Hand injuries: Here is all you need to know

Hand injuries can be debilitating and cause simple tasks to become difficult chores. There are, however, different types of hand injuries that occur due to trauma and overexertion or compression. The injuries can occur on the bones, ligaments, nerves, muscles, and hand skin, causing excruciating pain. However, if you do suffer a hand injury there is specific hand therapy Townsville that can help, acting as physical and occupational therapy for the hand after an injury or surgery. Kristopher Downing, MD, comprehensively evaluates and treats most La Jolla hand injuries to alleviate pain and restore functionality.

Below is everything to know about hand injuries.

Types of hand injuries

Breaks and fractures:  Blunt trauma to your hand can fracture and even break bones in other hand parts like the wrist and fingers.

Dislocation: Occurs when a bone is pushed or pulled out of a normal place in the hand.

Lacerations: Occurs when your skin is cut with a sharp object

Burns: Damages the skin and soft tissues of your hand

Sprain: Occurs on your hand joints

Strains: Occurs when your hand muscles are pulled

Crushing injuries: The hand tissues become enclosed and swollen, leaving the muscles and nerves with no room to expand.

Carpal tunnel syndrome: Median nerve in your hand wrist becomes trapped leading to pain and causing numbness

Tendonitis: A series of tiny tears in the tendons of your hand due to overuse

  1. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is the treatment of pain or injury by applying exercises and stretches. Physical therapists are experts in musculoskeletal health who can prescribe specific therapies for damages depending on their location, severity, and cause. Common treatments include therapeutic modalities such as heat/ice, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, massage, bracing/taping/splinting, Kinesio tapHand injuries: Here is all you need to knowing, and exercise.

Physical therapists are the key to helping you return to daily activities safely by improving strength, endurance, range of motion, flexibility, coordination, balance, and gait. Restoring these things assists in reducing your chance for re-injury or flare-ups that may occur in the future.

  1. Injections

There are many different injection types, including cortisone, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and viscosity modifiers. Each one is used for a specific reason depending on an individual’s injury. An injection can act as an analgesic to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain or control inflammation by decreasing blood flow in an area.

As with any medical treatment, there are risks involved when receiving an injection. Pain during or after the infusion is joint in some patients, while others may have no side effects. Studies show that cortisone injections provide more relief initially but fail to maintain their effectiveness over time. PRP stimulates your body’s natural healing process, which can effectively regenerate tissue.

Also, injections are typically used before physical therapy for pain control. This allows patients to begin their rehabilitation exercises sooner rather than later, which enhances overall recovery times.

  1. Soundwave Therapy

Soundwave therapy, or ESWT, uses sound energy to generate vibrations in water at specific frequencies. The waves are transferred from the machine through cans placed on your skin which sends an acoustic pulse to damaged tissue when they collide with each other after bouncing off the body’s internal fluids and bone. This stimulates healing and treats inflammation while regenerating new cells to strengthen tendons and ligaments.

In many cases, high-intensity soundwave therapy can be used as a primary treatment for injuries such as tennis elbow, jumper’s knee, golfer’s elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis. However, it is also ideal for treating patients with chronic injuries who struggle to return to regular activities.

Although the research is still emerging, results show that soundwave therapy works best for mid-range injuries involved in chronic tendinosis or inflammation. It allows physicians to target specific areas, which speeds up recovery time by 10%.

In summary, nonoperative orthopedics refers to orthopedic procedures that do not involve surgery. It involves procedures and treatments such as physical therapy, soundwave therapy, and injections.

Symptoms

The symptoms of hand injury vary depending on the type of injury, how the injury occurred, depth, severity, and location. However, the common symptoms include;

Tenderness and numbness

Decrease in range of motion

Bleeding and weakness

Swelling, deformity, and discoloration

Fever, blistering and black areas of tissue

Blistering and change in the texture of the skin

Audible snap at the time of injury

Causes of hand injury

Hand injuries can be caused by trauma and overuse. The common cause is blunt trauma, causing injuries like breaks, fractures, sprain, and dislocation.

Overuse is caused by repetitive tasks and overexertion, and also contact sports, falls, fights and strenuous tasks have the risks of causing hand injuries.

Diagnosis

Your physician begins by doing a physical examination to check for swellings, bruising, and other signs of damage to help determine the severity of your injury.

Then the physician will evaluate your medical history to determine any underlying conditions such as osteoporosis.

 X-rays are conducted to identify the location and direction of the break-in of your hand. It also helps to rule out possible conditions such as a sprain.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to heal your hand and help you regain strength and return to normal functionality. The treatment options therefore include;

Cast, splint, and braces: They immobilize your hand to limit unnecessary movements promoting proper healing.

Pain medication: The doctor prescribes medication to alleviate the pain.

Surgery: They are used to keep broken bones in place.

Compression wrapping: They help to minimize swelling by keeping the fluid from gathering at the injury site.

Physical therapy: After prolonged use of splints and braces, rehabilitation helps get the hand back in motion.

Anti-inflammatory injections: Cortisone injection and steroids help alleviate pain and help you get back to work.

Consult your hand injury specialist today

If your hand has an injury, your doctor is the best person to diagnose and treat it. Hand injuries cause excruciating pain causing simple tasks to seem like difficult chores. Book an appointment today with Kristopher Downing at Upper Extremity Specialists and get back your range of motion and a healthy hand.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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