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Heberden s Nodes: What are They and Why Should You Care

What are Heberden S nodes?

heberden s nodesHeberden’s nodes are bony swellings that develop in joints which are closest to the fingers and toes ends. Some people tend to have such swellings and they do not know the true cause of the problem. In this article, we will look at the causes of the swellings and how they can be removed.

Heberden S Nodes Exposed

This condition indicates an attack by Osteoarthritis disease which (by extension) occurs due to repeated trauma and injury on the joint. Swellings are caused by formation of Calcific spurs (osteophytes) of the articular joint.

The node typically starts developing in the middle age. It can either begin as a Chronic swelling on the affected joints or sudden painful onset of numbness, redness and the loss of dexterity. The initial pain is very severe but it eventually subsides leaving behind an outgrown bone. This growth skews the tip of the finger on either side.

If you are a woman, you are more prone to having the Heberden nodes as they somehow like the female genetic structure than the male one. This indicates a distinctive connection between the nodes and genetics.

What are the causes of the nodes?

The main cause of the nodes has not yet been identified but several theories have been raised to explain their true origin. Some scientist say that the nodes are hereditary thus people whose ancestors had suffered nodes are more likely to get them.

According to scientists at the University of Maryland, Heberden’s nodes are also believed to develop due to lack of cartilage in the bones. Continuous injury of the bone reduces the amount of cartilage surrounding the bone thus there is an increased amount of heat and friction in the bones. This friction causes the bone to wear out. The body reacts to this wear and tear by allowing more bones to growth and fill the worn out sections.

The bone tends to over-grow due to lack of cartilage thus forming a bony like node. The node exerts pressure on the live tissues next to them resulting in excruciating pain. The pain is mostly felt during the early days but it subsidies as the body gets used to it.

Symptoms of Heberden S nodes

Some of the symptoms of these nodes are:

  • Hard swellings on the fingers end joints
  • Dexterity (impaired use of the fingers)
  • Joint pain and inflammation

The nodes can be helpful as they indicate early presence of arthritis. This helps you to reduce the effect of the disease at its early stage.

Are Heberden S nodes curable?

As we have seen, Heberden S nodes indicate attack of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is not curable but it effects can be greatly reduced through medications. When treating Osteoarthritis, the main focus is on managing pain, minimizing joint distortion and preserving mobility.

You can use over the counter drugs to treat Osteoarthritis during its early stages but you ought to consult a doctor when the disease prolongs. The Heberden S nodes can be removed by surgical procedures but the Osteoarthritis is not curable (can only be relieved).

Reference links

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/osteoarthritis-000118.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteoarthritis/DS00019/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
http://arthritis.webmd.com/heberdens-and-bouchards-nodes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heberden%27s_node
http://www.lifescript.com/health/centers/osteoarthritis.aspx?gclid=CJr-1aKgw7cCFXMPtAodtjIARw
http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/h/heberdens_nodes/symptoms.htm
http://osteoarthritis.about.com/od/handosteoarthritis/a/Heberdens_nodes.htm

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