We use our hands and wrists practically every moment of every day, so when you experience pain in these areas, it can really interfere with your routines. From texting and typing to picking up groceries and getting dressed for the day, our hands and wrists are vital to our regular activities. That’s why you want to seek out the expert care of an orthopedic hand specialist to treat this complex and very important part of the body. There is a wide range of reasons why you might be experiencing hand and wrist pain, including acute injuries, overuse injuries, and painful hand and wrist disorders. Learn more about what might be causing your hand pain and what treatment options are available to you.
Common Diagnoses of Hand and Wrist Pain
Orthopedic hand specialists can diagnose a hand injury that is causing you pain, and we provide targeted, individualized treatment so you can experience lasting pain relief. Here are four common diagnoses of hand and wrist pain and their main symptoms:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is an overuse injury that can cause pain in the hand and wrist. This is a common condition that can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in your hand. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway that helps to protect the median nerve through the wrist and into the hand but can become compressed by inflammation. Repetitive movements can cause the tissues in the hand to become inflamed and put pressure on the median nerve. People with carpal tunnel syndrome may experience tingling and numbness in all fingers except the little finger, or pinkie, which is controlled by a separate nerve.
Tendonitis refers to inflammation of tendons that can cause pain, swelling, and discomfort. Tendonitis often occurs in different tendons that support the wrist and its specific movements. Tendons help the wrist bend forward, backward, rotate, and assist with finger movements. Typically, people with wrist tendonitis have pain and discomfort from repeatedly bending their wrist backward or forward.
Trigger finger refers to a painful condition that primarily affects the thumb and ring finger. This condition is caused by inflammation of the tendons that connect to the finger bones. You may experience pain, stiffness, and a sensation that your finger is locked in place. Restricted movement of the thumb or ring finger can keep the fingers in a bent position and make straightening the fingers painful.
Ligaments connect bones to one another and help provide stability and balance in the wrist joint. If you injure one or more ligaments that support the wrist, then you may experience hand pain, swelling, bruising, and even discoloration. If a ligament near the wrist is torn, it can affect the alignment of the wrist joint.
Treatment Options for a Hand Injury
The treatment for your wrist or hand injury will depend on your specific diagnosis. Treatment options range from non-invasive to surgical, depending on the type and severity of the injury or condition. For mild cases, at-home remedies like rest and icing the area can help reduce pain and swelling in the hand and wrist. Your doctor may also recommend wearing a brace to help stabilize the wrist and provide more support during certain movements necessary for your job or part of an activity you regularly enjoy. You can do many things in your home and workplace environment to provide better support for your hands and wrists, like using ergonomic equipment that helps keep your hand in a more natural position. You can also try simple hand stretches to keep your muscles and tendons flexible and loose.
For moderate to severe cases of hand and wrist pain, an orthopedic hand specialist may recommend other treatment options. Many minimally invasive options can help relieve your hand and wrist pain, like splinting or bracing the affected hand and wrist for a specific amount of time. Steroid injections may also be recommended to help manage pain and reduce chronic inflammation in the area. Physical therapy can help you learn exercises to facilitate improved mobility in the area.
Don’t let hand and wrist pain keep you from the activities you enjoy! Visit us at AICA Orthopedics to learn more about how our comprehensive team of orthopedic doctors and specialists can help you.