Any part of your body is susceptible to pain. Though you may expect to experience pain after an injury, sometimes the discomfort develops from an unknown cause. Arm and hand pain, for example, can occur without an injury from many different causes. Because you rely on your arms and hands to do many things, from writing to typing to carrying the groceries into your house, the pain can be a bit distressing and keep you from doing the things you need to do.
Here, at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center, we specialize in arm and hand pain and want you to know some of the common causes of pain in these areas of which you may not be aware.
Doing the same motion over and over again, with few breaks in between, can really tax the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your arm or hand. There are some common conditions that affect the arm or hand that develop from repetitive motion, including:
Tendonitis refers to inflammation of your tendons, which are the thick fibrous tissues that hold your muscles to your bone. Repeating the same motion over and over again can lead to inflammation in any of the tendons found in your arm or hands.
Tennis elbow, for example, develops from the constant back and forth motion of your forearm as you play your game. Tennis players, however, aren’t the only ones prone to this condition; painters, butchers, and plumbers can also develop tennis elbow. You may also be prone to the inflammation if you spend all day moving your computer mouse up and down.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common source of both hand and arm pain that develops when the median nerve that provides sensation to the thumb, index, middle, and ring finger gets compressed as it moves through the carpal tunnel in your wrist. Repetitive motion, which may occur if you work in an assembly line, may cause the tendons in your wrist to swell, leading to nerve compression and pain.
You may be able to prevent arm and hand pain from repetitive motion by altering the way you do things, if possible, to prevent the repeated stress. Our specialists here at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center can help you figure out how to alter your movements to prevent the pain.
Wear and tear that comes with aging
You may gain wisdom with age, but aging also affects joint health. You may experience arm or hand pain due to the wearing down of the cartilage that separates your joints that occurs over time, allowing the bones to rub together. This condition is more commonly known as osteoarthritis.
It isn’t just your cartilage and joints, however. You can also develop tears in your rotator cuff, which are a group of tendons that hold your arm and shoulder in place, due to degeneration of the tissue. A rotator cuff tear can cause pain in the shoulder that travels down the arm and may affect your ability to use your arm. The degeneration usually affects your dominant hand, too.
Maybe it’s your neck
Your arm or hand pain may not be directly related to your extremities. The sensations you feel running down your arm and into your hands may generate from conditions that affect your necks, such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. These conditions can irritate the nerves that send signals down your arm and hands. If you’re experiencing any numbness or tingling in your hands or arms, you should also have your neck evaluated.
That funny bump on your wrist
That funny bump may be a ganglion cyst, which is a noncancerous tumor filled with the lubricating fluid from your joint. These tiny bumps aren’t usually painful, but if they press on a nerve, they can cause pain and be difficult to live with. Treatment for the cyst may involve immobilization, drainage of the fluid, or complete removal of the cyst.
Maybe you didn’t break a bone, but a bad fall can injure the tendons, ligaments, or muscles in your arm or hand and lead to pain. You may be tempted to ride it out at home with rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, and an ice pack. But knowing the underlying cause of your pain can help you get the most effective treatment for a quick recovery. For example, if you’ve torn a rotator cuff after a fierce fall to the ground during a tackle at football practice, not getting the right care may cause the tear to worsen.
Arm and hand pain can develop from many causes. Identifying the underlying cause of your pain can help you get the most effective treatment. To find out what’s causing your discomfort, call CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center today, or request an appointment online.