Hands can be used for so many purposes and, among them, is healing. However, there are times when it is our hands that are in need of healing. For most people, it is far too easy to take our hands and hand health for granted.
If we cut our hands, sprain our wrists or fingers, or even break a bone, it becomes glaringly apparent how important our hands are. And how much we depend on them for just about everything.
Another trigger is when we begin to suffer from chronic pain in our hands.
Why We Suffer from Chronic Hand Pain
The hands and wrists contain 27 bones. The carpals, or wrist, accounts for eight bones, the metacarpals, or palm, contains five, and the remaining fourteen are digital bones. The hand structure is composed of fingers and thumb, joints, and connective tissues, such as ligaments, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels.
Hand injuries can damage any of these structures and lead to pain, swelling, bruising, and other symptoms.
Common causes of hand injuries can include:
- crushing or blows
- landing on the hands during a fall
- jamming a finger
- bending the fingers or wrist too far backward
However, aside from accidental injuries, chronic hand pain can often be the result of other causes. According to an article at Medical News Today, for example, there are a number of common causes of hand pain.
Also known as “trigger finger,” this condition occurs when the ring of connective tissue called the tendon sheath at the base of a thumb or finger becomes swollen. This swelling can affect the movement of the tendon, making it difficult or painful to move the affected finger or thumb. A person may also notice a popping sensation when trying to move the finger, or a feeling that the finger is catching on something.
Repetitive movements or overuse of the hands and wrists can cause the muscles, tendons, and nerves to become painful, sore, or tense. Pain and tension from muscles in the arms and shoulders can also radiate down to the hands. This type of pain typically results from carrying out very repetitive or high-intensity activities for long periods of time. Holding the hands in awkward positions for too long can also lead to overuse injuries.
Common causes include:
- typing or using a computer mouse
- using tools
- lifting heavy items
- playing, or training for, sports
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs through the wrist, becomes compressed or squeezed. Symptoms can start gradually and are often worse at night. They typically include pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and arm. Carpal tunnel syndrome can also cause weakness in the affected hand. Some people may experience a loss of proprioception, which is a sense of where the hand is in space.
One of the other chronic causes of hand pain is arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, one of the most common forms of arthritis in the hands.
Osteoarthritis can develop simply from normal activities and use of the hands or, in some cases, it can sometimes develop after a hand injury. Typically, osteoarthritis develops in one of three locations in the hand, these being at the end joint closest to the fingertip, the middle joint of a finger, or the base of the thumb.
Effective Therapies for Treating Chronic Hand Pain
At Pain and Performance Solutions, we have been using Active Release Technique®, or ART® therapy for years. The approach is described in an article at Healthline.com,
Active Release Technique® treats your body’s soft tissue by combining manipulation and movement. The technique’s been around for more than 30 years. ART® entails identifying, isolating, and targeting the affected area to break up scar tissue. This promotes blood flow and faster healing of injuries. ART® can be used to treat problems with:
Dr. P. Michael Leahy, a chiropractor, first used ART® to treat soft tissue disorders in elite athletes and has been used to treat millions of people since 1984.
Essentially, Active Release Technique® works by breaking up adhesions, which are essentially dense formations of scar tissue that can occur after muscle or connective tissue injuries. This scar tissue can bind between muscles, limiting flexibility, and causing stiffness in the muscles and joints. In addition to tendons, sheaths and muscle tissue, these types of adhesions can also entrap nerves.
By applying soft tissue manipulation therapies using Active Release Technique®, these adhesions can be broken up allowing muscles, joints, and nerves to move freely again.
How Active Release Technique® Works
The diagnostic process makes use of the provider’s hands to identify aberrations in tissue texture, tension, and movement, and allows the provider to determine the root cause of your condition.
Once the root cause is identified, the underlying condition is targeted by one or more ART® treatment protocols, each combining precise touch with specific patient movements to restore proper function and relieve pain.
Because the ART® system is unique, the results are uncommon. In addition, there are no known side effects nor downsides to treatment. And, best of all, most conditions including strains, sprains, and other musculoskeletal disorders, are resolved in only five or less treatment sessions.
With treatments using Active Release Technique® to treat injuries and pain, you don’t have to endure countless medical visits with only minimal improvement. You can also avoid expensive and risky invasive procedures or settling for “just living with” soft-tissue pain and dysfunction.
Pain and Performance Solutions for Your Chronic Hand Pain
For chronic hand pain, as with any injury, the first step in recovery is letting us get to know you and your pain issues. After making your first appointment, we’ll ask a series of questions to learn about your present discomfort as well as any history of pain.
We then conduct a full examination to determine which form of treatment is needed to help you on your road to recovery. Your body will compensate for pain to allow you to move on with your day. However, your body can also shift that pain around to compensate for your discomfort and this can lead to other forms of pain.
Using ART® for achieving hand pain relief can only begin when we can understand where your pain started. That could mean it started a while back with another injury you might have sustained.
Your trust in us is key, as is your openness and honesty. Ultimately, getting your body working properly and healthy is the only way to achieve total recovery. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any, and all questions that you may have.