Conditions Affecting the Hands
We never really think about our hands too often, despite how important they are to our daily lives. Our hands are often taken for granted until we go through a condition that severely affects their ability to function. Whether or not you are experiencing any issues with your hands, it is important to keep your eye out for any warning signs. With this list I compiled, you can do just that!
Take a look at some of the most common conditions facing our hands below. Learn more about them and what you can do to get your hands back to normal.
This list would not be complete without mentioning rheumatoid arthritis, one of the most common disorders that affect our hands. It is a disease that affects all races and countries, but it affects women at a much higher rate than men. It begins to pop up earlier in life, between the ages of 35 and 50.
Rheumatoid arthritis is, first and foremost, an autoimmune disease. It occurs when the immune system begins to attack the tissue around the joints. Cartilage, bone, and ligaments are worn down over time, leading to pain and deformity.
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are the following:
- Painful joints
- Stiff joints
- Feelings of weakness
- Loss of appetite with weight loss
- Low-grade fever
- Warm, tender, swollen joints
- Limited range of motion
The most common areas affected by rheumatoid arthritis are small joints found in the hands, wrists, fingers, feet, and toes. Other common areas affected may be the neck, knees, shoulders, elbows, ankles, and hips.
Trigger finger is another condition affecting our hands — and as you can tell by the name, it mostly affects the fingers. The medical name for trigger finger is “stenosing tenosynovitis,” but I much prefer the name “trigger finger” because it describes the condition very well. Trigger finger is a condition in which a finger of your hand, usually your ring finger, locks up mid-movement and becomes stiff. Often times you will find yourself unable to straighten out your finger. Usually, the problem will undo itself, but if you have issues, you should go see a doctor. Here is a more detailed description of other symptoms you may experience:
- Finger stiffness
- Popping or clicking when bending or moving fingers
- Fingers locking in a bent position
- Fingers unable to straighten out after being locked in a certain position
In extreme situations, surgery may also be recommended.
While this condition does affect the hands, it is actually a symptom of the blood vessels. With this condition, the blood vessels constrict when an individual is cold or stressed out. Blood is unable to reach the surface of the skin when this happens, resulting in affected areas that suddenly turn a very opaque shade of white or blue. The most commonly affected area is the fingertips.
The main form of treatment as recommended by doctors like Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery is dressing warm, to avoid constriction of the blood vessels.