Hand & Wrist Pain – Orange County
If you are suffering from hand or wrist pain, don’t wait any longer. Contact OC Sports and Wellness today to schedule a consultation. We will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan to get you back to doing the things you love.
Your hands are one of the most complex parts of your body. With so many bones, ligaments, tendons, and joints keeping hands and wrists working, there is ample opportunity for injury. In fact, injuries to the hand and wrists are some of the most common ailments facing athletes. If managed properly, however, most athletes can expect their injury to heal without any significant long-term disability.
Hand injuries and disorders can cause pain, loss of sensation, loss of movement, impaired functions, loss of productivity and reduced quality of life. If you experience pain in your fingers, hands, wrists or arms, Dr. Sunshine may be able to help. Nonsurgical treatments are options that can help to restore movement and reduce or eliminate your pain.
Whether you’re an avid athlete, a dedicated professional, or simply want to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle, hand or wrist pain can be a significant obstacle. It can disrupt your daily activities and prevent you from pursuing the things you love.
Hand & Wrist Injuries
For minor hand injuries, home treatment, including rest, ice, compression, and elevation to the effected limb can help relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness. An anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen may also be taken to help with the pain and inflammation.
Contact OC Sports and Wellness during regular practice hours if mild wrist pain, bruising, or swelling after an injury persists and does not improve after two weeks.
Should you sustain a hand or wrist injury while participating in a game where an attending team physician is not present, seek immediate medical care if any of the following symptoms are present:
- Abnormal twisting or bending of the finger or hand
- Bleeding that does not slow and persists for more than 15 minutes.
- Clicking, grating, or shifting noise while moving your finger, hand, or wrist
- Coldness or grayness in the finger, hand, or wrist
- Severe pain
- Severe swelling
Basal Joint Arthritis
Basal Joint Arthritis is a unique form of arthritis that is seen generally in women in their forties or above. The pain is located where the thumb and wrist meet. It can cause weakness in the hand and difficulty doing daily activities. It can be quite symptomatic and awaken patients at night. It is generally diagnosed by tenderness when pushing on this area and rarely requires surgery. Most of the time, it responds readily to injections and splinting and then becomes non-painful.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a prevalent and painful condition affecting many individuals, characterized by pressure on the median nerve within the wrist’s bony “tunnel.” Typically, this condition stems from repetitive motions inherent in various occupations, such as typing or writing.
This widespread ailment manifests as pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand, often concentrated in the thumb, index, and middle fingers. The discomfort sometimes extends to the arm and may even radiate into the neck. Exacerbated by activities, CTS can disrupt sleep, leading to frequent awakenings throughout the night. Many patients report hand weakness, resulting in dropped objects. It is estimated that one in ten individuals in the country experiences CTS.
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is pain around the thumb area caused by irritation to the local tendons. In addition to pain, tenderness is prevalent when the person makes a fist or tries to grip something.
This disorder is tendonitis on the thumb side of the wrist, which is very tender and painful during activities. It is diagnosed by doing a particular maneuver that mimics the pain. This problem usually responds to injections, but a minor operation is occasionally necessary.
Dupuytren’s Contracture is a disorder caused by the overgrowth of scar tissue in the hand. This can result in a finger being drawn into the palm. This is most common in the ring or little fingers. Generally, it does not cause pain but can be troublesome if left untreated. When the fingers contract far enough toward the palm, it is treated by removal of the scar tissue. If gone too long, they may not be treatable.
Hand and Wrist Injuries
There are a number of injuries that may occur in an athlete’s hands or wrists. They can be classified into two main categories: traumatic (acute) and overuse (chronic).
Traumatic injuries are more likely to occur in athletes who participate in sports that require higher levels of contact (i.e., football, hockey, or wrestling), whereas overuse injuries result in athletes who participate in sports that require them to “overdo” a particular movement (i.e., baseball, tennis, or golf).
Some common traumatic injuries in athletes include joint dislocations, sprains, muscle strains, broken bones, tendon inflammation, and ligament tears. The most common fracture injury in the athletic population occurs in the fingers.
Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Arthritis
Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Arthritis is seen in many people as they age and may be quite painful in its early stages before deformity develops. When the disease matures, a specific pattern is seen. Osteoarthritis is generally not disabling but may cause deformity. When it is tender, it usually responds to physical therapy, splinting, and/or injections and rarely requires surgery. Various joint replacements and other procedures are available for patients who do need surgery.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease of the lining of joints and is usually seen in women in their twenties, thirties, and forties and men after age sixty-five. It may progress to a disabling disorder and cause the hand to lose strength and function due to deformed fingers. This disorder should be evaluated early because it may respond to splinting, which may prevent some of the ultimate deformities. When symptoms become severe, an operation is necessary to replace the arthritic joints.
Trigger Fingers is a result of a nodule developing on a finger tendon, which may get caught in small pulleys that occur naturally in the hand. These can be quite painful and begin as a popping in the finger and then may progress, causing the finger to remain bent all the time. These are usually treated with an injection, but a minor operation is occasionally necessary if this is not resolved.
Wrist Ganglion are small “bumps” located on the fingers, wrist, or other hand joints. These are very common and are small hernias of the joint involved. They do not require treatment unless they become unsightly or painful. Occasionally, they may press on essential structures and cause symptoms. Treatment usually involves an injection or, if symptoms persist, a minor operation.
Overuse injuries are stress-induced and include tendon inflammation and dislocation, nerve injury, and over use stress fractures. Long-term disability is less likely to occur from overuse injuries than from traumatic injuries. However, if left untreated, an athlete’s sports performance may be significantly diminished. Surgical treatment may be required if an injury persists.
Treatment depends on the location, type, duration, and severity of the injury. While surgery is needed for some injuries, such as ligament tears, medication, “buddy-taping” (taping the injured finger to a neighboring one for support), splints, braces, casts, or physical therapy may be used as a treatment option. Dr. Sunshine will determine the best option, taking into consideration short and long-term damage; deformities, and stiffness.