Like many other people, you probably have experienced pain in your back, hand, or knee in your life. You may have acute pain which starts suddenly and gets better after a short time. Or you may experience chronic pain which persists and may get worse over time.
Hand pain can happen for many reasons, including injury, overuse of your hand and wrist, or other ongoing conditions. Common hand problems that can cause hand pain and interfere with your daily lives include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the compression of the median nerve due to a narrowed passageway surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of your hand. Symptoms can include numbness, tingling and weakness in the hand and arm.
- Broken bone or fracture of your hand
- Problems with a tendon, which is the tissue that connects your hand muscles to the bones. Examples of tendon problems include tendonitis, tenosynovitis, and trigger finger/trigger thumb.
What are the Treatment Options for Hand Pain?
Treatment options for hand pain vary depending on the cause of the pain. Some of the common treatment options include medications, physical therapy, and/or surgery.
Several oral or topical pain relievers can help reduce hand pain. Some of these oral medications are available over-the-counter (OTC) such as ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). Some topical medications that are available over-the-counter include creams, liquids and patches that contain capsaicin, menthol, methyl salicylate and other compounds. Stronger pain medications or corticosteroids may need to be prescribed by your doctor.
Home therapy such as resting and applying hot or cold packs on your painful hand may help relieve the pain. You can also try to limit activities that cause the pain.
Your doctor may recommend you do physical therapy to help with the pain. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, your doctor may recommend splinting your hand to prevent wrist movement and reduce nerve compression inside your hand.
Surgery may be needed for certain types of hand pain. If you have broken bones or another severe injury, you may need surgery to repair the fracture and reduce pain.
If you have hand pain that doesn’t improve with home treatment or OTC medications, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor can help identify the cause of your pain and recommend appropriate treatment options for you.
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Why Does My Hand Hurt? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/hand-pain-causes#1. Updated December 24, 2018. Accessed April 14, 2020.
What Can Cause Pain in the Hand or Wrist? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324593#home-remedies. Accessed April 14, 2020.
Hand Pain and Problems. Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/hand-pain-and-problems. Accessed April 14, 2020.