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Hand Arthritis and Prolotherapy



(and how we can help!)

Finger arthritis (arthrosis) arises from the basic anatomy of this type of joint and its' related ligament integrity. Some people, predominantly females, inherit finger ligaments that are somewhat lax, or loose and this can lead to finger joint wear and arthritis. Let's look for a minute at the basic anatomy of the finger joints. Of course, a joint is the junction of two bones. This junction can be deep and stable like a hip (ball & socket) joint, or shallow like the finger joints which acts sort of like a cup sitting in a saucer. These joints are shallow because much mobility is needed in them for everything we do with our hands. The price we pay for this mobility is stability. Strong ligaments and tendons are required for stability and these structures in males are stronger. The average grip strength in males is almost 25% more than in females.

Like the cup in the saucer, it doesn't take much to cause one bone to slide sideways a bit too much if the ligaments are loose, even a little. The amount of slip may be so tiny that the owner of that finger doesn't even notice until later in life when it has happened about a million times. Then it gets tough to open that jar or squeeze that clip. Over the years the excess movement in the finger joint has caused the cartilage that lines the joint to wear. Cracks, called fibrillations, can develop in the cartilage and allow the joint (synovial) fluid to leak out and expand the surrounding bone which thickens to protect itself. The injured cartilage attempts repair by producing more synovial lubricating fluid which increases the internal joint hydraulic repair causing STIFFNESS. That is why the arthritic finger joint sometimes becomes BIG, or hypertrophic as we say in orthopedics. Naturally, all this nasty stuff annoys the joints, makes them stiff, and inflames them from time to time. Obvious trauma, of course, can contribute to the arthritis (called secondary osteoarthritis) but in most cases there is no outstanding history of fractures and trauma in these women (primary osteoarthritis). Osteoarthritis is sometimes called "wear and tear" arthritis, but don't let that name fool you into thinking you can remember the wear and tear events that led to it. Lax finger ligaments and finger osteoarthritis are strongly predisposed to be inherited by women from their mothers.

The solution to helping this arthritis is not in medications that only alleviate the symptoms, but rather in adding new connective tissue. Attempts by the medical community to inject collagen and like substances into these painful joints have not been successful. The fact is that the new collagen needs to come from your own body. Prolotherapy is the treatment designed to stimulate your body to do just that. In PINS Prolotherapy tiny needles are used to directly impact these painful joints. Then a strong electron stream is directed through the needles to create a warm, mildly stinging sensation that feels like something is finally reaching the problem area. In a recent study 40 patients with hand arthritis who had been in pain an average of 4.6 years were given Prolotherapy. Patients were contacted 18 months after their last Prolotherapy session and 98% reported improvements in their pain with a significant decline in stiffness. All 40 Prolotherapy patients would recommend Prolotherapy to someone.

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