The hand and wrist have a number of ligaments, muscles, and bones, and damage to any of these can affect movement. If you experience mild or severe hand and wrist pain, it could be a sign of arthritis. There are many types of arthritis that affect the hand and joints, causing an array of problems, such as swelling, stiffness, and pain in the fingers and wrist. The physicians who participate in the Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center referral line treat various types of arthritis including arthritis of the hand and wrist. The following are four common types of arthritis that affect the hand and wrist.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

According to the Arthritis Foundation, Osteoarthritis (OA), a chronic condition, is the most common form of arthritis characterized by the breakdown of a cartilage surrounding the ends where bones form joints. The bones rub against each other because of the breakdown, which results in stiffness, loss of movement, and pain in the joint. The most commonly affected sections include the wrist, and the joints in the middle finger, base of the thumb, and close to the nails.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder related to the immune system. When immune system mistakenly attacks synovium – a thin membrane lining the joints – it may lead to pain, inflammation, joint damage, disability, swelling, and loss of function. RA typically affects the wrist and finger joints, and can also cause deformities, making it difficult for the patient to perform everyday tasks.

Juvenile Arthritis (JA)

Juvenile arthritis, or pediatric rheumatic disease, is found in teenagers less than 16 years of age. There are several types of JA that can cause swelling and pain in wrist and joints. Every type of JA has distinct symptoms, and some might affect the musculoskeletal system, but the symptoms might be minor or non-existent. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, juvenile dermatomyositis, juvenile scleroderma and juvenile lupus are some of the common types of juvenile arthritis.

Infectious Arthritis

Infectious arthritis, also called septic arthritis, is caused by an infection in the joint. The trigger can be a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection transmitted by some other part of the body. The symptoms of infectious arthritis include chills and fever, inability to move the infected joint, intense pain in the joint, and redness and swelling. If a patient notices any such symptoms, it is probably time to consult an orthopaedist.

Last Few Words

Mild pain in the hand or wrist can be a sign of arthritis, and instead of relying on over-the-counter pain relief products, it is important to consult a physician who focuses on arthritis. If you or someone you know has been experiencing any of the symptoms of arthritis, schedule an appointment with a physician participating in the referral program at the Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center. If you have any questions, feel free to reach us at 1-888-608-4762. To set an appointment, click here.


Disclaimer: Physicians who are members of the referral program practice independently and are not employees or agents of Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center.