The human hand is one of the most complex structures of the body. They are also some of the most heavily used parts of the body, so when you are experiencing hand pain, it can be some of the most debilitating pain, keeping you from doing what you love. Since the hand is so complex and involves a lot of moving parts all working together, it is no surprise that there is no shortage of hand ailments.
In the hand alone, there are 29 major and minor bones, 29 joints, 123 named ligaments, 34 muscles, 48 named nerves, and 30 arteries. Because we rely on our hands on a daily basis, it is vital to get to the root of the issue when you are experiencing hand pain. Here are some of the most common causes of hand pain:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Now we have all heard of this one, when your hand gets sore after a repetitive task like typing or writing, but do you actually know what Carpal Tunnel is? In the bones at the base of your hand down by your wrist, there are narrow openings called tunnels. When these swell shut they pinch the nerves that run from your arm into your hand, causing numbing and pain. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be treated with rest, ice, compression, wrist splints, cortisone injections, and in severe cases, surgery.
Most of the bones in your hand are small, and can be delicate. Fractures can be as obvious as broken fingers or bones in the hand where there is swelling, or can be subtle, and you may not even know that you have a fractured bone. Some fractures can be mistaken for severe sprains, and it takes an x-ray to determine if an actual fracture has occurred.
Trigger finger occurs when the space within the sheath that surrounds the tendon in the affected finger becomes narrower due to inflammation. Tendons exist in each of our fingers (and all over our body, for that matter) and are the fibrous, cord-like material that attaches muscle to bone. Each tendon is covered by a sheath that helps the tendon to glide smoothly upon movement. When that sheath becomes irritated, inflammation is a result. And, if there’s inflammation (swelling) within the sheath, that means there’s less room for the tendon to move freely through the sheath, causing the finger to “catch” or “get stuck.”