5 Most Common Reasons for Hand Pain

5 Most Common Reasons for Hand Pain
When dealing with hand pain, many people automatically assume it’s carpal tunnel. Although this is often true, many cases are caused by something else. The tricky part is figuring out what, exactly, is causing the pain and how to treat it.

Here are the top five reasons that patients consult a hand doctor for pain.

1. Arthritis
This occurs most often in the base of the thumb, or in the individual joints of the fingers. The pain is due to the loss of cartilage between the bones and is part of the aging process. Although hand doctors can certainly help relieve the pain and discomfort, not all arthritis needs treatment. The treatment includes, a change in diet, nutritional supplementation, therapy, and cortisone injections with short-term immobilization. Some cases will need surgery when all other modalities fail.

2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Symptoms range from numbness, tingling or electrical-type pain to the inability to use your hand for everyday activities. Depending on your case, your hand specialist may recommend a carpal tunnel release, splinting, cortisone injections, or any combination of these.

3. Tendonitis
Can be either trigger finger or De Quervain’s tendonitis.  While a trigger finger can cause pain in the palm of the hand along with clicking and locking of the fingers, De Quervain’s tendonitis causes pain in the wrist when you move your thumb. Tendinitis occurs when you overuse the tendons, which causes inflammation and pain. Treatment options include sort-term immobilization with splints, steroid injections, and tendon sheath releases.

4. Wrist Sprain
A wrist sprain can occur after a fall. A ligament injury after a fall may seem inconsequential—but that actually can harm the wrist. Usually, people don’t realize that the pain is linked to the fall because the injury transiently improves; however, it may manifest later in life. It often takes a hand surgeon to connect the dots and recommend an effective treatment plan such as a splint, rest, cortisone, or even surgery.

5. Overuse
Technology is a wonderful thing, but not when it forces us to use our hands in unnatural positions for long periods of time.  When hand pain is caused by your lifestyle or habits, then you may need to take more frequent breaks, try better ergonomics, or change your habits.
If you’ve noticed pain in your hand, then a qualified hand specialist can help you determine the cause and come up with the best treatment for you. The hand and wrist have a myriad of bones, ligaments and tendons—and a problem with any one of these can cause mild or severe discomfort. Some medical conditions appear deceptively mild, so it’s important to see your hand doctor when you experience any pain in the hand or wrist.
Sources: http://www.midwestprs.com/5-common-causes-of-hand-pain, http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00023, http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/hand-pain-causes