Most hand pain symptoms and treatment techniques are those that target dealing with arthritis in the hand. It is common to find people with arthritis experiencing pain in their wrists or hand, and this can turn out to be extremely debilitating.
Our hands are used in handling most of the daily activities that range from dressing and washing to threading a needle or typing. When arthritis affects the digits and the joints in your hand, carrying out your day to day activities can be a nightmare.
The most common symptoms of hand pain include stabbing cramps or pain in your wrist or hand, stabbing pain around your shoulders and neck and elbow pains that shoot down your forearm. When you experience any of these kinds of hand pain, you might easily brush it off and think your body is fatigued.
However, in most cases, these symptoms may not fade as time progresses. Any form of medication that you take will be a temporary solution to the problem or could even aggravate it. This article will effectively guide you in understanding the different forms of hand pains, their symptoms and treatment.
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Causes of Hand Pains, Symptoms and Treatment
There are a number of causes of the hand pain condition. One of the main causes is osteoarthritis. The wrist and hand comprise of several small bones and joints that interact with one another to enhance the required motion.
There is a layer of cartilage that protects the joints. The cartilage layer acts as a shock absorber and offers a smooth surface for easy gliding away of the bones and joints.
However, with time, the cartilage can get worn out or damaged because of an injury or disease. As you age, your cartilage becomes unable to repair itself, and finally, the joint’s smooth and pain free motion gets lost.
As your bones start rubbing against the rough parts of the damaged or worn out cartilage and finally against one another, they can end up losing their normal shape and hence become disfigured.
The body naturally produces the synovial fluid that aid in joint lubrication. However, when cartilage becomes damaged, the body will typically produce more of the synovial fluid in a bid to cushion the joint which sometimes doesn’t really solve the situation. This may result to swelling of the joints and hampering motion together with creating hand pain condition an individual cannot bare.
An injury to the wrist or hand such as fractures or dislocation may make your joints more prone to arthritis, particularly if there is damage on the joint surface. Hand pain or hand arthritis may also arise because of a certain disease like rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune malady that affects the entire body. Therefore, it is possible for other joints, including hand joints, to get the effect. Other symptoms may also be encountered including fever, general stiffness and fatigue.
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Hand Pain Symptoms
There are different forms of hand pain symptoms as highlighted below:
- General pain in the hand joints: You will feel a general pain or a burning sensation around the affected region. This often occurs after repeated use including prolonged typing or heavy lifting. One of the first things you will experience in the morning is stiffness of the affected part. The severity of the symptoms will intensify with the progression of the disease. You may feel joint sensations on a regular basis, not just when you are using your hands.
- Swelling: The affected region around the joints may swell. This will make them seem larger. The region may also appear red and be feel warm when you touch. The use and motion of the joints may be possibly affected which may make it difficult for you to perform daily duties.
- Crepitus: This refers to the clicking or grating sensation that emanate from the damaged surfaces of the cartilage that rub against one another. In case the end finger joints get affected, there might be development of small cysts.
- In case the hand pain is cased by rheumatoid arthritis, there will be development of subcutaneous nodules under the skin which may be accompanied by deformity and joint damage.
Hand Pains Treatment
The hand pain resulting from osteoarthritis can easily be diagnosed using bone scans or X-ray in case the disease is in its earlier stages. Blood tests can be used to detect rheumatoid arthritis.
There are various forms of treatment that can aid in relieving hand pain. They can be categorized into surgical and non-surgical types. The non-surgical forms of treatment help to relieve inflammation and hand pain besides preventing the joints from deteriorating further. The most likely prescription is that of anti-inflammatory medication. Other non-surgical options are explained below.
- Cortisone injections can also be applied, which have a very long lasting anesthetic that reduces hand pain. Even though these injections can aid in the relief of hand pain for a number of weeks, their use should not be frequent because their use may lead to side effects like infection and the weakness of tendon and ligament.
- Use of heat and ice packs. There are those patients who use heat and ice packs on the affected parts to relieve hand pain. They do this by gently massaging or exercising the fingers and joints for the sake of enhancing joint mobility.
- The other option is the use of a splint. You may also apply a splint to the affected joints to help support the region in times of use.You should only wear the splint in times of stress application to the affected part or when experiencing pain. This is because muscle wasting can arise from a prolonged use.
The surgical form of treatment can be applied in case the the hand pain is not relieved by use of the non-surgical treatment. There are various options for the surgical methods such as joint reconstruction, joint fusions and joint replacement. You should consult your doctor who will be able to guide you on the best option that can suit your condition depending on the progression of the hand pain, your lifestyle and age.
Although, curing of hand pain or hand arthritis is still a major challenge, the variety of available treatments can help to relieve the hand pain symptoms hence enabling you to keep on experiencing a fulfilled and active life just like any other healthy humans.
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