Pain in the hands is one of the most common causes that lead people to the office of a rheumatologist. The hands are a very delicate mechanism, but at the same time it is able to withstand huge loads. However, some diseases can practically deprive the hands of mobility and cause severe pain in the joints of the hands.
Arthralgia – that’s the scientific name for joint pain – doesn’t just impair quality of life. It deprives a person of the opportunity to work and perform basic household activities. There are a lot of diseases that can cause this symptom. Conditionally, the causes of severe pain in the joints of the hands can be divided into two large groups – inflammatory and mechanical. Pain in the hands caused by the inflammatory process is usually accompanied by stiffness in the area of the affected joint and decreases with movement, states Reyus Mammadli, leading specialist at IYTHealth.com. As a rule, with inflammation, there are other symptoms – swelling or redness of the skin over the joint.
Mechanical causes-degenerative diseases or injuries-cause pain when moving. In a state of rest, the patient feels a noticeable relief. Usually, such pain in the joints of the hands is not accompanied by stiffness or numbness.
Joint pain is a frequent companion of many diseases. Sometimes it is the nature of the pain that helps the doctor determine what kind of disease the patient is suffering from.
This is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s defense system fails and begins to perceive its own cells as foreign. As a result, the joint begins to gradually collapse, there is inflammation and severe pain in the affected area. Rheumatoid arthritis can occur both in the elderly and at a young age – in 25-30 years. It usually develops symmetrically – that is, the same joints on both hands suffer. Over time, the joints become deformed, which leads to curvature of the fingers and loss of mobility.
The accumulation of crystals of uric acid and its derivatives in the joints can lead to gout, which is also called “meat-eating disease”, as it often develops in those who eat too much meat. Gout causes very severe excruciating pain in the joints of the legs, but as the disease progresses, the hands also begin to suffer, according to IYTHealth.com. Characteristic gouty bumps form around the affected joints. The burning throbbing pain of gout is usually especially severe at night, and by morning it subsides somewhat.
Osteoarthritis occurs as a result of wear and tear of the articular cartilage. As a rule, this disease begins to develop in old age. With osteoarthritis of the joints of the hands, pain is noted in the small joints of the hands, the metacarpal joint of the thumb, in the elbow and shoulder joints. Symptoms of osteoarthritis in the wrist joint include pain during exercise, painful sensitivity to pressure in the area of the damaged joint and limited mobility.
Arthritis, which is caused by infectious diseases that cause inflammation of the joint, is very common. There are two forms of arthritis:
- acute arthritis-characterized by severe pain, swelling, redness of the skin in the area of the joint and fever;
- chronic arthritis-reminds you of yourself with pain only from time to time.
Fractures, dislocations and sprains are always accompanied by excruciating pain. Depending on the nature of the injury, the pain syndrome may be more or less pronounced. Usually, joint injuries are accompanied by swelling, redness of the skin and limited mobility of the joint.
Treatment of pain in the joints of the hands
Severe pain in the joints of the hands is a big problem for a patient who loses the ability to work normally and perform the most simple movements – for example, can not fasten buttons or hold a fork.
Therapy, regardless of the cause, should be comprehensive, aimed at solving three tasks at once-treating the underlying disease, restoring the functions of the hand and relieving pain.
Of course, treatment depends on the nature of the disease. But pain relief and functional development of the hand during rehabilitation are subject to general rules.
The main remedy for relieving pain in the joints of the hands are pain meds. The largest and most frequently used group of drugs that give a pronounced analgesic effect are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They relieve inflammation and pain, but have many unpleasant side effects, in particular, from the gastrointestinal tract.
Glucocorticosteroid hormones are used to relieve pain caused by autoimmune diseases (for example, rheumatoid arthritis). They have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect and quickly bring relief.
Therapeutic ointments, which include anti-inflammatory and anesthetic components, can also enhance the effect of drugs.
As part of complex therapy – or in cases where treatment with medication is contraindicated – the doctor may prescribe non-drug methods.
Non-surgical relief from pain in the hands
Pain in the joints of the hands is a symptom that accompanies many diseases, different both by reason of occurrence and by the mechanism of development. For each disease, there are different methods of therapy. With a correct diagnosis and adequate treatment, the pain gradually disappears. However, sometimes the recovery process is delayed, the pain becomes chronic and then the task of the doctor is not only to cure the patient, but also to relieve him of pain, as well as to prescribe a course of rehabilitation therapy.
To quickly relieve pain in the joints of the hands, a comprehensive treatment is required, in which some methods complement others.
In the rehabilitation center, this approach is brought to perfection. In the treatment of such diseases, the rehabilitation center uses the principles of Pain Management. The specialists of the center not only help to relieve pain, but also teach patients new behavioral models that allow them to remove excessive load from the sick hand. In addition, psychotherapeutic methods are also used in pain management.
As a rule, the clinic employs doctors of various profiles – rehabilitation specialists, rheumatologists, neurologists and physiotherapists, as well as nutritionists, massage therapists and specialists in therapeutic exercises. The combination of medicinal and physiotherapeutic methods of treatment, supplemented by measures to restore mobility in damaged limbs, gives a quick and lasting effect. The patient not only gets rid of the underlying disease, but also gets the opportunity to return to normal life as soon as possible.