A Helping Hand: Recognizing Chronic and Acute Hand Pain
As part of Superior Glove’s Thought Leader Series, we feature guest writers who submit articles about the vast topics of hand and arm safety. This article about Situational Awareness was submitted by Joe Fleming, President of ViveHealth.com.
Your hands are an integral part of your everyday life. They are tools which are capable of doing many things. If something does happen to one or both of your hands it can cause problems both physical and financial.
Hand injuries are not just debilitating at times, but can also be incredibly costly. Recognizing the signs that there may be something wrong and reacting appropriately could save you both time and money, as well as keep you on the job and enjoying your hobbies.
The anatomy of the human hand reveals not only the twenty-seven bones and fourteen joints but also a large number of muscles, ligaments, tendons, as well as some of the most nerve-dense areas in your entire body. Conditions which affect the hand can range from minor annoyance to complete failure of this body part.
Chances are, you have experienced pain in your hand or hands at one point.
Although it can be inconvenient, it can also be an indication of damage either directly in your hands or another part of your body, which is linked to them.
It is important to recognize pain and numbness, not just as a sensation, but also as an alarm. This is your body’s way of communicating with your brain that there is damage somewhere.
Understanding and dealing with hand pain effectively not only helps you avoid further damage but can also assist you in finding and treating underlying medical conditions.
This can play a significant role in ensuring the functionality of your hands.
Pain in your hands can be caused by injury and disease which affect the structures including your connective tissues, bones, joints, muscles, and/or tendons.
There are two types of pain that you may experience:
- Acute: This type of pain is sudden and severe and goes away after a set period of time. It is often accompanied by damage from an illness or injury.
- Chronic: This type of pain is lasting. It is not always clear what is causing the pain as it can remain even after an injury or illness has been treated.
Hand Injuries are Serious:
Injury to your hand can present as a result of wear and tear, overuse or overexertion, or an outside force. Some injuries to the hand include:
- Tendon injuries such as De Quervain’s tenosynovitis and mallet finger
- Joint injuries such as sprains
- Muscle injuries such as strains
- Ligament injury such as skier’s thumb
- Fractures or broken bones
Depending on the type of injury you are dealing with, you are going to apply different first aid, as well as ongoing treatment.
It is important that you speak with your doctor or an emergency medical professional if you sustain an injury for proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
When dealing with an injury, such as a broken bone or fracture, it is important to immobilize the affected area in order to prevent further injury.
Once treated by a medical professional you may need to use a splint to stabilize fractures of the hand.
This can assist with resuming your everyday activities while ensuring that your hand has the proper support.
Falls can also place you at a significant risk of developing a hand injury:
When you fall, your first reaction is most likely going to be to break your fall using your hands and arms to catch yourself.
Unfortunately, this can cause some pretty serious damage depending on how hard you hit the ground and especially if there is a torque applied.
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Arthritis, a term commonly used to describe joint disease and pain, is informal as there are over one hundred different types of arthritic conditions.
Arthritis is the inflammation of some or all of your joints.
The swelling and inflammation can be caused by disease, which usually has a gradual onset, or as a result of trauma such as fractures, which puts the affected joint at a heightened risk for developing arthritis.
The swelling presents in the lining of your joints, also known as the synovial. This is what causes stiffness and pain in arthritis.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Carpal tunnel syndrome is tingling, numbness, and/or weakness in your hand or hands because of excess pressure on your median nerve located on your wrist.
Your median nerve, as well as several of your hand’s tendons, pass through the carpal tunnel, which is a small space located inside your wrist.
They control feeling and movement of several of your fingers as well as your thumb.
Pressure on your median nerve can be caused by anything which makes the carpal tunnel smaller such as swelling.
A common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is repetitive motions of your hands while your wrist is bent or repetitive wrist movements.
You should pay close attention to your hands.
They are one of your greatest assets and make it possible to hold, grasp, and move objects.
With the proper protection and awareness, you can ensure that they continue to serve you for years to come.
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Joe Fleming is the President at ViveHealth.com. Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle, he enjoys sharing and expressing his passion through writing. Working to motivate others and defeat aging stereotypes, Joe uses his writing to help all people overcome the obstacles of life. Covering topics that range from physical health, wellness, and aging all the way to social, news, and inspirational pieces…the goal is help others “rebel against age”.