Human hands are prone to injury due to all the activities and stress we put them through each day. Think about it: Your hands are involved in almost everything you do throughout the course of your day. While your hands are at a higher risk of injury during physical activity, like exercise or sports, they can also suffer from everyday wear and tear.
In addition, older people are at an increased risk of hand injury as they age due to loss of bone strength. This can make minor falls or bumps to the hand more dangerous.
The most common types of hand injuries are acute injuries, such as bruises, strains, sprains and fractures to the wrist, hand or fingers. These can occur due to a sudden fall, a direct blow to the extremity, or accidentally jamming it or bending it the wrong way. If you receive a serious acute injury to your hand, you should seek a medical opinion regarding whether your hand, wrist or finger needs a cast or perhaps even surgery.
Other types of hand injuries can be categorized as overuse injuries. Overuse injuries are exactly what they sound like: damage to a bone, muscle, ligament or tendon due to overuse. These injuries usually occur when someone repeats the same movement over and over without resting properly.
One example of a common overuse injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. CTS is characterized by pain, numbness and tingling in the hands and arms. If your job involves a lot of typing, ensure that you have a good ergonomic desk setup and that you take breaks every half-hour to rest your hands and avoid overuse.
Depending on the severity of your hand injury, there are a variety of actions you can take. For simple cuts and bruises, use first aid and/or over-the-counter pain medication, if needed. For other minor injuries, such as strains, rest the limb and ice it. If pain and swelling persists, seek medical help.
For sprains and fractures, consult a medical professional. Some injuries may even require surgery and physical therapy to correct the injury and restore the limb to its full function.
If you sustain a serious hand injury, please seek medical assistance. If you're in the Dallas area, call Dr. Pedro Loredo at (972) 939-4974.