Wrist arthritis – How to conquer it?
Wrist arthritis is a common enough disease simply because the wrist is
used many times a day, making the joints in the wrist particularly
vulnerable to wear and tear.
What are the causes?
Arthritis of the wrist may be caused by a number of reasons.
- The most common cause is osteoarthritis, which
is the result of continuous use of the wrist joints. So, you could hurt
your wrist joints as a result of any number of activities from chopping
vegetables to playing squash or even fishing.
For instance, riding mountain bikes can lead to the
development of ‘handlebar palsy’, which leads to pain and numbness in
the wrist. Repetitive activities like these lead to the gradual wearing
away of cartilage and ultimately lead to arthritis in the wrist.
- In some cases, previous injury could be the
cause. It could be that you sustained a fall and you tried to break your
fall using your hands to support yourself.
In the process, if the bones at the wrist have been broken,
this could lead to the development of arthritic wrists in the long run.
- Wrist instability is also a leading cause of
wrist arthritis. When the ligaments and bones in the wrist sustain
small injuries, there is instability in the area and results in abnormal
movements, which in turn lead to arthritic wrists.
- Rheumatoid arthritis can also be at the bottom of wrist arthritis. This occurs when bacteria cause inflammation in the lining of the joints.
Inflammation spreads silently and becomes so severe that bones
and cartilage get destroyed. Patients suffering from wrist arthritis
resulting from rheumatoid arthritis could also suffer from arthritis in
the finger joints.
How can wrist arthritis be treated?
Lifestyle changes: Avoiding activities that place the wrists
under stress is the best way to avoid symptoms and arrest the progress
of the disease.
Wrist splints, magnetic wrist straps: A number of devices such as copper bracelets and magnetic straps have been used to arrest pain and support movement.
However, recent studies have suggested that the use of such
devices may have little to limited effect when it comes to managing pain
and promoting activity.
Medication: Anti-inflammatory medication (commonly called
as NSAIDs) can help reduce pain in patients. In case of acute pain,
cortisone injections may be administered directly into the site of pain
However, these injections provide temporary relief only and can have undesirable side effects if use for long periods.
Surgery: This is the least common treatment option.
However, if symptoms are severe, doctors may resort to surgical options
like wrist fusion and wrist replacement.
Arthritis is a degenerative condition, meaning symptoms get worse
with time. Early detection is undoubtedly the secret to effective
management of the condition.
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