Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand

A systemic disease, which affects connective tissue of the hand; arthritis is the dominant clinical manifestation, accompanied by thickening of articular soft tissue, with extension of synovial tissue over articular cartilages, which become eroded; the course is variable but often is chronic and progressive, leading to deformities and disability.
  • Pain usually occurs in bilateral hands
  • Swelling usually occurs in bilateral hands
  • Stiffness usually occurs in bilateral hands
  • Hand joints get hot and appear red
  • Firm nodules along fingers or the elbow
  • Angulation or collapse of fingers
  • Sudden inability to straighten or bend a finger because of a tendon rupture
  • Deformity in which the middle finger joint becomes bent
  • Unknown
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Possible family heredity
  • Usually it takes a chemical or environmental "trigger" to activate the disease in people who genetically inherit RA
  • ROM and stretching to hand
  • Hand intrinsic muscle strengthening
  • Upper extremity strengthening



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