It can be discouraging to find out that your hand, a treasured companion on which you rely nonstop, ceases to support you in your daily activities.
Wrist or hand pain, regardless of whether it shows up alone or together, is a rightful concern for many people. It can be a sign of an injury, for example, a tiny fracture, or a symptom of an acute condition or a long-standing illness.
Although unpleasant, hand and wrist pain treatment is available for almost all occurrences. Therefore, before you understand what can be the cause of this unexplained pain, don’t lose your spirit – inform yourself.
Most Common Causes for Hand and Wrist Pain
The hand is a complex network of tendons, ligaments, bones, nerves, and connective tissue. Your hand pain and discomfort can be an indicator of multiple conditions. Some of them, like diabetic neuropathy, are a culprit in disguise. However, most people suffer from one predominant issue that can sometimes spread to other parts of the body, but is, nevertheless, treatable with appropriate physiotherapy care.
The list of the typical wrist and pain causes includes several types of injuries, recurring conditions and illnesses, and nerve irritation issues.
A broken bone can be painful. Since there are 27 bones in our hands, such injuries are common but rarely serious. Your doctor will establish the problem by doing an X-ray exam and hand inspection, and assign exercises you must do in order to restore the hand’s normal function once the injury is healed.
Wrist sprain and strain
A wrist sprain is a typical ligament injury for athletes but it can also happen during regular daily activities when falling on an outstretched arm. The trauma of the fall causes strained, partially torn, or fully torn ligaments, which are the real cause of the pain.
You may also feel swelling, bruising, tenderness to touch and a snapping sensation in your wrist as you move it.
Many hand ligament injuries can cause difficulties with pinching, gripping or bending the palm and can be long-lasting, requiring long-term wrist pain treatment.
In all its shapes and forms, arthritis affects over 40 million people all over the world. If you are feeling swelling, stiffness and pain in your wrists, usually in both hands, you may have one of the many types of arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis. A degenerative disease which occurs with age as the cartilage that protects the end of your bones wears down and deteriorates over time.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. A chronic inflammatory disease that affects not only hands and wrists with swelling and strong pain, but can also cause other autoimmune responses such as bone erosion, joint deformities, and even organ deformation.
- Psoriatic arthritis. A common accompanying symptom of psoriasis, an illness that causes red skin patches/skin lesions.
- Infective arthritis. Also known as septic arthritis, this condition is caused by viral, bacterial or fungal infection spread from another part of the body and it requires urgent medical treatment due to the high fever it can cause.
Trigger finger is a special type of tendonitis (inflamed tendon), which causes pain and inflammation of the usually smooth finger movement. When moving it back and forth, the finger gets stuck and causes a popping sensation called trigger finger.
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis (Tendonitis)
De Quervain’s tendonitis affects the thumb and the wrist when the tendons at the base of the thumb become inflamed and painful, causing a snapping feeling, and sometimes, cyst-like growths around the thumb filled with fluid.
Gout and Pseudo-gout
Gout occurs when your body produces too much uric acid. Due to your body’s inability to eliminate it through the urine, it forms join crystals that cause the pain. Instead of uric crystals, pseudogout occurs when there are calcium deposits in the joints, typically in the wrists and the knees.
The nerves on the hand can get compressed, pinched, injured and irritated, causing continuous pain.
A very common nerve irritation problem is the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which causes aching, numbness, and tingling in the hands, both in the palm and the fingers, and can spread all the way to the elbows. The cause of the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is swelling of the median nerve that goes through the wrist and is in charge of moving the hand.
When to Talk to a Doctor for Hand and Wrist pain Treatment
Many hand and wrist pain issues resolve by themselves. However, you shouldn’t leave them to chance especially if you feel one of the following symptoms:
- Swollen joints, with fever and chills
- Hand deformities after an injury
- Difficulties with bending, gripping or making a fist
- Numbness that wouldn’t go away
- Continuous pain that doesn’t improve with over-the-counter medication
Visit Pro-Fit Physio and Allied Health Centre to talk to our physiotherapists to decide for the best path forward for starting a hand and wrist pain treatment and get rid of the debilitating pain.