Aching, stiff fingers and wrists can be a sign of osteoarthritis in the hands. Large, arthritic knuckle joints can make it more difficult to get rings on and off. These changes may also cause some people to feel self-conscious about the appearance of their hands. Osteoarthritis can affect just one joint, such as the joint at the base of the thumb. See What Is Osteoarthritis?
What Is Finger Arthritis?
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The human hand is made up of the wrist, palm, and fingers and consists of 27 bones, 27 joints, 34 muscles, over ligaments and tendons, and many blood vessels and nerves. The hands enable us to perform many of our daily activities such as driving, writing and cooking. It is important to understand the normal anatomy of the hand to learn more about diseases and conditions that can affect our hands. The wrist is comprised of 8 carpal bones.
Follow this advice to help manage joint pain and arthritis symptoms in your hands and fingers. You may not think about how much you use your hands until symptoms of arthritis start to affect them, making the activities you once enjoyed challenging or even impossible. Hand arthritis poses considerable limitations to those who have it — of the nearly 50 million Americans with arthritis, about 2 million say that the condition limits their ability to grasp small objects, and about 3 million report difficulty lifting or carrying anything weighing 10 pounds or more.
Arthritis at the base of the thumb is one of the most common locations and can be very disabling. Because the strength and motion of the thumb is required for nearly every activity - whether writing, opening a jar, or buttoning a shirt - pain from this condition may impede the most basic everyday tasks. Like other forms of osteoarthritis , basal thumb arthritis develops when cartilage on the surfaces of the bones that meet at the joint wears away and the metacarpal bone begins to slip out of the joint. This loss of alignment often creates the appearance of a bump near the wrist.