Hand Pain | Hand Injuries

Is hand pain keeping you from doing routine tasks or the things you love? Hand pain and hand injuries can happen to anyone. Hand pain can have a big impact on your activities, such as writing, carrying groceries or gardening. MaineHealth providers help diagnose and treat patients with hand pain or hand injuries, so they can return to the activities they enjoy.

What are hand pain and hand injuries?

Hand pain and hand injuries can prevent you from going about your daily routine without pain and discomfort. They can range from mild to severe problems.

Hand pain can affect any of the structures in the hand, including the bones, muscles, joints, tendons, blood vessels, or connective tissues. It is important to seek medical attention early for hand pain and hand injuries to prevent long-term problems.

Hand pain causes

Hand pain and hand injuries can result from disease or trauma. Some causes of hand pain and hand injuries include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis

  • Repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Peripheral neuropathy, a symptom of diabetes caused by damage to nerves

  • Trauma or injury

  • Overuse

  • Work-related tasks, such as machinery use, using hand tools, or accidents.

If you have hand pain that will not go away, make an appointment to see your provider.

Hand pain symptoms

Hand pain symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some common symptoms include:

  • Pain

  • Swelling

  • Signs of infection

  • Numbness/tingling

  • Cool, pale skin

  • Bruising

Talk to your provider if you have symptoms of hand pain and hand injuries.

Hand pain diagnosis

A doctor will diagnose hand pain and hand injuries based on a physical exam and your symptoms. The exam may include:

  • Visual inspection

  • Sensory nerve exam

  • Muscular and tendon exam

  • Bone exam

  • X-rays to see fractures or dislocations

  • Other imaging tests such as CT or MRI

After you receive the results of your screening, your provider will recommend a treatment plan.

Hand pain and hand injury treatment

Some treatment programs may include:

  • Resting the hand and wrist
  • Anti-inflammatory or analgesic painkillers to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Wrist splints to immobilize the affected area
  • Steroid injection
  • Physical therapy to learn and perform exercises to restore strength and flexibility.

Treatment for hand pain depends on the location, type, and severity of pain or injury.

Hand pain and hand injury prevention

They are ways to reduce your chance of injury. They include:

  • Performing exercises and stretches to strengthen hand muscles and increase flexibility

  • Learning and practicing safe hand movements to avoid an injury

  • Staying aware of posture throughout the day

  • Taking a break from activities that may cause symptoms.