As much as we hate to admit it, we spend too much time using our phones or sitting in front of the computer. When you think about it, things that interest us can be mainly found on the internet nowadays, such as watching movies, TV shows, and playing video games. The coronavirus pandemic only made this necessary with remote working and classes.
By spending too much time on your phone or in front of a computer, you will be doing a lot of typing, texting, scrolling, and swiping. While they may be a somewhat regular thing to do, you’re subjecting your hands and wrists to stress.
Over time, the stress can cause pain and reduced mobility in some cases. For this reason, it’s essential to understand these hand and wrist injuries. This article will shed some light on them, so read below to learn more.
A trigger finger is when one of the digits in the hand becomes locked while bending or straightening. When it happens, it typically has a clicking or popping sound. Among the fingers, the ring and thumb fingers are usually affected by a trigger finger.
The tendons of our fingers are held closely to the bones by tissues collectively known as “pulleys.” When a finger is bent, the tendon must pass through these pulleys. If a pulley is inflamed, then the tendon will have a hard time getting through, which also causes the tendon to be inflamed, thus creating a small lump. This small lump is what causes the trigger finger.
Diagnosis for trigger finger is typically straightforward since the motion associated with it is pretty easy to spot. The doctor may also check on the small lump on the tendon and the finger’s inflammation.
Trigger finger treatments include splinting, stretches, and medication. If those don’t work, then doctors may recommend steroid injections to reduce inflammation and the lump. Surgery to cut the affected pulley is also an option because it allows for smoother movement.
Carpal and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal and cubital tunnel syndromes are injuries that affect the nerves in your hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome refers to pressure on the median nerve connected to the thumb, index, and middle fingers. On the other hand, cubital tunnel syndrome affects the ring and pinky fingers and is caused by stretching or pressure to the arm’s ulnar nerve.
The diagnosis uses electrical conduction tests for carpal tunnel, which examine a nerve’s ability to transmit an electric signal. For the cubital tunnel, the transmission is impaired. There are treatment options, the easiest of which involve rest and splinting.
For worse cases, surgery is required to remove structures that are placing pressure on the nerve. Other times, the nerve is moved to a different location.
The good thing is that there are ways to prevent hand and wrist injuries from happening in the first place. Some of these include:
- Use headphones for long calls instead of your hands to reduce pressure on the ulnar nerve and the risk of cubital tunnel syndrome.
- Use voice-to-text communication to use the time for talking instead of texting or typing.
- Stretch your wrists now and then.
- Use braces whenever you feel hand or wrist pain.
- Lessen the time you use your phone or computer. It can be challenging, but it will benefit you in the long run.
We take our hands for granted, not knowing the risks that we subject them to every day. Because of this, we should actively take safety precautions when it comes to taking care of them. If we don’t, our quality of life will be affected badly.
At North Florida Hand and Wrist, we take extra-special care of our patients. We give them rehabilitation programs for many symptoms, including carpal tunnel syndrome treatment in Jacksonville, FL. Rest assured, your good hands are in our good hands. Contact us today for a consultation!