Five symptoms of arthritis in the hands and what to do about them

arthritis symptoms in hands

Sore knuckles and tired fingers after a long day of physical activity are to be expected, but when you have persistent finger and hand pain, you might start worrying that you have arthritis. It’s important to know the symptoms of arthritis in the hands so you know when it’s a good time to seek professional assistance.

Below, we cover five of the most common symptoms of arthritis in your hands. However, if you’re suffering from frequent finger or hand pain and don’t feel like these symptoms apply to you, don’t hesitate to visit your health care provider for a diagnosis anyway.

  1. Pain — Pain when using your hands or even when resting is one of the earliest signs of arthritis. The pain caused by arthritis is usually a dull, achy pain with a slight burning sensation. This pain gradually grows worse over time, especially without treatment to help manage it.
  2. Swelling — Arthritis damages the cartilage in your joints by causing irritation and inflammation. Your body responds to inflammation by flooding the irritated area with white blood cells that respond to perceived threats. The inflow of white blood cells results in swelling around the knuckles and joints in your fingers and hands that are affected by arthritis.
  3. Stiffness — The lack of cartilage can cause bone-on-bone friction between the bones in your fingers and hands. This can limit your range of motion. Swelling also makes it difficult for you to bend your fingers or hands.
  4. Grinding — The bone-on-bone friction can cause you to feel or even hear grinding in your hands when bending your fingers. 
  5. Deformity — As arthritis wears down the cartilage in your hands and fingers, you may notice a deformed appearance in some of your fingers. This is because arthritis can affect some joints more than others, which causes them to appear differently.


Visit Holland Physical Therapy today for arthritis treatment

Treatments for arthritis in the hands vary, but in many cases, you’ll need physical therapy as part of your treatment. At Holland, our physical therapists will examine your hands to identify your needs and develop a personalized treatment that helps you manage your pain and improve your range of motion so you can start regaining the use of your hands. Contact our team today for more information about arthritis in the hands or to schedule an initial appointment.