It is important for every person who is experiencing hand pain to know more about the condition including; its causes, other associated symptoms, the possibility of carpal tunnel syndrome, available treatment options and if the need for surgery should be anticipated. Knowing the information above can save you from the debilitating effects of the condition.
Causes of Hand Pain
Primary causes of pain include factors that have something to do with compression of the nerves, muscles, tissues, trauma, or overuse of this part of the body. Secondary causes include factors that are in relation to underlying disorders or current health condition. Specific causes of this pain, either primary or secondary, are as follows:
– Wear and tear of the tissues around or in the tendons
– Swelling of the tendon sheath or covering
– Repetitive use and motion of the hands
– Thickening of tissues under the skin of the hand or medically termed as Dupuytren’s disease
– Fractures and dislocation
– Osteoarthritis and gout
– Diabetes mellitus
– Arterial insufficiency problems such as Reynaud’s disease
In most secondary causes of pain, other associated symptoms can be felt by the patient due to factors such as decreased blood supply. Associated symptoms can also be felt due to nerve compression and trauma. These symptoms include the following:
– Numbness and lack of sensation
– Tingling or burning sensation
– Pale appearance or redness of the hands
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Most individuals who suffer from hand pain are most likely to be experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome or CTS. It is a condition which causes pain and numbness to the thumb, pointing finger and middle finger. Specifically, CTS is caused by the compression of the carpal nerve which is primarily responsible for the delivery of blood to the mentioned fingers. The compression can either be due to swelling of the surrounding tissues and muscles or destruction to the nerve itself due to other secondary factors.
Treatment Options for CTS and Hand Pain
Hand pain and carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated by the use of several treatment modalities. The choice of treatment is usually dependent on the cause and the severity of the condition. Secondary causes of pain are treated by managing the underlying condition such as diabetes mellitus and Reynaud’s disease. Primary causes, however, are managed symptomatically or based on the symptoms experienced by the individual. The following are general treatment modalities which are proven effective for the management of this pain:
– Use of anti inflammatory medications
– Rest and relaxation of the hands including immobilization
– Physical therapy
– Splinting of the wrists
– Ice application
When Should Surgery Be Considered?
In some cases, when the treatment options are not effective, surgery may be indicated. When the pain is caused by trauma resulting to dislocation and fractures, corrective surgery is usually done to prevent further damages to the surrounding structures.
In cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, surgery is indicated when the pain is so severe and the carpal nerve no longer supplies blood to the area leading to necrosis. However, in most mild to moderate cases of hand pain, the above mentioned treatment options are sufficient.
To conclude, depending on the cause and severity of the condition, undergoing surgery should be the last method to consider when experiencing hand pain or carpal tunnel syndrome. Your doctor should be able to help you decide on your treatment options to ensure safety and efficiency