Sudden prick while lifting a cup of coffee or pressing a door handle, pain in thumb just after waking up – such symptoms are often neglected, explaining them by overloading our hands, too long work at the computer or in the garden. Meanwhile, the cause may be serious. Especially in case of women and people over 50.
- Hand pain and difficulty performing daily activities can have a variety of causes. One of them may be a serious disease that most often affects women and people over 50.
- Degenerative arthritis is a disease that is associated with a dysfunction of cartilage in the joints, causing inflammation of the bones and joints
- Life with the disease can be made easier by using common painkillers, warming ointments and changing daily habits
Recurrent hand pain makes life difficult, so it’s good to know the cause. It can be many, but one of the most serious is osteoarthritis. It may be indicated by pains felt mainly in the area of the first two joints under the fingernails and the joint at the base of the thumb. They most often occur in the morning or evening and also after activity. Hands become as if “blocked”, then we have the feeling that we are not able to grasp anything. We may also feel pain when twisting, squeezing or lifting things.
Stiff joints, pain, limited mobility
The development of the condition can be accelerated by age, but not only. Previous trauma to the joint or surgery on the affected area can also be a negative factor. People who use vibrating equipment, such as jackhammers or drills, on a daily basis (for example, at work) may also be more susceptible to arthritis.
Degenerative arthritis. This disease is difficult to prevent
“We don’t know if there’s a link between long-term computer work and arthritis, but people who work with their hands for long periods of time may notice more joint stiffness as they age,” said Dr. Brittany Panico, a rheumatologist at the University of Phoenix Medical School, as quoted by medical blog bannerhealth.com.
The bad news is that osteoarthritis cannot be delayed or prevented. The only thing we can do is avoid injury, which is rather difficult to control. But with a diagnosis, we can adjust our daily habits to make life easier and as pain-free as possible.
How do you make your life with arthritis easier?
Standard pain relievers containing paracetamol or ibuprofen, as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are sure to help reduce pain. Various over-the-counter gels can also be used. Supplements of glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen, or turmeric reduce pain in some people. Hand warmers can also be helpful to provide relief for cold hands.
And how to live with degenerative arthritis? U.S. doctors advise making adjustments to the items you use every day, such as attaching special handles to pens, using pots with two handles instead of one, replacing a computer mouse with a touchpad, choosing clothing without buttons or zippers, replacing household items such as scissors, nail clippers and knives with versions designed for people with arthritis, using pump canisters instead of squeeze bottles for shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, soap and other products. Sometimes wearing a compression device or splint to minimize movement in the joint can help.