Many people experience joint pain, especially in the hands. Joint pain becomes particularly more prevalent as we age. It is important to distinguish pain that is due to inflammation in the joints, from pain that is due to degeneration of bone and cartilage.
Some people experience pain and swelling in their hands that is worse in the morning and subsides throughout the day. This is often associated with a prolonged period of joint stiffness that is worse in the morning, and improves with activity. It is important that you discuss these symptoms with your primary care doctor.
Early evaluation and diagnosis, especially if your joints are inflamed, may lead to earlier treatment and better outcomes. Your doctor may order blood tests to help screen for certain forms of arthritis, and to see if there is any inflammation in the body. X‑rays are often helpful to see which joints may be involved.
If any of these tests are abnormal it may be helpful to speak to a Rheumatologist to determine what treatment, if any, is best for you.