Physical Therapy for Hand Pain

Hand pain can be a common complaint. Hand pain is often due to overuse of the hand, an injury, or arthritis. This type of pain can get in the way of daily activities such as writing, buttoning clothes, and gripping objects and lower your quality of life.

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Physical therapy can help you to recover from hand pain

Working with a physical therapist to treat common conditions that cause hand pain is a great first step in getting back to your favorite activities.  Physical therapy exercises work as a treatment by strengthening muscles around the joints and improving flexibility while also working on strategies to avoid further injuries. 

If you are experiencing hand pain it’s important not to ignore it but rather seek treatment sooner than later to ensure you restore the function of your hand.

Types of Hand Pain Injuries We Treat

Arthritis

Arthritis of the hand is very common, if not the most common cause of hand pain.  Arthritis can occur in many areas, but it becomes very troubling when it affects our hands, as they are so important for our daily lives. 

Wear and tear on the hands can be hard to avoid, especially when your job or lifestyle requires repetitive activities that can wear the cartilage of the joints faster than usual.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is inflammation of the median nerve as it travels through the wrist. This nerve serves the thumb up to the elbow which is why carpal tunnel syndrome can cause pain in both areas.

Symptoms include tingling, numbness, and even weakness of grip or pinch strength. This condition often has pain localized to the thumb, index, and middle fingers resulting in reduced ability to do simple tasks.

Tendinitis of the Hand

Tendinitis is the swelling of a tendon usually due to overuse or injury. Symptoms include pain and tenderness in the wrist, palm, or fingers. This condition often has pain localized to the palm at the base of the thumb or any one of the fingers.

Thumb Tendonitis

Thumb tendonitis causes pain and inflammation of the tendons that connect to the thumb. Symptoms include tenderness at the thumb base and along the forearm and can sometimes reduce grip strength and pinch strength.

Dupuytren's Contracture

Dupuytren’s contracture is a thickening and shortening of tissue in the palm that can pull the fingers into a bent position. This condition often affects the ring and little fingers and can cause pain, difficulty gripping objects, and a change in skin appearance.

Trigger finger

Trigger finger, also called “stenosing tenosynovitis”, is a condition in which one of the fingers or thumb suddenly becomes locked in a bent position. It is caused by a narrowing of the space through which the tendon sheath passes, which puts pressure on the tendon and reduces its ability to slide smoothly. This results in catching or locking of the finger joint, most often as you try to straighten it.

Hand Sprains and Strains

Muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the hand can be injured from a sudden force or a gradual overuse. This can lead to swelling and pain in the wrist, palm, fingers, and thumb that makes it hard to use your hand for everyday tasks.

Joint Dislocations and Fractures

Joint dislocations of the hand can happen when you fall or hit your hand at an unusual angle leading to the joints separating.  During a traumatic injury like this one, it is also common to see fractures of the injured bones.  A medical doctor should always analyze your dislocations and ensure that you haven’t also caused a hairline or full break of the bones of your hand.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that affects the hand and causes loss of mobility and often disfigured joints.  It is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. This can lead to pain, swelling, and stiffness in the hand joints, making them difficult to move.

Ganglion Cysts

Ganglion cysts are fluid-filled lumps that develop near the tendons of the wrist and hand. These are round in shape and filled with a jelly-like substance.  They can be a range of sizes and in some cases, depending on the location and size, can put pressure on the nerves surrounding their location.  Which causes pain as well as interferes with normal joint movement.

Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis caused by an excess of uric acid crystals in the joint, which causes inflammation and swelling. Often gout can cause a sudden burst of pain and aching in the affected joint.

It can cause pain at the base of the big toe but also tends to appear in other areas like fingers causing intense pain around the joint.  Even the most basic touch can set your gout pain into overdrive and have a harsh effect on the quality of your day-to-day life.

How Physical Therapy Helps Hand Pain

Physical therapists can use massage, manipulation (sometimes called mobilization), heat, ice, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation to treat the pain. Physical therapists can also use splints or braces to keep your joints in proper position while they heal.

Your physical therapist may recommend exercises to strengthen the muscles of your hand and wrist, which can prevent stiffness and improve function.

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How do healthcare providers
treat hand pain?

By treating any dysfunction you may have in your hand, we can help alleviate some symptoms that are causing you hand pain.

Also with time and effort, we can help build up the surrounding muscles and effectively strengthen the joints.  This may allow you to return to your normal daily functions and avoid further complications.

Our Clients Success Stories​

Before seeing Dr. Miano I had been dealing with chronic pain for more than 3 years. I had tried several rounds of nerve blocking injections and various pain management medications that never relieved my pain. I had seen physical therapists in the past and I did not have high expectations. In the past, I always found excuses not to follow through with my therapy and frequently canceled appointments. What a difference a therapist makes. In the 3 months that I have been seeing Dr. Miano, I am proud to say I have not cancelled a single appointment. After about 3 visits, I was feeling a reduction in my level of pain. Dr. Miano provides hands on, one on one coaching. One of the big differences from other physical therapists is he listens to his patients needs and is empathetic. He gives his patients feedback and motivates his patients every step of the way. If you are looking for a caring, committed professional, look no further. Don’t delay, make an appointment ASAP.
Rowdy L
I have been going to Impact Care Therapy for a couple of months now and am blown away with the level of knowledge and care they provide. The team treats me like a friend and makes me feel as though I am the most important person in the room as they do all of the patients that come through the doors. Manny evaluates all aspects of an injury and does not just treat the symptoms. He works hard to find the underlying issues and continuously reevaluates to insure his therapy plan is the best and most effective form of treatment. Manny is motivating and pushes me to work hard while also making sure I'm comfortable. I'm so lucky to find this wonderful place so close to home and wanted to share in hopes of helping someone else in need of healing.
Ashley Emshoff
I went to Impact Care Therapy after being thrown out of a golf cart when a car hit it. Didn’t realize how injured I was until I walked up some steps. I’m usually very active; I play tennis, golf, exercise regularly and garden. Manny and Denise worked with me to get my strength and balance back. They are knowledgeable and were able to explain the process. Impact Care Therapy valued me and my time, a very professional business.
Annie Jenkins
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Start Treating Your Hand Pain at Impact Care Therapy

Physical therapy for hand pain focuses on getting you back to normal levels of movement and strength in the affected areas. There are many options available depending on your specific injury. It is important that if you do need physical therapy, seek out a professional with experience working specifically with hands.

You’ve probably dealt with hand pain at some point in your life. Whether it was from a repetitive task such as typing, or something more serious like an injury to the bones and joints of the hands, there are many causes for this discomfort that can be managed through physical therapy and exercises.

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