Did you know that most symptoms of serious hand and wrist issues can be painless and hard to notice? Regardless of how much or little your hands may hurt, here are five key signs to watch out for that indicate a more serious, underlying issue.
You’re experiencing numbness or tingling sensation in your hands or wrists.
This is a key indicator of a wide array of health issues, but people often ignore these symptoms. It often comes in waves, so it doesn’t last for an extended period of time, and may not be painful at all. While it’s true this symptom may simply be an indication of a vitamin imbalance, it could also be a primary symptom of many other, more serious hand and wrist issues.
If you notice this symptom occurring regularly, especially if accompanied by other symptoms, like a weakened grip, we strongly recommend you come in to be professionally diagnosed. Read more about what numbness and tingling may be an indicator of on our website.
You notice your fingers changing colors. Even if only for 15 minutes.
Cold weather can leave hands stiff, but have you ever noticed your fingers changing colors? If you’ve noticed that your fingers change from white to blue to red, this could indicate a change in blood flow in your hands. When your fingers turn white, you’re likely experiencing a lack of blood flow to your fingers. If you notice your fingers then turn blue, this is your veins trying to pump blood back into your fingers normally. Finally, your fingers will turn back to red, indicating that blood flow is stabilizing.
This patterned color change in fingers is a good indicator that there is a lack of proper blood flow in hands, mostly due to cold temperatures, though symptoms can also be brought on by stress. The color change may not be associated with any pain and may only last 15 minutes, so this issue often goes unnoticed by victims. Learn more about this issue on our website.
You experience pain when extending your thumb.
Has scrolling through your phone been more difficult lately? Or maybe you’ve been struggling to pick up your little one? This could indicate your thumb tendon is a little swollen from overuse. Over time, you could develop a particular kind of tendonitis that occurs when the tendons at the base of your thumb swell so much that they’re no longer able to slide through your tendon sheath properly.
Other good indicators you may have a more serious issue is if this pain in your thumb is accompanied by a catching sensation when you move your thumb, pain and swelling in your wrist, swelling over the thumb side of your wrist which may be accompanied by a fluid-filled cyst, or pain that travels up your forearm. To learn more about this form of tendonitis, visit our website.
You have stiffness in your joints or a decreased range of motion in either your hand or wrist.
This symptom is most commonly associated with arthritis. However, arthritis is not a single disease, but rather an umbrella term that is used to refer to over 100 different conditions that cause joint pain or disease. Common symptoms of arthritis include joint stiffness, pain, and swelling accompanied by a decreased range of motion.
A type of common arthritis that develops over time is called Osteoarthritis, also known as the “wear-and-tear” arthritis. A person can develop Osteoarthritis when the smooth cartilage that covers the end of their bones begins to tear away and leaves the bones ends to rub against one another, causing friction. Some other indicating factors that this may be the source of your stiff finger joints are mild swelling, tenderness, visible redness, and stiffness that is alleviated after moving the affected joint.
For long-term treatment, seeing a specialist is recommended, but in the meantime, you can help improve your joint mobility by doing strengthening exercises to increase flexibility and range of motion. Learn more about osteoarthritis on our website.
You’ve noticed a pain that starts in your hand or wrist and radiates up your arm.
This is a symptom you may have noticed while working on the computer throughout the year, or other activities that require repetitive motion in your hands and wrists, like knitting. Other key indicators that you may have a more serious, underlying issue are numbness and tingling in certain fingers, weakness in your grip, and severe nighttime hand pain. All of the symptoms, together, mean you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome has no one cause, but rather several risk factors. Often people who suffer from carpal tunnel have previous wrist injuries, smoke, are overweight, or regularly perform repetitive activities with their hands. Women are also three times more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome in their lifetime compared to men.
These symptoms may be easy to ignore at first, but will worsen over time and require professional treatment from a hand specialist. If you see the right one, your treatment and recovery time can be minimal and you’ll be pain-free in no time. For more information on carpal tunnel, visit our website.
It is easy to take your hands for granted, but remember they’re your most essential tool. It’s important to take notice of these symptoms and make sure you don’t leave these issues untreated. If you’re experiencing any of these issue and would like a consultation with a top-notch hand specialist, give us a call at 713-374-4263 or schedule your appointment online today. Happy New Year!