Ask Trevor CHT: Do X-rays show if you have arthritis?

blue X-ray image of two hands with arthritis

Jamie asks:

"Do X-rays show if you have arthritis in your hands?"

Certified Hand Therapist Trevor says:

"There's a chance that early stages of arthritis can be missed on x-ray, particularly if it's rheumatoid or another systemic autoimmune based arthritis which starts with inflammation of soft tissue. 

Osteoarthritis is biomechanical in nature and would probably show up on x-ray a little sooner."

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Trevor Petrie, Certified Hand Therapist

Trevor Petrie is a Certified Hand Therapist with a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Washington.

He has been helping people with hand and upper extremity pain and injuries since 2012.

Over the course of his career, he has treated hundreds of people with chronic pain stemming from a myriad of causes including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel, and tendinitis. No two people experience these issues the exact same way, so Trevor strives to find the best evidence-based approach that works for each person’s individual needs in order to get back to living their best lives.