Posted on 01/17/2019
How Can I Reduce my Hand Pain?
How Can I Reduce my Hand Pain?
Our hands are extremely complex structures. Each comprises of an intricate combination of bones, ligaments, nerves, tendons, skin and other structures that enable it to bend, flex, twist, grip and more so that we can use our hands to perform a variety of activities. Unfortunately, the complexity of our hands combined with the fact that we use them in virtually every activity that we undertake means that there are many different things that can cause them to become painful.
There are many different ways in which hand pain can affect us. This could range from a dull ache or throbbing that comes and goes to acute pain that occurs when you move your hands in a certain way or into a particular position. The type of pain that you are experiencing could depend on the root cause of your discomfort. While there are many different potential causes of hand pain, there are some that are more common than others.
Common causes of hand pain
Some of the most common causes of hand pain include the following:
Arthritis: Arthritis is an extremely common inflammatory condition that affects the joints, causing stiffness and pain. It is more often seen in people over the age of 60 and the hand is the primary area of the body in which it is diagnosed.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or CTS occurs when the main nerve that links the body and the hand becomes compressed. This causes pain, changes in sensation such as numbness and tingling, and weakness that affects our ability to grip and use our hands normally.
Tendonitis: This condition is characterized by inflammation in or around one of the many tendons of the hand. Swelling can cause the tendon to become stuck as it tries to move back and forth, and when it releases patients often feel a snapping sensation. This is one of the reasons why it is often referred to as ‘trigger finger’.
Broken bones: There are lots of very little and fragile bones in our fingers – 27 to be precise! Hand injuries are common, often caused by fingers being bent the wrong way or crushed between something. Most hand fractures heal with basic splints and strapping, although if nerves are also badly damaged, further treatment may be needed.
Ganglion cysts: If you spot a lump under the skin of your finger, don’t panic. There is a good chance it is a ganglion cyst. These occur when fluid that is normally contained within a joint or tendon sheath accumulates into a small, hard pouch. These can be quite painful, but are fortunately fairly easy to treat.
How can I reduce my hand pain?
To successfully reduce the pain in your hand, you first need to try and determine what is causing it. If you aren’t able to tell, you will need the advice and support of your doctor or a hand specialist to obtain a diagnosis. Your doctor will then be able to recommend specific courses of action to alleviate your symptoms based on the cause of your pain. In the meantime, there are a few things that you can do to help yourself. These include:
Avoiding activities that cause pain: You probably know what movements you make or activities that you do that cause you to experience pain in your hands. If you can, these should be avoided while you are looking at different treatment options.
Take pain relief: In most instances, mild, over-the-counter pain relief medications should be effective in relieving your discomfort. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are particularly helpful for conditions which cause your hands or elements of your hand to swell.
Use heat/cold treatments: Hand warmers and ice packs can significantly help to reduce any swelling and inflammation in the hands, also relieving associated pain.
Consider supportive aids: Depending on where your pain is located, you may benefit from wearing an aid to support your affected hand. Compression gloves can help with pain caused by arthritis, while a hand or wrist brace or splint can enable you to rest the joints somewhat, reducing your discomfort and any weakness you are experiencing.
If you are experiencing hand pain that is not improving by itself, our expert specialist hand doctors would be happy to conduct an assessment of your condition to help you obtain a diagnosis. From here we can make a recommendation for the treatment that will best resolve your symptoms. To schedule your appointment, please contact our Oakland, CA office.
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