The most mobile part of the human body is the hands. Their unique anatomical design provides the widest range of motion, allowing people to perform the most delicate work.
Nowadays, not only the elderly, but also quite young people complain that their fingers hurt. What to do in such a situation?
Before taking adequate measures, the cause of pain and possible limitation of mobility should be established. If unpleasant symptoms appear, it is strongly recommended not to postpone the visit to the doctor: consultation of a specialist arthrologist and rheumatologist is necessary.
Causes of finger pain
Leading causes of pain in the joints of the fingers:
- arthritis (including rheumatoid and psoriatic);
- teosynovitis de Quervain;
- Raynaud's syndrome;
- carpal tunnel syndrome (tunnel syndrome).
Important: Raynaud's syndrome, as well as carpal tunnel syndrome, is detected in about a third of patients who consult a doctor about pain and stiffness in the hands.
Arthritis is an inflammatory disease. The characteristic clinical manifestations of the pathology are local swelling and swelling, skin hyperemia in the projection of the affected joint, pain and limitation of movements. The nature of the course, the severity of symptoms and the dynamics of the process are determined by causative factors.
Arthritis of bacterial etiology is characterized by an increase in temperature and a pronounced febrile reaction. The rheumatoid variety (that is, a disease with an autoimmune component) usually affects other larger joints in addition to the fingers. In the absence of timely adequate therapy, deformity of the hands develops.
Arthrosis is a chronic pathology characterized by steadily progressive deformity against the background of dystrophic and degenerative changes in tissues. Arthrosis affects more than half of the population of the age group of 50 years. Against the background of this pathology, the lesion is usually symmetrical. Among the most common complaints, in addition to pain, are numbness and morning stiffness in the hands (decrease in range of motion). Over time, the limb is deformed, the muscles become thinner and weaker, and the skin coarsens.
Rheumatoid arthritis rarely affects young people (under 30). The incidence rate among women is about 5 times higher than that among men. The "trigger" for the start of the pathological process is usually a serious illness, severe stress or hypothermia.
First of all, the metacarpophalangeal joints suffer; in parallel, the wrists also become inflamed. The process almost always symmetrically affects both limbs. Pain tends to increase significantly at night (especially in the morning), and in the daytime their intensity decreases. Local manifestations of the disease are accompanied by a feeling of general weakness, often - hyperthermia with chills and a gradual decrease in body weight.
Psoriatic arthritis causes pain in the fingers in 5% of cases. Joint damage develops after the characteristic skin manifestations of psoriasis. The disease is characterized by the so-called. "Axial" inflammation, in which all joints of individual fingers are affected.
De Quervain's tenosynovitis affects the ligaments and muscles of the thumb only. A characteristic symptom is pain syndrome, localized in the area of the base of the thumb at the wrist joint. Pain can occur both after exercise and spontaneously. It intensifies when you try to extend the joint towards the forearm.
Similar symptoms and rhizarthrosis. These diseases can be differentiated by x-ray examination (rhizarthrosis is characterized by a change in the bone tissue).
Raynaud's syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome are characterized by a combination of pain and numbness in the fingers.
Gout (gouty arthritis) is a metabolic disease in which urate crystals are deposited in the joints. In the early stages of development, small joints (fingers and feet) are affected, and as they develop, larger ones. Gout, especially during the period of exacerbation, is characterized by such clinical manifestations as intense pain and severe burning in the affected area, skin hyperemia and swelling in the projection of the diseased joint, as well as a feverish reaction.
Polyosteoarthritis of the fingers is extremely rarely diagnosed in patients under 40 years of age. The fair sex suffers from it much more often. A typical manifestation of pathology is the formation of nodules on the back and side surfaces of the joints between the middle and nail phalanx. As a rule, they occur symmetrically on both hands. In every third case, the degradation of cartilage with the appearance of nodules is asymptomatic, but more often the process is accompanied by pain and burning.
Only an experienced specialist can determine exactly why the fingers hurt. If treatment is not started in a timely manner, there may be a loss of the possibility of active movements and disability.
The diagnosis is made on the basis of the anamnesis and the results of additional studies. When collecting an anamnesis, the doctor needs to find out not only the nature of the complaints and the time of onset of the first symptoms, but also the possible presence of joint diseases in the patient's close relatives. In the development of some pathologies of the joints, hereditary (family) predisposition plays an important role.
Investigations required for complaints of pain in the fingers:
- blood test (general and "for biochemistry");
- Analysis of urine.
Important: to establish the etiology of the disease, i. e. , the causes that caused it, the presence / absence of a specific rheumatoid factor, antibodies to streptococci and the level of nitrogenous compounds - purines are detected in the laboratory.
