How to check if you have hand arthritis?

hand arthritis
hand arthritis

Arthritis is a serious disease that attacks our joint tissues. Arthritis affects the lining of our joints, the smooth inner layer at the ends of bones. Eventually, these joints break down, exposing the ends of the bones, resulting in rubbing against each other and wearing away. We have many joints in our hands and fingers, so this is a very common area for arthritis. Hand and finger arthritis can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and in worse cases, deformity. As this type of arthritis progresses, you might not be able to do your daily tasks with your hands as you used to. In this article, we’ve listed the signs and symptoms of hand arthritis that you can check on your own.

What are the types of hand arthritis?


Also known as generative arthritis, this is the most common type of arthritis. OA is when the cartilage breaks down and wears away, making the ends of your bones rub against each other causing pain and stiffness.

Rheumatoid arthritis(RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that causes the joints to swell, stiffen and cause pain when movement is done. It’s an autoimmune disease where you lose a joint’s lining(Synovium) that produces a lubricant for your bones and cartilage to smoothly slide against each other. 

Psoriatic arthritis(PsA)

A type of arthritis that affects the skin (psoriasis) and joints. Your fingers are swollen. You may also experience joint pain and morning stiffness. In many cases, it resembles rheumatoid arthritis. However, it may only involve a few fingers.

Which parts are most prone to hand arthritis?

  • The base of the thumb(where the thumb meets the wrist)
  • Knuckles
  • Middle finger joint
  • Joints that are closest to the nails.

Who are the most prone to hand and finger arthritis?

  • Older people. Arthritis is common after the age of 50.
  • Women.
  • People who are overweight.
  • If your hand has been hurt before, you are more likely to develop arthritis if any joint in your hand or finger is dislocated or broken.
  • Genetics

Symptoms for hand and finger arthritis:

Some common signs of hand arthritis include:

  • Pain during exercise or rest
  • Joint swelling and stiffness
  • Weak grip and reduced functionality
  • Changes in the shape of fingers, hands, and wrists(deformity)

Osteoarthritis symptoms:

  • Pain may come occasionally at first, but could worsen over time
  • Stiffness and limited movement
  • The feeling of cracking or rubbing when moving joints
  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Bony lumps near the knuckles or fingertips of the middle finger(Nodules)
  • Joint loosening and decreased stability
  • Changes in the shape of hands and fingers
  • Difficulty with your hands, such as when pinching or grasping something

Rheumatic arthritis symptoms: 

  • Wrist and finger joint pain
  • Joints feel soft
  • Swelling of the joints
  • Stiffness(especially in the morning)
  • Tendons thickening and swelling
  • Constant inflammation that could lead to hand deformity(long-term)
  • Loss of strength, weak grip, and easy to fall.
  • Flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, and feeling unwell.

Psoriatic arthritis symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Swelling of the fingers(Dactylitis)
  • Skin color change
  • Decreased joint movement

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