Metacarpophalangeal Joint Arthritis


The metacarpophalangeal joints of the hand act as hinges and are important in our ability to grip and hold objects. One disease that destroys the integrity and structure of the MCP joints is rheumatoid arthritis. In this situation rheumatoid arthritis causes the joint lining to produce chemical factors that slowly destroy the cartilage, ligaments and tendons that surround the MCP joint.

Normally if you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis of the MCP joint you will present with chronic pain and swelling around the joint, your fingers may start to exhibit ulnar drift (movement away from their normal position) and you will have loss of motion at the joint, particularly extension (straightening) of the fingers.

An example of ulnar drift from of the Metacarpophalangeal Joints

Chiropractic care can help individuals who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis by helping to:
1. Improving range of motion
2. Improving flexibility
3. Improving muscle tone and strength
4. Providing nutritional advice to help with inflammation

Acupuncture also helps to reduce inflammation, as its mechanism of treatment releases endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers). Also keep in mind that exercise can help with rheumatoid arthritis to maintain range of motion, increase mobility, strength and flexibility. However, a balance needs to exist between any exercise routine and rest and it is important to listen to your body while performing any physical activity.