If your quality of life is declining because your joints just don’t feel as fresh as they used to, things are creaking, knuckles are popping, and your hands are swollen, it might be time to think about what the first signs of arthritis in your hands might be. 

It is important to listen to your body and understand what steps you should take when the signs of arthritis appear in any part of your body, especially in your hands, because without the use of your hands, not a lot of things can get done. 

Understanding Arthritis and Its Impact on Hands:

Arthritis is a disease that affects the tissues of your joints. It can attack the lining of your joint or the cartilage that covers your bones. It causes the cartilage to break down, and the ends of your bones become exposed and rub against each other, causing intense pain. Since you have many joints in your hands, it is a common area for arthritis to occur. 

Discovering the first signs of arthritis in your hands can be unnerving and stressful; you will experience swelling, stiffness, and possibly deformity of your fingers. Everyday tasks like tying your shoes, buttoning your shirt, or brushing your hair can become complicated and stressful when you can’t do them without pain in your hands. 

Paying Attention to Hand Pain and Stiffness:

If you begin to experience the first signs of arthritis in your hands, you should pay attention and contact your doctor for support. You will most likely be affected by arthritis in your thumb, knuckles, the middle joints of your fingers, and the joint closest to your nails. 

It might start out slow and may even affect different areas of your hands on different days. According to the Cleveland Clinic there are many other early signs of arthritis including but not limited to: 

  • Dull burning in joints
  • Pain in the morning or after limited movement 
  • Swollen joints 

Keep track of these symptoms so that when you see your Utah hand surgeon, you can inform them how long you’ve been experiencing these symptoms. 

Changes in Grip Strength and Range of Motion:

Arthritis in your hands can cause changes in grip strength and range of motion, having a lasting effect on your quality of life. When you notice the first signs of arthritis you might notice that you aren’t able to perform simple tasks as easily as you used to. 

Things like gripping your fork, hair brush, cell phone, or anything you use on a day-to-day basis will become painful. You may not be able to move as well as before, and after sitting for long periods, you might be stiff when getting up. These are all signs that it might be time to see a doctor about your hand and other joint pain. 

Medical Interventions and Treatment Options:

Medical intervention for the first signs of arthritis in your hands can be a bit scary, especially if you are noticing cysts or masses developing on your hands or daily tasks become impossible it will be time to consider your treatment options. 

St. George Hand Surgery offers a wide variety of treatments for a wide variety of disorders, including arthritis in the hands. 

Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies

Arthritis doesn’t have to be hard to live with, and if getting into a surgeon isn’t an option when you notice the first signs of arthritis in your hands, you still have opportunities to help ease the pain at home. Here are a few things you can do at home to treat your arthritis while you wait for your appointment with a Southern Utah hand surgeon:

Eat a balanced diet; take into account what a healthy diet can do for your joints. Eat plenty of protein fruits and vegetables to keep your joints well-lubricated. You can also help treat arthritis at home by staying active; regular exercise can build muscles that support the joints, improve flexibility, balance, and mood, and relieve pain significantly. 

You can also use the power of heat and cold to ease the pain and discomfort of arthritis, and it is an easy way to treat the pain in your hands. Use a heating pad and ice packs routinely to get relief from the aches and pains you have in your joints.

If you suspect that you might be suffering from arthritis in your hands, then reach out to St. George Hand Surgeon for an appointment today.