What is Wrist Arthritis, and How do Wrist Braces Manage it?

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wrist arthritis

What is Wrist Arthritis?

The inflammation of the wrist joint is referred to as wrist arthritis. Your wrist is made of many small bones – connecting your hands to your forearm. The wrist joint helps you rotate, bend, and straighten your hands. Every bone has cartilage – a connective tissue at the end of the wrist bones. However, these connective tissues help wrist bones to glide against each other.

Several factors can wear away these cartilages or connective tissues. The common factors involved in wear and tear or connective tissues include your age and other health conditions. Consequently, the wrist bones rub against each other – causing swelling, stiffness, pain, and other discomforts. This article is a detailed account of the common types of wrist arthritis, their treatment plans, and preventive measures. However, you can also get an idea of how wrist support braces help manage the symptoms of wrist arthritis.

Types of wrist arthritis

Depending upon your condition, wrist arthritis is divided into several categories. The following are the common types of wrist arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis: It occurs after wearing down the cartilage, and it usually develops as you get older. Kienbocks’ disease cuts the blood supply to the wrist and carpal bones. The condition destroys cartilage, causing osteoarthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: It is an autoimmune disease that starts in small joints. The condition usually affects both wrists. It is a condition in which the immune system damages healthy cells, including cartilage.
  • Psoriatic arthritis: It is another form of autoimmune disease that causes scaly skin patches.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis: It is a condition that usually happens after an injury, such as a sprain or broken bone. The condition may also develop after years of injury; even the ligaments and bones are recovered completely.
  • Gout: It is a condition that happens due to an excessive amount of uric acid in the urine. Gout usually affects the toes; however, it can also affect your wrist and other small joints.

Symptoms of wrist arthritis

Pain is the common symptom of wrist arthritis. However, depending upon the severity of the injury, you may also feel the following symptoms:

  • Swelling: You may feel swelling around your wrist joints.
  • Stiffness: Muscle stiffness is a common cause of pain that occurs when your muscle becomes unable to relax normally. Arthritis may also result in muscle stiffness around your wrist joints.  
  • Limited motion: Arthritis may also reduce the range of motion of your wrist joints.
  • Clicking sound: Wrist arthritis may also result in clicking sounds in the wrist joints.
  • Muscles weakness: Muscle weakness is another symptom that usually shows while gripping or holding something.

Treatment plans for wrist arthritis

Arthritis is diagnosed by a physical checkup of your GP or healthcare professional. However, some severe types or conditions may also require some tests to be diagnosed accurately. The blood test is performed to check the inflammation or other problems. However, X-rays are performed to look for a breakdown of cartilage. Based on the diagnoses, your healthcare professionals suggest better treatment plans. Arthritis can be recovered through nonsurgical or surgical treatments, depending upon the severity of the disease.

Nonsurgical treatments

The following are the best nonsurgical practices to treat or manage the symptoms of wrist arthritis:

  • Rest: Provide your hand or wrist joints with complete rest. It will help you avoid further damage.
  • Medications: Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs helps reduce pain and inflammation. But ensure that you take these drugs under the prescribed amount.
  • Hand Exercise: The physical therapist or your GP will suggest hand exercises to help you regain your range of motion.
  • Steroid injections: Steroid injections are the best anti-inflammatory medicines. They are used to treat a number of problems, such as joint pain, arthritis, and others.

Surgical treatments

Some severe conditions require serious medical attention, or surgical processes are followed to treat them. However, the following are the best surgery processes to treat wrist arthritis:

  • Proximal row corpectomy: Surgeons follow this procedure to remove a few wrist carpal bones, providing bones with more space to move freely without friction.
  • Denervation surgery: This process is used to disconnect nerves in the wrist joints to relieve pain.
  • Fusion surgery: This process is followed to join one or more bones in the wrist, preventing friction and rubbing.
  • Wrist arthroplasty or joint replacement: During this process, surgeons replace damaged bones with artificial bones.  

How do braces help with wrist arthritis?

Experts suggest wearing wrist support braces as they are best in providing comfort and minimising pain and other symptoms. The best wrist support braces work in the following ways:

Reduce pain and swelling: Wearing wrist and hand support braces for arthritis helps reduce pain and swelling. Ensure that you wear a wrist brace that is properly fitted.

Stability: A wrist support brace immobilises the wrist joint, preventing bones from rubbing together. As well as this, it shifts weight away from the injured areas, helping reduce pain and other discomforts.

Improve your confidence: Wrist support braces provide your wrist with extra support, making you feel protected and more confident while performing your daily activities.

Post-surgery healing: Experts also suggest wearing wrist support braces after surgery, helping promote healing.

Injury Prevention: If you are involved in activities like sports and occupations requiring repetitive wrist movements, you must wear wrist support braces. These wrist support braces keep your wrist safe from the impacts of overuse and repetitive actions.

How to prevent wrist arthritis?

Healthcare professionals or experts suggest some most effective preventive measures to help you reduce the chances of wrist arthritis and other wrist problems:

  • You need to maintain your healthy body weight, helping you fight against osteoarthritis.
  • Avoid overuse and repetitive wrist movements during sports and other occupational activities.
  • If you are involved in pulling, pushing, or lifting heavy-weight objects, follow all the precautions that help reduce the chances of stress on the wrist joints.
  • You must practice good posture if your work requires a lot of typing and using the mouse. You must use special equipment with a wrist cushion or pads if required.