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Rheumatism of the hands


Rheumatism of the hands affects the joints of the hands. There are different forms of rheumatic hand diseases like osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease that destroys the cartilage in the joints, or arthritis due to bacterial infection of a joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is possibly involved. It is a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily affects women. It is responsible for joint pain affecting, among other things, the fingers, and progresses towards the deformation of the affected joints.


The symptoms of arthritis of the hands are:
  • edema, swelling of the affected joints;
  • redness in the affected joints;
  • stiffness;
  • pain.

Other signs may be present and guide more towards other origins, including deformities of fingers, fever, joint damage in other places.


In the case of arthritis of the hands, the doctor will perform an examination of pain felt by the patient, its location and aggravating factors. These examinations are often supplemented by an X-ray and blood tests to determine the inflammatory, infectious or degenerative pain and to be able to distinguish between osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.


The treatment of pain will generally consist of painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs. It will then be adjusted according to the nature of the results. It may, for example, consist of an antibiotic treatment for infective arthritis, or specific drugs to slow the progression of the disease in rheumatoid arthritis.