It can be very limiting to live with hand pain, as it can make everyday tasks difficult to complete. Even simple things like opening a door or cooking dinner can become a challenge. It is tricky because if you are unable to make use of your hands, it slowly chips away at your independence – and nobody wants that. Therefore, it is important to find ways to manage the pain so that it doesn’t take over your life. Ideally, you should consult an expert before the symptoms get worse.
If you are on the internet researching the possible causes of hand pain, you may encounter the following terms: arthritis, gout, and fibromyalgia. Could your hand pain be due to one of the three? Let’s discuss each medical condition.
Arthritis is a disease of the joints and can affect the joints in the hands. If hand arthritis is due to overuse or wear-and-tear, then it’s osteoarthritis, which is highly probable if you use your hands a lot. Symptoms of hand osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, creaking joints, and reduced range of motion. Osteoarthritis is likely to attack large joints first, such as the knee or hip, but it can certainly impact the hand’s joints, too.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that can cause your immune system to attack joints in several places in the body, causing pain and chronic inflammation. RA is more likely to develop in the hands and feet than other forms of arthritis. Bumps may form in the knuckles as a result of RA.
A gout is a painful form of arthritis that usually affects the big toe but can also affect any other joint in the body, including the joints in the hands. Gout is caused by high levels of uric acids in the blood due to a diet rich in red meat, which causes crystals to form and get lodged in tight joint spaces, causing severe pain and inflammation. If you have gout, you may experience sudden, severe attacks of pain and swelling in your joints. These attacks can come on without warning and last for days or weeks at a time. Fortunately, changing your diet can dramatically reduce the risk of gout development.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread or localized pain and tenderness in the body. It is believed to be caused by a heightened sensitivity of the nervous system. Fibromyalgia can cause arthritic symptoms. Similar to osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia hand pain and stiffness may be at their worst in the morning. Other symptoms include numbness, tingling, severe fatigue, and psychological changes, such as anxiety and depression. Conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can aggravate the condition.
When it comes to hand pain, it is important to receive a definitive diagnosis from an orthopedic surgeon in order to receive the appropriate treatment. A physical exam, medical imaging tests, and other tests can help rule out other conditions that could be causing hand pain.
Expert Hand Pain Treatment in North Dakota
The Bone & Joint Center is the largest orthopedic practice in North Dakota, with orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and other medical providers who are dedicated to helping you achieve relief from your painful hand condition. We have three orthopedic surgeons – Dr. Duncan B. Ackerman, Dr. Brock A. Norrie, and Dr. Troy D. Pierce – who specialize in the non-surgical and surgical treatment of hand disorders and provide the highest-quality and most comprehensive hand care in North Dakota. To schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, call our orthopedic office today at (800) 424-2663 or visit our convenient appointment request page.