We use our hands to do everything and every day. If you are experiencing any pain or difficulty using your hand to perform simple daily things like driving, cooking, typing, brushing your teeth, or using your cell phone, then you could be suffering from a hand or wrist injury. Some injuries may be from an accident, work-related, or even sports-related injuries.
Common Hand Injuries
In this article, we discuss the common hand injuries you may experience and how to treat them.
Sprains happen as a result of damage to your ligaments. Ligaments are the tissues that connect your bones to other bones in your hands. There are 27 bones in your hand, and eight of those account for the wrist ones. When you suffer a minor sprain injury, it means you have a tear in the ligaments. Severe sprains indicate that you may have ruptured the whole ligament and may require treatment.
Sprains can occur on several parts of your hand, such as the wrist, fingers, or thumb. Most of the time, people sprain their hands when they fall and use their hands to break the fall. The weight of your body on your hand may cause it to bend in an unnatural way, which then strains your ligaments resulting in a wrist or hand injury.
If you suspect you may have sprained your hand or wrist avoid using that particular hand to prevent aggravating the sprain. Signs that you may have sprained your hand include pain, swelling, tenderness or warmth around the injury, bruising, loss of movement, weakness, or feeling of a popping sound or tearing around the wrist.
To try and treat some of the pain, you can use a cold compress to try and bring the swelling down. In some cases, your doctor may use a splint from Sam Medical to stop you from moving your hand, which may further aggravate your injury. Fortunately, sprains heal quickly with proper care.
Read: Common Health Issues
Soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue injuries occur when you damage your tendons. Tendons are tissues that usually connect bones to muscles. Soft tissue injuries can also be referred to as tendonitis. Tendonitis mainly occurs due to repetitive movements of your hand or wrist. For example, an athlete who constantly uses his hand in swinging the bat or a tennis player may suffer from tendonitis due to repeatedly using their wrist during their sports career.
It’s also an injury that office workers may suffer as well. Some of the common soft tissue injuries include:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
When you repetitively make one motion of your hand constantly, like typing, playing video games, etc., it may cause the inside of your wrist to swell, which causes pressure on your median nerve. The median nerve controls the muscles that control the movement of your fingers. If you feel a tingling or pain when griping things, you should have your wrist checked out.
Cubital tunnel syndrome
Other than the median nerve, another nerve connects your arm from your neck down to your hand and wrists. This nerve is found inside your elbow and is usually known as the ulna nerve. If you constantly lean on your elbows or work with vibrating tools a lot, the ulna nerve may be compressed, causing a tingling sensation on your fingers or even numbness.
Each of your fingers has a tendon that connects the muscles to bones. This is from the base of your finger to the fingertips. The tendons are covered by synovium, which produces synovial fluids used to protect and lubricate the tendons. So if you injure a tendon on your finger, it will not get enough synovial fluid, which causes it to be inflamed and interferes with the ability to extend your fingers fully. Symptoms of trigger fingers include pain at the finger’s base, and you may experience a clicking sensation every time you try to move the finger.
As we mentioned earlier, your hand has 27 bones. Any of these bones can be injured anytime in the course of your life. Some common bone injuries include:
Fracture is the medical term used for broken bones. While some fractures may be obvious, some may not be noticeable. Fractures are classified by their severity. For example, a small crack in the bone is a mild fracture, while a complete broken bone is a severe fracture and may require you to be in a cast for several weeks to allow it to heal.
The most common hand fractures happen when you are in an accident or punch or hit something with a closed fist. Wrist fractures are common for athletes. Another type of fracture known as a stress fracture is a mild fracture that you may overlook because it usually occurs due to repetitive movements.
Even the most minor fracture can cause swelling, bruising, and pain. You require treatment and should stop the activities that may aggravate the fracture. Stress fractures are usually painful when working, and the pain subsides when you stop working. However, ensure you seek medical attention if you notice any mild pain on your wrists to avoid complications such as bone spurs.
Read: Wrist Injuries in Tennis
Dislocation may happen in an accident when a bone is pushed out of place to the point that it doesn’t align correctly with the joint. It is not uncommon, especially for athletes, to dislocate their fingers around the knuckle area.
Severe bone injuries may require surgery and hand therapy to ensure your hand heals well and you can use it again.
Cuts or lacerations are common and can happen to anyone. Fortunately, they are superficial wounds that a bit of antibiotic ointment and a bandage will be enough to treat in most cases.
If you suffer deeper cuts on your hand, it’s best to rush to the hospital immediately. To avoid excessive bleeding, you can start by applying pressure on the cut. If you see the bone, are experiencing numbness, and can’t stop the bleeding, they are all signs of seeing a doctor right away. Some severe cuts may also require stitches to close up the wound and avoid infection.