Hand or Wrist Pain
Hand or wrist pain can be caused by several possible conditions. In general, this type of pain is due to trauma, injury or nerve damage common to the wrists, hands and / or fingers. If you experience chronic hand and wrist pain and are unsure of your diagnosis, or the severity of your condition, you should seek medical advice before beginning any treatment.
Some signs that you should be seen by a doctor include:
- Wrist pain that occurs at night or while resting
- Wrist pain that persists beyond a few days
- Wrist pain that is aggravated with repeated use or irritation
- Signs of an infection, including fever, redness, warmth
- Any other unusual symptoms
Lumps and bumps
There are many potential causes of lumps, bumps, and masses that can appear on the hand and wrist. The cause of a hand or wrist mass can be determined by the appearance of the mass, examination findings, and possibly by imaging studies, including X-ray or MRI. Bumps or lumps that are painful, bothersome or increase in size should be medically examined.
Numbness or tingling fingers
Numbness or tingling in the fingers is typically caused by a compressed nerve in the hand, wrist or arm. For example, pain and/or numbness in the hand(s) can indicate carpal tunnel syndrome, where the median nerve is pinched off or compressed as it passes through the wrist joint. Conditions that originate in the elbow or arm, such as cubital tunnel syndrome, can also cause shooting pains along the forearm, with numbness and tingling of the fingers.
Swelling of the hand or wrist can be associated with a number of common and acute conditions. For example, swelling and bruising typically appear following major and minor injuries to the hand or wrist, such as sprains or fractures. Swelling that occurs over the back of the hand or wrist can indicate the growth of a ganglion cyst. Other hand and wrist conditions such as tendonitis and arthritis are frequently associated with swelling symptoms. Abnormal or frequent swelling should be reviewed by a doctor to determine the cause.
Limited flexibility and motion
Some potential symptoms of hand and wrist problems involve difficulties with flexibility with limited motion in the hand, wrist or arm. These symptoms can include difficulty making a fist, or problems gripping and picking up objects with the hand, or an inability to carry objects or use the arm. Each of these symptoms should be checked by a hand specialist or an orthopaedic specialist.
Cracking or popping joints
In general, the cracking of joints in the hands and wrists is very common, and usually painless. Many people crack their knuckles or make their fingers pop as a matter of habit. Finger clicking, popping, and snapping can be potential symptoms of finger conditions, such as tendon problems, ligament injuries and arthritis. Individuals who experience pain associated with cracking joints should be evaluated, to identify any underlying problems.