The complexity of our hand structure – and our daily dependence on its proper function – mean that little issues, when they crop up, can quickly become a big deal. When we suffer a medical problem with our hands, it can be due to a number of causes, including genetic predisposition, environmental factors, and the result of trauma.
There are many common afflictions that affect the hands such as:
- Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, which cause swelling and pain around the joints, and the formation of bony outgrowths, especially on the fingers
- Ganglion cysts, when pockets of jelly-like fluid develop over joints or tendons of the hand
- Dupuytren’s contracture and trigger finger that cause fingers to bend
- Tendonitis, tenosynovitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome that involve inflammation of the tendons, which can result in pain and nerve damage. You will likely also have difficulty moving the affected area of the hand.
- DeQuervain’s disease is characterized by an aching pain on the thumb edge of the wrist, at the base of the thumb that worsens with use and movement. This is also how doctors detect the condition: if pain is felt by placing pressure over the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist and is accompanied by swelling in the area. DeQuervain’s disease is often due to repetitive movements but may also develop as a result of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Raynaud’s syndrome causes a decrease in blood flow to the fingers and toes. Stress and cold weather can trigger the onset of symptoms, which includes the fingers feeling numb and cool. The skin may also turn white then blue. When blood returns to the area, the area may tingle and skin turn red.
- Clubbed fingers are marked by bulbous enlargement of the tips of the fingers and toes. While clubbed fingers themselves are nearly asymptomatic, their presence could indicate a serious heart or lung issue that reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. This includes condition like pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancer, primary hypertrophic osteoarthropathy (PHO) and more.
Your hands, consisting of 27 bones and countless connective tissue, allow you to feel, sense, and touch. Hand injuries can have a huge impact on your life. If you have a problem with your hand, contact Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness in Austin, Texas, by calling (512) 284-7192 or request an appointment online – and give your hand a hand.