Long Term Disability Attorneys for Limited Joint Mobility of the Hand
If you suffer from diabetes, you experience many challenges in your daily life that go beyond constantly checking your blood sugar and taking insulin. A chronic medical condition associated with abnormally high blood sugar levels, diabetes can affect many areas of your body as well as your internal organs.
One condition that can arise from diabetes is cheiroarthropathy, which causes limited joint mobility in your hands. If you suffer from cheiroarthropathy and have problems using your hands, you probably struggle to perform your necessary daily activities, and you likely cannot work at the same level you once did or even at all.
Thankfully, you have the option of obtaining long term disability benefits for your chronic condition, and you can reach out to the upper extremity impairment long term disability attorneys of Abell and Capitan Law for help. As one of the country’s leading long term disability law firms, we have helped thousands of clients throughout the nation with obtaining the benefits they need to support themselves and their families as they deal with their conditions. Contact us today at (267) 419-7888 to request a free consultation.
What Is Cheiroarthropathy?
Also referred to as “diabetic hand syndrome,” cheiroarthropathy is a condition that creates a thickening of the skin over the small joints in the hands. The skin may have a waxy appearance and feel hard, like a callus. As the thickness builds, you will most likely experience the following:
- Limited ability to bend your fingers
- Trouble fully extending your fingers
- Problems laying your palm flat or pressing your hands together
Although most commonly affecting the hands, cheiroarthropathy can also affect other joints such as those in the feet and ankles as well as the shoulders.
More than half of all patients diagnosed with insulin-dependent diabetes and around 75 percent of patients with noninsulin-dependent diabetes will develop cheiroarthropathy. The condition also affects a higher percentage of patients with a longer history of diabetes.
Are You Diabetic?
Currently, around 30 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with diabetes, and analysts estimate that as many as 84 million people or more are prediabetic and don’t even know it. Furthermore, experts believe more than seven million people are living with diabetes who haven’t been diagnosed with the condition.
Diabetes is a serious, chronic condition that can damage your internal organs and even lead to life-threatening insulin shock if not properly treated and managed.
Since you could be living with diabetes and not know it, you should get a medical evaluation done as soon as possible if you are regularly experiencing any of the following:
- Excessive need to urinate
- Excessive thirst
- Constant hunger
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Recurring infections or sores that heal slowly
- Fatigue and excessive tiredness
- Very dry skin
- Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, and you notice a hardening of the skin around the joints of your fingers, or if you are struggling with using your hands, you need to visit your doctor right away to see if you have cheiroarthropathy.
Your physician will take into account your full medical profile and could diagnose cheiroarthropathy through a physical examination of your hands, fingers, and joints, along with simple physical tests to measure your range of movement and other factors.
Dealing with Cheiroarthropathy
Like the diabetes that caused it, cheiroarthropathy is manageable but chronic. You will most likely suffer from the condition for the rest of your life, and you can’t reverse the damage done to your joints once it’s started. You can, however, manage the condition and do things to slow its progress.
- Keep blood levels under control – If you have had diabetes for a while, you already manage your blood sugar through diet and insulin. Maintaining proper blood sugar levels helps prevent cheiroarthropathy from developing. If you have already developed cheiroarthropathy, you should be extra vigilant about your blood sugar levels as it can help slow the progression of the disorder.
- Medication – The thickening of the skin around your joints can cause pain and discomfort when you use your hands. You can use over-the-counter pain medications or have your doctor prescribe one for you. You can also use antiinflammation medications, and your doctor can advise you of the best remedies for your situation.
- Exercises – As your condition progresses, you will find it harder to pull your fingers in to grasp objects or flatten them out straight so that your palms can touch. Keeping your hands active can help slow the progression of the disorder, and you can use a “stress ball” or some other squishy object to squeeze for a few minutes several times a day. You can also do simple and gentle stretching exercises to help relieve the tension in your joints and expand your range of movement.
The Cost of Your Cheiroarthropathy
In 2017, the costs associated with diagnosed diabetes cases were more than $245 billion in the United States, and analysts predicted the costs to be more than $327 for 2017. Over the previous five-year period, diabetes-related costs rose by 26 percent.
Since well over half of all diabetes patients will develop cheiroarthropathy, the majority of those costs were most likely related to cheiroarthropathy.
If you suffer from cheiroarthropathy, you know all too well the costs associated with the disorder. You have had to pay to meet your insurance deductibles, and even with insurance, you still have many out-of-pocket expenses.
What’s worse, your cheiroarthropathy might have progressed to the point where you can no longer grasp objects or move your fingers and hands very well. It has likely affected your ability to do your job, and you might worry about how you will be able to support yourself and your family going forward.
We Can Help
The long term disability attorneys at Abell and Capitan Law have decades of collective experience handling long term disability claims for sufferers of cheiroarthropathy and other diabetic-related disorders. With law offices in Philadelphia, Chadds Ford, and Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, and one in Louisville, Kentucky, our team offers convenient access to clients throughout our region, and we serve clients nationwide who need long term disability insurance for their debilitating conditions.
Contact us today at (267) 419-7888 to request a free consultation.