Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Elderly Person With Painful Hand © Shutterstock

Hand osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition, affecting 1 in 4 people aged 50 years and over, although younger people can also be affected. Individuals living with hand OA may have:

  • Pain or aching in the hand joints lasting over 3 months
  • A change in the appearance of hand joints with hard bony swelling or joints that are no longer straight
  • Stiffness that usually lasts less than 30 minutes in the morning
  • Weaker hand grip, which can make it difficult to complete daily tasks such as doing up buttons or opening jars.

We don’t yet understand the cause of hand osteoarthritis, but important factors that we already know about include a history of the condition in your family, previous injuries, your work and hobbies and other medical conditions.