Arthritis Can Destroy The Mitts Of Creativity

Without the use of hands, the world would have been deprived of the work, art, music, and inventions that shaped today. When arthritis pain hits the hands with age, the condition can be very concerning. Arthritis is the wear and tear of cartilage and bone, leading to inflammation and pain. In severe cases, the joints lose strength and function, significantly impacting the quality of life. Arthritis treatment has evolved to include surgical techniques like arthrodesis and arthroplasty. At the same time, there is still value in simple exercises for pain reduction and mobility. Breaking down both options can help determine the best action for conquering arthritis pain.

Arthritis in the hands

Joints have smooth cartilage that protects the bone and helps with shock absorption. Due to wear and tear, known as osteoarthritis, the cartilage and bone can wear away. This can lead to inflammation, pain, and stiffness with movement. Psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are other forms of arthritis that are immune system-related. The condition can impact major joints like the knees, hips, and shoulders. However, in some cases, arthritis can also impact smaller joints like the fingers and hands. Arthritic hands can reduce the quality of life, impacting work, sports, and social life. There are several treatment options available, including exercises and surgery.

How exercise improves mobility

A fantastic way to improve arthritic pain is to engage in exercise. With arthritis, the joints become painful and stiff. Over time, the joints can even become swollen, deformed, and lose significant function. Exercise helps with mobility and maintaining independence while reducing inflammation. A combination of stretches and strengthening exercises can also improve joint lubrication. Studies show that exercise can produce a significant improvement in joint health. These 3 exercises can help with hand arthritis and mobility.

1. Make some O’s

Form an O shape to work the small joints in the fingers. Hold the hand straight ahead with the palm facing downward. Curl 4 fingers to meet the thumb, creating an O shape. Hold the shape for a short period, then release. Next, repeat the exercise with each individual finger. Perform the exercise multiple times daily or as advised by a physical therapist or doctor.

2. Lift those digits

Raising the fingers enhances strength and flexibility. Place the hand flat down on a surface like a table. Slowly lift 1 finger at a time off the table, starting with the thumb. Hold the finger in the air for several seconds, ensuring no other fingers lift off the table. Place the thumb back to the starting position, then move on to the index finger. Cycle through each finger until completed, then switch hands. Repeat as many times as needed.

3. Spread them out

Fingers move in different directions, so exercises should mimic these movements for the best results. Rest the palm on the table and use the other hand to secure the wrist. Spread all the fingers out and hold the stretch for several seconds. Perform the exercise without raising the palm and fingers off the table. Return the fingers to the starting position, then repeat as needed.

Understanding arthrodesis and arthroplasty

Severe cases of arthritis may require surgery to improve joint function. If the cartilage or bone has degraded to the point of limited function, and the person cannot use the hand without pain, surgery can help. Arthrodesis, or fusion surgery, fuses 2 or more bones to create a solid piece. The damaged bone is removed and held in place with screws or metal components. Over time, the bone grows and fuses to create a solid piece. Arthroplasty is a joint replacement where a metal or ceramic joint is installed. The procedures enhance joint replacement, pain relief, and improved quality of life.

Exercise vs surgery

Both exercise and surgery are effective in treating arthritis pain. The approach selected depends on the severity of the condition and the patient’s goals. Early stages of arthritis can benefit from quick intervention and exercise. Consistent exercise can reduce the pain and stiffness necessary for daily functioning. If the joint has significantly deteriorated, surgery can help. The type of surgery, either arthrodesis or arthroplasty, will depend on the surgeon’s recommendation and patient goals.

Get a grip on arthritic pain

With age, many people are affected by arthritis. Without full use of the hands, work and social activities are negatively affected. Treating arthritis is all about targeting the root cause of the issue. Exercise is an excellent option for early treatment, while studies show that later stages of the disease can benefit from surgery. Discuss both options with a surgeon and enjoy pain-free hands as soon as possible.