The hands are an incredibly important part of the body that we depend on each and every day. When pain occurs, orthopedic doctors can offer advice and guidance on how to get relief. That relief can come in many different forms, including targeted exercises, the use of support braces, and surgery.
Each hand is a complex structure made up of tendons, joints, ligaments, skin, bones, and nerves. Pain can occur in any of these areas and can be so devastating that nearly any movement hurts. Furthermore, hand-related injuries or diseases can cause the forearms to hurt and can significantly impact overall strength of the arms. Unfortunately, because we rely so heavily on our hands, it’s not uncommon for people to have pain issues at any age. Even healthy or young individuals may experience the common problems listed here.
Arthritis refers to the inflammation and stiffness of the joints. Symptoms of the disease include chronic pain and visible swelling. The condition can be so severe that use of the hands is nearly impossible, while other people who struggle with it may face a constant ache while doing everyday activities. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, and there is no cure.
Orthopedic doctors may recommend a number of different options to patients who have arthritis. Some patients can do at-home exercises to reduce inflammation, and staying active in general is often the first recommendation a physician will make. There are many drug treatment options available as well, ranging from over-the-counter products to injectable prescription drugs for more serious issues. Severe cases may require surgery.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressive condition that can affect the hands, wrists, and forearms. Pain is usually caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist area. This issue has become much more common in recent years as working professionals spend more time using their computers, often with their body not aligned correctly. When the arms and wrists are positioned in a way that is not ergonomically correct, such as typing at an awkward angle, carpal tunnel syndrome can develop.
The first thing orthopedic doctors usually recommend is to optimize the positioning of your keyboard, chair, and mouse. They’ll often advise patients to try wearing a supportive brace, especially at bedtime. By implementing these few changes, many patients often notice tremendous relief. There are also at-home exercises that may be recommended, and even physical therapists offer specialized treatment options. As with arthritis, over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription steroids may be used to treat symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. In more advanced cases, endoscopic or open surgery may be performed to provide relief to patients.