Arthritis of the Hand: Part 3

 

Treatment Options

  • Medications
  • Splinting
  • Injection
  • Surgery
  • Exercise

Medications

Medications are widely used in the treatment of all arthritic conditions. However they cannot restore the joint damage, just alleviate the symptoms. Commonly, anti inflammatory drugs are prescribed. This stops swelling and pain. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are widely used for arthritis. They are basically the building blocks of cartilage, more information can be found on them under the glucosamine category.

Injection

Injections are a form of medication. Typically it is a pain killing and anti-inflammatory injection. They have greater side effects than most medications and should not be used long term for relief of symptoms.

Splinting

A splint will help support the wrist and hand, the joints that are affected by the arthritis. It generally aids to ease the stress caused by daily activities. They should be small enough to allow for functional movements, as keeping the joint active is very important to help ease arthritis. Wearing the splint for longer than necessary can cause muscle wastage of the hand, leaving you with a less supported joint when not wearing the splint.

Surgery

Mostly hand surgery is unnecessary. People with severe pain or hands which are basically not functional may need surgery. Hand surgery is performed by specialist hand surgeons. There are a number of factors the decision to go ahead with surgery relies on.

  • Severity of symptoms
  • Patients response to other treatment
  • Daily living quality

Surgery is mainly done to improve functionality and reduce pain. Rarely to improve the look of the hands, which may be an issue for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis of the Hand: Part 1 

Arthritis of the Hand: Part2