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Hand Pain - 5 Reasons Behind It!

Dr. Ajay Rao 86% (10 ratings)
MBBS, DNB - Orthopedics, Fellowship in Upperlimb and Limb Reconstruction (Australia)
Orthopedist, Bangalore  •  18 years experience
 Hand Pain - 5 Reasons Behind It!

There are 27 bones in the human hand. An injury to any one of them or a disease that affects the bones, tendons, muscles or blood vessels in the hand, are the most likely causes for pain in the hand and tenderness.

Some of the most common conditions that cause hand pain are:

  1. De Quervain's Tendinitis: Pain on and around the thumb is the characteristic sign of this condition. This pain may develop gradually or come on suddenly and can travel the length of the thumb and forearm. De Quervain's tendinitis is caused by the swelling of wrist tendons at the base of the thumb. Repetitive actions and overuse are the most common triggers for this condition.

  2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are felt mainly in the thumb, index finger and middle finger. This pain is often worse at night and is caused by the swelling of inflamed tendons at the base of the hand that puts pressure on the median nerve. This syndrome can make it very difficult for a person to grip objects.

  3. Fractures: The fracture can cause extreme pain along with stiffness, swelling and loss of movement. A fracture refers to the breaking of a bone and can be of many types including simple fractures, complex fractures, comminuted fractures and compound fractures. The type of fracture dictates the type of treatment required. Spraining a muscle in the hand is another leading cause of pain in the hands.

  4. Arthritis: This is one of the most common causes of pain in the hand that is related to ageing. Arthritis causes loss of cartilage that makes the movement of one bone against the other extremely painful. It may or may not also be accompanied by swelling. When it comes to the hand, arthritis affects the base of the thumb and middle or top joints of the fingers. Osteoarthritis may also cause bony nodules to be formed on the fingers.

  5. Trigger Finger: This condition is also known as stenosing tenosynovitis. This condition locks the fingers or thumb in a bent position. This condition is triggered by the flexor tendons getting irritated. These tendons control the movements of the thumb and fingers. As the tendon is inflamed, the sheath that surrounds the tendons may also thicken and nodules may form of the affected tendons. People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, gout and diabetes are at a high risk of suffering from this condition. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an orthopedist.
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