Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. OA is a disease of cartilage. Cartilage is the “shock absorber” between the bones. As the cartilage deteriorates, the bones become exposed and with use the joints become inflamed and painful. Mechanical were and tear is the usual cause of osteoarthritis especially in the hand.
What are symptoms of hand osteoarthritis?
Joint stiffness and joint pain are the most common symptoms. There can also be swelling, grinding, and decrease of motion in the hand.
Osteoarthritis of the hand is the most commonly found at the base of the thumbs and the wrist. Bumps near the nail bed and in the middle of the joint of the finger can also be present.
X-Rays and a physical exam are the primary ways to diagnose osteoarthritis.
Treatment is aimed at the relief of pain and stress. REST, ICE, HEAT, anti-inflammatory medications and hand exercises are all forms of osteoarthritis treatments.