You use your hands every day for nearly every task. When you have a condition that affects your hands, it can be life changing. It is crucial to make it a priority to get the proper care you need to ensure a speedy recovery or create a plan for relief. From arthritis, carpal tunnel, and tendonitis, to Dupuytren’s disease and sports injuries, learn about the common ailments and issues that affect the hands, and how your local wellness center in Denver will help.
Arthritis (Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis)
Arthritis is joint pain or joint disease that affects more than 50 million Americans each year. While there are more than 100 variations, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis are some of the common causes.
- Symptoms: Those suffering from arthritis experience pain and/or swelling in the joints, stiffness and a limited range of motion. The affected areas may become red, too. It can occur to anyone, at any age, however most commonly affects older women.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. The body confuses the joints as foreign, in which it then begins to attack them. As a result, one’s joints can become swollen because the joint lining tissue thickens. In addition to the common arthritis symptoms mentioned above, RA sufferers also experience fatigue, deformed joints, anemia, difficulty walking, and even fevers.
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis (OA) is known as a degenerative joint disease. It primarily targets the cartilage within the body as it loses its tissue that make it easy to move through breakdown. From here, the area can no longer absorb shock as it once did. When cartilage is rubbing together, it leads to pain and overtime, can damage bones. While OA can happen to anyone, it is commonly found in adults over 65. Risk factors for OA include age, genetics, weight, over use or prior injuries.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs due to pressure/compressed nerve on the median nerve of the hand. It starts in the arm and runs all the way through the wrist.
- Symptoms: Those suffering from carpal tunnel experience tingling, numbness or a weakening of the hand and arm. It is common to feel tingling in the fingers, mainly the middle or ring fingers. One could explain this feeling similar to an electric shock. With weakness, it becomes difficult to hold items.
- Risk factors: One of the most common causes for carpal tunnel is repetitive actions that push pressure on the area. It can also occur due to an injury, genetics, inflammatory diseases, weight, nerve damage or fluid retention.
Tendonitis of the hand is inflammation of the tendon, which is the tissue that connects muscles to bones. It is often mistaken for carpal tunnel syndrome as they have many of the same symptoms.
- Symptoms: People with tendonitis of the hand experience pain and swelling. There are a few different types of sensations such as sharp pains or a burning sensation. It can start in the fingers or go all the up to the palm of the hand. Weakening and stiffness of the hand is also common, as well as difficulty with range of motion. When the area swells, it makes it difficult to move properly. You may notice a popping or crackling when trying to make normal movements.
- Risk factors: A common reason for tendonitis is overuse. This can be through repetitive motion or moving large and heavy items. Once this happens, the area will swell. Injuries, genetics, and activity levels also lead to tendonitis. It is crucial to see a doctor and physical therapist for tendonitis as the tendon could rupture.
Dupuytren’s disease is a condition in which the fibrous tissue under the skin, the fascia, shortens and thickens. It can spread to different parts of the hand. This tightens the hand causing one’s hands to be more inward. It can become difficult to bend normally.
- Symptoms: One of the common symptoms of Dupuytren’s disease is a pulling forward of the ring and pinky fingers. People also notice lumps in the palm of their hands or tenderness within the area. It is also common to notice a pitting or lumps in the palm, too. Some experience more pain than others.
- Risk factors: Genetics, health conditions such as diabetes, alcohol use and age are some of the most common causes and factors for Dupuytren’s disease. It is most common in men over 40 years old.
From basketball and volleyball, to soccer and football—there are a variety of sports that require athletes to use their hands. Given that most sports have contact with the hands, the likeliness that there may be overexertion, ill form, and other types of movements that can lead to an injury.
No matter what hand and wrist issues you may experience, hand therapy in Denver, CO
- Types of injuries: When an athlete twists the finger in a specific way, it can become strained. Finger sprains are one of the top sports injuries related to the hand. This occurs when one of the ligaments ruptures. This can cause a large hard bump that if isn’t cared for, is extremely stiff. Another common issue is knuckle fractures. Once this happens, there will be extreme swelling in the area that is painful. Other common hand and wrist injuries that can occur are jammed or dislocated fingers, stress fractures, and wrist fractures.
- Signs of injury: While exercise is pushing yourself to your limits at times, pain is never a good sign. If you experience severe sharp pains, swelling, numbness, discoloration, or abnormal noises or movements, see a doctor immediately.
at Cherry Creek Wellness Center will help. Working in tandem with your doctor, a physical therapist will create a series of personalized exercises for you to be on your way to recovery and pain management plan.
Cherry Creek Wellness Center has a variety of locations around the Denver metro area to meet you where you are. We strive to provide the highest quality in wellness and rehabilitation. This is especially important if you are struggling with everyday normal motions with your hands! Contact us today at 303-333-3493 to see what we can do for you.