Common Hand Conditions in Musicians

Repetitive motion can give musicians hand and wrist injuries, which may require physical therapy. Athletes aren’t the only professionals who have to contend with injuries — any musician knows the aches and pains of their craft. Unlike athletes, however, musicians are often reluctant to treat injuries. Any musician should know how to recognize the chronic hand and wrist injuries that can result from musicianship, and how to deal with them before they get worse. Making a commitment to music can mean grueling hours in rehearsal, but gritting your teeth through pain can permanently harm the nerves, tendons, and muscles in your hands and wrists. Avoiding treatment for a music-related injury…

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What is Dupuytren’s Contracture?

An orthopedic condition affecting the fingers and hand, Dupuytren’s contracture progresses so slowly that many people are unaware they have it until its later stages. In the condition’s advanced stages, patients may have extremely bent fingers, and they’ll likely experience difficulty doing everyday activities such as shaking hands, putting on gloves, and handling large objects. In its earliest phase, Dupuytren’s contracture shows up as lumps of tissue under the skin of the palm of the hand. Patients may also notice a dimpling of the skin. According to the Dupuytren Research Group, about 15 million Americans aged 35 or over have the disorder if those experiencing early signs are counted. As…

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If Gout Is On Its Way Back, What Does That Mean for Your Wrists?

A form of arthritis, gout affects some 8.3 million people, or 4%, of the U.S. population, according to a 2011 study. That percentage represents an increase over the past two decades, which begs the question: why are incidences of gout increasing? While diet appears to be the primary factor, other circumstances — chiefly, genetics — may be a significant influence as well.  During a gout attack, joints suddenly swell, become painful, and feel warm. Although gout mainly strikes toes, ankles, and knees, gout can cause those same symptoms in wrists and fingers as well. Men have higher rates of gout than women. If you suffer from pain and swelling in…

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Can Wrist Pain Cause Shoulder Pain?

Although the wrist and shoulder joints don’t have a direct connection, it’s important to recognize that none of the parts of the musculoskeletal system act in isolation. The Florida Hand Center recommends you consider four words: connection, repetition, referral, and compensation. We offer free hand screening that can help determine how your wrist pain may affect other areas. Wrist and Shoulder Pain – Connection Every joint in your body is connected to other parts of the skeleton by muscles, ligaments, and tendons. For example, the shoulder is connected to the elbow. Muscles from the elbow flex and extend the wrist. Watch a baseball pitcher – the pitcher uses nearly every…

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How to Prevent Hand Injuries in Construction

There are a number of risks when someone is a construction worker, and among those risks are hand injuries. This is a risk that a lot of people don’t think about. Instead, they think of falls, equipment issues, damage from tools being misused, and related types of problems. Of course, those are real issues that are important, and that can be serious and dangerous for construction workers, but hand injuries are also a worry that can and should be addressed. Fortunately, there are ways in which the risk of hand injuries can be reduced, so construction workers can be safer and more effective on the job. Adequate Safety Protection is…

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Treating Wrist Pain From a Scaphoid Fracture

Falls and accidents are the culprits behind many patient reports of wrist pain.  One possible outcome when force occurs against a bone is a scaphoid fracture.  Depending on the nature of the fracture, a hand doctor will cover the thumb, hand, lower arm, and sometimes the elbow with a cast or perform surgery. Overview of Scaphoid Fractures The scaphoid is one of eight small bones in the wrist.  Found near the thumb, it most often breaks when someone falls onto an outstretched hand.   The Ohio State University states that many patients with scaphoid fractures assume they have sprained a wrist and remain unaware of a break for months or even…

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Raynaud’s Phenomenon: Why Do Your Hands Change Colors?

When your hands are exposed to cold temperatures, do your fingers turn white, then blue, then red? If so, you might have Raynaud’s Phenomenon, a condition that causes the tiny blood vessels of the hands to constrict so much that they block blood flow in the hands and fingers. This is often caused by cold temperatures, although stress can also trigger an episode. Fortunately, most cases can be managed by a hand doctor without the services of a hand surgeon. But why the different colors? First, the absence of fresh blood flow makes your fingers appear white. Next, the blue oxygen-deprived blood pools in the fingers, turning them blue. Finally,…

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Do You Have de Quervain’s Tendonitis?

If you feel pain whenever your grip anything with your hand, turn your wrist, or make a fist, then you might have de Quervain’s (dih kwer-VAINS) tendonitis (also called tenosynovitis). This condition affects the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist and is often caused by repetitive hand or wrist movements such as gardening, playing racket sports, and playing golf. If you suspect that you might have this condition of deQuervain’s tendonitis, then consult a hand doctor for an evaluation. What Are the Symptoms of de Quervain’s Tendonitis? This condition may appear suddenly or gradually. The most common symptoms include: * Pain or swelling on the wrist, near the…

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Gamekeeper’s Thumb

Gamekeeper’s Thumb is a condition that is the result of a tear to the ulnar collateral ligament or ‘UCL’ in the thumb at the second joint or ‘knuckle’. The term “Gamekeeper’s Thumb” was coined in 1955 after an orthopedic surgeon frequently observed this condition in gamekeepers. This injury is common in athletes, and is usually the result of hyperextending the thumb at the joint. Signs that you may be suffering from gamekeeper’s thumb include pain and swelling after an injury. Another common sign is intense weakness and inability to perform simple tasks, such as tying shoes or tearing a piece of paper. Treatment depends on diagnosis and at times can…

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First Signs of Dupuytren’s Contracture

Do you think that you may have Dupuytren’s disease? A common sign of this benign condition is ‘lumps and bumps’ in the palms, ‘puckering’ of the skin in the palms, and in the later stages of the disease, the slow progression of the finger(s) to assume a bent position. The exact cause is not known, however, it is usually found in people of northern european descent. The disease is not cancerous, and is not curable.  Progression of the disease is different for every person, and treatment is only necessary when the fingers become involved. In most cases, signs of Dupuytren’s disease do not occur until after the age of 40….

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