The nerves in your hands play an important role. They are part of the network that relays pain, pressure, temperature, and tactile sensations back to the brain, in addition to regulating muscle motion. Radiating pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand can occur when these nerves are injured. This condition can severely restrict hand motion and function, disrupting daily life.
Read on to learn more about nerve injuries that cause hand pain.
Hand Pain Caused by Nerve Injury
Generally, nerve pain in the hands is caused by one of three conditions: overuse injuries, muscular or skeletal issues, and damage caused by other medical conditions.
Only your healthcare provider can confirm the type of injury you have. They will most likely perform tests to determine the specific condition you have and the treatment options best suited for it. Some of the conditions that involve nerve damage are:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressive condition. It is the most common compression-related nerve disorder and is caused by persistent nerve inflammation, resulting in pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand.
This syndrome is more common in older people and women. It can develop due to excessive hand use, pregnancy, or chronic conditions such as diabetes.
Ganglion cysts are the most common type of growth seen in the hand area. The formation of these fluid-filled sacs on the hand or wrist can result in pain. These are not cancerous and usually go away on their own, but some cases may require treatment.
Ganglion cysts appear in the joints, frequently affecting the wrist, and can become problematic when they impinge on nerves.
Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, is caused by the gradual breakdown of the cartilage that surrounds joints as a result of aging and natural wear and tear. This causes inflammation, stiffness, and uneasiness, which can affect and disrupt the function of the nerves in the hands, significantly impairing hand motion and function.
Rheumatoid arthritis is also a cause of nerve injury in the hand area. It is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system incorrectly attacks the joints. It causes pain, stiffness, and swelling, and can severely disfigure fingers. If left untreated, it can lead to peripheral neuropathy and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon, which connects bone and muscle. It is most commonly caused by a series of minor impacts on the affected area or a single, more severe injury. Incorrect posture at work or home and inadequate conditioning before exercise or sports participation can increase a person’s risk of developing tendonitis.
Signs and Symptoms of Nerve Injury
Nerves are like the “telephone wires” of the body — carrying messages from the brain to different parts of the body. Some nerves transmit signals from the brain to the muscles that enable motion. Other nerves send temperature, pressure, and pain signals from the body to the brain.
Each nerve consists of small fibers bundled together with the purpose of carrying messages. The nerves are surrounded by an outer layer that protects and insulates them. However, these nerves can still be damaged.
Symptoms usually appear after an injury to the neck, shoulder, arm, or hand. However, they can also result from something as simple as laying on the arm for an extended period. Other injuries may occur due to a nerve crush or a sharp cut along any part of the nerve.
The following are some of the most common symptoms of nerve injury:
- Function loss in the upper arm, forearm, or hand
- Lack of sensitivity to physical sensation
- Reduction of muscle tone in the upper arm, forearm, or hand
- Changes in sweating patterns in the upper arm, forearm, or hand
- Wrist drop or loss of the ability to extend the wrist
Private Orthopedic Practice in North Dakota
Our hands play a vital role in our careers and daily activities. Experiencing pain due to a nerve injury can significantly affect your ability to accomplish tasks. Some conditions have home remedies and medications. However, if you’re experiencing severe, persistent, or recurring pain in the hands or wrists, it may be time to consult a doctor.
If you are considering treatment for nerve injuries in your hand, wrist, or elbow, our surgeons at The Bone and Joint Center can guide you through the best procedures for your specific needs, from consultation to recovery. All of our doctors are board-certified, with years of experience in the field. Furthermore, our accommodating staff will ensure that your visits will be comfortable and worthwhile!
To make an appointment, call (701) 946-7400 or (866) 900-8650, or visit our appointment request page for more information.