Hand is one of the most important parts of our body that is used for doing almost all the activities. And pain in hand can affect all those activities making it difficult for the person to perform their daily activities.
Causes of Hand Pain
Pain in hand can be due to various reasons like:
- Injury Diseases Tendonitis Repetitive activities and overuse of hand Awkward positioning to hold the baby by new mothers Wrist fractures Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout etc.
Symptoms of Hand Pain
- Pain on any side or whole of the hand while doing activities that involve hand like making a fist, holding objects or turning wrist etc.
- Swelling of the wrist
- Stiffness in the hand
- Loss of movement
- Weakness in hand
- Numbness or tingling sensation in hand
- General discomfort in the hand
- Deformity of hand
Diagnosis of Hand pain
The diagnosis of hand pain requires thorough physical examination of the patient and the detailed history of the disease. In addition to this, following diagnostic tests are performed to confirm the cause of the pain and the treatment required:
- X-rays of the hand
- CT (computerized tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan
- Bone scan
- Electromyography or EMG
- Blood test
Treatments for Hand pain
Most of the hand pain cases can be resolved with rest, change in lifestyle or OTC (over-the-counter, no prescription required) painkillers. If these do not help, following treatment options may be required depending upon the cause and severity of the pain:
- Medication – If PTC painkillers do not help then a prescription of NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) or codeine or hydrocodone (narcotics) or tricyclic antidepressants may be required for short periods under the close monitoring by the doctor.
- Physical Therapy (Physiotherapy) – This includes application of heat, ice, ultrasound and electrical stimulation and other muscle-relaxing techniques to alleviate pain.
- Splints for the fingers or wrist – This is done to immobilize the wrist and fingers to allow healing.
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) – It involves delivery of small electric pulses into the body through electrodes that are placed on the skin. This encourages the body to produce endorphins, and may possibly block pain signals returning to the brain.
- Surgery - Surgery is rarely required for hand pain but may be the only option to give relief to the patient after all the conservative management methods fail.