Arthritis in Hands: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Arthritis of the hand can be a painful and debilitating condition that can affect your quality of life. It is a chronic disease that causes inflammation and stiffness of the joints in the hands, making it difficult to carry out daily tasks.

In this blog post, we will explore everything you need to know about arthritis in hands – from its causes, types, and symptoms, to diagnosis and effective treatment options. We will also delve into the importance of management and lifestyle changes, including exercise and diet modification, in reducing the severity of symptoms.

So read on to learn more about how to manage this common problem affecting millions of people worldwide.

Understanding Arthritis in Hands

Arthritis in Hands

Hand arthritis refers to the inflammation and pain that affect the joints of the hand and wrist. There are several different types of arthritis that can affect the hands, each with its own unique characteristics. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type and is caused by the wear and tear of the joints over time.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), on the other hand, is an inflammatory type of arthritis that can affect not only the hands but also other joints in the body. Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects individuals with psoriasis, causing joint pain and stiffness in the hands.

Lastly, gout is a form of arthritis that can result in sudden and severe pain in the hand joints. It’s important to note that proper diagnosis and treatment are vital in managing the symptoms of arthritis in the hands.

Identifying the Symptoms of Hand Arthritis

Symptoms of hand arthritis include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the hand and finger joints and around the base of your thumb, especially after periods of inactivity. Swelling and warmth may be present in the affected joints. Reduced grip strength and difficulty with daily activities are common.

Bone spurs and visible deformities in the fingers may also develop. If you experience these symptoms, it is important to seek treatment options such as medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes.

Some other signs of hand arthritis include joint swelling, and stiffness and pain in the fingers, wrists, and knuckles. Additionally, tenderness around the joints and reduced grip strength are often experienced. As the disease progresses, there may be visible deformities or a knobby appearance of the affected joints.

Uncovering the Causes of Hand Arthritis

As we age, the cartilage in our joints wears down, leading to arthritis. Family history can also play a role in developing arthritis. Certain jobs or hobbies that require repetitive hand motions and overuse od the hands can increase the risk of developing arthritis.

A previous injury to the hand or wrist can also lead to arthritis. Certain medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus can also cause hand arthritis.

Diagnosis of Arthritis in Hands: What to Expect?

To accurately diagnose hand arthritis, a medical history exam will be conducted to evaluate your symptoms and risk factors. A physical exam will assess the range of motion, swelling, and pain in your hands. Imaging tests, like X-rays or MRIs, can identify joint damage and severity of arthritis.

Blood tests may be done to rule out other causes of joint pain and inflammation. Joint fluid analysis could determine if there’s inflammation or infection in the joint.

Effective Treatment Options for Hand Arthritis

Hand arthritis treatment

Non-Surgical Treatments for Hand Arthritis

Non-surgical treatments for hand arthritis focus on reducing pain, swelling, and stiffness, and improving overall hand function. Medications and pain relievers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and corticosteroids can provide relief.

Physiotherapy can help improve range of motion and strengthen hand muscles. Lifestyle changes, including weight loss and stress reduction, can also alleviate symptoms. These non-surgical treatments are often effective in managing hand arthritis and may delay or even prevent the need for surgery.

Surgical Interventions for Severe Cases

When other treatments for hand arthritis fail to provide relief, surgical interventions may be considered. Surgery is typically reserved for severe cases that have not responded to non-surgical options. Joint replacement and joint fusion surgery can be an effective option for reducing pain and improving hand function in these cases.

Another option is arthrodesis, which involves fusing the affected joint. It is important to note that surgical interventions carry risks and should be carefully considered in consultation with a healthcare professional. Rehabilitation and physiotherapy are often necessary post-surgery to optimise outcomes.

Physiotherapy for Arthritis in Hands

Physiotherapy in London

Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the management of arthritis in the hands. By working with a physiotherapist, individuals can improve their hand function, reduce pain, and increase range of motion.

During physiotherapy sessions, various techniques may be employed to address the specific needs of each individual. These may include exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the affected joints, joint mobilization techniques to improve flexibility, and manual therapy to alleviate pain and stiffness.

Additionally, a physiotherapist can provide guidance on adaptive devices and assistive technology that can aid in daily activities such as gripping objects or opening jars. They can also educate individuals on proper ergonomics and joint protection techniques to minimise stress on the hands during daily tasks.

