Wrist & Hand Pain
Imagine trying to function even one hour without the use of your hands! Your hands and wrists are some of the most intricate structures in the human body. There are 27 bones in the hand and wrist and a network of muscles, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels packed into a relatively small space. Your hands and wrists are quite complex and very vulnerable to injury.
Common Hand and Wrist Problems
Hand and wrist problems can be caused by traumatic injuries like fractures and sprains or the result of disease, repetitive motions, or even hereditary. Other typical causes of hand and wrist issues include:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Typical symptoms are numbness and tingling in the hands, especially at night; decreased feeling in the fingers; pain and clumsiness when holding objects. Mild cases can be treated with a splint or brace to rest the wrist. Oral or injected medication can also help shrink the swollen tissues that are pressing on the nerve. In more severe cases, surgery is needed to relieve the pressure.
- Wear and Tear Arthritis - Arthritis can cause pain and deformities in the hand, commonly at the base of the thumb and at the last joint of the fingers. Treatments include anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections, splinting, and sometimes surgery.
- Dupuytren’s Contracture – This condition is a hereditary thickening of the tough tissue (called fascia) just under the skin of your palm. The condition may form small painful lumps or thick bands that pull the finger into the palm. Steroid injections can help with painful nodules but bands contracting the fingers need to be surgically removed.
Keeping Your Hands and Wrists Healthy
Overuse is the most avoidable cause of hand and wrist problems. Take breaks for a few minutes each hour from any activity you do often, whether it’s a job at a computer keyboard or an assembly line or a hobby like tennis or sewing. Use any protective equipment available and follow proper techniques, and exercise to build strength and increase your range of motion. Watch the position and alignment of your body, especially when carrying heavy objects.