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Arthritis Wrist

 

Arthritis Wrist

Introduction

Arthritis of the hand and wrist occurs in one of two major forms: inflammatory arthritis, including conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and the more common form of degenerative arthritis is known as osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the main form of arthritis and is known as the "wear and tear" disorder. It can affect any joint. The wrist is especially susceptible due to the tremendous amounts of pressure that is placed during everyday activities. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage to erode and then causes the bone ends to fuse which results in stiffness and aching of the joints. Osteoarthritis can also follow a fracture or a bad sprain to the wrist.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic disease, which affects the whole body. In rheumatoid arthritis, the joint lining (synovium), normally smooth and shiny, becomes inflamed, painful and swollen. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect all the joints and muscles in the wrist. It affects more women then men and can be inherited. The insides of the joints become swollen and stiff. It affects the wrist by causing stiffness, swelling, and the loss of motion. One common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis of the wrist is diminished grip strength. The fingers of the hand are able to move because of the connection of tendons within them to the muscles of the forearm.

There is another form of arthritis that you should be aware of called infectious arthritis. Infectious arthritis (septic arthritis) is infection in the fluid and tissues of a joint usually caused by bacteria, but sometimes caused by viruses or fungi. The patient will have swelling of the wrist accompanied by heat. He or she will also have a fever and touching the wrist will cause extreme pain. In such as case visit your local accident and emergency department as soon as possible.

Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Painful, swollen joints.
  • Tendons are no longer able to work on stable joints, often resulting in an unnatural rotation of the wrist.
    Diminished grip of the fingers.

Osteoarthritis

  • Stiffness and pain in a particular joint.
  • Your wrist may fill with fluid and feel tight, especially after use. When all the articular cartilage is worn off the joint surface, you may notice a squeaking sound when you move your wrist. Doctors call this creaking crepitus.

Causes

Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Autoimmune disease which can be inherited.
  • May be due to a virus.

Osteoarthritis

  • Wear and tear disorder due to repetitive use of a particular joint in the body.
  • Weak cartilage and bone structure is also a contributing factor.
  • A bad sprain or wrist fracture can actually damage the articular cartilage. The cartilage can also be "bruised" when too much pressure is put on the cartilage surface. The cartilage surface may not look any different. The injury often doesn't show up until months later.

 

Treatment

Osteoarthritis of Wrist

  • Treatment is usually conservative, surgical intervention is rarely considered.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed by the doctor to control the pain.
  • Heat therapy and products such as bio freeze roll on is very good to alleviate discomfort.
  • Wrist brace and supports will help to reduce your pain during activity. Range-of-motion and stretching exercises can improve your wrist motion. Strengthening exercises for the arm and hand help steady the wrist and protect the joint from shock and stress.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of wrist

  • There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis. In the absence of infection, cortisone injections directly to the wrist can be very helpful in relieving pain and improving flexibility.
  • As with osteoarthritis, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed by the doctor to control the pain.
  • Heat therapy such as the reusable hot and cold pack will reduce discomfort to the wrist.
  • Cortisone is a very powerful anti-inflammatory medication. When injected into the joint, cortisone can help relieve the pain. Pain relief is temporary and usually only lasts several weeks to months. There is a small risk of infection with cortisone injections.
  • Surgery is only recommended if it can stabilize the joints and deliver pain relief. Sometimes the one or more of the eight bones of the wrist may be replaced with a prosthesis, helping improve the function of the joint.
  • Wrist braces and supports will reduce pain. discomfort and allow the patient to carry out daily activities in less pain.

Rehabilitation

Wrist strengthening exercices will help together with heat pads and wrist supports to reduce pain.

Recommended Products for Wrist Arthritis

 

Arthritis Wrist Support

Arthritis Wrist Support


Designed with an adjustable velcro closure to allow arthritis sufferers ease of use and compression variation.

View other arthritic wrist supports


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