Your hands are complex structures you rely heavily upon to perform everyday tasks. Hand pain can result from a number of physical conditions, as well as injuries such as sprains or fractures. Falling on an outstretched hand is a particularly common cause of hand injuries.
Shenandoah Valley Orthopedics & Sports Medicine shares some of the most common causes of hand pain and ways to find relief from your pain.
What are the Most Common Hand Pain Causes?
Your hand and wrist contain an intricate arrangement of joints, cartilage and bones that work together to perform complex movements. However, when an injury occurs and your joints, cartilage and bones stop working properly, simple tasks can become difficult. Some common causes of hand pain include:
Your fingers work like a set of ropes and pulleys. Tendons, the ropes, slide through a series of tendon sheaths, the pulleys, at the joints. In trigger finger, the tendon develops a nodule or thickened area, which stops it from sliding freely through the tendon sheath. Your finger will “lock” at a certain point when you attempt to straighten it.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a narrow opening through the carpal bones, which make up your wrist and the base of your hand. This pathway is for the tendons that control your fingers and for the median nerve, which provides feeling and function to your thumb, index and middle fingers. In carpal tunnel syndrome, the opening becomes narrowed due to inflammation. The median nerve is compressed, causing numbness, tingling, and pain in your hand.
Hand and Finger Fractures
There are many ways to fracture your hand or finger, with one common cause being a fall onto an outstretched arm. Fractures may be obvious, as you may have swelling and pain at the site of the injury; or the bone may be visibly deformed. In more subtle cases, you may not realize that a fracture has occurred. Some fractures may cause pain at the base of the thumb.
Arthritis of the Hand
All joints are susceptible to arthritis, even the joints of your hand. In osteoarthritis, the smooth cartilage covering the ends of the bones of the joint wears away, eventually leaving bone rubbing against bone to cause pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition which causes pain and inflammation of the joints, often in the hands.
Ligaments are the thick, tough connective tissue attaching two bones together to form a joint. Your hand and wrist contain many ligaments, and any of them can sustain an injury. A sprain is an injury to a ligament.
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
This condition, similar to trigger finger, hinders the tendon at the base of the thumb in sliding through its tendon sheath. Unlike trigger finger, this condition only affects the thumb, and it is the tendon sheath that is inflamed rather than the tendon itself. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis can make wrist and hand motions involving the thumb painful and difficult to perform.
Ganglion cysts are small, fluid-filled lumps that form on the underside of your wrists or hands. Most often occurring along the tendons or at the joints, they are harmless. However, if they are large or are in the wrong position, they may put pressure on a nerve and cause hand pain.
Treatment for Common Causes of Hand Pain
Shenandoah Valley Orthopedics & Sports Medicine is home to a team of fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine physicians who are dedicated to treating hand injuries and conditions, both from general causes or those which are sports-related.
We offer a full range of treatments for hand pain and emphasize using nonsurgical methods whenever possible. However, in cases when surgery is necessary, our patients benefit from the latest, state-of-the-art procedures.
Some of the treatments for hand pain we offer include:
Endoscopic carpal tunnel release
Trigger finger release
While there are a multitude of hand pain causes, you don’t have to let hand pain interfere with your life. Please contact us at (540) 932-5850 or schedule online. Our team at Shenandoah Valley Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Fishersville, VA, will formulate a treatment plan to fit your specific injury or condition. We look forward to getting you back to your game!