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For past few weeks, I’ve been experiencing sore fingers (like muscle ache, not swollen red). I do not see any physical abnormabilities on my hands. This happens whenever I try to clench my fists tight. The most sore fingers are the pinky fingers of both hands. It is much worse in the morning or after using the computer for a long time (desk job) – usually when my fingers are spread out for a prolonged period I noticed. I try to massage my fingers but it does not work. However after clenching my fists for a while, the soreness will subside to a certain degree but they eventually come back almost immediately but to a lesser extent. My left pinky is the most sore. It all started with the sore bone of my left pinky (was thinking if it was due to my lifting actually). The one on the side of the hand running down the pinky finger – where the palm and end of pinky finger meet.
Is this arthritis? I’m not sure if this is scientifically proven or an old wives’ tale to suffer arthritis if you spend prolonged time in contact with water when you are young or drink a lots of cold water? I have a love for cold drinks.
I’m a 33 yr old guy who lifts heavy in the gym 4 times a week for around 4 years and don’t really eat unhealthy but I’m not a fitness freak that eats a super clean diet. I do avoid fast food though.
Would you be able to advise what kind of condition this is? What are the treatments available and what type of doctor specialises in this type of ‘problem’? Thank you.
Hi Gloop, thank you for your question. Although arthritis might be a cause of your symptoms, there are other conditions that can account for your symptoms such as a simple sprain of the joints of the fingers (from your exercise, from using computers etc). Furthermore, there are many subclasses of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, gouty arthritis etc) and many conditions that can cause arthritis as part of the disease process including SLE.
It will be difficult to diagnose based on your submitted history, as a more elaborate history and physical examination may be required. If necessary your doctor may even order more specific investigations including further blood tests to look for autoimmune disorders, uric acid levels etc. as well as further imaging investigations such as X-rays of the hand, Ultrasound or even an MRI scan.
From a western medicine perspective, arthritis is due to degeneration of the joint, either from repeated wear and tear (normal process of aging) or due to inflammation from autoimmune conditions, gout, infections etc. There is no evidence to support contact with water or drinking cold drinks as a cause for arthritis 🙂
Arthritis is certainly uncommon in a 33 year old, but may be one of the earlier symptoms of an underlying condition. As such you should definitely consult a doctor for further workup.
I would advise you to consult a Hand Specialist (doctor specialising in conditions of the hand) or a Rheumatologist (doctor specialising in conditions of the joints of the body). Treatment options range from simply giving your fingers sufficient rest to recover, using finger/wrist braces, oral painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines, to injections of steroids into the joint or even surgery depending on the diagnosis and severity of the condition.