Arthritis is a very general term for a collection of disorders that result in gradual degeneration of joints. The most common of these is osteoarthritis which is a condition that results in the smooth cartilage at the end of the bone wearing away.
Cartilage is incredibly smooth and is responsible for helping joints move easily. Unfortunately, over time it wears away. This happens in everyone but not at the same time. Some people experience its effects earlier due to trauma or maybe a more active youth. I see it a lot in old footballers! For others it is merely a case of unlucky genetics.
Symptoms of arthritis
The person with hand or wrist osteoarthritis may experience weakness in their grip. Pinching items or turning on a tap might be uncomfortable. Sometimes there is swelling and thickening of the joints. Changes in the weather or being in a cold environment can increase pain and discomfort.
Hand therapy treatment for arthritis
Treatment involves a lot of education on how to safely use the hand without overloading an already weak joint. Strengthening of the muscles around the joint is crucial with more and more research supporting exercise programs for arthritis over surgery. Splints may be useful as may be adaptive devices to help make tasks simpler.
Arthritis pain need not be something that you suffer through. With the right advice the condition of your joints and your symptoms need not worsen over time. Make an appointment with me and we’ll spend the time you need to help you get on top of the discomfort, and have you doing the things you want to do again.