Compared to the rest of the body, your hands have some very complex structures with many small bones, joints, and tissues. They allow your hands a high degree of flexibility and range of motion, letting you perform precise tasks. However, as with any precision instrument, it’s particularly susceptible to damage and injuries.
You might experience hand pain because of wear and tear, overuse, or injury. It’s possible to treat some hand conditions with self-care or home remedies. However, not all of them are easy to address, and you may need medical attention. Read on to find out symptoms that may indicate that you should seek medical help for hand pain.
Signs of Infection
Hand infections are more common than you might think — you can get them from various everyday activities. These include things that might seem harmless, like being exposed to someone who is sick, touching a surface in a public area, or simply dining out in a restaurant with someone close by who is sick.
If you get a wound on your hand from a bite, scrape, or wound from a dirty and sharp object, bacteria and other foreign organisms can enter your body. These organisms may colonize part of your wound, creating an infection.
The infection might begin as hand pain, and you’ll likely observe discharge, swelling, and redness. Not all hand infections are severe, but it’s best to see a doctor and ensure that it doesn’t get worse. Animal bites may cause rabies. Severe infections could cause irreparable damage to your hand.
Felon (Finger Infection)
If you get a small cut near your fingernail, bacteria can enter. This type of infection causes redness near the tip and pad of your finger, and you’ll likely experience pain.
You don’t need to suffer an injury to get an infection. Some organisms, like some fungi and bacteria, only need to be on your skin to cause problems. Skin infections typically begin with itching and redness but may progress to hand pain.
You’ll be particularly susceptible to skin infections if you spend a lot of time outdoors. It can also happen if you are unable to wash your hands frequently.
If you are an active person and participate in physical activities, you may sprain or strain your hand. You might also suffer a bone fracture, causing hand pain. Remember: your hands have relatively small and fragile parts. Contact sports such as combat sports, rugby, or football put you at risk of injury.
Appropriate sports equipment reduces your risk but doesn’t eliminate it. You might also sustain orthopedic injuries in solo sports like gymnastics or weightlifting.
The nerves in your hand and wrist can get damaged, irritated, or compressed. If this happens, you may experience numbness in your hands or fingers. Numbness isn’t as common as physical injuries, but it’s no less severe.
Numbness may indicate conditions that vary in severity. Some of them may be life-threatening, so if you experience chronic numbness in your hands, it’s vital to see a doctor as soon as possible. Some conditions that numbness may indicate include:
- Heart attack
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries
You might find that your finger or thumb bends and remains that way. This condition may indicate that you have trigger finger. Some people find it possible to straighten their fingers, but it takes significant effort. In some severe cases, your fingers may get stuck that way, and you cannot move them at all.
You may experience hand pain in addition to trigger finger. Anti-inflammatory medication may help manage the pain, but it likely will not address the trigger finger itself. Therefore, you should consult your orthopedic doctor as soon as possible.
You may experience excruciating or intense hand pain for a reason you can’t immediately identify. It may be a result of heavy, repetitive tasks straining your hand muscles and ligaments, or something else entirely. Painkillers may be an immediate solution. However, if you experience intense hand pain for no apparent reason, it’s vital to see your doctor.
Intense pain without exterior symptoms may be indicative of arthritis. Arthritis typically causes inflammation or degradation of your joints.
Orthopedic Specialists In Palm Beach County, FL
There are various causes of hand pain. While not all of them require immediate attention, it’s best to consult your doctor to be safe.
Since 2007, Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches’ team of orthopedic doctors has provided the best orthopedic, sports medicine, rehabilitative and spine care available in Florida. They treat not only a full spectrum of bone, muscle, and joint conditions but also sub-specialize in areas of orthopedic medicine.
For expert orthopedic evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment, you may call (561) 733-5888 for an appointment. If you reside around the southwest corner of Boynton Beach Boulevard and El Clair Ranch Road, feel free to drop by our clinic.