Hands are handy. They help you get virtually every task done, from preparing for work in the morning to preparing dinner in the evening. They are precious, but they are not immune from disease. Here is an overview of four common hand conditions, tips to spot them, and their treatment options:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is characterized by pain or numbness in the hands and fingers. It occurs when the median nerve is compromised in ways such as compression and irritation. The patient loses feeling in the fingertips, and this gradually progresses to the hands.
CTS symptoms include a tingling sensation at the fingertips, which many people have described as being poked with tiny needles. You may also experience numbness. These symptoms make it difficult to go about everyday tasks, and even buttoning your shirt can feel difficult. Severe cases may also cause wasting at the base of the thumb.
Fortunately, CTS can be treated by a hand surgeon. The surgeon operates on the wrist to take the pressure off the median nerve, fixing the problem. Applying wrist splints to keep the median nerve straight can also help fix mild cases of the condition.
Trigger finger is a condition characterized by a trigger-like movement in any of the fingers (including the thumb). Severe cases may also be characterized by a permanent lock in the affected finger/thumb.
Trigger finger occurs when the tendons running along the fingers get caught in the hoops they run through. These tendons facilitate the movement of the fingers by stretching and sliding. These tendons run through tiny hoops, and they can thicken and get caught in the hoop, hindering proper movement.
This condition may be painful, especially when you try to form a tight grip. It can also make it difficult to handle objects, consequently making everyday tasks seem complicated. Fortunately, this condition can be treated by injecting cortisone into the affected part or through surgery.
CMCJ (Base of Thumb) Arthritis
Arthritis commonly affects the carpometacarpal joint (CMCJ) at the base of the thumb. This condition is characterized by pain and stiffness in the thumb. It makes it difficult to handle objects, consequently making it difficult to get through your everyday tasks. For example, it can be difficult to hold a cup or spoon when the thumb is stiff or suffering from severe pain.
There is a range of remedies. For example, it is advisable to take the pressure off your thumb to ease the pain. The doctor can also inject you with cortisone. Severe cases of the condition may also warrant surgery.
Dupuytren’s disease is characterized by the thickening of the tissue in the hands and fingers. It may also induce some pain and numbness, and it makes it difficult to handle objects. It can be caused by factors such as genetics, trauma, and bad habits such as smoking and drinking. Fortunately, this condition can be treated through surgery or fasciotomy.
Fortunately, hands are also hardy – and these conditions are not widespread. What’s more, these conditions are also treatable. As such, watch out for these symptoms and take proper care of your hands.