Once the joints in the fingers start to hurt, it can limit the ability of the individual to perform daily activities whether at home or at work. It is important to note that arthritis is characterized by swelling, redness and joint pain due to the inflammation. When it comes to osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis, it is caused by overuse. As for rheumatoid arthritis, it is a condition due to bacteria or viruses.
A sprained or broken joint can damage the cartilage in the fingers and trigger the development of arthritis. The fragments of bone might not properly heal and the joint is disrupted. The damage is aggravated as the joints are utilized and the fingers start to display symptoms of arthritis.
Pain is the initial sign of arthritis and vanishes even when the affected hand is allowed to rest. An X-ray can reveal the severity of the destruction on the joints. Topically-applied creams and anti-inflammatory medications can reduce the symptoms while activity modifications can prevent further swelling and pain.
Constant movements and overuse can initiate the onset of osteoarthritis in the fingers and hands. Remember that finger arthritis is quite common later in life after years of overuse. Even though women are more likely to end up with degenerative arthritis than men, many adults older than 60 years old have some degree of finger arthritis.
Once the cartilage in the fingers continues to deteriorate, there are also associated noises such as clicking or grinding. The joints become inflamed and reddened, thus limiting movement. Modifications to activities whether related to work or hobby can minimize the symptoms. A brace or other device that maintains the fingers in place can reduce the pain and inflammation. Injection of cortisone as well as exercises can help slow down the degeneration of the joints.
Viruses or bacteria that have spread via the bloodstream up to the fingers can lead to rheumatoid arthritis. The inflammation caused by the virus builds up over time and leads to the thickening of the membranes surrounding the joints.
After some time, the joint is damaged permanently where it loses it shape and destroyed. Even though the reason why rheumatoid arthritis can be triggered by a virus is still unknown, it is believed to be triggered by various reasons that range from lifestyle or heredity. Remember that smoking increases the risk for developing the condition, especially if other family members have the disease. Arthritis medications and steroids can be given to reduce the symptoms but in some cases, the joint might be replaced with surgery.