Hand and wrist pain can be debilitating. It can affect your ability to carry out routine tasks, such as brushing your teeth. If you are dealing with severe hand and wrist pain, contact a Jersey City hand and wrist pain specialist to access comprehensive treatment.
Causes of Hand and Wrist Pain
Hand and wrist pain may be caused by:
- Improper use or overuse
- Musculoskeletal disorder
- Systemic diseases like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
- Sprains, strains, or fractures inflammation nerve damage several chronic health conditions
- Managing Hand and Wrist Pain
Despite the restrictions that come with hand and wrist pain, many patients fear the prospect of having to undergo surgery to alleviate it. Luckily, there are numerous ways to manage the crippling pain and retain hand function without going under the knife. They include:
Wearing a splint increases stability around your thumb, fingers, and wrist. For patients with arthritis, wearing it reduces inflammation. You may wear some types of splints when performing everyday tasks and others when resting.
A specialist will help you choose the best splint for your hand pain and show you how to use it properly.
In severe cases, your specialist may recommend a brace or cast. A brace is mostly used on patients with serious wrist or hand sprain injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, or tendonitis. A cast, on the other hand, is applied by a doctor in the event of a break.
A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug or an NSAID is the most common medication prescribed for hand and wrist pain caused by tendonitis, arthritis, or sprains. It works by blocking enzymes that cause swelling and pain. NSAIDs don't treat carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some doctors prescribe cortisone to treat inflammation, which is a common problem associated with wrist pain.
Cold treatment using ice reduces pain and swelling around the wrist. It is effective for hand and wrist pain resulting from a sprain, tendonitis, or overuse. For cold treatment, you can use bags of frozen corn or peas wrapped in a towel or flexible gel pads.
The recommended application time is twenty minutes, several times a day. Don't extend the application time as you may damage your tissues.
Applying heat relieves pain and loosens stiffness. To apply heat to your hand, you can take a hot shower, place your hand on a hot water bottle, or wrap it with a microwaved wheat bag. Wheat bags are available for purchase in most chemists. Remember to place a cloth or towel over your hand or wrist to avoid burning it.
Applying heat to a just injured or swollen hand can make it worse.
Stretching and strengthening your hand muscles helps your joints absorb stress, thus, diminishing pain. Your physical therapist will guide you through activities that move your hands, wrists, and fingers to loosen stiffness. The exercises will also help you maintain function, strength, and range of movement.
Specialists recommend you rest your hand when the pain or inflammation is too severe. This should, however, be done in moderation as prolonged immobility can lead to stiffness in the joints.
Corticosteroid injections are injected into the joints to relieve pain and inflammation. Their effect can last up to one year but, for some patients may diminish with subsequent steroid injections.
Your treatment options depend on the cause and type of problem. Your doctor will study your symptoms before walking you through possible treatment methods available to you.