Osteoarthritis of the fingers: symptoms, causes, signs and treatment

Pain in the hands in the morning, difficulty in basic movements, creaking and discomfort during exercise, the increase in external finger – the telltale signs of osteoarthritis. The disease develops gradually, resulting in subsequent loss of mobility and disability. Need complex therapy, which helps to stop the degenerative process at the beginning of and cope with painful symptoms in the later stages. You cannot ignore the arthrosis of the joints of the fingers, symptoms, causes and treatment of which will be discussed in detail.

osteoarthritis of the fingers

The causes of pathology

The etiology of the disease is unknown. A leading role in the development of pathological processes of the brush plays a set of precipitating factors:

  • genetic predisposition;
  • age-related changes in the structure of articular apparatus;
  • increased physical burden on the hand (weight lifting, weightlifting);
  • a prolonged static position of the brush due to professional activities (programmers, PC operators, pianists, secretaries);
  • hand injury (bruises, fractures, sprains, strains of ligaments and tendons);
  • congenital malformations of the musculoskeletal system;
  • violation of metabolic processes in the organism on the background of systemic diseases (tuberculosis, diabetes, gout, rheumatism);
  • circulatory disorders (varicose veins, atherosclerosis of vessels);
  • suffering a severe infection (salmonellosis, hepatitis, influenza, syphilis);
  • hormonal imbalance, menopause in women;
  • excess weight, excessive Smoking, alcohol, narcotic substances;
  • long exposure to the cold, frostbite limbs;
  • surgical operations on the brush.

Clinical manifestations of osteoarthritis

Arthritis joints of fingers and a chronic progressive disease. Unlike arthritis, the symptoms increases gradually, which complicates early diagnosis. For a long time, from several months to several years can occur almost asymptomatic. There is only mild discomfort during manipulation of the hand, which passes quickly. Few who gives importance to such minor ailments, and comes to the doctor already at the stage of onset of pain and deformation of joints.

To prevent complications and disability, it is necessary to pay attention to such signs of articular pathology:

the causes of the disease
  • soreness during physical exertion that is at rest;
  • the stiffness of the brush when driving and performing fine manipulation (brush teeth, grab a Cup, make a fist);
  • stiff fingers in the morning, immediately after waking, which disappears after a short warm-up;
  • crepitus (a crunching, creaking, cracking) in joint joints;
  • numbness, tingling, cold feeling in the hand due to the violation of cellular metabolism and local blood flow;
  • appearance painless nodular formations under the skin that well be felt;
  • the apparent change in the shape, size, flexion of the fingers, which indicates the deformation of the joints;
  • frequent sprains, subluxations, sprains of the brush against the complete destruction of the cartilage tissue;
  • sharp restriction of mobility of extremities due to contractures and fusion of the bones;
  • muscle tension and neurological syndrome in the propagation of the pathological process in the periarticular tissues. Special attention should be paid to changes in the functionality of the thumb.

It usually is affected first. Pathology is called arthritis of the thumb, is treated separately in order to avoid the spread of the degenerative process in adjacent joints.

The form of osteoarthritis of the brush

The clinical picture of the disease depends on the type of lesion. For the selection of suitable therapy, it is important to differentiate between osteoarthritis according to etiologic origin.

In medical practice is highlighted in two forms:

  • primary – pathology of unknown cause;
  • secondary – deforming disorders of the joints develops on the background of other disorders and trigger factors.

Depending on the extent of damage of the hands are distinguished:

  • resorters – arthrosis of the thumb, symptoms and treatment of which are slightly different due to individual deformation of the first carpal-metacarpal joint;
  • not nodal form of osteoarthritis of the interphalangeal joints;
  • nodular form – with the formation of subcutaneous nodules.

Most often in the elderly diagnosed nodular form of primary osteoarthritis. Resorters are much less likely to occur, mainly as a post-traumatic reaction.

the stage of the disease

Osteoarthritis of the fingers: symptoms and treatment by stage

Disease of the fingers is progressive in nature. According to the severity of symptoms and anatomical changes hands, it can be divided into three stages:

  1. At the initial stage changes occur within the cartilage, it becomes thinner and loses its firmness and elasticity. The feelings of these processes in subtle ways. Sometimes there is minor pain, cracking when moving the hand. The health and physical activity are fully preserved. Treatment at this stage allows to achieve lasting positive result and permanently halt the progression of the disease.
  2. The second stage is more striking and characteristic features. Synovial fluid changing the structure, the cartilage loses its shock-absorbing function between the phalanges appear seals and nodules. The pain is present constantly, increasing during exercise. Can join in the inflammatory process with swelling and redness of the periarticular tissues. The mobility of the fingers and the entire hand is limited. Requires complex therapy aimed at eliminating painful symptoms and improve functionality of the limb.
  3. For the third stage characterized by a complete destruction of the cartilage, growth of bone spurs, atrophy of muscle fibers. Toes deform and move (ankylosis). There is intense pain, can only be removed with hormones. The prognosis is poor, often need surgery.

Stage of osteoarthritis is determined through proper and comprehensive diagnosis, which is very important at the stage of treatment.

Diagnostic methods

The treatment of all types of articular pathology is done by a professional doctor at the joints. It should be invited with complaints of discomfort in the wrist.

