Osteoarthritis of the fingers - symptoms and treatment

Arthrosis is a chronic inflammatory process in the joints that causes dystrophic changes in the cartilaginous, ligamentous and bone articular tissues.

According to statistics, the disease is common among the elderly. Women are sick more often than men. Dystrophic disease occurs due to deterioration of metabolic processes in the body and disruption of the nutrition of articular tissues.

The disease is manifested by defeat and deformity of the joints. Characterized by the destruction of cartilaginous tissue. The disease carries a chronic character and is not completely cured, but at an early stage it can be stopped or significantly slowed down.

Recognize the disease can be on several grounds: muscle tension and a crunch in the fingers, aching pain, swelling and condensation on the fingers. Regardless of the degree of deformation, the disease does not spread to other organs.


  • 1Causes that contribute to the onset of the disease
  • 2The main symptoms of arthrosis
      • 2.0.1Step 1
      • 2.0.2Step 2
      • 2.0.3Step 3
  • 3Conservative therapy in the treatment of joints
  • 4Additional methods of fighting the disease
      • 4.0.1Surgical intervention
      • 4.0.2Diet
      • 4.0.3Physiotherapy methods
      • 4.0.4Manual therapy and massage
      • 4.0.5ethnoscience

Causes that contribute to the onset of the disease

Finally, the causes of arthrosis have not been studied.

It is proved that it develops from the influence of mechanical and biological factors, and in women it is 10 times more likely.

The main causes of the disease:

  • elderly and senile age;
  • frequent respiratory and viral infections;
  • weakened immunity;
  • hormonal changes in menopause in women;
  • past injuries of the joints and hands;
  • burdened heredity;
  • hypothermia and heavy physical labor with a load on the hands and fingers;
  • genetic disorders;
  • infectious diseases;
  • violation in the body of metabolic processes and malnutrition;
  • gout, rheumatism, allergies, diabetes, thyroid disorders.

During the development of the disease there is a violation of the allocation of synovial (joint) fluid. Because of the friction of bone tissue in the joint, inflammation begins, severe pain, and in the joint bag, a pathological fluid is produced, which contributes to joint degeneration.

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The main symptoms of arthrosis

There are three stages of arthrosis of the fingers and the symptoms at different stages of the disease are different.

Step 1

The first stage of the disease is characterized by:

  1. Painful and tingling in physical activity, worse at night.
  2. Slight edema of soft tissue near the joint.
  3. There is no impairment of mobility.
  4. The destruction of the joint does not have a pronounced character.

Step 2

The signs of the second stage of the disease vary:

  1. Burning sensation, continuous aching pain, aggravated with little or no effect of cold.
  2. Flicking and crunching of the joints of the fingers when moving.
  3. An increase in the joint volume, the appearance of bony growths (Geberden's nodules) along the lateral surfaces of the affected joints.
  4. Instability of joints and excessive mobility of bones entering into them.
  5. The initial stage of muscle atrophy.

Step 3

The third most severe stage of the disease is characterized by:

  1. Redness and swelling of the tissue of the fingers.
  2. Sharp pain even in the resting stage.
  3. Deformation of the joints and trophic disorders in the form of osteoporosis.
  4. Expressed restriction of joint movement (contracture) or often complete absence of movement (ankylosis).
  5. Geberden's nodules increase and cause a significant curvature of the fingers.
  6. Friability of bones, which entails fractures.
  7. Amyotrophy.
Diagnosis of the disease is carried out by X-ray, magnetic resonance and computed tomography.

Conservative therapy in the treatment of joints

Treatment of arthrosis of the fingers is carried out in a complex way and is aimed at reducing the pain syndrome, inflammatory process, restoration of cartilaginous tissue and motor function of the joint, prevention pathological processes.

Complex treatment of the disease includes:

  • medicamentous therapy and vitamin complexes;
  • adherence to proper nutrition;
  • physiotherapy methods;
  • manual therapy and massage;
  • non-traditional types of treatment.

The medicamentous type of treatment is aimed at the removal of inflammatory processes and the alleviation of the pain syndrome.

For this purpose, apply:

  1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are a group of drugs that have a rapid analgesic effect and high anti-inflammatory activity. Most often used are movalis, diclofenac, etodolac, piroxicam, naproxen, nimesulide, meloxicam, ibuprofen, celecoxib. Apply them in the form of injections, tablets and ointments. Contraindicated the use of long courses and with problems with the gastrointestinal tract.
  2. Muscle relaxants - have the ability to relax the muscles. The need for the use of drugs arises from the often recurrent seizures and muscle spasms. The most widely used are tolperisone, tizanidine, midokalm, baclofen, sirdalud.
  3. Corticosteroids - have a strong analgesic effect and remove the restriction of mobility. Widely used triamcinolone, betamethasone, hydrocortisone. A negative indicator is the ability of drugs to destroy unprotected cartilage bone tissue.
  4. Chondroprotectors - drugs act on the cause of the disease and have a regenerative function, the ability to treat and restore the structure of damaged cartilaginous tissue. Most often for treatment specialists use chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, chondroxide, traumel C, the purpose of T. Treatment with chondroprotectors for a long time in several courses. It is effective at the beginning of the disease, when there are no contractures and deformities of the fingers.
  5. B vitamins and nicotinic acid.
Drug therapy depends entirely on the individual condition of the patient, his co-morbidities.

Additional methods of fighting the disease

Surgical intervention

Surgical treatment of arthrosis of the fingers is used in case of ineffectiveness of the conservative method of treatment. In such cases, carry out arthrodesis or arthroplasty. The essence of arthrodesis consists in the fusion of two adjacent bones, in which there is no mobility of the joint.

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Arthroplasty is the replacement of an artificial joint from plastic or ceramics, the life of which is up to several tens of years.In this case, the mobility in the finger is maintained. This kind of surgery gives positive results, but complications do not arise.


One of the reasons for causing arthrosis of the fingers is incorrect nutrition. Therefore, the primary task in the treatment is a diet with the necessary amount of proteins and vitamins.

Recommended use of sour-milk products, legumes, boiled meat and fish, sea cabbage, lentils, eggs.

Physiotherapy methods

The method of treatment consists in complex effects on the sick fingers of the hands. This is sound therapy, shock wave therapy, mud and radon baths, magnetic resonance therapy, baths, laser therapy.

All procedures are aimed at increasing the intensity of metabolic processes, improving blood circulation, relaxing and stimulating muscle tone.

Manual therapy and massage

The perfect method of affecting the sick fingers is manual therapy. With the help of the manual therapist, you can straighten the deformed joints, relieve spasms and soreness, restore mobility and flexibility.

The procedures are performed using oil or honey applications and only on steamed hands.

When arthrosis of the joints of the fingers massage should be gentle. It is easy to rub, beat and stroke the brush. Medical gymnastics includes tapping your fingers on the table, fingering the rosaries and helping to increase the amplitude of movements.


In the treatment of early stages of the disease, folk medicine is very popular.

This method for recovery is not sufficient, and can only be an addition to drug therapy.

With its help, the effectiveness of treatment is increased. For the treatment you can apply compresses with salt and honey, hot compress made of oatmeal, honey and alcohol rubbing, hand baths on decoctions of birch leaves, burdock, fern, sabelnik. Use and ointments based on propolis, flax seed, wax.

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It is recommended to use special bandages to facilitate movement. Sanatorium and spa treatment will not hurt.

It must be remembered that arthrosis of the fingers is a disease that has been formed and progressed over the years to heal in a short time is not possible. It is important to start treatment on time, to observe all the recommendations of a specialist in order to achieve a speedy recovery.