What is Hand Pain?
Hand Pain refers to a feeling of discomfort from your wrist to your fingertips. People experience pain in a variety of different ways.
The Pain may feel sharp, dull, numb, tingly, burning, throbbing, or some other sensation. In addition, the reason for the Hand Pain can vary widely.
Symptoms of Hand Pain
Any discomfort in your hand counts as Hand Pain.
Sometimes the pain is localized to just one part of your hand, while in other cases the pain may radiate or move to other locations in your hand or even further up the arm.
Common Causes of Hand Pain
There are numerous causes of Hand Pain. Here are some of the most common including Overuse, Osteoarthritis, Fractured Bones, and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Any repetitive action from a non-ergonomically correct position that entails repetitive movements of the hand, wrist, fingers, and thumb can lead to strain, pain, and tearing in extreme cases.
For example, musicians playing any instrument in the band and orchestra can suffer from a variety of different tendinitities of the hand, wrist and forearm.
The underlying reason for Osteoarthritis of the Fingers is little-understood but is likely due to a genetic predisposition that leads to wearing out of the finger joints after years of use. With Osteoarthritis the smooth cartilage that normally covers the ends of the bones in a joint wears away leaving a roughened joint surface that causes pain and swelling.
Hand fractures include fractures or breaks of the phalanges of the fingers and metacarpals, the bones between the fingers, thumb and wrist.
Wrist fractures often occur after a Fall On an Outstretched Hand (aka: FOOSH) while walking, running or playing sports.
A Finger Fracture refers to a break in one of the phalanges, the small bones that comprise the fingers and thumb. The broken bone may move out of place due to the force of the injury, or the bone may just have a crack in it and stay in place.
Metacarpal Fractures refer to a break in one of the long bones of the hand called metacarpals. The metacarpals are the five bones located between your wrist bones and your fingers.
Despite popular belief, repetitive motions like typing do not cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome according to reliable research studies on this topic. Developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is largely due to a genetic predisposition. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the median nerve gets compressed at the wrist. The Median Nerve is one of the three major nerves of the arm and hand which supplies sensation to the thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of the ring finger.
Other causes of hand pain can also include:
Diagnosing Hand Pain
Speaking with you to carefully understand what your Hand Pain feels like, where it is felt, and what exacerbates it, is essential.
A thorough physical exam is also required to accurately make the diagnosis of the underlying cause of the Hand Pain.
X-rays are obtained to evaluate the bones and joints for potential roles in causing Hand Pain. Sometimes an MRI is helpful to visualize ligaments and tendons.
Treatment Options for Hand Pain
Due to the myriad causes of Hand Pain, treatment is highly specified to the offending condition.
Oftentimes, non-traumatic causes of Hand Pain can be managed conservatively with rest, anti-inflammatory medication, temporary splinting, occupational therapy, and corticosteroid injection.
Minimally invasive surgery may be of benefit for refractory cases and trauma.
Hand Pain can present in many ways and be caused by many things. Call Dr.Pruzansky at 212-249-8700 to schedule an appointment, obtain an accurate diagnosis, and start to restore comfort to your hand.