About Hand and Wrist Pain

Pain in the hand can be debilitating.

Anything we do involves some sort of fine motor control and this can be easily disrupted by any number of conditions.

The hand comprises the articulating surface where the forearm meets the hand at the wrist joint, and it also includes the palm, and associated four fingers and thumb.

The joints of the hand are susceptible like any other joint to conditions of osteoarthritis and other joint-related pathologies.

The tendons of the hand can be affected by scars, nodules and rheumatoid arthritis. This pathology can lead to trigger finger.

The front of the wrist allows passage to the carpal tunnel of delicate structures including the arteries and veins as well as the median nerve.

Constriction of the tunnel can cause the median nerve to become entrapped, carpal tunnel syndrome, resulting in numbness and tingling pain in the hand and parts of the forearm.

Inflammation of the tendon, tenosynovitis, can affect any tendon but is especially debilitating when it affects the thumb.

A specific form of tenosynovitis called De Quervain’s syndrome can lead to some being immobile with inflammation at the base.

Infectious pathologies including fungal infections, allergic conditions, and vascular conditions can all cause various pain-related syndromes.

Treatment of any one of these conditions first begins with a detailed history and physical, followed by appropriate imaging including x-rays, MRIs, electrodiagnostic studies (carpal tunnel syndrome), and other imaging using the ultrasound.

Treatment options depending on the cause typically include physical therapy, heat and cold therapy, anti-inflammatory, and other oral medications, and localized image-guided injections.

Woman with painful wrist