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What causes arthritis in the hands?

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Quick Answer

Arthritis in the hand is caused by normal wear and tear as cartilage tissues naturally break down in the joints of the hands, explains Healthline. Some people are more at risk of developing arthritis in the hand if a family history of arthritis exists.

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Certain types of arthritis are also caused by a weakened immune system that cannot withstand attacks on tissues of the body, according to Healthline. The natural fluid that nourishes cartilage and lubricates joints is unable to protect the bone and cartilage inside the joint when the immune system is weak.

Arthritis in the hand, also referred to as osteoarthritis is more common in aging people, explains WebMD. Injury or genetic bone and metabolic defects increase the risk of arthritis in the hand. In addition, men are more at risk of developing arthritis than women before the age of 45, but the risks reverse and more women are susceptible to arthritis after 45. Individuals who are overweight or work in an environment that puts stress on the joints through physical activity are at an increased risk for developing arthritis in the hands.

Arthritis is defined as inflammation in the joints due to the lack of lubrication covering bones, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. When lubrication and cartilage starts failing, the joints cannot smoothly glide during movement.

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