HAND & WRIST ARTHRITIS
Arthritis is a disease of the various tissues inside joints. A joint is the point at which two or more bones meet. Arthritis can occur as a result of acute (short term) or chronic (ongoing) inflammation in a joint and its surrounding soft tissues. It can also occur after trauma to the joint (such as a broken finger) or possibly from genetic (heredity) and environmental causes.
Arthritis is frequently, but not always, painful and may result in a reduced range of motion in the joint, joint deformity, and loss of function. Although almost any joint in the body can be affected, the hand and wrist are common locations for many of the common types of arthritis.
Symptoms of arthritis from any cause can include:
Pain limited to the joint itself. This is the main symptom. Initially, pain will come and go and made worse when in use (such as when gripping heavy objects). However, pain is relieved with rest. There may be days or weeks without pain, but also periods of constant discomfort. As the disease advances, the pain becomes more constant, even occurring at rest. The pain changes from a dull ache to a sharp pain, which sometimes extends beyond the joint area.
Loss of motion in the joint as arthritis progresses. However, sometimes as motion is lost, pain is lessened.
Joint motion that is accompanied by grinding, clicking, or cracking as the cartilage continues to wear down.
Joints that swell and often become red and tender to the touch. This is a sign of damage to the tissues surrounding the joint and the bony response to the constant irritation. Deformity occurs as these stabilizing soft tissues are worn away.
Weakness that results from joint pain, loss of motion, and joint deformity.