Hand pain is characterized by distress in the joints and tissues of the hand or fingers. Hand pain can be depicted as pulsating, aching, increased warmth, prickling, irritation and inflexibility. The hand is composed of nerves, bones, blood vessels, muscles, tendons and skin.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common, painful, progressive condition that is caused by compression of the median nerve at the wrist area.
Dupuytren’s Contracture is a hand condition where thickening of the underlying fibrous tissues of the palm causes the fingers to bend inward. Patients with this condition are unable to fully straighten the affected fingers.
De Quervain’s Tendinosis
The muscles and bones of the hand are connected by thick flexible tissue called tendons. Tendons are covered by a thin soft sheath of tissue known as synovium. Extensor pollicis brevis and abductor pollicis longus are two tendons located on the thumb side of the wrist. Inflammation and swelling of the tendon sheaths put pressure on the adjacent nerves and leads to pain and numbness in the thumb side of the wrist.
Fractures of the Hand and Fingers
The hand is one of the most flexible and useful parts of our body. Because of overuse in various activities, the hands are more prone to injuries, such as sprains and strains, fractures and dislocations, lacerations and amputations while operating machinery, bracing against a fall and sports-related injuries.
Sports Injury Management of Hand, Wrist and Elbow
Sports injuries are the injuries that most commonly occur during sports and exercises. These injuries may result from accidents, poor training practices, and use of improper protective gear, lack of conditioning, and insufficient warm up and stretching. The sports injuries may be either acute (sprains, fractures, tears) or chronic (tendinitis, overuse injury) injuries.
The ability to bend the fingers is governed by supportive tendons that connect muscles to the bones of the fingers. The tendons run along the length of the bone and are kept in place at intervals by tunnels of ligaments called pulleys. When the fingers bend, or are straightened, a slippery coating called tenosynovium helps the tendons smoothly glide through the ligaments with reduced friction.
Congenital Defects of the Hand and Wrist
The hand and wrist are formed during the 8th week of gestation. This process consists of various steps and failure in any one or more of these steps may cause congenital or birth defects. The deformities may be major (absence of a bone) or minor (disproportion of a finger).
The hand becomes infected more frequently as it is one of the most commonly injured parts of our body. Hand infections, if left untreated or treated improperly, can cause disabilities such as stiffness, contracture, weakness, and loss of tissues (skin, nerve and bone) that will persist even after the infection resolves. Therefore, prompt treatment of hand infections is important.
Arthritis of the Hand and Wrist
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joints. There are several types of arthritis and the most common type is osteoarthritis or wear-and-tear arthritis. Arthritis affects various joints in the body and the arthritis in the hand affects the joint at the base of the thumb. Arthritis may also affect the joints of other digits and the symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and malformation, all of which interfere with the use of the hand.
Any abnormal lump or bump on the hand is considered a hand tumor. Hand tumors can occur on the skin as a mole or a wart, underneath the skin soft tissue or on the bone. Most hand tumors are benign (non-cancerous); however, they can also rarely be malignant (cancerous).