I just had a patient come in with severe hand pain. He has no history of hand pain...and he did not do anything to trigger it. Some of the things that could trigger a bout of hand pain are...using a new piece of exercise equipment...or putting together some furniture with a screw driver.
Or, going on a long bike ride...basically, some activity that your hands were just not used to. But none of that occurred...so what's the deal with this hand pain...where did it come from?
Hand pain, just like any other symptom can be the result of a long standing problem that has been building silently...especially with someone that uses their hands a lot...day in and day out. So, computer operators, hair cutters, meat packers, and yes...office workers, are prone to hand problems...especially if they also have hobbies that involve extensive use of the hands. Hobbies like tennis, gaming, photography, painting, motorcycle riding, etc.
And...patients are more prone to arm or hand pain if they have a history of some sort of injury to the arm, hand, or neck...yes neck. The neck is where the nerves exit that travel down the arm and into the hands. This is the power supply to the upper extremities.
Heck, you don't have to have been hit by a truck either. You could have a problem in the neck that you don't even know about. If this is happening...you could have pressure on the nerves in the neck that control the hands. This could reduce the power supply to the hands. Over time this could cause the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the hand/s to develope problems...which could manifest as symptoms.
I know that's a long winded response...but it's very typical of someone that presents with severe hand pain out of the blue.
Actually, the patient I am writing about in this article had a history of two herniated discs in his neck. He did not connect the two dots...I did...and my treatment will reflect this. So...we will see. My plan is to perform chiropractic adjustments to the neck, arms and hands...on both sides. In addition, we will massage the neck and arms, as well as the hands. Weill also use lots of ice to reduce inflammation. Weill have the patient wear a wrist splint for a few days (they can become a crutch) only. Weill use cold laser therapy if needed as well as cervical traction.
Then, we will incorporate specific rehab exercises for the neck, arm, and hands. The initial treatment will last about 6 weeks. If we do not achieve a favorable outcome I will refer out to a hand specialist. But, this seems like business as usual at our San Francisco Back and Wrist Pain Center.