To clarify assigned instrumental examination:

  • radiography is performed primarily in several perspectives to consider the condition of the joint for damage, growths, deformations, pathological changes;
  • CT and magnetic resonance imaging (CT, MRI) – highly informative method, which allows to see the detailed structure of not only the joints but also the periarticular tissues;
  • ultrasonography (us) allows you to get a clear picture of the cartilage layers, to determine the status of the ligamentous apparatus, to detect tumors;
  • arthroscopy is a minimally invasive operation for collection of the synovial fluid for analysis, the study of the articular cavity from the inside, a biopsy for suspected cancer.

Laboratory tests in osteoarthritis are needed for early detection of disorders in the body and assess the overall state of health. Diagnostics includes:

diagnosis of osteoarthritis
  • General analysis of blood;
  • biochemical analysis of blood;
  • urine;
  • immunological and rheumatological tests for differentiation with arthritis.

A comprehensive survey is conducted in the clinic by the doctor. According to the results of the individually selected complex of therapeutic measures.

Principles of treatment of osteoarthritis of the fingers

Treatment of osteoarthritis aims to eliminate painful symptoms, improve circulation and mobility, stop the degenerative process in the joints and prevention of complications.

Is carried out in two main areas:

  • medication – the use of pharmaceutical drugs local and systemic action with symptomatic and restorative purpose;
  • drug – using various techniques of physiotherapy for the successful rehabilitation of joints and maintain good health.

In a separate group allocated to surgical methods that are needed in the last turn, the ineffectiveness of conservative treatment.

Individual therapeutic programs are selected by the doctor based on the results of the survey, age and condition of the patient.

Drug therapy

Medications included in all medical schemes, regardless of the stage of osteoarthritis. Drugs are available in various forms – ointments, gels, tablets, solutions, powders, injections. This allows us to treat the disease systemically, effectively eliminate both the symptoms and the cause.

The standard regulations do not exist. Depending on the clinical picture of therapy can include drugs of different pharmacological groups:

  • anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • corticosteroid hormones;
  • medicines for joints;
  • analgesics and muscle relaxants;
  • antibiotics;
  • vitamin complexes.

Non-drug treatment

treatment of osteoarthritis

An equally important role in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the fingers is played by physiotherapy and chiropractic methods. They help to restore functionality of joints and maintain their mobility and prevent disability.

Along with medicine shows use:

  • physiotherapy;
  • massage;
  • of special exercises.

Physical therapy

Special treatments for the brushes is indicated in all patients suffering from joint damage, at the stage of remission. A course of physiotherapy treatment include:

  • magnetic therapy improves metabolic processes in tissues, removes neuralgic disorders;
  • electrophoresis – deliver medicinal substances into the deeper layers of the skin, stimulates blood circulation and regeneration of the cartilage;
  • paraffin – removes puffiness, reduces painful symptoms;
  • ultrasound relieves pain and spasms, stimulates cellular metabolism;
  • diathermy – prevents the passage of pain impulses, relax the muscles;
  • acupuncture – enhances the possibility of movement of the joints, reduces the number of exacerbations.

Treatment in a hospital setting under constant supervision of medical staff.


Percussion massage technique helps:

  • beat bony growths (osteophytes) and their subsequent dissolution;
  • to enhance the production of synovial fluid;
  • to accelerate the regeneration of tissues.

Sessions are held regularly, in certain intervals of time to the recovery process took place gradually. Performs the manipulation by a qualified chiropractor. Self-massage is expedient and dangerous.


To develop sore fingers and a brush at home. You must carry out a complex of simple exercises, increases motor activity and warning the connection of the phalanges.

Daily you can perform this workout:

non-drug treatment
  • pulling hands in front of you, clench into a fist for 20-30 seconds to loosen and dissolve fingers fan;
  • put the palms on a level surface and raise each finger, trying not to move;
  • from the previous position when a finger is raised, to make them a circular motion;
  • to touch the hands of a small ball, making a versatile motion with all your fingers;
  • put your hands on the table palms down, tapping with fingertips on a surface, without bending them.

Exercises should bring relief not cause pain. If there is any discomfort, you should abandon exercise. Permission for home rehabilitation to be given by the doctor.

Surgical methods

Surgery on the brush – extreme treatment method. Held with strong deformation of the phalanges, their connection, as well as low effectiveness of conservative therapy.

Depending on the condition of joints are used several ways:

  • arthroplasty – partial removal of the damaged surfaces of the joints and their subsequent modeling;
  • arthrodesis – immobilization of the affected joint for the purpose of preservation of the adjacent joints of the fingers;
  • arthroplasty – the complete replacement of non-functioning artificial joint implant.

Timely surgery often saves the arm, partially restoring its operability.

Final recommendations

Arthritis – a disease that can be prevented, and the long delay serious complications. For this you need to take care of healthy joints in advance:

  • lead an active lifestyle;
  • to adhere to proper nutrition (diet);
  • to get rid of bad habits;
  • the right to distribute physical load during sports or heavy work;
  • relaxation with 8-hour sleep;
  • maintain health with vitamins, hardening, folk remedies;
  • properly organize the working place;
  • regular screenings at the core of the physician in the presence of risks of articular pathologies;
  • promptly seek medical attention if discomfort in the joints.

To cure arthrosis of the fingers, alas, is impossible. But with the help of modern diagnostics and complex treatment to stop the degenerative processes, while maintaining the functionality of the hand and good health for a long time.