One Body LDN offers physiotherapy in London for individuals with arthritis in their hands. Our team of experienced physiotherapists is dedicated to providing personalized care and tailored treatment plans to help you manage your symptoms and offer pain relief.

At One Body LDN, we understand the challenges that arthritis can present, and we are committed to helping you regain function and alleviate pain in your hands. Through a combination of therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, and education, our physiotherapists will work closely with you to create a comprehensive rehabilitation program.

What is the Recovery Process After Surgery?

The recovery process after surgery for hand arthritis varies based on the type of surgery performed. To ensure optimal results, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions, attend all follow-up appointments, and manage pain effectively. Hand exercises and physiotherapy may also be recommended to improve range of motion and strength.

Importance of Management and Lifestyle Changes

Managing arthritis in hands requires a comprehensive approach that includes various treatment options such as medication, therapy, and surgery. However, lifestyle changes play a crucial role in effectively managing the condition.

By incorporating regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and practicing stress management techniques, individuals can improve their overall well-being and reduce the impact of arthritis on their daily lives.

Additionally, occupational therapy can provide valuable support in adapting daily activities to minimize discomfort. Regular check-ups with healthcare professionals are essential for monitoring arthritis progression and adjusting treatment plans accordingly.

Can Arthritis in Hands be Prevented?

Preventing arthritis in hands is challenging, but there are ways to minimize the risk. Maintain a healthy weight and engage in regular exercise. Protect your hands from injury and avoid repetitive motions. If you have risk factors, consult with your doctor for prevention strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common causes of arthritis in hands?

Common causes of arthritis in hands include joint wear and tear over time, fractures, genetics, hand injuries or trauma, autoimmune disorders, and repetitive movements. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and seeking early treatment can help manage hand arthritis.

What are the symptoms of arthritis in hands and how can it be diagnosed?

Common symptoms of arthritis in hands include pain, stiffness, swelling, and limited range of motion. Painful joints, stiffness in the wrist joints, and pain in larger joints in the arm are also some symptoms of arthritis of the hand.

Where can I find physiotherapy near me?

To find physiotherapy near you, start by searching online directories or using location-based search terms. You can also ask your doctor or healthcare provider for recommendations. Before choosing a clinic, read reviews and ratings. Make sure to contact the clinic beforehand to confirm they offer treatment for arthritis in hands.

Where can I find sports massage near me?

To locate sports massage services in your area, begin by conducting an online search for local massage therapists or spas. Take the time to read reviews and ratings to ensure you choose a reputable provider. Additionally, consider asking friends or family for recommendations or inquire at gyms and fitness centers that may offer these services. One Body LDN offer sports massage in London and come highly recommended by athletes and fitness enthusiasts. They specialize in sports-related injuries and have a team of skilled therapists who can help address your needs, including arthritis in the hands.


In conclusion, arthritis in the hands can be a challenging condition to manage, but with the right treatment and lifestyle changes, it is possible to find relief and improve your quality of life. From understanding the different types of arthritis that can affect the hands to identifying the symptoms and causes, we have explored various aspects of this condition.

Non-surgical treatments and surgical interventions are available to address the pain and inflammation associated with hand arthritis. Additionally, making lifestyle changes such as incorporating exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help manage the symptoms.

While prevention may not always be possible, taking preventive measures can reduce the risk of developing hand arthritis. Stay informed about new treatments and advances in the field to stay ahead in your journey towards managing arthritis in the hands.

If you are searching “private physio near me” / “Sports massage near me” / “Deep tissue massage near me” / “pain treatment near me”, have private health insurance physiotherapy cover and are looking for the best private healthcare in London – One Body LDN is your answer.

We are approved by ALL major private health insurance physiotherapy companies:

Axa PPP | Axa PPP International | Bupa Physiotherapy | Bupa International | Vitality (formerly Pru Health) | Vitality Health International | Nuffield Health | Aviva | Cigna | Cigna International | WPA | Aetna | Aetna International | Allianz | Allianz Worldwide Care | Allianz International | Axa Private Health Insurance | Healix | Healix Global | Health Shield | Simplyhealth | Paycare | BHSF | The PHC | Saga | The Exeter | Freedom Healthcare | Axa Corporate Health Insurance

Our approved physiotherapists are ready to take care of you!

Contact us today to learn more!


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