What are the most common symptoms of arthritis in the fingers?

The most common arthritis symptoms in the fingers include pain, swelling, and deformity. Additionally, stiffness and decreased range of motion are also typical. Arthritis refers to a condition in which the joints become painful and inflamed, and cases are classified as either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis typically occurs as a result of advancing age or injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is the result of autoimmune malfunction.

Usually, when arthritis symptoms develop in the fingers, the patient will find it difficult to complete routine tasks without pain and stiffness. Working at a computer, sewing, or knitting can cause significant discomfort and disability, which is often relieved only by cessation of the activity. Weakness and numbness are also common symptoms of arthritis in the fingers and are usually the result of swollen joints affecting surrounding structures.

Arthritis symptoms in the fingers can make it hard to grasp objects or open a jar. Additionally, driving can become challenging as gripping the steering wheel can be painful and cause further finger weakness. Similarly, holding an eating or writing utensil can be difficult. However, the use of utensils that have "rolled" handles can sometimes allow the patient to better understand them.

In general, one of the most widely recommended treatments for arthritis symptoms in the fingers is the use of medications called anti-inflammatory medications. These medications decrease pain and swelling, while helping to restore mobility and movement in the hands and fingers. They can sometimes cause adverse reactions, such as upset stomach, and can cause abnormal bleeding. However, people should not take these medications until they have discussed treatment options with their health care providers.

Physical therapy can sometimes minimize arthritis symptoms in your fingers because certain exercises can help increase range of motion in your fingers and improve mobility. Also, some physical therapy clinics use paraffin wax baths. Patients using the paraffin wax method of pain relief immerse their hands in a bath of warm, melted wax, which is very relaxing and can dramatically relieve pain and stiffness.

The bone and joint deformity that often accompanies arthritis symptoms in the fingers is usually permanent and sometimes worsens as the condition progresses. Although medications can cause a decrease in joint and soft tissue swelling, they do little to reduce the appearance of the toe deformity. However, wearing a brace or finger splint can offer support and rest, thus lessening symptoms. However, the patient's physician should recommend the appropriate treatment plan specific to the patient.

Go up