What Is Happening to My Hands and Fingers?
As you age, you may begin to notice physical changes in your hands and fingers. This can be somewhat disconcerting, especially if the condition is accompanied by discomfort and dysfunction. Your hands and fingers serve multiple purposes throughout the day, and are needed for everything from the simplest to the most complex tasks. Early deformity, a lack of feeling or tingling, and loss of flexibility are common hand conditions that many of us simply try to ignore. You might remember a hand injury suffered earlier in your life, or perhaps you are already dealing with other arthritic conditions or forms of degenerative joint disease. Nonetheless, your hand health is just as important as good foot health. So, it is essential to seek the advice of a healthcare professional if you notice a loss of mobility or strength coupled with hand or arm pain.
Diagnosing and Treating Hand Conditions
Whether your condition has a simple or more complex cause, only a physician or orthopedic hand specialists can make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe a treatment regimen to reduce pain and restore function. Listed below are three hand conditions related to tissue swelling and nerve entrapment:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Also called median nerve compression, it is a common hand condition. When swelling compresses the nerve in the wrist, it can result in numbness, tingling and shooting pains in the hand and arm. Although the condition can be caused by chronic disease, carpal tunnel most often occurs during pregnancy or results from repetitive physical stress at work, home, or play.
- Dupuytren's Contracture is an abnormal thickening of tissue located just below the skin in the palm of the hand that extends into the fingers causing them to remain bent when the hand is relaxed. Symptoms typically occur on the dominant hand affecting the ring and pinkie fingers first.
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome - Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a form of ulnar (i.e., funnybone) nerve compression. The condition can cause numbness or tingling in the ring and small finger. Pain patterns typically follow the forearm. A loss of hand strength and lack of mobility in the affected fingers are also common complaints.
A combination of treatments may be needed and used to control symptoms as well as restore some of the strength and flexibility. Unfortunately, in most cases, these only offer a temporary solution to your problem.
Minimally Invasive Surgical Interventions
Although hands and fingers tend to look alike, they are mechanically and physically unique to each individual, so treatments vary, but may include rest, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, or the use of splints. If the swelling or tissue build-up causing the nerve impingement does not improve, hand surgery may be the best option for obtaining permanent relief. A skilled hand surgeon can typical restore movement and eliminate (or reduce) the pain with a minimally invasive corrective procedure. If you are troubled by an existing hand condition, or want to discuss your hand health with a doctor, schedule an appointment at either PrimeMED location for an immediate examination and evaluation by our board-certified physician.