Once osteoarthritis starts to set in, it is important to protect the joints from further wear-and-tear and joint stress by using adaptive equipment, incorporating joint protection techniques into your activities, and using splints and orthotics to support the joints in healthier positions.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the wear-and-tear of the nice, smooth articular surface that coats the end of bones and allows the two bones of a joint to slide easily upon each other with movement.
When the cartilage breaks down, the bone surface becomes becomes uneven, bone spurs may develop, and the joint space between the bones is lost.
Pain occurs when the bones start rubbing against each other.
The joints can become swollen and stiff.
The joints can also change position, become unstable, or become misshapen.
Common areas for arthritic bumps, or nodes, to develop are at the joint towards the tip of the finger (Heberden's Nodes) and at the middle joint of the finger (Bouchard's Nodes).
Common Treatments Include:
Use of orthotics, splints or braces to position the finger joints in proper alignment and to support the joints during activity.