Do you ever stop to think about how often we use our hands? We probably don’t realize how much we rely on our hands until we lose function of them or they start hurting. If you’re experiencing joint pain in your hands it can be caused by numerous different things and the most common diagnosis is arthritis. But just because you are having joint pain in your hands does not necessarily mean you have arthritis. Below we are going to breakdown all the causes of joint pain in your hands so you can find out what’s really going on.
Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is when the cartilage located at the ends of the bones where they meet the joints starts to breakdown. This causes the bones to rub against one another. Stiffness, pain, and loss of movement in the joint are a result of the breakdown. Hand joints affected are most commonly in the wrist, the base of the thumb, middle of the finger, and the joint closest to the nail. Bony knots can also form in the middle of the finger and near the nail.
Dermatomyositis. This is an inflammatory muscle disease that comes on very strong and severe. A common symptom is a joint pain in the hands. You may have also heard this be referred to as Mechanic’s hands.
Ganglion cysts. Another cause of joint pain is Ganglion cysts. These forms next to the joints in the hand and wrist. They are most frequently found at the joints at the base of the fingers, joints closest to the nail, top or palm side of the wrist. They can affect people of any age for no reason and can be painless or painful.
Gout. When there is excess uric acid in the bloodstream, it creates crystals in the tissues of the body, including the joints. The big toe is usually the first sign but the wrist and finger joints are not uncommon places to have an attack. If suffering from this disease long term, lumps of uric acid may form beneath the skin of the hand.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This chronic inflammatory disease causes the immune system to attack the thin membrane that lines the joints. Hands and wrists joints are regularly affected, along with deformities of the hand and limited hand mobility. The result of RA can be joint damage, swelling, loss of function, inflammation, pain, and disability.