Treatment for pain in the joints of the fingers
Therapeutic tactics is determined by the type of disease, the severity of symptoms, the dynamics of the pathological process and the characteristics of the clinical course.
When prescribing drugs, the patient's likely hypersensitivity to their active ingredients is taken into account.
Comprehensive treatment of joints involves the appointment of pharmacological drugs from the group of chondroprotectors to the patient. Their active substances stop the degeneration of cartilage tissue and stimulate its restoration.
One of the most effective means of this category is a drug, which includes extracts of medicinal herbs, vitamins, minerals and hydrolyzate of natural collagen - the most important component of connective tissue. The drug is available in the form of a powder for dilution (a dietary supplement! ), as well as in the form of a gel and ointment for topical external use.
Please note: a number of experts question the effectiveness of gels and ointments, since only a small amount of active substances penetrates through the skin and underlying tissues directly to the cartilage.
For symptomatic therapy, drugs from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed. Means can not only reduce inflammation, but also stop the pain syndrome or reduce its intensity.
Please note: taking NSAIDs (especially long-term and uncontrolled) often causes the development or exacerbation of gastritis and gastric ulcer. Dyspeptic disorders are not excluded - nausea and diarrhea.
Ointments and gels with anestezin, novocaine and other anesthetics are prescribed as painkillers. Cooling gels based on menthol also contribute to temporary relief of the condition.
Please note: you can not actively stretch your fingers with intense pain. It is important to remember that in cases where the destruction of the cartilage tissue of the joint has already begun, physical activity can only damage.
If rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed, then the patient is usually prescribed glucocorticosteroids. The intake of these hormonal drugs must be combined with the use of local agents - ointments containing an anesthetic. After the relief of acute symptoms, the patient is also prescribed cytostatics, immunosuppressants and monoclonal bodies to normalize the functional activity of the immune system.
Non-drug therapy in situations where fingers hurt
In addition to medicines, patients are shown local massage and specially designed gymnastic exercises. They are necessary to stimulate local blood circulation (as a result, improve tissue trophism and oxygen saturation), as well as to optimize mobility.
Physiotherapeutic procedures can achieve a good therapeutic effect. Depending on the nature of the disease, the patient may be shown paraffin therapy, ultrasound treatment or balneotherapy (mud therapy). Electrophoresis with anesthetic solutions helps to reduce pain in the fingers.
Of great importance is the normalization of the regime - the correct alternation of rest and strictly dosed physical activity. It is important for patients to follow the prescribed diet, which usually involves reducing the intake of fatty, fried and salty foods. Particular attention should be paid to diet if gouty arthritis is diagnosed. It is necessary to stop drinking alcohol and smoking.
Pain in the joints of the fingers and traditional medicine
An excellent remedy for pain in the fingers is a tincture of hot pepper. Pods need to be filled with vodka or medical alcohol and let the liquid brew in a dark place for several hours. Cotton or gauze swabs, abundantly moistened with the resulting alcohol extract, should be applied to the projection of the diseased joint for 15-20 minutes daily, 2-3 times a day. Usually the pain decreases or disappears after a month of course treatment. Then this folk remedy can be used for exacerbations to stop new attacks.
At night, it is recommended to make a compress of boiled oatmeal or a mixture of kefir with crushed chalk.
In the morning on an empty stomach, it is advisable to take a mixture of 1 tbsp. l. olive or refined sunflower oil and a few drops of freshly squeezed garlic juice.
Garlic juice can also be taken with milk or compresses. Before applying, the skin must be lubricated with cream.
In the spring (in May), you can prepare a tincture of lilac inflorescences. They need to insist on vodka for 1-2 weeks in a dark place, shaking the container daily. The liquid should be rubbed into sore spots during an attack.
Please note: it is recommended to keep the fingers warm until the remedy works (pain in the fingers, as a rule, passes in half an hour). In a similar way, a tincture of chestnut inflorescences is prepared and applied.
One of the most effective folk remedies for the treatment of arthralgia is grated potatoes. Fresh peeled tubers are left in the sun until they acquire a greenish tint. Then they are crushed, poured with hot water and a compress is made for the night.
You can independently prepare an ointment that relieves pain in the fingers. To do this, take pre-crushed juniper needles and bay leaves and mix with butter. With this homemade ointment, hands should be massaged every day, preferably in the evening. Similarly, you can use a mixture of St. John's wort leaves and petroleum jelly.
Well help from pain baths with a decoction of birch buds. To enhance the therapeutic effect, it is advisable to add pine needles and sea salt to the decoction.
For rubbing diseased joints, traditional healers advise using an alcohol tincture of dandelion flowers.
Inside, it is advisable to take a decoction of viburnum branches (100 ml per day) or vodka tincture on the shells and partitions of walnuts (1 tablespoon before meals).