your risks of having this disease even if you are unable to ultimately prevent it from developing. For starters, lifestyle habits can have a significant impact on your prevention of the disease. Keeping a healthy weight and refraining from cigarette use are both ideal methods for reducing your risks of certain types of arthritis.
But where your hands are concerned, avoiding injuries can play a key role in your ability to prevent arthritis hand pain from occurring. Playing a sport or participating in strenuous activities that may require you to push or pull or lift heavy objects. Even repetitive actions can result in some form of arthritis developing in the hand.
Another highly effective way to reduce the potential for arthritis in the hands is to keep them flexible. You can do this by moving the hands and fingers and keeping your ligaments and tendons active, mobile, and malleable. This will increase the production of synovial fluid in the hands.
Basic hand exercises are very good for fortifying the muscles and reducing stiffness and pain. Concentrate on the joints, so flex and bend your fingers and wrists. Remain vigilant about injuries but also give your hands and wrists the proper levels of activity for maintaining their strength.
The best time to seek out treatment for arthritis is within two years from the first signs of symptoms pointing to development of the disease. Six months is the ideal time to get checked out but anywhere in that time-frame will suffice. But the thing that most doctors will recommend is that early detection is absolutely vital for the successful treatment of arthritis.
Medications can be very effective in reducing pain and inflammation, particularly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. These include ibuprofen (better known as Advil) or indomethacin (also known as Tivorbex). Some of these drugs can pose some potential health risks because they can effect the immune system.
Surgery could also be an option to correct or relieve the issues that are affecting your hands. It’s a far more invasive approach to the alternative forms of treatment such as eating right and getting plenty of restful sleep.
All of these things can be very helpful in your ability to deal with and manage hand pain and overcome many of the challenges that are part and parcel of this disease.