Hand Pain Can’t Wait

By Ehren Allen, DPT/Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist

Hand Pain Can’t Wait for Care

A High 5, a fist bump, a handshake, a hug…. we miss the human touch.  The human hand is an amazing tool to show others that we care. Social distancing may keep us safer, but 6 feet of space seems like miles when you’re missing your loved ones. Hopefully, we will soon be able to show the affection that only our hands can give. That’s why it is important to take care of your hands now!  If you have pain or problems with your hands, now is the time to get care.  COVID-19 will be done one day, but hand pain can’t wait until then.

COVID-19 limits how we greet and show affections with our hands. But now is the time to take care of your hands so you are ready when COVID-19 is done.

Handshake during COVID-19


To Schedule an Appointment with a JOI Orthopedic Hand Doctor, Click Here: SCHEDULE NOW.

To learn more about why Hand Pain Can’t Wait, watch this VIDEO or Read On.


What are the Causes of Hand Pain?

woman grabbing hand in pain

there are many causes of hand pain

The quick answer is that there are many causes of hand pain.  The human hand is an intricate network of levers and pulleys that work together to help us feel, touch, lift, carry, etc.   If one part of the hand is not working properly, it changes almost everything we do.

Several conditions are common causes of pain in the hands.  These include:

29 bones make up the wrist and hand.  Many of the muscles and tendons that control the hand run all the way up into the forearm and to the elbow.  This means that there are a lot of structures involved.

anatomy of the hand

Muscles in the Hand

What Happens If I Wait to Get Treatment for Hand Pain?

The quick answer is that it can take longer to recover if you wait to get treatment.  When there is pain or swelling in a joint or tendon, the brain tries to protect the area by limiting muscle activity.  This is helpful at first for a few days; limited muscle activity can lead to muscle weakness and atrophy. This can take a minor problem and turn it into a more severe issue that can impact the hand’s function.

Active Armor waterproof cast

Image of Active Armor for Fracture in the wrist and hand

When there is pain in the hand, we tend to avoid moving it.  Avoiding movement can lead to joint stiffness, which can lengthen the recovery time as well.  In some cases, it is important to immobilize an injury for a time, especially if there is a fracture to heal. But with most injuries, early movement is needed. Only a trained hand doctor or hand therapist can help you to know whether you should move your injured hand or not.

Are There Things That I Do That Are Hurting My Hands?

Pretty much, everyone has a job that requires them to work with their hands.  Whether you work on a construction crew or work at a computer station all day, your hands are your money makers!  But during the COVID-19 Pandemic, many folks have begun cooking more at home due to restaurants being closed.  Cutting, chopping, tossing, and mixing those ingredients require complicated and coordinated hand movements.  All of these activities can lead to overuse injuries in the hands.  Other common activities that can cause pain in the hands include:

  • Resting the wrists on your desk to type
  • Opening jars
  • Typing
  • Sewing
  • Hammering
  • Turning a screwdriver
  • Vibration from power tools
  • Racquet sports

What are Hand Symptoms That I Should Not Ignore?

woman grabbing her hand in pain

Woman with Hand symptoms that should not be ignored.

A little ache or pain here or there is pretty normal for most people.  But there are symptoms in the hands that you should not ignore. These include:

  • Severe pain or swelling
  • Feeling a “pop” followed by pain or inability to move a finger.
  • A finger that gets stuck either bent or straight
  • An obvious fracture or deformity after an injury
  • Shooting pain or numbness in the wrist or part of the hand
  • Redness or temperature changes
  • Tingling or numbness in the fingers or hand

What are Some Hand Pain Relief Remedies?

The quick answer is to stop doing the activity that is causing it for a little while. Resting from the activity can give the hand a chance to heal.  A good initial treatment for most injuries is R.I.C.E.

  • REST
  • ICE

Hand Exercises for Hand Pain Relief

Hand pain can be tricky.  Heavy gripping exercises for the hands can actually increase pain and underlying issues.  Lily Condy, OTR/L CHT of JOI, recommends gently opening and closing the hands under warm water. This may help ease arthritis pain in some people.  Gently open and close the hands for a minute or 2 under warm water. To learn more hand exercises, read this ARTICLE on 4 top hand exercises for arthritis.

gentle hand exercises under warm water

Gentle hand exercises under warm water

When Should I See a Doctor for Hand Pain Relief?

If you still have pain after a couple of days or have any of the symptoms in our list of symptoms that should not be ignored, get treatment right away.  The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute offers state-of-the-art treatment options for your wrist and hand issues. We have Board-Certified, Fellowship-Trained Hand Surgeons and the largest number of Certified Hand Therapists in the Northeast Florida Region. We offer custom splinting and cutting-edge ACTIVARMOR technology for waterproof casting.

Book an Appointment with The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Today!

JOI Physicians continue to offer online new patient appointments. This is another option to make it more convenient to make new patient appointments with less phone hold times. Follow the link below to select your JOI MD and schedule online.

You can still call 904-JOI-2000 to make new patient JOI Physician Appointments if that is your preference.

To make appointments with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.

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