When is hand surgery an option?
While some types of hand injuries can be remedied with medicine and rest, there are other injuries that could require wrist pain treatment through surgery.
In addition to traumatic injury, other common causes of hand pain are:
- Sports injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Arthritis in the elderly
Except in cases of traumatic injury where surgery is required, your doctor will first try to alleviate hand problems through:
- Physical therapy and exercise
- Non-invasive treatments such as ultrasound, massage, and heat therapy.
- Medication and cortisone injections
However, if these approaches lose their effectiveness to relieve pain and increase function, surgery may be the best course of wrist pain treatment.
Operating on the hand
One of the latest developments in wrist pain treatment is wrist arthroscopy, which allows the surgeon to look inside the wrist joint with a small camera. This is used to repair ligament tears from traumatic injury or repetitive motion.
Surgeons are also now able to replace and rebuild arthritic joints in the hand. Silicone implants can be used to replace metacarpophalangeal joints destroyed by rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis most frequently affects the base of the thumb, and surgery to rebuild this joint relieves pain and restores function.
Because surgical wrist pain treatment are so much stronger now, patients undergoing tendon repair and other hand surgery can begin post-surgical rehabilitation much sooner. With the help of a good hand therapist, these patients can typically return to their usual activities sooner than in the past.
Excessive use of electronic gadgets can lead to arthritis
Mishandling electronic devices like cellphones and tablets can cause aches and pains, including arthritis, an expert says.
“You know, arthritis is commonly caused from it,” says Occupational Therapist Drew Reynolds at the Columbus Orthopedic Clinic. “Carpal tunnel syndrome, other Tendinitis of the upper extremity…we see it all the time.”
A study by The Vision Council found more than 60 percent of adults spend five or more hours on electronic devices each day, and nearly 40 percent of millennials spend at least nine hours of screen time daily.
Reynolds says physical pain caused by the use of technology does not affect one age group more than the other.
“We tend to see it across the board because everyone now is using these mobile devices,” Reynolds says.
Types of pain range from “tech neck,” which is caused by constantly looking down at devices, to stiffness in the thumb, fingers and wrist areas caused by typing.
Do these 5 hand exercises to ease your arthritis
Perform these exercises daily to ease stiffness, reduce pain, and increase the mobility of your hands.
Make a fist: This exercise is very simple – all you do is make a fist. Begin with your fingers straight out then curl them in to make a fist. Squeeze your fist then release. Perform this at least 10 times per hand.
Finger bends: Using only one finger at a time, bend the finger inwards towards you palm, release, then do the same motion with the next finger. Complete this sequence a couple of time times and hold the finger a couple of seconds when inward.
Thumb bend: Bend your thumb inward toward your palm. Using your pinky, press down on the thumb to provide an additional stretch. If your pinky doesn’t stretch to the thumb, simply stretch your thumb as far as you can.
Make an “O”: Bend your fingers as to make the letter “O.” Hold for a few seconds, release, and repeat.
Table lift: Place your hand flat on a table top and lift each finger upward from the table separately.
Eating bone marrow played a part in why our hands look the way they do
Early hominins practiced an array of tool-related activities, including hunting, foraging and cooking. But according to a new study from researchers at Chatham University and the University of Kent, not all of these activities were created equal. The team’s findings, newly published in the Journal of Human Evolution, suggest that a specific behavior—smashing animal bones to access their marrow—had an outsized effect on the development of early hand anatomy.
“These behaviors all involve different materials, different end goals, and different patterns of force and motion for the upper limb,” the researchers note in their study. “Therefore, it is unlikely that each behavior exerted equal influence on the evolution of the modern human hand.”