Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term chronic inflammatory disease that commonly affects the hand. It causes the joints in your hand to become painful, swollen and stiff. Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to hand deformity and loss of function. Symptoms are treated with medications, hand therapy, splinting, and surgery.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Rheumatoid arthritis most frequently affects the metacarpophalangeal (MP) joints which are located at the base of your fingers and thumb. The MP joints allow your fingers and thumbs to move up and down and from side to side. Your joints may feel stiff, swollen and painful. You may have difficulty moving your fingers or hear creaking noises when you move your joints. It may be difficult to use your hands for your regular activities. Your symptoms may increase after you have used your hands.