How to treat osteoarthritis of the joints of the hands: symptoms, treatment, prevention

Osteoarthritis of the hands: deformity, pain and functional handicap

Chronic diseases of the joints, associated with degenerative and degenerative processes in the cartilage, are the most common form of damage of the extremities, the combined term «osteoarthritis».

This is one of the main reasons that leads to disability and worsening of quality of life of people 50 years and older, are ubiquitous. The joints of the hands and the marvel more often than other departments of the musculoskeletal system, especially in women.

What is this disease, why there and how to treat osteoarthritis of the joints of the hands, the answers to these questions are of concern to many people on the planet.

The origin of the problem and who is at risk

Osteoarthritis called progressive pathological process, which is based on the violation of the metabolism in the cartilage tissue that gradually leads to destruction of cartilage and bone in contact with him, as well as to the formation of severe deformation and functional insufficiency of the joint.

This is different from arthritis — inflammatory disease with the possibility of full recovery without loss of function. Osteoarthritis of the brush is about 20 % of all cases of degenerative lesions of articular tissues. This pathology is often the primary, not dependent on external factors.

It was found that patients with osteoarthritis of the disturbed process of synthesis and maturation of collagen, a Foundation of cartilage. What is the reason?

The main cause is hereditary predisposition — known family cases (more often with relatives in the female line). Genetically transmitted feature of metabolism and a tendency to damage bone tissue and joints. In such cases, the development of the disease is sufficient to have some predisposing factors, these include:

  • female gender and older age — reducing protective effects of estrogen in postmenopause;
  • osteoporosis;
  • injuries (fractures, sprains, dislocations) or surgery;
  • professional activities related to heavy physical activity or a specific work (looms, typescript or other);
  • congenital dysplasia of the bone tissue;
  • endocrine pathology (diabetes, obesity);
  • inflammatory disease (gouty arthritis);
  • unbalanced diet — lack of minerals and vitamins.
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Clinical diagnostic features

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Osteoarthritis of the hands, like any other form of this pathology, characterized by the presence of the triad of symptoms — pain, deformity and limited mobility of the affected joint.

Pain syndrome appears during the destruction of the cartilage loses its cushioning ability and the bones begin to RUB their surfaces together, develop secondary inflammation. Gradually there is a formation of outgrowths (osteophytes), which deform the fingers and interfere with the performance of their normal functions.

The disease usually begins with the phalanges of the index and middle fingers. Here are formed of nodules of bone that are often located symmetrically on both hands and at first is not of concern.

As the progression of the process is a reduction of motor activity of the brush, fine manual work becomes impossible due to pain and limitation of mobility of joints of the fingers. Patients feel stiffness, attempts to bend the fingers lead to the appearance of the characteristic crunch.

In the last stage, the joints are strongly deformed, the person completely loses the ability to work (unable to write, to compress or decompress a brush to keep the items).

Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and data of x-ray examination that reveals typical changes of cartilage.

The disease can be divided into 3 main stages:

  1. Pain are absent or expressed only slightly after exercise, often in the evening or night. Joint function is not impaired. Visible small seal on the phalanges. X-ray reveals narrowing of the joint space between the surfaces of the bones of the hand.
  2. The pain harasses almost all the time, but not intense. Mobility is limited because of the growth of osteophytes, which are clearly visible on x-rays. Gradual muscle atrophy, joints start to increase, the crunch when driving.
  3. Expressed pain and complete limitation due to the number of osteophytes. The cartilage is almost completely destroyed, the synovial fluid no, muscles are not working.
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Treatment and prevention

Reversing the disease is possible only at a very early stage. In the midst of symptoms are conducted therapeutic measures aimed at stabilizing and improving the quality of life of the patient. This is quite a long and laborious process has the following objectives:

  • to slow down the process of destruction of cartilage;
  • to stop the main symptoms of inflammation (pain, swelling);
  • activate blood circulation and improve the blood supply to the joint capsule.

Running process without treatment can lead to significant deformation, complete immobility of the interphalangeal joints and disability.

Treatment of osteoarthritis of the hands takes place by means of a complex of measures:

  • Anti-inflammatory therapy in the acute stage used drugs from the group of NSAIDs (on the basis of Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, or Ketoprofen) and inside the form of ointments topically as well as corticosteroids. With curative and preventive purpose after relief of the acute inflammatory manifestations necessarily assigned to long courses of chondro — these are preparations based on glucosamine sulphate, which positively affects the condition of the cartilage.
  • Method medical prosthesis — intra-articular injection of hyaluronic acid to create the effect of lubrication, reduce pain and improve mobility.
  • Physical therapy — different types of electrophoresis, magnetotherapy, laser treatment improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation.
  • Therapeutic physical training and massage — for each patient individually chosen exercises that you should perform regularly in the period of remission.
  • Surgical methods are used in rare cases (removal of osteophytes, replacement of small joints of the hand, the regeneration of cartilage tissue from the patient’s cells).
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To prevent the disease or delay its occurrence for the maximum period possible. Preventive measures are required for all persons with a hereditary predisposition to osteoarthritis, and achieved 45-50 years (especially women).

We recommend the following recommendations:

  • to adhere to proper nutrition is to give up alcohol, Smoking, eating food rich in calcium and gelatin;
  • contrast baths with hot and cold water and gradually increase the time from 10 to 30 seconds to be done 3-4 times per week for courses of 10 or 15 procedures;
  • home gym («the game of the interphalangeal joints») — pulling phalanx of each finger, shift it horizontally and circular movement will help to improve blood circulation in the finger joints, spend a day or each day for 8 to 10 times;
  • prolonged supplementation of glucosamine sulphate;
  • to avoid monotonous manual work and intense exercise.

Strict adherence to medical recommendations will definitely help you cope with the unpleasant symptoms of the disease and avoid complications.