Pain in the Hand: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Options

Did you know that there are 27 bones in the human hand? It’s quite a sophisticated structure, containing three distinct types of bones plus muscles, tendons and ligaments along with blood vessels and nerves. Our hands can do so many things, but we often take them for granted — until pain interferes with their normal use. Hand pain comes from many different conditions, so learning about them can help you better understand the kind hand therapy Fort Collins, CO that yours needs.

Common Injuries in Hand and Conditions

The fingers and thumb of each hand contain 14 joints total, plus there are three joints that operate your wrist. With so many delicate components inside your hand, it’s not surprising that problems may develop. There are at least a dozen unique conditions that can cause hand pain, but five of them are responsible for most cases:

  • Arthritis
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Gout
  • Lupus
  • Trigger finger

Several inflammatory and autoimmune conditions can lead to hand pain. For instance, arthritis can occur from wear and tear or autoimmune problems that decrease amount of articular cartilage inside the joints. Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that results from excess uric acid buildup inside one’s joints. It usually causes intense burning pain in a single joint — a knuckle or part of the wrist, for example. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue, often resulting in joint inflammation and pain.

Repetitive motion is another common reason that people experience hand pain. Carpal tunnel syndrome may come from repeated consistent computer use or working with vibrating power tools. It results when the median nerve running from your forearm to your palm is compressed by inflammation or thickening tendons at the base of your hand. Trigger finger comes from repeated forceful gripping motion that can cause tendon sheaths to swell. When this happens, your finger or thumb may get stuck in a bent position.

Traumatic injuries are another major cause of hand pain. Fractures, sprains, strains and breaks are the among the most common. You may experience injuries on the job, while playing sports or from accidents inside and outside your home. Without treatment, these injuries may heal incorrectly or worsen over time.

Managing Symptoms

While managing your hand pain symptoms isn’t the only focus of treatment, it is an important goal. While working with a South Fort Collins physical therapy clinic, your therapist may recommend some steps to reduce or alleviate pain:

  • Avoiding tasks that involve repetitive motion
  • Wearing splints during the day or at night
  • Specific exercises for your hands and wrists
  • Painkillers, including oral and topical medications
  • Cold or heat therapy, such as ice packs or paraffin wax baths

Exploring Treatment Options

You shouldn’t have to live with untreated hand pain. Fortunately, there are many therapeutic options that can promote relief and healing. Besides lifestyle changes and pain management solutions, physical therapy is a core component of many treatment plans. Partnering with a physical therapy in Fort Collins, CO, is an important step in improving your quality of life. Alternatively, you can also check out Regenesis Orthopedics for treatment to manage your pain.

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