Hand and wrist pain is a common complaint that can have a variety of causes. It can be a result of an injury, overuse, or a medical condition. In this article, we will discuss the five main causes of hand and wrist pain.
1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that happens when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand, is compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. This can cause numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in the hand and wrist, especially at night. The condition is often caused by repetitive motions, such as typing or using a computer mouse, or by an injury that causes swelling in the wrist. Treatment options include wearing a wrist splint, taking anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen), modifying activities, cortisone injections, and in severe cases, surgery to relieve pressure on the median nerve.
Ways to prevent:
- Sleeping with wrists held straight
- Keeping wrists straight when using tools
- Decreasing repetitive/strong grasping with the wrist
- Performing stretching exercises
- Avoiding flexing and extending wrists
Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of a tendon, which is the tissue that attaches muscle to bone. This can cause pain, mild swelling, tenderness, and stiffness in the hand and wrist. Tendinitis can be caused by overuse, such as repetitive motions, or by an injury. It is most usually under heels, knees, elbows, shoulders, and wrists. There are majorly four types of tendinitis- Golfer’s elbow, Achilles Tendinitis, Tennis Elbow, and Patellar Tendinitis. Treatment options include rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the affected area, as well as anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy.
Way to prevent:
- Avoid activities that cause too much pressure
- Stop exercising or activity causes pain and swelling
- Start building strength and endurance in the muscles
- Take Vitamin-C rich foods for injury prevention
Arthritis is a condition that harms inflammation and damages the joints. The main symptoms can cause redness, decreased range of motion, joint pain, stiffness, and swelling in the hand and wrist, which can typically worsen with age. Several types of arthritis can affect the hand and wrist, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Treatment options depend on the type and severity of arthritis and may include medications, physical therapy, splints, and in severe cases, surgery.
Ways to prevent:
- Do regular exercise
- Maintain healthy lifestyle
- Control your blood sugar
- Stay at a healthy weight
- Quit smoking
Add green vegetables, fatty fish, olive oil, nuts, green tea, and berries to your diet
4. Ganglion Cyst
A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on or around a joint or tendon in the hand or wrist and can occur in feet and ankles also. It can cause discomfort and may limit movement of the affected area. The main factors that can increase the risk of Ganglion cysts are often Osteoarthritis, age, repetitive motions, or an injury. Treatment options include observation, aspiration (draining the fluid with a needle), or surgery to remove the cyst.
Ways to prevent:
There are no ways to prevent a ganglion cust. Medical experts do not know what causes them to develop. However, there are mainly two treatments for ganglion cysts- surgery and draining the cysts.
5. Trigger Finger
A trigger finger is a condition that causes the fingers or thumb to get stuck in a bent position. It is caused by inflammation or thickening of the tendon sheath, which is the tunnel that the tendon slides through. This can cause pain, stiffness, and a popping or clicking sensation when moving the affected finger or thumb. Treatment options include rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the affected area, as well as anti-inflammatory medications(such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium), physical therapy, and surgical and other procedures (steroid injection, needle procedure). In some severe cases, surgery can be necessary to release the tendon.
Ways to prevent:
- Avoid activities that require repeated grasping, repetitive gripping
- Resting hands if possible
- Wear a splint at night to help rest the tendon
- Do gentle exercises to maintain mobility in your finger
In the End
Hand and wrist pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, overuse, and medical conditions. Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, arthritis, ganglion cysts, and trigger finger are just a few of the common causes of hand and wrist pain. It is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing persistent pain or if your symptoms are interfering with your daily activities. Your doctor can help diagnose the cause of your hand and wrist pain and recommend appropriate treatment options to relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
In addition, to prevent conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and arthritis, using a grip strengthener like Squegg can also help you by strengthening the muscles and tendons in the hand and forearm.