Your hands and wrists are composed of several intricate muscles, tendons and bones that work together to allow free movement. Hand and wrist pain is a common issue that affects people of all ages and may range from mild to severe. Your hands are necessary for many daily activities, so it’s essential to recognize the various causes of pain to preserve their function. The following are some of the most common causes of hand and wrist pain we see at Motion Orthopaedics.
5 Most Common Reasons for Hand and Wrist Pain
If you are suffering from any of the following conditions, the team at Motion Orthopaedics is here to help you find relief and increase functionality. Through our dedicated team of orthopedic surgeons and healthcare professionals, along with innovative treatments and therapies, we have the tools needed to manage your condition.
Arthritis is a common degenerative condition that can affect the joints in the hand and wrist. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, and a decreased range of motion. Arthritis may occur due to wear and tear on the joints over time, as well as autoimmune disorders or other medical conditions. Several types of arthritis may affect the hands and wrists, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
Treatment for hand and wrist arthritis may vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) may be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation. Moreover, physical therapy and orthotics such as splints and braces are often recommended for stabilizing and improving joint function. In some cases, surgery may be required to repair damaged joints or tendons.
2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition that occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the spinal cord to the forearm and into the hand, becomes compressed or squeezed as it passes through the wrist. This compression can cause a range of symptoms, including numbness, tingling, hand and wrist pain, and weakness. Your grip strength may also be affected. There are several factors that may contribute to the development of CTS, including:
- Repetitive and forceful hand and wrist movements
- Injuries or trauma to the wrist
- Hormonal changes
- Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
- Gender — women are three times more likely to develop CTS than men
CTS treatment options may include wrist splints or braces to immobilize the wrist, physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the hand and wrist muscles, and medication to manage pain and inflammation. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the median nerve and restore normal function to the hand and wrist.
3. Hand & Wrist Fractures
Hand and wrist fractures are injuries that can cause pain and affect your ability to perform daily tasks. Symptoms of a hand or wrist fracture include swelling, bruising, weakness, deformity, and pain when moving the hand or wrist. These symptoms may be similar to those of a sprain, making it necessary to obtain an X-ray to differentiate between the two.
These fractures may be caused by a direct blow, twist, or fall. People with conditions such as osteoporosis are at higher risk of getting a hand or wrist fracture. The severity of the fracture will determine the appropriate treatment.
Treatment options may include wearing a cast or splint, surgery with pins to hold bones in place, physical therapy, and reconstructive surgery using plates and screws to fix the damaged bone. Most people fully recover from a hand or wrist fracture, but it can take up to six months in severe cases.
4. Trigger Finger
Stenosing tenosynovitis, more commonly known as trigger finger, is a condition in which one of your fingers becomes stuck in a bent position and then pops straight with a snap. This condition occurs when the coating in your finger, called tenosynovium, becomes inflamed. This coating helps your tendons smoothly slide as you move your finger. When the coating is inflamed, it becomes thicker and more rigid, causing it to catch on your tendons as you move your finger.
Treatment for trigger finger usually involves rest, medications to reduce pain and inflammation, occupational therapy, and steroid injections. For more serious cases, percutaneous trigger finger release surgery may be recommended to help release the tendon from the sheath and restore normal finger movement.
Women, those with diabetes or arthritis, and people who perform repetitive hand movements are more likely to develop trigger finger.
Wrist and hand sprains happen when the ligaments connecting the bones and joints are stretched or torn beyond their limits. Sprains may occur from any movement that involves sudden twists or hyperextension. In addition, wrist and hand sprains may also stem from falling on an outstretched arm or hand, as well as any force to the wrist that causes it to move backward or in an abnormal direction abruptly. Typical causes of hand and wrist sprains include sports injuries, work-related incidents, falls, and automobile accidents.
Treatments include anti-inflammatory pain relievers, ice/cold compresses, keeping your hand and wrist elevated, elastic bandages, splints, and light stretches. When treating sprains, it is vital to keep swelling under control and immobilize the strain to prevent further injury. Ice and cold compresses help numb hand and wrist pain as well as reduce swelling. Additionally, doing light stretching exercises may improve physical functions and flexibility in the wrist and hand. If symptoms do not go away or worsen, visit Motion Orthopaedics for more treatment options.
Receive Personalized Treatment for Hand and Wrist Pain at Motion Orthopaedics
When you visit Motion Orthopaedics, you can rest assured you will receive individualized treatment designed to address your unique symptoms and conditions. Our team utilizes the latest technology and techniques to provide a wide range of treatment options, from non-surgical interventions to minimally invasive surgeries.
Tyler R. Krummenacher, MD, is our in-house, board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hand and wrist conditions. He treats all types of upper extremity conditions, including arthritis, trauma, fractures, nerve compression, hand and wrist deformities, infections, occupational injuries, sports injuries, and fingertip injuries, as well as revision of previous surgeries.
Don’t let hand and wrist pain interfere with your daily life any longer. Book an appointment with Motion Orthopaedics today and take the first step toward personalized treatment and regain your mobility and independence.