Heberden’s nodes are extra bony growths on the joint that is closest to the tip of finger. This joint is called distal interphalangeal joint. Heberden’s nodes are the most obvious manifestation of osteoarthritis of finger joint. When present they make the finger unsightly. Osteoarthritis is degenerative disease of joint. Osteoarthritis affects mainly the knee, spine, hip and finger joint. The degenerative disease is caused due to wear and tear of joint. It is mainly observed in elderly individuals. Heberden’s nodes are particularly more common in females.
William Heberden was the first person to describe the hard knobs about the size of pea and its association with osteoarthritis; hence they are named after him.These hard bony projections on the distal interphalangeal joint cause hardly any inconvenience, except for mild difficulty in free movement of the affected finger. Heberden’s nodes stay for lifetime once they are formed. However, if they produce pain and inconvenience, there are natural treatment measures to alleviate the symptoms.
What Causes Heberden’s Nodes?
Heberden’s nodes are usually the sign of advanced form of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis usually occurs in knee joint, joints of spinal vertebra, hips and finger joint. Normally the joint is provided with cartilage. It acts as a cushion between the bones of joint.The cartilage prevents direct rubbing of bones.
However, due to daily wear and tear or because of injury the cartilage may get damaged. It usually occurs over a period of time. Therefore osteoarthritis is a condition most common in elderly individuals. As the soft cartilage starts to disintegrate, the bones of the interphalangeal joint begin to rub against each other. It can cause severe pain.
After several months the pain begins to disappear and bony outgrowths called heberden’s nodes start developing in the distal finger joint below the finger tip. In fact heberden’s nodes are used as markers for chronic and severe form of osteoarthritis. The risk of developing heberden’s nodes increases if there is family history of heberden’s nodes.
If the finger joint is malformed since birth or due to injury there is increased risk of developing heberden’s node. It is also common in people performing certain work which requires more finger work.
Natural Treatment For Heberden’s Nodes
Heberden’s nodules usually form when osteoarthritis has reached its chronic state. Heberden’s nodes are commonly seen in women after their menopause, but it may also occur in elderly men. The main aim of treatment is to reduce stiffness of joint and pain.
Giving rest to your fingers and applying splint is beneficial in long run. Applying ice and heat is also useful to reduce pain and inflammation produced in osteoarthritis. At the same time patient has to watch for his weight. While pain may not be much in the fingers, Heberden nodes may indicate osteoarthritis in other joint. Reduce your weight if you are obese as this will reduce wear and tear in knee and hip joint.
Fish oil has anti inflammatory properties. It reduces inflammation and pain that may be prevalent in fingers and elsewhere due to osteoarthritis. Mix a pinch of ginger and turmeric powder in one teaspoon of honey. Take this mixture one time daily for few days to reduce stiffness and pain. The nodes may stay throughout the life, but with natural medicines you can diminish the discomforting symptoms.