Hand Pain

Hands are made up of various complex structures (involves bones, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and skin) which allow your body to perform a complex variety of activities. Hands help us to perform both delicate as well as aggressive lifting. There is an array of complex conditions which could result in hand pain. There could be a number of reasons why your arm hurts. Evaluation of hand pain requires a careful history of the problem, an examination by an individual with knowledge of the complex function of the hand, and possibly studies that can image or test the function of the hand. Arm pain is usually described as pain, stiffness or discomfort that occurs anywhere from ones shoulders down to their fingers of both the arms, caused by an injury or overuse. Some of these more common causes of hand pain, and the treatment have been discussed further.

CAUSES

As above, hand pain could be caused by various factors, but the vast majority of the people share common specific problems. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Arthritis: Hand arthritis is not abnormal, but some people are affected at an earlier age, whilesome have more severe symptoms. Most people with hand arthritis could use nonsurgical treatments to find relief.
  • Tendinitis/Trigger Finger: Tendon problems are one of the most common causes of hand pain. Tendonitis is a condition where the swelling occurs within or around a tendon. The movement of hands and fingers can be affected, causing pain and swelling at the site of the inflammation.
  • Ligament Injury: Ligament injuries of the hands can occur as a result of trauma to the hand or fingers. Injuries to this network of ligaments can cause problems with simple activities such as bending, gripping, or pinching. Ligament injuries of the hand can take months for healing, and it is not uncommon for people to notice swelling and stiffness for a long time after a hand ligament problem.
  • Nerve Irritation: Several major nerves provide sensation to the hand, and injury or compression of these nerves will often lead to symptoms of hand pain.The most common condition is carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs when there is irritation or damage to the median nerve in the wrist. People with carpal tunnel syndrome will often complain of pain and numbness in specific parts of the hand.
  • Fractures: Broken bones in the hand are an obvious source of hand pain. Many breaks will heal with simple, nonsurgical treatment. However, any break should be carefully evaluated, as hand function is critical to many activities, and it is important to ensure that your treatment is appropriate. Most hand fractures will show up on a regular X-ray of the hand.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Most hand conditions will respond to a few simple treatments. By avoiding the activity, symptoms of inflammation can subside, and discomfort will often resolve with rest, time, and no further treatment. In situations where the pain is more significant and rest does not adequately control symptoms, a simple splint or brace will allow the hand to rest and the inflammation to subside.Ice is a useful tool to control inflammation and alleviate pain. By applying ice to an area of inflammation, you can reduce swelling while also controlling pain. Heat application often works well too. Many people with recurrent hand problems find the heat soothes and loosens up their hand. Hand therapists are therapy experts of the hand. Often trained in occupational therapy, these specialists have many different modalities that can be applied to a variety of hand.