Throughout the years, splints have been used to stabilize injured limbs. It was even discovered that the use of splints dates back to ancient Egypt in which broken limbs are splinted. Even the ancient Greeks, specifically Hippocrates cited the splinting of broken limbs. At the present, splints are commonly used in order to stabilize and at the same time protect injured or arthritic body parts. Aside from splints, there are first aid measures that can help minimize the pain and swelling associated with arthritis.
Arthritis basically involves the inflammation of the joints. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is a chronic arthritis of the joint cartilage. Over time, osteoarthritis can lead to the destruction and disability of the affected joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that ranks as the second most common type of arthritis. It affects the synovial and surrounding tissues of joints resulting to swelling, pain, deformity and disability. Take note that rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease that can also attack soft tissues such as the lungs, heart and veins.
Can splints help arthritic joints?
Take note that both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can lead to the swelling of the hands and fingers as well as making them stiff and sore. It can drastically limit the range of motion in the hands and wrists.
Splints, particularly ring splints can be utilized to sustain and shield the joints of the fingers and thumbs. These splints can also help relieve pain by modifying how much the individual can bend and curl the fingers. Always remember that deformity of the joint is common in both types of arthritis. Ring splints can also keep the joints properly aligned and can even slow down the deformity.
How arthritis causes finger deformity
Osteoarthritis can damage the cartilage which is the smooth, tough tissue that cushions the joints in order to prevent bone on bone contact. Over time, with the loss of cartilage, the bones of the joint will grind together resulting to pain and damage. Additionally, the bony bumps can also develop on the knuckles. Rheumatoid arthritis basically attacks the synovial capsule, cartilage and ligaments surrounding the joint. The synovial lining of the joint eventually thickens. The cartilage breaks down and the ligaments that connect the joint to the muscle are stretched out and weakened.
Usefulness of ring splints
Ring splints that fit into the fingers and thumbs are made out of durable, thing thermoplastic or top quality silver. These splints appear like decorative rings. The oval-8 splint is usually made out of two connected plastic or silver ovals that slip over the finger while the joint rests on top of the knuckle. Take note that the splint mildly inhibits the finger from bending which prevents the knuckles from sliding. Additionally, it also helps reduce the pain due to movement. If two ring splints are joined together alongside on another, it can help stop ulnar drift from occurring.
The ring splints can also be used to prevent deformities by keeping the fingers in their natural position. The splints can also help control the motion of the joint through its normal range.