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2023 Author: Alfred Shackley | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 13:14
Arthritis is an inflammatory disease of the joints. The term "rheumatoid" is commonly used in the case of diseases that appear when the body begins to attack the protein structures that it produces.
Rheumatoid factor stimulates the production of antibodies. RF blocks these structures by accumulating in the vessels supplying these joints. The rheumatoid complex leads to damage to the articular surfaces.
For the first time a description of a group of antibodies was given in 1940, it was then that rheumatoid arthritis was classified as an autoimmune disease. The disease begins with the hands, small joints are deformed, the cartilage in the phalanges of the fingers can be completely destroyed.
Rheumatoid processes affect the general condition of the body. After damage to the upper limbs, the disease can spread throughout the body.
More often women suffer after 40 years - this disease is not only painful in itself, but also worsens the quality of life.
Operations that require the use of fine motor skills of the fingers cannot be performed; in advanced cases of the disease, the hands are so damaged that it is difficult to take care of oneself.
How to treat rheumatoid arthritis of the hands to prevent deformity of the finger joints?
Symptoms of a disease that can leave you "hands-free"
In the early stages, the symptoms of arthritis may be overlooked. Sometimes fingers go numb - more often in the morning, but a light warm-up - rubbing and extension-flexion - is enough to eliminate the inconvenience.
Then the painful sensations in the fingers become more pronounced, and warm-ups to eliminate stiffness are no longer enough.
Other symptoms also join:
- general weakness and increased fatigue;
- touching the brushes is painful, it becomes difficult to cope with daily affairs.
Symptoms increase gradually - appear:
- muscle spasms of the hands;
- limiting the range of motion of the fingers;
- hyperemia of the skin;
- bumps on the fingers;
- hoarseness in voice.
Subfebrile temperature can be constantly kept.
At first, the deterioration is temporary - exacerbations depend on climatic factors, physical overload, time of day - then the pain becomes constant. At this stage, the motor functions of the hands are impaired, the joints are deformed.
Arthritis should be treated at the stage when the stiffness of the fingers takes on a habitual character. A neglected disease spreads to internal organs, lungs, kidneys and heart are affected.
Causes of hand arthritis
Modern medicine does not give an exact explanation of why rheumatoid arthritis appears. Statistics show that in most cases of the disease, two completely opposite categories of people are susceptible: those who often have to use their fingers for professional activities and those who lead a passive life and rarely encounter the need for fine motor skills.
Chronic arthritis is more dangerous than reactive arthritis - antibodies in the joint fluid accumulate for a long time, and then, under the influence of provocative factors, are "thrown" into the blood. The response leads to rapid deformation of the joints and damage to the hands.
The reasons that cause an exacerbation of the disease:
- infectious diseases - especially with inadequate treatment and non-compliance with bed rest;
- hereditary factor;
- hand injuries;
- violation of organic metabolic processes;
- hormonal disruptions;
- increased stress on the hands;
- the need for constant contact with water - especially cold;
- hypothermia - neglect of gloves and mittens during the cold season;
The onset of the disease can be provoked by purulent-inflammatory processes of the hands caused by streptococci and staphylococci.
Rheumatoid arthritis of the hands - treatment
The greatest difficulty in choosing a therapeutic regimen is juvenile arthritis that occurs in children and adolescents 3-16 years old. In the chronic form of the rheumatoid process, it is possible to achieve a stable remission only in 40-50% of patients, in the rest of the fingers of the upper extremities begin to deform.
They face difficulties in the treatment of seronegative rheumatoid arthritis due to the difficulty in diagnosis - clinical analyzes in this case do not always reveal RF, which is why therapy begins already at the stage of deformity.
Basic diagnostic methods: biochemical blood test, blood for rheumatic tests and radiography of the hands.
Medical treatment consists in the use of the following drugs.
- Painkillers of different groups:
- non-steroidal - simultaneously possessing antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects;
- analgesics with various active substances;
- external agents based on non-steroidal or locally irritating ingredients.
You can not use NSAIDs for more than 5 days - these drugs have an irritating effect on the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract. When using non-steroidal external agents, you need to take into account - they cause side effects the same as oral medications, albeit less often.
Codeine-based analgesics or narcotic drugs are used once - they can be addictive.
Hormonal - corticosteroids are injected into the joint cavity to quickly eliminate swelling and stop the acute inflammatory process;
To eliminate the autoimmune reaction, a plasmapheresis procedure is prescribed.
There are medicines that are specifically designed to treat arthritis. They are usually prescribed in combination.
- Preparations with acetylsalicylic acid.
- Cytostatics - Methotrelaxate, Chlorbutin, Cyclophosphamide. These drugs suppress mitotic activity at the cellular level.
- Macrophage blockers - "Auranofin", "Tauredon". These medicines contain real gold.
- Quinyl drugs - Delagil, Plaquenil and even Quinine. These drugs are more commonly used to treat fever caused by malaria.
Special drugs that actively fight arthritis - Infliximab, Remicade and the like - are prescribed only for the reactive form of the disease. These drugs bring the disease to remission within a short time - 1-2 months versus six months, if treated according to the usual therapeutic regimen, but they cause serious side effects. The most dangerous is the awakening of tuberculosis if it is in a latent form.
Additional therapeutic methods: physiotherapy, gymnastics and massage for the fingers of the upper extremities, a special diet with limited salt …
Folk remedies for the treatment of arthritis of the fingers cannot independently lead the disease to remission, but they help to maintain it and eliminate painful symptoms in the acute stage.
The most commonly used warming procedures:
- baths for the fingers of the upper extremities from pine needles;
- rubbing brushes with a mixture of medicinal (white) clay and salt;
- fingers are dipped in essential oil baths.
To restore metabolic processes and eliminate inflammation, traditional medicine advises using:
- golden mustache tea;
- celery root juice - 1 tablespoon 3 times a day 40 minutes before meals;
- sunflower root tincture - brewed like tea, and drink 6 tablespoons a day in 3 doses.
It is impossible to independently treat the fingers of the upper extremities for a long time if the pain is constant and the skin "burns". This is reason enough to see a doctor. Rheumatoid arthritis not only worsens the standard of living and disfigures the appearance of the hand, it has a detrimental effect on health and affects organic ones.