Don’t Let Hand Arthritis Slow Down Your Golf Game

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Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it can really affect your golf game when it strikes the wrists, hands and fingers. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) encourages individuals to educate themselves on the signs and symptoms of arthritis of the hand and seek treatment from a qualified hand specialist. Arthritis pain does not have to be permanent, and your hand specialist can get you back on the course sooner than you might think.

Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it can really affect your golf game when it strikes the wrists, hands and fingers. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) encourages individuals to educate themselves on the signs and symptoms of arthritis of the hand and seek treatment from a qualified hand specialist. Arthritis pain does not have to be permanent, and a hand specialist can you get you back on the course sooner than you might think.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease in which the cushioning cartilage that covers the bone surfaces at joints begins to wear out. It may be caused by simple "wear and tear" on joints, or it may develop after an injury to a joint. In the hand, osteoarthritis most often develops in three sites: at the base of the thumb, where the thumb and wrist come together, at the middle joint of a finger and at the joint near the finger tip. The wrist may also develop arthritis, particularly if an injury had occurred in the past. How do you know if you are suffering from osteoarthritis? Symptoms may include:

  •     Stiffness
  •     Pain with pinch or grip
  •     Swelling and tenderness
  •     Enlarged joints, nodule at the joints or cysts

What can you do if you are suffering from the symptoms of hand arthritis? Go to http://www.handcare.org to locate a hand specialist near you. Your physician will recommend a treatment designed to relieve pain and restore function. “Treatment decisions are based on the type of arthritis you have, its progression and its impact on your life,” said Jan C. Bax, MD, PhD, an ASSH member from Appleton, Wisconsin. “Anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen may help reduce swelling and relieve pain; prescription medications or steroid (cortisone) injections may be recommended.”

Your physician may refer you to a physical or occupational therapist because changing the way you do things with your hands may help relieve pain and pressure. In some cases, surgery may be the best option to relieve pain and restore useful motion.

For more information about the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and its free “Find a Hand Surgeon” service offered to the general public, please visit: http://www.handcare.org.

The mission of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand is to advance the science and practice of hand surgery through education, research and advocacy on behalf of patients and practitioners.

The field of hand surgery deals with both surgical and non-surgical treatment of conditions and problems that may take place in the hand or upper extremity (from the tip of the hand to the shoulder). Hand surgeons can set fractures, provide appropriate nerve care, treat common problems like carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow, reattach amputated fingers, create fingers for children born with incompletely formed hands, and help people function better in their day-to-day lives through restoring use of their fingers, hands, and arms.

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