Hand Pain

What Causes Hand Pain

Our hands are two of the best tools we use, allowing us to open jars, dress, lift and grip objects, and complete hygiene tasks efficiently. Because of this, hand pain can greatly limit a person’s ability to do many of his/her daily activities, leading to reduced life quality.  Overuse injuries can cause tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome in the hand and make it difficult to move the wrist and fingers.  Hand arthritis can occur due to several conditions and thumb joint degeneration makes gripping tasks especially difficult.  Unfortunately, broken bones in the forearm, wrist, and hand can occur due to sports injuries or from falling and may require physical therapy as a non-surgical treatment or as rehabilitation following surgery.  Given the complex structure of the hand, specialized assessment may be needed for certain conditions.  Unsurprisingly, hand pain treatment is a major component of our Occupational and Hand Therapy services.

Symptoms of Hand Pain

  • Pain or stiffness in the wrist, hand, or thumb/fingers
  • Visible deformity of the fingers or hand
  • Numbness in the forearm, hand, or fingers
  • Hand weakness and difficulty gripping
  • Reduced dexterity in the hand
  • Swollen hands

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Common Treatments of Hand Pain

  • Dry needling
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Hot/cold
  • Ergonomics education
  • Hand therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Soft tissue/joint mobilization
  • Splinting
  • Stretching or strengthening exercises
  • Fine motor exercises

Treatment of hand pain will depend on the specific factors that contribute to the pain and disability. Joint stiffness can be very painful and limit hand and finger movement and stretching exercises may be suggested to restore motion.  Joint and soft tissue mobilizations may help restore movement of stiff joints as well.  Weakening of the muscles in the forearm and hand can occur if pain has been present for a while and exercises may be prescribed to improve grip strength and movement of the fingers and hand.  Exercises to improve the dexterity of the fingers can improve grip strength and control during small tasks, such as buttoning a shirt or writing.  Splinting the hand and wrist may be needed with severe joint arthritis or after surgery to protect the hand and wrist and reduce pain.  Because some hand surgeries are very complex, treatment by a specialized hand therapist may be needed.  Let Access “give you a hand” with your hand pain!