Rheumatoid Arthritis Hands Symptoms
Possibly one of the worst places you can be affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis is in your hands. While it remains a mystery as to why the hands tend to be affected so badly, they do know that RA tends to affect nearly two thirds of women over men.
There are some schools of thought that suggest that the condition may be genetic, a factor of the environment (It is not unusual to find that manual labourers show signs of arthritis) and even hormone imbalances. While none of these are in any way conclusive, they are fields of study that may one day provide some answers.
The symptoms of Arthritis in the hands are not easily spotted; it can be the case that most people will not be aware until the condition has reached an advanced stage. Obviously if you can get an early diagnosis, you can make life a little better.
So what are the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis in your hands? How can you tell early on?
Let us look at few and see if we can try to help you get a grip on the problem (Will you stop now? – Ed):
Painful Joints: Tough this is common in all forms of Arthritis; it is possibly the earliest indicator of rheumatoid problems.
Painful joints are a very common complaint, but there are subtle differences with rheumatoid. Most often when pain strikes, or the morning stiffness that is also common with arthritic conditions, it will generally ease of after a couple of hours with a bit of mild exercise.
However, rheumatoid suffers may find that the pain lasts far longer and may not ease at all. It can last for a long period of the day and never seem like it’s going to end.
In advanced stages, the pain can be so bad that you may even have to consider changing how you make use of your hand as you will most likely struggle with tasks like opening jars.
Swelling: Another common problem and one most often seen during the advanced stages of rheumatoid arthritis. Swelling around the joints on the fingers and hand can become more than just a cosmetic problem. Left undiagnosed and unchecked, the inflammation can get so bad that it can even create deformities’ and leave your hand more or less unusable.
Sadly, as another symptom that appears in the later stages, it can be difficult to get a positive diagnosis from any form of swelling alone. However this is normally accompanied by…
Warmth:Rheumatoid Arthritis is a condition of the immune system, so as such there is often a large worm spot around any possibly affected joints. If you should find any areas like this that are also swollen around your hands, then it may be the best chance you have to get a diagnosis.
It may be easier said than done, but the sooner you can get your hands looked at when you see these symptoms – The more chance there is a doctor will have something they can work with. Rheumatoid Arthritis can come and go which can make it even harder to spot in its early days.
Loose joints: Though this can be found in any form of arthritic condition again, it is possibly one of the more common with Rheumatoid. The tell-tale signs may be a simply a feeling like “bone grinding on bone” where the joints cartilage may have been damaged. If there is any ligament damage, the joint may even feel like it is slipping around – Most often this is caused by the swelling.
Cysts: Cysts or “blisters” can often appear too; they are normally filled with liquid and are normally found on the affected fingers.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Hands Symptoms
Sadly, as you can already see – there are few signs in the early stages for the hands, and as a result it is often better to check other areas of your body. The earlier you can get a diagnosis, the better you can deal with the long term issues.
There probably is a myth we can dispel though that may also help you, as there are too many doctors that still see all arthritic conditions as something that affects old age. While it generally is the older generation who normally show issues with regards to rheumatoid arthritis in their hands, the condition is like so many others in nature and does not discriminate.
As an auto-immune deficiency, the white blood cells will attack your own joints and cause damage hence the swelling and pain. It also means that it can affect anyone!
Is that a scary thought? Maybe… but it is important to understand this in case you do feel you may have any the symptoms. Never let a doctor tell you that you are too young – Spotting the signs of rheumatoid arthritis, especially in the hands is vital.