A pinched nerve in your hand can be painful, but with proper home care it can usually be addressed and resolved in a short period of time. A pinched nerve in your hand may be the result of nerves being bundled or compressed. Because your hand is full of bone, muscle, and tendons, this can be a common occurrence for some people. However, in some cases, a pinched nerve in your hand may actually be the results of carpal tunnel, cysts or even arthritis. It is important that you see your doctor if the pain worsens or continues for a significant period of time.
- Sharp pain that radiates through your hand into your finger tips
- Throbbing pain in a particular area of the hand
- “Pins and Needles” or feeling as if your hand is “asleep”
- Dull pain or numbness in hand
- Decreased range of motion
Limit the movement of your hand. The more you use it, the greater chance you have of injuring yourself. Apply an ice pack to the area which is affected by the pinched nerve in your hand. Do this for 15-20 minutes every few hours. Take an anti-inflammatory drug every four to six hours. Once your hand has healed, do small exercises to increase your hand’s range of motion. This includes lightly bending and stretching your wrist and fingers.
What causes hand pain?
What some people don’t realize is that hand pain can occur directly in your hand, wrist or fingers. Symptoms vary as diagnoses can differ and different treatment options are available depending on what is causing the pain. The more common cases of hand pain are Tendinitis, Arthritis or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Hand pain can also result from a Ganglion cyst or Trigger Finger. For many people one of the main causes of hand pain involves overuse and injury.
How can my hand pain be treated?
In the majority of cases, the most effective form of treatment for hand pain is with home care. For example, if your hand pain occurs as the result of an injury, you should give your hand a rest, try anti-inflammatory medication and place an ice pack on the injured area for fifteen minutes, several times a day. Always remember that treating pain should be done on a continuum beginning with the least invasive procedure (home care) and ending with the most invasive procedures (surgery).
When should I call my doctor?
The best time to contact your doctor is if your symptoms worsen with time. This includes any abnormal bleeding, excessive swelling, or if your hand’s mobility decreases. Just keep in mind that pain tolerance levels and symptoms can vary from person to person, and it is better to get in and see a physician before these issues worsen.
It is likely that your doctor will perform a physical examination on your hand paying particular attention to your fingers, wrist, and overall mobility of your hand. Other things your doctor may look for include swelling, muscle strength and physical abnormalities. Your doctor may also inquire about your medical history in order to rule out any chance that you have a family history of such problems. Your doctor may require that an X-ray is taken of your hand to rule out the possibility of breaks or fractures.
Treatment options will vary depending on your cases. Your doctor may recommend splinting, cortisone injections or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. In more severe cases, orthopedic surgery may have to occur. Some of the more common types of hand surgeries include carpal tunnel releases, tendon repairs and cyst removal.
How can I prevent hand pain?
One way to prevent hand pain is by limiting excessive strain that is placed on your hands from physical activities or ongoing physical conditions. In many cases, this is usually the result of repetitive motions. This strain will only allow your pain to worsen over time.
Other ways to prevent hand pain include stretching before any physical activity. The goal of stretching is to prevent muscle damage and increase your endurance levels. Along with stretching, try and maintain a diet that is high in vitamins and calcium which promote bone health. Finally, it is important to keep you doctor notified of any pain developments that occur in your hand. Always remember that only a physician should diagnose a condition and recommend a particular form of treatment.