Common Hand and Wrist Injuries
The importance of our hands in performing our daily activities and going on with our daily normal routine cannot stressed highly enough. One you injure even just one hand, then you discover just how important they are as you will find that it will become quite difficult to perform duties that under normal circumstances usually seem quite mundane. Hands come in handy, pardon the pun, when performing tasks such as cooking, driving, writing, typing, picking up and carrying things among many others. What this means is that pretty much every activity we do involves the use of our hands. This is probably where the problems start as since hands are used quite a lot, it means that they are exposed to injury risks a lot more than most other parts of the body. This is why, as far as injuries to the various body parts are concerned, hand injuries are quite common. Given the wrist is the joint that joins the hand with the arm, it holds that wrist injuries are equally as common as hand injuries. Hand and wrist injuries come in different types with varying degrees of severity and from differing causes. There are those hand and wrist injuries that are quite common and as such this article will look to highlight some of them with the aim of helping you be on the lookout for them and be aware of them.
Hand and wrist injuries can broadly be categorized into either sprains, injuries to the bones and injuries to the soft tissue and closed tendons in the hand and wrist. We will start by taking a look at the latter, which though may have names that are not commonly heard among lay folks, they are actually more common than you think. De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is one such injury and it is basically a painful condition that affects the tendons on the side of the wrist close to the thumb. Although experts are yet to establish what exactly causes the condition, it is thought to be worsened by frequent and repetitive hand or wrist movement. Symptoms to look out for include swelling near the base of the thumb, difficulty moving the thumb or wrist especially when grasping or pinching and a sticking sensation in the thumb when you try to move it. Treatment of this condition, as per the folks over at frontlineer.com, is mostly through medication and physical therapy with the aim being to prevent it from reoccurring and to preserve thumb movement. In severe cases, surgery may be needed. Another common injury to the soft tissue and tendons in the hand and wrist is what is referred to as mallet finger. This is the deformity in a finger that is caused when an object such as a ball strikes the tip of the finger and causes it to forcibly bend, hence tearing the tendon straightening the finger. it is also referred to as baseball finger and some of the symptoms include swelling, bruising, pain as well as an inability to straighten the fingertip of the injured figure. Treatment is usually through the use of splint for up to two months.
Next up, as far as common hand and wrist injuries are concerned, we will take a look at sprains. An example of these are thumb sprains which occur when the ligaments supporting the thumb are stretched beyond their limits or are torn. This occur mostly when a strong force bends the thumb backwards or away from the palm of the hand. A splint is used for treatment. Another example of a sprain is the wrist sprain which occurs when the ligaments in the wrist are damaged ranging from tiny tears of the ligament fibers to complete tears of the ligaments. This is usually caused when one falls heavily on their outstretched hand with symptoms, as per frontlineer.com, including pain, swelling, bruising, warm feeling around the injured wrist as well as a popping sensation inside the wrist. Treatment can vary from making use of the R.I.C.E (resting, icing, compression and elevation of the injured wrist) technique for minor injuries to surgery for more severe ones such as fully torn ligaments.
Finally, as far as common hand and wrist injuries are concerned, we will take a look at injuries to the bones in hands and wrists. The most common injuries here are hand fractures which are basically breaks in one or more of the bones in the hand. This can involve the small bones found in the fingers or the long ones found in the palm of the hand. People suffer hand fractures from accidents in contact sports, falls, twisting injuries or from crush injuries. Symptoms include deformity, tenderness, pain, swelling and an inability to move the fingers. Treatment involves immobilizing the injured hand using a cast or splint with severe fractures requiring surgery, as is covered over at frontlineer.com. Next up we have wrist fractures which happen when any of the bones in wrist, which are ten, breaks. The radius usually the most affected and the culprit is mostly due to one falling onto an outstretched hand. Symptoms include visible deformity of the wrist, swelling, difficulty moving the injured wrist as well as a tingling sensation in the fingertips. Treatment usually involves wearing a cast after the bones are reset with surgery being required for severe cases. Another common injury of the hand and wrist is the dislocation of the PIP joint, or proximal interphalangeal joint in full, which is the joint at the middle of the fingers, that is, above the knuckle. This is the most common of all hand and wrist injuries and are mostly caused by a hyperextension of a finger or if the finger is forced downward. Common symptoms include loss of function of the injured finger as well as a disfigured and deformed joint. Treatment is through immobilizing of the injured finger through the use of a splint or a buddy wrap. Most of the time, the injured finger is immobilized together with adjacent ones for additional support.
The above are some of the most common hand and wrist injuries that you should look out for, with more on this and other related topics to be found over at the ever reliable frontlineer.com.