Wrist Pain Hand And Finger Pain Causes
The bones, connective tissue and small joints of the hands and wrists are prone to several types of injuries. These injuries can happen in otherwise healthy joints – for example, a blow to the finger causes it to bend backward or jamming a finger causes the tendons to pull away from the bone. In other cases, a disease process may make an injury more likely. For example, wrist bones weakened by osteoporosis are prone to fracture. The following are some of the more common hand and wrist injuries.
Flexor Tendon Injuries
The flexor tendons are long strands of connective tissue that connect muscles in the forearm to the small bones of the finger and thumb, enabling them to move. If one of these tendons is severely injured the finger it connects to cannot move.
The most common causes of flexor tendon injuries are cuts and sports injuries. Flexor tendons may also rupture spontaneously in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Extensor Tendon Injuries
The most common are:
Mallet finger – a drooping of the end of the finger that occurs when an extensor tendon
becomes separated from the bone. This can happen if the finger is cut or jammed. It is also called baseball finger.
Boutonniere deformity –
a deformity in which the joint in the middle of the finger (proximal interphalangeal joint or PIP) bends toward the palm and the joint closest to the nail (distal phalangeal joint or DP) bends upward.
Other hand and finger injuries:
If a finger is hit or bent back beyond its normal range of motion, it can become dislocated, meaning the ends of the bones move so that they are no longer properly aligned. Any of the finger joints can be dislocated.
Finger fractures can result from a number of causes, including jamming a finger, falling on it or closing it in a car door.
A common cause of wrist fracture is stopping a fall with outstretched arms.
Wrist fractures may be classified as either Colles’ fractures or Smith’s fractures. Both are breaks of the radius (the bone of the forearm) near the wrist. The difference is in the way the bone is broken. A Colles’ fracture occurs when the bone is broken with the hand outstretched.
Wrist Hand Finger Pain Care
Hot and cold. When hands are swollen and painful from arthritis, cold packs can numb the painful joints and reduce swelling. Cold is also helpful for reducing swelling and inflammation from a new joint injury. For aching hands without acute inflammation, heat may provide relief. For Raynaud’s phenomenon, keeping the hands warm is helpful.
Splints and braces. Splints and braces made of neoprene, metal and other materials are used in the treatment of arthritis, injuries or other conditions of the wrist and fingers. For example, a splint that immobilizes the wrist may be prescribed for nighttime use to relieve the tingling and numbness of carpal tunnel syndrome or to provide rest and support for arthritis in the wrist. Finger splints may be used to help fractured or dislocated fingers heal or to prevent deformities in fingers affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Splints and braces may be prefabricated or custom made by a hand therapist.
Assistive devices. If your hands are stiff or painful, or if you have trouble holding, gripping and turning, assistive devices can make tasks easier on joints and more efficient for you. These products, which range from simple to elaborate, help keep joints in the best position for functioning, provide leverage when needed and extend your range of motion. Simple arthritis self-help devices, such as jar openers, reachers and easy-grip utensils, can be purchased at many hardware or medical supply stores.