Sore Knuckle Joints

The knuckles are what you call the bones or joints of the hands when the fist is closed. They are also known as the metacarpophalangeal joints. These joints are very important because they enable the hands and fingers to move. Without the knuckle joints, you would find it very difficult to grasp, write, and basically do anything using your hands. But because the knuckles are part of the body, they can get damaged and they can experience pain.

Why do sore knuckle joints take place?

The knuckles are very frequently used because you always use your hands and fingers. Whenever you move your hands, you definitely use the knuckle joints. With the constant use of these joints, it’s inevitable for them to experience wear and tear. Sometimes, they can get damaged and they can become painful and swollen. There are a great number of reasons why sore knuckle joints can be present.

Causes of Sore Knuckle Joints

  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis – this is a systemic disorder wherein the body attacks itself using the antibodies which are normally prepared to attack foreign bodies which may cause infection. In rheumatoid arthritis, the antibodies attack the joints, particularly the synovial sacs of the joints where the synovial fluid is located. This creates an inflammation in the affected joint and its surrounding area.
  2. Osteoarthritis – this is another form of arthritis but it is caused by the actual wear of the joint fluid. This is usually caused by old age although some athletes and individuals who frequently use their knuckles joints may also experience this problem.
  3. Gout – gout occurs when there is a very high concentration of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid crystallizes and this solidified form of the acid settles on joints. Although this commonly happens to the big toe joint, knuckles joints are also very frequently affected by gout.
  4. Brachial Plexus Injury – this is a condition wherein the brachial plexus is damaged. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves which run from the spine to the shoulder and down to the hands. There are many other causes of brachial plexus injury and severity depends on the root cause of the problem.

How to Treat Sore Knuckle Joints

  1. Medication – medications are the most common forms of treatment for sore knuckle joints. These drugs can be in the form of over the counter medications or prescription drugs. Over the counter medications are more frequently used as first aid for sore knuckles, and they are most often NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  2. Creams and Ointments – there are many pain relievers in the form of creams and ointments and they are usually for arthritis problems. These creams are used as routine pain relievers for most arthritis problems.
  3. Alternating Hot and Cold Compress – by alternating hot and cold compresses, the inflammation of the joints will be reduced and the pain of the swelling will also be minimized.
  4. Physical Therapy – there are various forms of physical therapy for the joints. There are massages and rehabilitation therapies which are used to restore the painless movement of the joints. Acupuncture is also a very effective method of therapy for the knuckle joints.

Prevention is Better than Cure

Although it may seem inevitable to experience knuckle pains especially if you are always using your hands, proper care and maintenance of your hands will always do a lot of good for you. Don’t overuse your hands and don’t carry heavy loads. Don’t wash your hands after long hours of typing, writing, or other extensive hand activities. Eat foods rich in calcium to strengthen your bones and exercise your hands daily.