Everyone has experienced a painful hand (or hands) at one point or another. Given that aside from bones, our hands are composed of connective tissues, joints, nerves, and tendons, there are various causes and types of hand pain.
Pain in one’s hand can stem from a myriad of reasons:
- Damaged Nerves
- Repetitive Motion Injuries
- Several Chronic Health Conditions
A number of home remedies are usually set in motion for hand pain. Cold compress, hot compress, taking a turmeric supplement or mixing it into a smoothie, and even changing one’s diet are typical options. However, they cannot fully cure any conditions or ensure that the pain will not return later. This is where seeing a specialist becomes necessary, especially for the conditions mentioned below.
One of the most common causes of hand pain is arthritis, a condition when one or more joints swell and develop tenderness. Aside from pain, stiffness is also a symptom. Treatment for arthritis in hands usually differs depending on the severity and the patient’s age.
There’s also a need for distinction between joint symptoms via osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease wherein the body’s immune system attacks joints. A more complex form of arthritis also exists: gout, which gives off abrupt, severe pain in joints.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you are experiencing frequent burning, itching, tingling and numbness in the palm of your hand, you might have carpal tunnel syndrome. This is usually coupled with pain around the index and middle fingers, as well as the thumb. It occurs when your median nerve, which runs from your forearm to your palm, is squeezed by a narrowing carpal tunnel—the narrow passageway of bone and ligament at the base of your hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment can range from simply avoiding uncomfortable activities and exercising to getting injections and having surgery.
This autoimmune disease generally finds the body’s immune system mistaking healthy cells for unhealthy ones, attacking them and thus damaging otherwise healthy tissues. Joint pain and stiffness is one of the earliest symptoms of this. Lupus flare-ups essentially mean the whole body is inflamed, causing a thin lining around joints to suddenly thicken.
Despite the complex structure it’s made of, hands are actually quite vulnerable. As such, hand injuries are actually extremely common. Construction, falls, and sports are usual environments that put hands in danger of harm. If not treated properly, the simplest fracture amidst the 27 small bones in each hand can permanently change the dexterity and overall structure of your hand. This is on top of muscles that can be sprained.
Medically known as stenosing tenosynovitis, this locks fingers or even the thumb in a bent position. It can bring much pain, especially if attempts to bend or straighten the affected digits occur.
If there is a gradually worsening pain in your hands, then you must immediately find the cause. Needless to say, a traumatic injury warrants an immediate emergency trip to a critical care center. Whichever way you go about it, seeking professional medical advice is always best.
Feeling the need to see an orthopedic hand specialist? North Florida Hand and Wrist is led by Dr. Jose Baez and Dr. Richard Curtis, expertly trained hand and wrist surgeons. We can provide the best care possible to ease any pain and discomfort in your hands and wrists. Reach out to us today.