Alternative treatments for arthritic conditions
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Alternative therapies for arthritic conditions are inclusive of treatments like acupuncture or magnets, chondrotin or glucosamine. People having arthritis usually suffer with conditions like stress, stiffness, pain, and depression. So it is imperative that there are alternative treatments for arthritis, which will help patients cope with this in a better way and in a healthier manner. If you do not  [...]

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Managing Hand and Finger Rheumatoid Arthritis Deformities

Submitted by on July 19, 2010 – 4:55 amNo Comment

Rheumatoid arthritis is an agonizing inflammatory autoimmune disease affecting the cells coating and lubricating the joints or synovial tissue.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) develops in a symmetric manner, for example, affecting wrist, hand, knee, feet and ankle on both right and left side of the body.

Hand and Finger RA Symptoms

Joints of the finger and wrist nearest to the hand are commonly affected in hand RA. Symptoms experienced in case of hand and finger RA are:

  • Pains, rigidity and swell-up in the finger and hand.
  • Warmness and tenderness in finger, hand joints felt on contact.
  • Symmetrical impact on the analogous joints like right as well as left wrist and finger.
  • Creaky finger joints during movements – crepitus.
  • Deformed joints of the finger, especially the one in the middle.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome like feeling numb and stinging sensations in the hands.
  • Greater inflamed sensation, pains, rigidity affecting several symmetric joint types like right as well as left side of the jaws, shoulder, elbow, knee, hip, neck, ankle and feet.
  • Flu-similar sensation.
  • Relentless weariness.
  • Fever.
  • Pains and rigidity lasting for over an hour’s time after waking up.

Hand and Finger RA Causes

Though experts are unsure regarding what causes this condition, but it has been observed to affect over a million people in the United States across all races and ethnicities. Females have a 2-3 fold greater likelihood of suffering from RA in comparison to males. Several RA studies have indicated likely factors like hereditary, environmental aspects like bacteria or virus caused infection and hormonal fluctuations that tend to show improvement during gestational period, nursing and post-delivery might intensify RA symptoms.

Hand and Finger RA Deformities

Swan-neck Deformity

RA is a prevalent reason for swan-neck deformity arising and an estimate fifty percent RA patients develop this condition.

Due to swan-neck deformity, there is bending in the finger base and exterior-most joint while straightening occurs in the mid-joint. With passage of time, such a disproportion in the finger joints could lead to crooked swan-neck deformity. The thumbs are not affected in true swan neck deformity.

This deformity makes it trickier in bending the affected finger, buttoning clothes, gripping objects or pinching using fingers.

Splints (ring, finger) or surgical realignment of affected joints or fusing together the joints for improving functioning is often the course of treatment.

Boutonniere Deformity

Also termed as buttonhole deformity, it could arise due to RA. As a result of this deformity, the mid-finger joint would start bending towards the palm whereas the finger joint on the outside might show bending in the opposing direction to the palm resulting in acute inflammation in mid-joint of the finger.

Splints for extending mid-joint or surgical intervention might be necessary to treating this deformity.

Hand and Finger RA Treatment

  • Resting and exercising.
  • Splinting and specialized arthritis aid for relieving pressure from the agonizing joints.
  • Stress management.
  • Dietetic modifications like exclusion of offending foods which cause inflammation and inclusion of foods for lowering inflammation like flaxseeds, omega-3s and vitamin D.
  • Physiotherapy.
  • Surgery.
  • Routine health check-ups.
  • Medications like DMARD (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs), NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
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