Arthritis is the collective name for inflammatory joint diseases. Most often it affects the small joints. According to statistics, arthritis of the hand today affects up to 15% of the population. In the course of the disease development, the cartilage covering the joint is thinning, ligaments are exposed to pathological changes, as a result, the joint is deformed and loses the ability to make the necessary movements. Almost every one of us had to meet older people with fingers twisted and disfigured by illness. This is arthritis that affects the hands; it brings pain in the form of pain and deprives a person of the opportunity, for example, to hold the cup on his own or to fasten a button.
In the photo – the defeat of the hand with arthritis: the finger joints are swollen, the skin over them is slightly reddened
Causes of Brush Arthritis
The causes of the disease can be:
- infectious diseases transferred without proper treatment (flu, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia);
- hand injuries;
- professional overloads;
- metabolic disorders (in particular, associated with old age or overweight);
- severe hypothermia, as a result of which, due to vasoconstriction, blood flow slows down and inflammation of the synovial membrane of the joint develops;
- weak immunity;
- a hereditary factor (if a family has a similar pathology, this should be a reason for practicing prevention).
Symptoms of pathology
The disease may be acute or chronic. The effects of chronic arthritis are no less dangerous than those that are acute; but it is sometimes possible to detect it and start treatment only in the stage when complete restoration of the joint is no longer possible.
Common symptoms of arthritis of the hands include:
- Morning stiffness of the joint (glove syndrome).
- Numbness or tingling sensation in the wrists. This feature is most typical of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the body produces antibodies against the cells of its own healthy tissue.
- Pains In acute arthritis, they are intense, aggravated by movement, and often accompanied by increased body temperature. In the chronic form of the disease, the pain may be weak, irregular and occur mainly after a period of immobility of the joint.
- Creaking and crunching of the joint caused by the wear of cartilage.
- Swelling (swelling) and redness of the hand – the result of inflammation of the periarticular soft tissues.
- Deformity of the joint (the so-called rusting syndrome) occurs when advanced forms of pathology due to a violation of the anatomy of the bones.
Competent diagnosis is an important condition for effective treatment of any disease. When examining a patient with suspected arthritis of the hands, the visible symptoms are first detected, then an x-ray examination of the arm joints is performed and tests are made:
- blood – common, and if necessary – biochemical, for rheumatoid factor and special antibodies;
- urine is common, and if gouty arthritis is suspected, it is uric acid content;
- synovial fluid (a lubricating fluid that is inside the joint) for the presence of infection in it.
Effective treatment methods
Comprehensive treatment of arthritis necessarily includes drug therapy.
To reduce pain, relieve inflammation and edema, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (diclofenac, ibuprofen, ketoprofen and its derivatives, movalis, indomethacin, piroxicam) and corticosteroids (prednisolone, dexamethasone, betamethasone, methylprednisolone) are prescribed.
To stop the destruction of the cartilage tissue of the joint, chondroprotectors containing glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, organic sulfur (methylsulfonylmethane), cetyl and fatty acids complex (celadrin) can be given to the patient. Penicillamine, cytostatics and sulfonamides are used as drugs acting on the cause of the disease.
Physiotherapeutic methods treatments help reduce stiffness, inflammation and pain, help maintain the functional abilities of the joints of the hands. What are these procedures:
- heating (including ultraviolet, laser and infrared radiation);
- magnetic therapy;
Save and increase the amplitude of movements in the joints of the hands help massage and rehabilitation exercises. Another way to treat arthritis is power correction. In the diet should be foods rich in vitamins E, D and antioxidants: liver, fish, vegetables and fruits, nuts, bran.
A radical treatment for the advanced form of the disease is surgical intervention. A prosthesis is placed in place of the destroyed joint of the hand, or the bones of the hand are fixed in a stationary state. The latter is called arthrodesis and is used to relieve the patient from pain.
To avoid serious complications or surgery, it is necessary to consult a doctor in time and begin therapy. Arthritis of the hands of the first and second degrees in most cases is completely cured.