Arthritis can affect any joint in your body, but when it affects your hand, it's especially bothersome if it limits hand strength and finger movement. Arthritis causes both pain and stiffness which makes it difficult to do activities you normally take for granted such as opening jars or grasping a pencil. Your thumb, fingers, or wrist could be affected, and you may need to get help from an arthritis treatment specialist to relieve pain and restore the use of your hands. Here are some treatments your doctor might recommend.

Medications To Reduce Inflammation And Pain

One of the first things your doctor will do is confirm you have arthritis and determine the type you have. Tendonitis is also a common reason for hand pain, and treatment for it may be different than treatment for arthritis, so your doctor will run tests to check the health of your joints. When damage to the joints is diagnosed, your doctor determines if you have osteoarthritis, which is a gradual degenerative type of arthritis that comes with age or after an injury, or rheumatoid arthritis that can strike at any age and is an immune condition.

Anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers may help both types of arthritis, but your doctor might recommend additional medications for rheumatoid arthritis, such as disease-modifying medications that slow the progression of the disease. Medications for inflammation might be taken orally or injected into the painful joint.

Heat, Ice, And Splints

Your doctor might recommend wearing a splint on your hand that keeps the joint immobilized. However, it can be difficult to go about normal activities when you have a splint on your thumb or hand, so you may just wear the splint part of the time. Using heat or ice on your painful joint might help as well. Ice can reduce swelling and that might reduce some of your pain as a result.

Arthritis Hand Surgery

When the cushion of cartilage wears away in a joint, movement can be painful. Since your hands are in constant motion all day, the pain from arthritis may eventually interfere with your quality of life. The range of motion of your hands may become affected too due to stiffness and joint damage. At this stage, medications and home treatments may not be effective and your doctor might recommend surgery. Surgery could include a joint replacement or joint fusion. A joint fusion might be on a finger joint that fuses bones together so you're no longer able to bend the finger joint. With replacement surgery, the doctor removes part of the bone and replaces it with a piece of tendon from your body so the joint stays flexible. However, the tissue will slowly wear down over time.

A doctor can help you choose the right arthritis treatment for your hand that's a suitable choice for your general health and lifestyle. Medications may help for years, but you may find surgery to be needed once your joints have sustained enough damage.

For more information about arthritis hand pain treatment, contact a clinic like Wilson Hand Surgery,PLLC.