Hand pain occurs for several reasons. You can get it from an injury or any existing inflammatory conditions. Symptoms are treated depending on what causes them.
To help you determine how to treat your hand and wrist pain, we have listed five common causes:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
One of the most common reasons for hand pain is carpal tunnel syndrome. It is a nerve disorder that causes pain in the forearm, wrist, palm, and some fingers. It usually worsens at night.
Carpal tunnel syndrome also causes tingling, numbness, and weakness in the hands. You can feel it in your index finger, thumb, and middle finger, which makes it harder for you to grip things.
The carpal tunnel is made up of bones and connective tissues located at the base of the hand. The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel. The narrow space where the median nerve passes is where it is pinched by the irritated or inflamed tendons.
Treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Analgesic painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines
- Steroid shots
- Physical therapy
- Wrist splints
- Resting your hands and wrists
De Quervain’s Tendinitis
De Quervain’s tendinitis causes pain in the thumb side of your wrist. The pain can start suddenly or may develop gradually. Pain can also travel from the thumb to the wrist and into the forearm.
This pain is due to inflammation or irritation of the wrist tendons found at the base of your thumb. Repetitive activities are responsible for de Quervain’s tendinitis. This hand disorder usually causes pain when making a fist, grasping objects, or turning your wrist.
Hand pain treatments include:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines
- Cortisone shots
- Splint to help rest the thumb and wrist
- Surgery for severe pain
A break in the bone can also cause hand pain. You can experience swelling, loss of movement, and stiffness. If you had an accident and got a fracture, you will not be able to move your fingers properly.
Some of the types of fractures include:
- Compound – this is a broken bone that breaks through the skin
- Comminuted – these are broken bones in more than one area
- Simple – this is a broken bone that is stable and aligned
- Complex – this is a fracture that may cause a shift or displacement of bones
Treatments will vary depending on the type of fracture. Usually, splints or casts are used for simple breaks. As for complicated fractures, you may need plates, pins, and wires. For extreme cases, surgery may be needed.
Arthritis is the primary source of hand pain. This is caused by joints losing the cartilage, allowing them to move against each other. When cartilages deteriorate, swelling may occur, and it can be really painful.
Arthritis can develop in the following:
- Middle joint of fingers
- End joint closest to the fingertip
- Base of the thumb
One of the most common forms of arthritis is osteoarthritis. This is a progressive degeneration of the cartilage. It usually happens because of aging or an injury, which causes swelling, pain, and stiffness.
- Physical therapy
- Splints for wrist and fingers
- Analgesic painkillers or anti-inflammatory medicines
Trigger finger is also called stenosing tenosynovitis. This causes your fingers or thumb to lock in a bent position. This can be really painful, especially when you try to straighten or bend the affected finger.
This disorder develops when the flexor tendons become irritated. When this happens, this can make them thicker within the tendon sheath surrounding the flexor tendons.
Another thing is that nodules may also form on the tendons. These can prevent the movement of your tendons, which causes them to become stuck. You may also have a catching sensation when a thumb or finger locks in place then a pop when your tendon is released.
The causes of trigger finger are still unknown, but you’ll likely have it when you have gout, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Resting, wearing a splint, or taking over-the-counter pain medications can help ease the pain. Steroid shots can also relieve the symptoms. In other cases, surgery may be the best treatment.
Hand pain is something that you shouldn’t take lightly, especially if it is recurring and stops you from doing your normal activities every day. It is best to know what’s causing it so your doctor can recommend the best treatment for your condition and your pain.
At North Florida Hand and Wrist, we have Dr. Richard D Curtis and Dr. Jose Baez who are both expertly trained hand and wrist surgeons. They are fully committed to providing patients with the best hand care, such as carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. Reach to us today so we can help you treat your hand pain the best way possible.