“The hand is the visible part of the brain.” – Immanuel Kant
Humans are somewhat unique in the animal kingdom for a several reasons, and at the top of that list is that fact that we are bipedal – we walk upright on two limbs and use our feet quite extensively for locomotion – and we rely on our hands with their function of opposable thumbs.
Humans also tend to take both functions for granted. Until they can’t.
When it becomes difficult and painful to walk, we become acutely aware of our diminished bipedal capability. And, in similar fashion, when it hurts to use our hand, or hands, and our ability to carry out many common everyday functions is curtailed, we notice.
Chronic hand pain can be far more than annoying or frustrating – it can diminish our quality of life and limit our ability to perform even the most basic of daily life activities, or DLAs as these are known in the medical profession.
And chronic hand pain can impact us both mentally and emotionally over time.
Common Causes of Chronic or Recurring Hand Pain
Generally speaking, hand pain is not overly common. However, there are conditions resulting in hand pain that can stem from:
- nerve damage
- repetitive motion injuries
- sprains and fractures
- several chronic health conditions
And, aside from acute injuries to our hands, there are a few common causes of chronic or recurring pain that can extend to the hands.
One of these is cervical radiculopathy.
According to one source, cervical radiculopathy can be described as follows,
“When a cervical nerve root in the neck becomes inflamed or compressed, such as from a bone spur or herniated disc, neurologic deficits of tingling, numbness, and/or weakness may be felt in the shoulder, arm, hand, and/or fingers. Cervical radiculopathy may sometimes be accompanied by shock-like pain. It is possible for the primary symptoms to be pain and numbness in the hand.”
Similar to cervical radiculopathy in terms of pain symptoms is carpal tunnel syndrome. The Mayo Clinic notes that,
“Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of your hand. When the median nerve is compressed, the symptoms can include numbness, tingling and weakness in the hand and arm.”
While these two conditions can present themselves in similar fashion in terms of pain and other symptoms, cervical radiculopathy is more likely to be accompanied by other symptoms higher up the arm, such as additional pain, tingling, numbness, and/or weakness.
Some facts concerning carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as median nerve compression:
- More than 200,000 cases per year in US
- Treatable by a medical professional
- Diagnosis requires lab test or imaging
- Recovery can last several months
- Common for ages 30 and older
- More common in females
One other condition, though less common, that afflicts many is De Quervain’s tenosynovitis.
This is a painful condition that affects the tendons around your thumb. Swelling in the two tendons around the base of the thumb can cause the region around those tendons to become inflamed. This inflammation, in turn, can put pressure on nearby nerves, causing pain and numbness around the base of your thumb.
Other symptoms include:
- Pain around the thumb-side of your wrist
- Swelling near the base of your thumb
- Trouble grasping something or making a pinching motion
- A sticking or popping feeling when moving your thumb
Finding Relief from Common Causes of Hand Pain
We have been employing Active Release Technique® therapy for years at Pain and Performance Solutions.
Active Release Technique® (ART®) is used to treat the body’s soft tissues by combining both manual manipulation and movement. ART® has been practiced now for more than 30 years and is based on identifying, isolating, and targeting the affected area of the body to break up scar tissue. The result is improved blood flow and faster healing of injuries.
And relief from pain in most cases.
ART® can be used to treat problems with various soft tissue components of the body including:
Essentially, Active Release Technique® works by breaking up soft tissue adhesions, which are often dense formations of scar tissue that often occur when muscles and connective tissues are injured. This scar tissue can bind between your muscles, limiting flexibility, and causing stiffness and pain in the muscles and joints.
In addition to binding to tendons, sheaths and muscle tissue, adhesions can also cause nerve entrapment. However, by manipulating the soft tissues using Active Release Technique®, these adhesions can be broken up, allowing muscles, joints, and nerves to move freely again.
During ART® sessions, we use our hands to locate and identify the scar tissue. We then use the technique to isolate and target the area, manipulating it to break up the scar tissue. This also helps to restore proper blood flow so the area can heal.
And, ultimately, bring freedom from pain.
We Want to Help You Find Relief from Your Hand Pain Issues
When it comes to chronic hand pain, as with any injury, the first step in recovery is allowing us to get to know you and your pain issues.
During your initial consultation and assessment at Pain and Performance Solutions, we will learn all we can about your present pain and condition, along with any history of discomfort, as well as your current level of activity.
Treating and relieving your pain starts once we understand where and how your pain started.
A full examination will help us determine which form of treatment is best suited to get you on your road to recovery. Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body healthy and working properly is the only way to achieve total recovery.
Our goal is to work through the sequence of pain and dysfunction in order to get your body healthy and working properly and to achieve total recovery. Don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any questions that you may have.