Wrist And Hand Pain

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Wrist and hand pain can seriously interfere with a person's daily life.  Common household tasks such as brushing teeth or opening a can of soda may become an excruciating ordeal.  Some typical causes of wrist and hand pain are arthritis, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Arthritis is the most common form joint inflammation and usually occurs around the base of the thumb.  Arthritis pain may also be coming from a variety of other sources, such as inflammation of the synovial membrane, tendons, or ligaments.  Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis in older people. It is a slow-progressing disease that primarily affects the hands and the large weight-bearing joints of the body, such as the knees and hips. Osteoarthritis in the hands or hips may run in families, or be caused by injuries, overuse, muscle strain, or fatigue.

Another common issue that causes wrist and hand pain is tendonitis.  This is an inflammation of the sheath that protects the tendon.  Tendonitis generally does not require surgery and can be relieved through rest and physical therapy.  Carpal tunnel syndrome is a more serious condition where the median nerve of the wrist becomes compressed as it goes through the carpal tunnel, which is a very narrow and confined space.  Because of the many sensory and motor functions handled by the median nerve, many symptoms may result, including pain, numbness, or difficulty making a fist.

There are a number of treatment options available for wrist and hand pain, depending on what is causing the problem.  The first choice is to rest the joint, and allow the inflammation to die down before any further treatment is performed.  Be sure that you do not immobilize the wrist for too long, however, because this may cause it to freeze up or stiffen from lack of use.

You can also use ice packs and heat pads for wrist and hand pain.  Support braces are available for people who need protection for an existing injury or to prevent a future problem.  The braces are only intended to be a support for the wrist, not a protection against severe trauma or injury.  Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications may be prescribed, especially for wrist and hand pain caused by problems such as arthritis and tendonitis.  Cortisone is a more powerful medication that can be used for severe cases of inflammation in the hands and wrists.

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