Our hands and wrists are often an afterthought when it comes to self-care. Many people are not proactive in protecting their extremities from damage despite the fact that they are vital to a number of daily activities. Fine motor functions wouldn’t be possible without our hand-eye coordination; thus, pain in the area can easily affect your overall quality of life. Read on to discover some common culprits of hand and wrist pain and how to manage them.

Arthritis: osteoarthritis is when cartilage (cushions for your bones) deteriorates over time. It is typically uncommon in the wrist, though it may occur in those who have suffered injuries in the past. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the tissues. The wrists are commonly susceptible and both are usually involved. Basal (thumb) arthritis is recognized by pain at the thumb base and can be treated with splints, injections, and reconstructive surgery.

Tendonitis: an inflammation of the tendons, which connects muscle to bone. It is caused by repetitive use or sudden injury. Symptoms consist of pain in the tendon area, swelling, and loss of motion. Treatments include ice, rest, immobilization, and anti-inflammatory medications. Steroid injections are also sometimes recommended.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: affecting almost eight million people in America, this syndrome is marked by a numbness and tingling in the hand/arm, which is caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. Symptoms include hand numbness, pin-and-needles sensation, wrist pain, and cramping. Splints are recommended in order to give the wrists a break, but anti-inflammatory drugs or surgery can be treatments as well.

Trigger finger: recognized when the tendons in the fingers or thumb become stuck in a bent position. Pain, popping sensation when using specific fingers, and stiffness are common symptoms. Treatment consists of immobilization, anti-inflammatory medication, restricting activities, and steroid injections.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: numb or tingling sensations in the ring and small fingers, forearm, and/or weakness in the hand are signs of this syndrome. Avoiding actions that cause the syndrome can help reduce symptoms. Wrapping a pillow or towel loosely around the elbow can help, as can wearing a splint at night while sleeping. Surgery is sometimes recommended in severe cases.

Ganglion Cyst: commonly found on the underside of wrists. Usually benign, they can quickly grow and change in size. Bigger cysts can be painful or limit wrist movement. Repetitive movements can cause the cysts to grow, while rest can help them subside. In severe cases, immobilization or non-surgical draining of the fluid is recommended. If the cyst returns, minor surgery for a full removal is sometimes required.

Repetitive Strain Injury: muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments are affected, caused by improper technique or overuse of the fingers, hands, and wrists. More than three million cases per year are reported in America. Anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy are most commonly prescribed.

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis: marked pain on the thumb side of your wrist, swelling near the base of the thumb, inability to make a fist, strenuous to grasp objects, or difficulty moving the thumb. Treated with over-the-counter medications or steroids to reduce swelling, the exact cause hasn’t been proven.

For proper diagnosis of any of the above syndromes or diseases, contact the specialists at Michigan Hand & Wrist today. We not only diagnose, but we can also help you manage your symptoms and live pain-free.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

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