Ein Paar läuft mit Nordic-Walking-Stöcken über einen Feldweg. Die Frau trägt eine GenuTrain Kniebandage von Bauerfeind am rechten Knie.

Does your wrist hurt when it’s subjected to strain, is it swollen, or restricted in mobility? Then you may be suffering from osteoarthritis of the wrist – what is also known as joint wear. With this degenerative condition, meaning it’s irreversible, the cartilage that ensures smooth movement between the contact surfaces of the bones wears away. So the idea is: the earlier patients start treatment of their osteoarthritis of the hand, the better the chances of success for long-term pain reduction and guaranteed mobility.

What causes osteoarthritis of the wrist?

Darstellung der Anatomie eines Handgelenkes bei vorliegender Arthrose.

Different aspects can trigger osteoarthritis of the hand. If there is no proven cause, it’s referred to as “primary osteoarthritis”. Scientists assume a congenital predisposition in this case. The likelihood of the joints wearing additionally increases with age.

In cases of secondary osteoarthritis, injuries or disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout, trigger the condition. Ongoing excessive strain can also be a cause. Occupations that require the use of the hands a lot are often affected by the diagnosis “osteoarthritis of the wrist” – this includes playing the piano just as much as operating a jackhammer.

To sum up, the following typical causes exist:

  • Age-related wear
  • Ongoing excessive strain
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Severe ligament injuries
  • A bone fracture that has not healed well

Which symptoms are an indication of osteoarthritis of the wrist?

The wear of joint cartilage is gradual and develops over many years. Pain in the wrist, independent of strain, represents the first symptom of osteoarthritis of the wrist. Those affected usually feel a dull pain or a burning sensation. In some cases, pain occurs in the morning with a certain stiffness of the joint that may decrease over the course of the day.

When the condition progresses, the wrist affected by osteoarthritis shows symptoms such as increasing problems related to strain that may also occur at rest. With increasing damage to the joint, mobility becomes more restricted and the soft tissue around the joint starts to swell in many cases.

Those who start treatment of their wrist osteoarthritis early can put a halt to the progression of the condition in the hand, and delay or even prevent surgery altogether.

How is osteoarthritis of the hand diagnosed?

As part of patient consultation and considering the current symptoms, the physician can make a tentative diagnosis. To find out definitively whether it is osteoarthritis of the wrist, an X-ray is next, based on which the wear of the joint and the severity of the osteoarthritis can be determined. If no definitive diagnosis can be made with the X-ray images, additional examinations, such as computer tomography or magnetic resonance imaging (CT/MRI) can be carried out.

How can osteoarthritis of the hand be treated?

Ein Frau und ein Mann stehen sich gegenüber und halten beide einen Gymnastikball in ihren Händen. Der Mann trägt eine ManuTrain Handgelenksbandage von Bauerfeind am rechten Handgelenk.

A treatment plan is created depending on the cause and the stage of the condition.

However, treatment using medication to restore the cartilage does not exist yet. Therefore, the main goals of treating osteoarthritis of the hand are pain reduction and preservation as well as improvement of mobility.

Occupational therapy and physiotherapy measures are tried-and-tested methods to counteract symptoms. Focus of the treatment:

  • Manual therapy
  • Physiotherapy exercises and functional everyday training
  • Heat treatment in combination with vibration, such as ultrasound and paraffin baths as well as compresses and hand baths

If the joint pain can no longer be controlled as part of conservative treatment, surgery may need to be considered.

Treatment: relieving osteoarthritis of the wrist using a Train support

Ein Paar ist in einem Wald. Die Frau hilft ihrem Mann dabei, die ManuTrain Handgelenksbandage von Bauerfeind an der rechten Hand anzulegen.

In cases of osteoarthritis of the wrist, supports are designed to make everyday life easier and enable pain-free movement. The anatomically contoured ManuTrain support has proven itself effective because it perfectly braces the wrist, stabilizes, and massages in cases of osteoarthritis. The breathable knitted fabric ensures a pleasant wearing sensation, while incorporated cushions (pads) deflect pressure from the nerves and vessels to help with pain reduction. With the ManuTrain support, the fingers remain freely movable, meaning the support can be worn during nearly all everyday activities. Thanks to the donning aid supplied, it is easy to put on with one hand.