Arthritis is a disease that affects the joints where two or more bones meet and as the cartilage breaks down results in a loss of range of motion. It can affect any joint on the body; however, arthritis of the hand and/or wrist can make daily activities painful and difficult to keep up with because of how “handy” our hands are. Simple motions like picking up a cup of water, brushing your teeth, or typing on a computer can become painful for those suffering with hand or wrist arthritis.
Types of Hand and Wrist Arthritis
There are several forms of arthritis that can affect the body. The most common that affect the hand and wrist region include:
- Osteoarthritis: This type of arthritis develops due to the normal wear and tear of the joint over time. This type tends to be more common in families with a history of arthritis.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: A chronic form of arthritis that starts in smaller joints of the body (hands and wrist). It is an autoimmune disease and is not inherited or brought on by environmental factors. Its cause is unknown.
- Post-traumatic Arthritis: This form of arthritis develops after an injury such as a broken finger or wrist.
Symptoms of Hand/Wrist Arthritis
Symptoms of hand and wrist arthritis may include loss of mobility in the joints, pain or clicking with movement, stiffness and deformity. Some people experience all of these symptoms early on, while others may not feel pain or symptoms until the disease progresses further.
Treatment for Arthritis of the Hand or Wrist
Although there is no cure, there is a wide range of options available for those that suffer from wrist and hand arthritis. These treatments are designed to relieve pain and hopefully slow the progression of the disease. Your doctor or physical therapist may recommend immobilizing the joint through the use of a splint for a short period of time. He or she may also prescribe specific exercises to build strength and increase mobility in your wrist and hand.
Physical Therapy in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania
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