Hand Arthritis

Hand Arthritis Treatment in Kansas City, MO

What is Hand Arthritis?

Arthritis is a disease that attacks the tissues in your joints. There are a lot of small joints in the hand and wrist that work together to make movements.

When arthritis affects the joints, it can be hard to do the things you need to do every day. Joints that are damaged by arthritis can change shape over time. This makes the pain worse and makes it even harder to move.

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Symptoms of Hand Arthritis

Some early symptoms include:

  • Joint pain that is dull or sharp and comes on hours or a day after you use your hands more
  • Your hands are painful and stiff in the morning
  • Hands with visibly swollen joints

If you have had arthritis in one or both of your hands for a long period of time, signs may include:

  • Pain can go from dull to sharp
  • Pain may wake you up at night
  • You might change how you use your hands due to pain
  • Tissues near the injured joint may turn red and hurt when you touch them
  • When you bend your fingers, you’ll hear or feel grating, grinding, cracking, or clicking
  • You can’t fully open and close your fingers
  • Small bumps of bone form on the middle joint of your finger or at the top joint of your finger
  • Your finger joints get big, change shape, and bend in strange ways. This makes your hands weak and less able to do everyday tasks

Hand Arthritis Treatment

Treatments that don’t involve surgery include:

  • Splinting and braces – Splits or braces support and protect the joint, give the joint strength, reduce pressure, and help the joint line up correctly, which can help reduce pain
  • Medications – Your doctor may give you medicine to lessen the pain and swelling in your joints and to stop joint damage. Depending on the type and how bad your arthritis is, your doctor may try different types of medications until you find one that works best for you
  • Steroid injections – This is a temporary way to reduce pain and swelling. Steroids are generally used when anti-inflammatory drugs don’t work or when the inflammation is only in a few joints
  • Exercises – Physical therapy can help by giving you exercises to strengthen and stretch your hands, which can help ease your symptoms and improve function
  • Hot and cold packs – Pain and swelling can be eased by cold, and heat can help loosen things up. Be sure to only apply for 20 minutes at a time
  • Rest – Joint pain and stiffness can be eased by taking regular breaks

If non-surgical treatments no longer help and the cartilage at the ends of your bones has worn down, hand surgery may be an option for you.

Hand Arthritis Care in Kansas City

If you have any of the above symptoms, please call Orthopedic Health of Kansas City to schedule an appointment with one of our hand physicians at one of our convenient locations.