By Lily Condy, Cerfied Hand Therapist/Occupational Therapist
Why is There Pain in my Hand?
There are many possible reasons behind pain in the hand. Whether it is due to physical activity or an ongoing condition, many people suffer from hand pain every day. The orthopedic hand physicians at JOI can help diagnose and treat your hand pain. If your physician believes that you need physical therapy or occupational therapy, JOI Rehab has a skilled team of clinicians to treat your condition.
Hand fractures can be very painful. A fractured hand occurs from too much force being applied to the bones in your fingers (phalanges) or the bones in your hand (metacarpals) causing them to crack or even break. There are many common types of hand fractures, including:
- Boxer’s Fracture
- Bennett’s Fracture or Fractured Thumb
- Scaphoid Fracture
- Metacarpal Fracture
- Phalangeal Fracture
Dr. Garry Kitay states “The scaphoid fracture is frequently misjudged to be a sprain, and can lead to significant pain and loss of function. There must be a high index of suspicion for this fracture whenever there is pain on the thumb side of the wrist following an injury.” Dr. Kitay is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Society for Surgery of the Hand with a Certificate of Added Qualification in hand surgery.
A hand fracture can occur as a result of the hand being crushed or bent by a heavy object, or contact during physical activity such as sports.
Symptoms of a Fractured Hand Include:
- Severe Hand, Wrist or Finder Pain.
- Tenderness to Palpation.
- Loss of motion or Painful Motion.
If you want to learn more about hand pain, click HERE.
Common Hand Conditions
Among the various conditions, some are more common than others. For example, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome happens when the the biggest nerve in the hand, the median nerve, is compressed while traveling through the small space in your wrist known as the carpal tunnel. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
Another relatively common hand condition is DeQuervain’s Tendinitis (Tendinosis). This condition occurs when the tendons around the thumb area become swollen. Irritation and pain from the thumb to the forearm typically occur as well. Symptoms include:
- Trouble holding objects
- Trouble turning your wrist
- Difficulty making a fist
Treatment of Hand Pain
Treatment for hand pain can vary based on the cause of the pain. For fractured hands, there are a couple of options for treatment. Typically, nonsurgical treatment is used to heal hand fractures. Physicians are able to set the fracture, and then place the hand in a cast or splint such as ActivArmor, so that they heal correctly. For more serious fractures, surgery may be required. The goal of a surgical procedure is to stabilize the fractured bones. Generally, surgery is used for open fractures in which pieces of bone have broken through the skin.
In order to treat hand conditions such as the ones previously mentioned, an individual should try to rest or take as many breaks from using their hand as possible. Icing the hand may help reduce swelling. Placing your hand in a splint or brace can help with stabilization. If symptoms continue to occur, medications and surgery may be required.
JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care.