Authored by Rodney Southern in Health
Published on 09-08-2009
Our hands are among the more vital parts of our bodies, and must remain healthy to live an active life. There are a number of problems that can arise in our hands, particularly as we age. Sometimes the hand or wrist problems are cosmetic, and sometimes they are actual health problems. Here is a general look at some of these hand problems and why they happen:
Ganglion cysts are largely a result of swelling in the joint spaces or tendons. This is often a sign of arthritis or tendonitis, and can be a very frustrating problem to those that have them. They are often unsightly, and the swelling can cause difficulties in a number of daily tasks. Surgery is often suggested if ganglion cysts are showing severe symptoms such as pain, swelling and growth.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This commonly diagnosed problem is actually a nerve issue. The median nerve gets compressed as it travels down the forearm to the hand. This “tunnel” is often compressing this nerve due to any swelling in the area. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include stinging sensations in the wrist, weakness in the joints, and pain throughout the hand. Surgery, medicines and wearing various splinting devices are the normal ways to treat this affliction.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
This is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome but it involves the ulnar nerve. This nerve runs from the elbow to the ring and small fingers. It gets compressed at the elbow and can cause pain and stinging in the elbow, along the arm and in the fingers. This is a very painful condition often, and can be fixed in a number of ways. Surgery is not uncommon with cubital tunnel syndrome.
This common ailment in older people can actually happen to the young as well. The common symptoms of arthritis include pain, swelling, weakness, and difficulty performing day to day functions. A very similar problem is tendonitis, but it presents with a much sharper pain as a rule. Arthritis tends to be more of a dull, aching pain. The first line of treatment for these conditions are to rest the affected area. Also, anti-inflammatory medications can be very effective in the short term. Surgery is usually only done as a last resort with arthritis and tendonitis.
A great many problems with the hands ends up being an insect bite that got infected, or that was venomous in some way. Many times, we are bitten by insects and other animals and do not get the proper treatment. While the vast majority of these are benign and harmless, a bite from some of these animals can be very dangerous. Any insect or animal bite that is not gone within a day or so should be looked at by a doctor. If the animal or insect is possibly venomous, you should be checked right away.
These are far from the only potential problems that you might have with your hands. The largest majority of hand problems are related in some way to old age or injury, so expecting a certain measure of these is logical. The key is to talk with your doctor about any concerns, and getting timely treatment for the problem.