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Hand Pain

Common causes and suggestions for hand swelling and severe hand pain.

Hand Arthritis – Arthritis of the hand occurs when the cartilage of the hand, which is used to reduce friction between the many joints in the hand, is damaged or lost due to injury, disease, or degeneration over time. To compensate for lost cartilage the body produces a fluid in order to reduce joint grinding; this in turn often causes the joint covering (capsule) to stretch resulting in swelling and pain. As mentioned, this may be caused by injury, degeneration with age (Osteoarthritis), or a disease known as Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease that attacks the body’s cartilage, most likely your hand will not be the only join affected, thus pain in several joints is often a good indicator of the disease. Common non surgical techniques used to reduce swelling in hand are splinting, anti-inflammatory medication, cortisone injection, and lifestyle changes.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome results when the Median Nerve in the wrist is damaged. The Median Nerve becomes pinched resulting in a limited information exchange between the nerves and the brain.  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms include numbness of the fingers, tingling in the fingers, and pain in the hand or wrist. Carpal Tunnel is often related to arthritis, diabetes, hypothyroidism and even pregnancy. It is now believed that excessive computer keyboard typing and poor posture while typing can lead to Carpal Tunnel. Initial treatment may include changing your typing posture, wearing a brace on the wrist, rest, or anti-inflammatory medication.

Buerger’s Disease – This is an inflammatory disease effecting the peripheral blood vessels. Symptoms often include pain in the hand due to poor circulation. Since Buerger’s disease is not exclusive to the hand, other symptoms include pain and low circulation in the feet and legs. Buerger’s is the result of blood vessel constriction to the point where blood flow to the hands and feet becomes restricted or totally blocked. Some common causes are congestive heart failure, venous insufficiency, and cellulitis.  Treatment usually begins by quitting smoking and greatly increasing exercise.  Medication may be necessary, consult your doctor for more on this.

Broken Hand – If you recently suffered a fall or an accident resulting in severe hand pain accompanied by severe lack of mobility, you may have a broken one or more of the twenty seven bones in your hand. When broken, the hand will suffer considerable swelling and discoloration. If you suspect the possibility that your hand may be broken be sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible in order to receive the proper treatment to reduce swelling in hand.

For pain more specific to the wrist see the hand wrist pain page and the pain in wrist page.
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