Swollen fingers can develop for a variety of reasons, including a medical condition such as arthritis, an injury such as a broken bone, or even a hot day. It’s the body’s natural healing response to extra fluid and blood in the fingers and can cause you to feel uncomfortable and/or unable to completely move your fingers. While it can sometimes be painful, swollen fingers are common and can be treated right at home.
Try these methods for reducing swelling in your fingers:
Stiff hands can interfere with quality of life, whether it creates just a mild annoyance or a severe limitation. Treatment depends on the cause; stiffness can originate with injury, arthritis, tendonitis, or a variety of other causes. A hand surgeon can help determine the underlying problem and implement an appropriate treatment plan that may involve home exercises, hand therapy, injections, and in some cases, surgery.
What is arthritis?
Can it affect the hand and wrist just the same as other joints such as the hip
Arthritis is a term that is used to describe pain and
stiffness in a joint. A joint is a location in the body where two bones
articulate, or move. Typically these joints have cartilage, a type of material
in the body that is smooth and helps the joint to move without pain or
Arthritis involves a process where the cartilage is no
longer smooth and begins to “break down”. This can result in pain, swelling, and loss of
motion in many joints in the body including the fingers, hand, and wrist.
Hand arthritis can have a huge impact on performance of
daily tasks. Activities like brushing
your teeth or opening a jar can be painful and challenging. If you have pain and limitations due to hand
arthritis, there are many products available to help improve hand function.
Hand surgeon John M. Erickson, MD answers your questions about the disease called Gout.
Gout is a common type of inflammatory arthritis typically presenting with a red, hot, swollen, extremely painful joint. Gout frequently affects joints in the big toe, ankle or knee but can happen elsewhere. Gout can also involve the fingers, wrist and elbow. A “gout attack” usually starts suddenly and the pain increases rapidly. Because of the skin redness, warmth, and pain intensity, gout attacks can be difficult to distinguish from infection.
What is gout?
A gout attack is caused when uric
acid normally circulating in the blood deposits in joints or soft tissues and
forms crystals. When the body reacts to the crystals it creates a painful
inflammatory reaction. Uric acid is naturally produced in the body. It is a
normal breakdown product of a chemical in many foods called purines. Our bodies
remove uric acid through the urine. Gout occurs when there is either too much
uric acid produced in the body or too little being removed by the kidneys. Gout
attacks can cause joint damage over time. Bumps or nodules of uric acid can
develop around the joints in long-term gout; these nodules are called tophi.
ESPECIALLY AS A PERSON ages, it’s common to experience pain in the hands that’s caused by arthritis. It’s most often the result of a loss of cartilage that can leave bone rubbing on bone, or what’s called osteoarthritis. Inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis (resulting from the skin disease psoriasis) that leads to swollen fingers and toes can also be to blame.
While some are able to handle a mild degree of discomfort, arthritis in the hands is frequently more than a fleeting annoyance, and it can even lead to hand deformity if left untreated. As pain becomes more regular and severe, it can affect a person’s ability to do everything from activities they enjoy – like golf or other forms of recreation – to those things they need to do just to get through the day, from buttoning a shirt to gripping a cup of coffee in the morning.
Gout and Pseudogout are two types of arthritis than can appear suddenly and cause sore joints in the hands and sometimes in other parts of the body. This condition can be common in the elbow, wrist, finger, knee and big toe joints.
Here are 6 signs that you may have gout or pseudogout:
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis in which the lining of the joint gets inflamed and swollen, causing the joint to become loose or crooked. Psoriatic arthritis is not the same as psoriasis, which is a skin condition that causes skin to become dry, red, and flaky on any part of the body. However, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, up to 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, so there is a link between the two.
Psoriatic arthritis, which is common in the hands, may cause your bones to lose their shape due to the smooth ends of the bones wearing out. This condition affects men and women equally. Some symptoms may include:
The HandCare Blog is managed by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the oldest and most prestigious medical specialty society dedicated to the hand and upper extremity. Visit www.HandCare.org for more information about conditions, injuries and treatment of the hand, arm, elbow and shoulder.