Hand and Wrist Joint Inflammation - Description and treatment

Do you feel severe pain in the joints of your hand or wrist? Are there signs such as swelling, stiffness or redness? You may suffer from an inflammatory joint disease which can lead to limited mobility and deformities of the joint, e.g., contorted fingers or hands.

Warning:Do not use this or any other article on the internet to diagnose yourself. Only physicians can correctly diagnose patients. Do not postpone seeing your physician to resolve your health issues in time.

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Picture : Hand and Wrist Joint Inflammation

Characteristics of Hand and Wrist Joint Inflammation and its Causes

Inflammation of hand and wrist joints can be infectious or non-infectious. The most common cause of non-infectious inflammation of small hand and wrist joints is rheumatoid arthritis.

With rheumatoid arthritis, the immunity system attacks its own tissues. Inflammation inside the joint causes swelling, pain to the touch, and stiffness. After some time, the inflammation leads to destruction and deformation of the joint – progressive polyarthritis i.e., rheumatism. The disease limits patients’ performance of everyday activities and may lead to permanent disability.

In the most severe cases, layers of the articular surface disappear. This leads to deformities of the joint – such as when fingers turn towards the little-finger-side of the hand. Osteophytes also might grow on the finger joints.

The risk factors for development of rheumatoid arthritis are:

  • Excess weight and obesity,
  • injuries,
  • excess strain on the joints by inappropriate and repeated movement.

Hand and Wrist Joint Inflammation Treatment – Rid yourself of the Pain

Treatment of infectious inflammation of hand or wrist joints is managed by administering drugs (targeted antibiotics, etc.) for eliminating the specific determined agent.

Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (joint inflammation) is based on reducing pain and decelerating progression of the disease.

A wide range of drugs of various groups are used to treat joint arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Drug treatment in the form of on-steroid anti-rheumatics is utilised to decelerate inflammatory processes.

Inflammatory processes can be supressed by corticosteroids.

Apart from conventional synthetic disease modifying anti-rheumatics (most commonly methotrexate), there are other substances in the group of biological and targeted synthetic disease modifying drugs (e.g. anti-TNF-α antibodies, biological medicaments with a different mechanism effect, targeted synthetic inhibitors, etc.) These drugs can be used individually or in combination.

Support treatment to reduce pain may consist of ultrasound therapy, laser, polarised light, galvanisation or thermotherapy. Adjustments to patient’s environment and lifestyle are therapeutically important. Preventive measures lie within complex care of the immune system and proper treatment of infectious diseases.

Rehabilitation and spa treatment promotes mobility of affected joints, decelerates progression of the disease and supresses some of the symptoms – mainly pain and swelling.

  • Non-steroid antirheumatics – non-steroid medicament with analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Analgesic effect – pain suppressing.

A wide range of methods are used – from gymnastics, through physical therapy (massages, baths, local application of cold – cryotherapy), utilising electric current, magnetic field to polarised light. Surgical treatment offers yet more options.

Within the rehabilitation treatment, low-frequency pulsed magnetic therapy has its place in treating some symptoms of inflammation of the wrist and hand joints as it utilises the analgesic, anti-swelling and healing effects with the support of anti-inflammatory effect.

Home applications are a huge convenience which allows the patient to continue intensive rehabilitation at home, out of hospital facilities.