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artrosis en las manos mujer notando dolor

Osteoarthritis of the hands: all about this degenerative disease

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Osteoarthritis of the hands is a condition of the joints in this extremity of our body. It appears most frequently in the wrist, fingertips, middle knuckle and the base that connects to the thumb. It occurs when the cartilage that cushions the bones wears away, causing them to rub against each other.

Here we explain its symptoms for diagnosis, its possible origin and the associated risk factors. In addition, we detail the treatments you can use to improve if you suffer from this degenerative disease.

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Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the hands

  • Localised pain around our affected joint or part of the hand. It may be in the wrist, knuckles or thumb.
  • Weakness, with difficulty in grasping an object or performing other tasks such as turning a key or opening a jar.
  • Stiffness, which also makes it difficult to use the hand regularly. For example, to fasten the buttons of a shirt or to use a mobile phone.
  • Osteoarthritis in the hands also causes inflammation or a lump at the base of the thumb, i.e. the area that connects to the wrist.
  • Bony nodules, which are growths of bone, either on the end knuckle (called Herberden’s) or on the middle knuckle (called Bouchard’s). They sometimes appear.

Causes and risk factors

The cause of the initial joint deterioration that leads to cartilage wear and tear is unknown. However, medicine believes that osteoarthritis in the hands originates as a sum of several factors, both genetic and environmental.

Thus, the hereditary component is observed in the distal interphalangeal joints. But it is also influenced by having worked repetitively on the same task using the hand. This is observed in the proximal interphalangeal and trapeziometacarpal joints.

Other causes of the disease can be a fracture or other injury, as well as infection, gout and even psoriasis. Other risk factors include old age or being born with defective cartilage. It should be noted that women also suffer from this condition more than men.

Treatments for osteoarthritis of the hands

There is no cure for osteoarthritis of the hands. It gets worse over time, once it arises. However, we can manage it on a day-to-day basis to treat its symptoms using the following methods:

  • Medication. Painkillers such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory drugs are particularly useful for relieving pain and inflammation in the joint.
  • You can also use other solutions to soothe the pain, such as applying hot/cold compresses to the hands. This helps to maintain the ability to move.
  • Among natural remedies, some medicinal plants act in the same way as drugs, with similar or even better results in terms of effectiveness. These include turmeric ointment, boswellia, cat’s claw and devil’s claw.
  • Finally, in the area of nutrition, there are foods such as ginger and substances such as rose hips and quercetin. They are recommended to relieve pain, as well as to reduce the inflammation caused by osteoarthritis in the hands.
  • We also recommend taking a nutritional supplement such as G7 Activ+, which strengthens bone and joint tissue. It contains organic silica, magnesium and vitamin C. Or Oregono ArtiComplex, with multiple minerals, vitamins and trace elements.
  • Exercises. Advisable to maintain the flexibility of the affected joint and combat stiffness. For example, touching the tip of each finger with the thumb or making a fist and then opening it as wide as possible. Splints can help to support the fingers and wrist.
  • Surgery. If all of the above does not have the desired effect, we can go to the operating theatre. These are operations to fuse the bones on both sides of the joint or to reconstruct the hand, transplanting tissue from other areas of the body to replace the lost cartilage.

In conclusion, this is how osteoarthritis of the hands occurs, these are its symptoms and the different treatments to reduce them. The most important thing is the early detection of the disease, taking into account the advice given above and, as always, maintaining healthy habits that allow our body to be in optimum condition.

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