Arthritis in the wrist

If the wrists start to hurt…

Osteoarthritis in the wrist
The wrist is the joint that connects the arm to the hand. This is a complex joint, which enables movement in all directions. The wrist joint is involved in almost all the movements we make with our hands. For example, Peeling potatoes, typing on a keyboard, weeding herbs and driving is difficult to perform without moving wrist joints. We use our wrists frequently throughout the day. We cannot perform many actions properly when the wrist causes pain. This means that we are limited in our daily functioning. Arthritis may also affect the wrist joint.

The components of your wrist

The wrist joint connects the ends of the radius and the elbow with eight carpal bones. A layer of cartilage covers the ends of these bones to allow smooth movement. A joint capsule surrounds the wrist joint and joint ligaments support it. The wrist is a part of the body we rarely think about until problems arise and we are severely restricted in our daily routine.

The causes of arthritis in the wrist

Because multiple bones make up the wrist, this is a fragile and brittle joint. It is therefore very sensitive. The main cause of wrist osteoarthritis is therefore aging, a natural process that can occur in all joints in people above the age of 50 years. The cartilage lining between the radius and the cubit and that of the carpal bones becomes thinner and thinner and may even disappear completely. As a result, the underlying bone becomes exposed either partially, or completely. An inflammatory reaction in the joint, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can also cause osteoarthritis in the wrist. The affected cartilage crumbles. In most cases, rheumatoid arthritis affects both wrists. Arthritis can also occur after an injury or overburdening the joint for a long time.

Symptoms of arthritis in the wrist

Pain in the wrist can be an important indication that there is deterioration in the joint. The joint is less mobile, thus limiting the function of the hand. Swelling and redness may also occur. In some people, a cracking sound can be heard when the wrist is moved.

Diagnosis of arthritis in the wrist

When your GP suspects osteoarthritis in the wrist, he will refer you to an orthopedic specialist. Using an X-ray, the orthopedic specialist can determine if there is deterioration of the cartilage. In addition, the shape of the wrist will become irregular in advanced osteoarthritis, which the specialist can see on the X-ray.

Treatment of arthritis in the wrist

Most people do not put much strain on the wrists. Usually, arthritis in this joint will develop very slowly. However, it is important to keep the muscles around the wrist joint strong and flexible. When these muscles are strong, the worn joint will feel less painful. Therefore, the doctor may refer you to a physical therapist. He will start with exercises to keep the muscles strong and improve the mobility of the wrist. Wearing a brace around the wrist protects the joint from the outside. This added stability significantly reduces the pain.

Wrist braces are present in various types and have different modes of operation. Four main types of wrist braces are available:

  • Functional Wrist Brace: This brace supports wrists when injured.
  • Off loader Wrist Brace: This brace provides assistance and support for people suffering from wrist arthritis.
  • Rehabilitation Wrist Brace: This brace is suitable for people who had surgery on their wrist or are recovering from an injury to the wrist. This brace provides support and prevents harmful wrist movements.
  • Prophylactic Wrist Brace: This brace protects the wrists from injury. Think of contact sports like volleyball and rugby.

In case of persistent pain, the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications. However, many patients stop using these medications because of the annoying side effects. A good alternative is a liquid combination of Green lipped mussel and Bio-Curcumin. These natural anti-inflammatory inhibitors have not yet shown any side effects. These compounds are available without a prescription at the drugstore, pharmacy and online. An estimated 70 percent of users are very satisfied with this liquid Green lipped mussel and Bio-Curcumin.

Surgery to treat arthritis of the wrist

With advanced arthritis, extreme pain, and limited freedom of movement, surgery may be considered. The doctor will then advise you on wrist arthrodesis or wrist prosthesis. In wrist arthroscopy, the surgeon will lock the wrist, causing loss of hinge function. However, the hand function remains intact. If the surgeon implants a wrist prosthesis, the wrist may still move slightly. This surgery can only be performed if the bone is still of sufficient quality.

Exercises for arthritis of the wrist

By doing regular exercises, joints remain more mobile. Here is an exercise program to assist with muscle strength and mobility of the hands and wrists. You should do each exercise three times. Take 30 seconds to rest after each series.

Muscle strengthening exercise 1:
Sit down at a table. Place your forearms with the palm down on the tabletop. Then lift your hands up, but leave the forearms on the table. Hold this position for 3 seconds and lower your hands again.

Mobilizing exercise 2:
Sit at a table with your forearms and the palms or the tabletop. Make a fist phalanx by phalanx. Start at the fingertips. Hold the fist for 3 seconds and roll out the fingers. It is important that you do not put strength in this exercise.

Muscular Strengthening Exercise 3:
Sit at next to a table. Place your arm on the tabletop while your hand hangs over the edge. Make a fist without squeezing and raise your hand. Hold this position for 3 seconds. After the series of three, repeat this exercise with the other hand.

Mobilizing exercise 4:
Sit at the table with the palms facing up on the tabletop. Push the top of your thumb one by one against the top of your other fingers. Do not use any force.

Mobilizing exercise 5:
Sit at a table. Support the elbows on the tabletop and push your palms together. Slide the elbows apart as far as possible while holding the palms together.

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