The anatomy of our hands is complex. The hand has 27 bones, muscles, joints, and ligaments. Due to the fragility of the hand, they are extremely prone to injury. Hand pain can also be caused by disease or injury affecting any of the structures in the hand.
Any problem causing pain, swelling, discoloration, numbness or a tingling sensation, or abnormal shape of the hand or wrist that persists for more than two or three days should be evaluated by your doctor to establish the cause and obtain the best treatment as early as possible. The early the problem is dealt with, the better the outcome or diagnosis will be, and the more treatable it will be. Conditions that affect the hand and wrist include:
Sprains and Strains:
Sprains and Strains are common with the hand and fingers. A strain involves the soft tissues of the hand, wrist or fingers. A sprain involves injury to your ligaments (bands of tissue that connect the bones together).
The common cause of a hand fracture is falling and landing on your arm or hand. Fractures are usually treated by splinting or putting on a cast, to allow the fracture to be supported and heal properly.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
CTS is a condition in the hand and wrist which causes numbness and tingling. The carpal tunnel is the part of the wrist. Permanent damage can occur if not treated properly.
Arthritis: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid:
There are two major types of arthritis that can affect the hands. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, which gets worse with age and is caused by wear and tear. This type of arthritis affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint. Osteoarthritis makes movement more difficult than usual, leading to pain and stiffness. Once the cartilage lining starts to roughen and thin out, the tendons and ligaments must compensate and work harder.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system targets affected joints, which leads to pain and swelling. The outer covering of the joint called the synovium is the first place that becomes affected. This can then spread across the joint, leading to further swelling and a change in the joint’s shape, and may cause the bone and cartilage to break down.
Trigger finger is caused when the fingers bend, but lock and become stiff, causing severe pain.
If you’re living with hand pain, it may be time to take a closer look at your symptoms and explore treatment options. Call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050 to request an appointment.