Pain in your hands can be short-lived or long-lasting. When the pain is unmanageable or doesn’t pass over time, it is understandable you might worry. Both the hand and wrist contain many small joints which work together to produce motion and mobility. Pain in the hand joints can make it difficult to use them effectively. When hand joints are affected by arthritis it can be day to day life difficult and painful. Arthritis can occur in many different hand joints and can also impact the wrist.
Causes of Arthritis in Hand Joints
Healthy joints move without issue due to articular cartilage. This cartilage covers the ends of the bones and allow them to move easily and smoothly. There are two main causes of arthritis in the hand joints:
When arthritis occurs due to the development of disease it tends to be slow in onset. The cartilage protecting the joints decreases slowly and symptoms begin to appear. Arthritis in the hand joints can be caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is often seen as “wear and tear”, is degenerative and more common in older patients. The pattern in which the cartilage decreases is predictable in many joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease and will affect many different joints in the body usually. It causes the lining of the joints, synovium, to swell. This causes pain and stiffness and it usually begins in smaller joints of the body including hand joints.
A fracture in your hand can lead to arthritis. Particularly fractures which cause damage to the joint surface and those which cause dislocation can lead to arthritis in the hand joints. Even if you receive full and proper treatment for an injured joint, it has a higher risk of becoming arthritic in time.
Appointments and Consultations with Dr Barrett
Dr Stephanie Barrett is a very experienced consultant rheumatologist. She can help diagnose and treat pain in your hands and in the hand joints.
If you would like to make an appointment with Dr Stephanie Barrett please call 020 7730 8508 or make an appointment here.