Dr. Riggenbach with a Patient
Dr. Riggenbach explains to a patient that arthritis of the hand is a progressive and painful condition that should not be left untreated for an extended period of time.
It is estimated that nearly 50 million Americans suffer from painful arthritis symptoms. Here is the breakdown of people affected by arthritis:
- 50% of people 65 or older
- Two-thirds of people with arthritis are under the age of 65
- 34 million Caucasian, 5 million African American, and 3 million Hispanics
- 25.9% of women and 18.3% of men report diagnosis
- Adults with arthritis are 54% more likely to be obese
The first step to treating arthritis is being able to identify it. As the disease progresses, symptoms become more apparent. Common symptoms related to arthritis include:
In the early stages of arthritis, pain may occur after periods of increased joint use and be coupled with a “dull” or “burning” sensation. The depletion of your cartilage supply means that there is less material to provide shock absorption.
With more stress on the joint, swelling is common. Your joint may swell in an attempt prevent further joint use.
When any part of the body becomes inflamed, warmth is usually also a symptom. This is due to your body’s natural inflammatory response and increased blood flow.
Also known as crepitation, this painful symptom includes the sensation of grating or grinding in the affected joint. This is the result of damaged cartilage surfaces rubbing together.
Arthritis in the end joints of your fingers may result in the development of small cysts. The cysts may then cause ridging or dents in the nail plate of the affected finger.