Hands Articles

Trigger finger

Trigger finger is a painful condition in which a finger catches or becomes locked when you try to straighten or bend it. Although the name may conjure up visions of sharpshooters and hunters, it comes from the trigger-like snap that occurs when the finger suddenly releases. This condition, officially known as stenosing tenosynovitis, usually affects the thumb or ring finger, though it can affect any finger. More »

Raynaud's disease

Raynaud's disease is a condition in which fingers, toes, or other body parts turn blue or white in response to cold. For some people, reaching into a refrigerator or freezer without gloves is enough to provoke an attack. Air conditioning can do it for others. Some people develop Raynaud's symptoms in response to emotional stress. Named after the French physician who first described it in 1862, Raynaud's is caused by a problem in the body's arteries. In most people with Raynaud's, small arteries that bring oxygen-rich blood to the fingers spasm and close down in response to cold or stress. This reduces or cuts off blood flow through these small arteries (known as capillaries). Without a steady supply of warm blood circulating through them, the tissue nourished by the affected capillaries becomes pale. Raynaud's can also affect the nose, lips, ears, nipples, and other body parts. After the affected tissue warms up, the capillaries open and blood flow resumes. More »

Carpal tunnel syndrome: Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention

The carpal tunnel is a space in the wrist through which nerves and tendons pass. Because it is on the narrow side, a nerve called the median nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel can become irritated or compressed. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a combination of numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in the hand caused by compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. It can occur in one or both hands. Anything that narrows the carpal tunnel can compress the median nerve. Injury to the nerve also can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Common causes include: Sometimes carpal tunnel syndrome occurs without a clear reason. More »

Hands don't work like they used to? Help is on the way

Carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, arthritis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and wrist fractures are some of the most common causes of hand pain and disability. Treatments include physical therapy, splints and braces, cortisone injections, and surgery. More »

Relief for hand arthritis

Osteoarthritis in the hands is treated primarily with medication to control pain and inflammation. In addition, seeing a certified hand therapist can also be very helpful for minimizing pain and remaining functional. Hand therapists offer a range of services, including fitting braces and splints and advising on how to alter work habits to protect the affected joints. (Locked) More »

Can you avoid carpal tunnel syndrome?

Sometimes the tissue around the tendons can swell and press against the median nerve in the forearm, in an area called the carpal tunnel. It results in tingling and numbness in the thumb and the middle, index, and ring fingers. The condition, called carpal tunnel syndrome, is often linked to aging. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with surgery and also nonsurgical treatments, such as splinting, steroid injections, stretching and exercising the wrist and hand, and possibly vitamin B6 and acupuncture. More »

Top 5 ways to reduce crippling hand pain

The most common causes of hand pain include osteoarthritis, nerve conditions, and tendinitis. There are a number of ways to help manage the pain, retain hand function, and avoid surgery. Doctors recommend a splint to stabilize the position of the fingers, thumb, or wrist. An injection of a corticosteroid into a joint can also reduce hand pain, as can a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Applying heat can loosen hand stiffness. Applying cold is effective for hand pain that results from activity. Exercises and stretches can help reduce pain and stress on the hand joints. More »

Unfolding bent fingers: New handiwork for bacteria

Dupuytren's contracture is one of the most common chronic hand conditions that affects tissues in the palm of the hand. Stages include thickening and pitting of the skin, then a painless nodule, followed by firm cords that develop along the tendons responsible for bending the fingers toward the palms. Over time, the cords tighten, bending the fingers inward. A new medication (an enzyme produced by Clostridium histolyticum), a bacterial cause of deadly gas gangrene offers an alternative treatment. (Locked) More »