What Causes Arm and Hand Pain?
There are many different causes of arm and hand pain. Some common causes include:
- Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs): These occur when the same motion is performed repeatedly, causing damage to the muscles, tendons, or nerves. Examples of RSIs include tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and rotator cuff tendinitis.
- Injuries: Trauma or accidents, such as fractures, dislocations, or sprains, can cause pain in the arm or hand.
- Nerve problems: Pinched nerves, neuropathy, or other nerve damage can cause pain, weakness, or numbness in the arm or hand.
- Arthritis: Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints of the arm and hand.
- Circulation problems: Conditions that affect blood flow, such as Raynaud’s phenomenon or peripheral artery disease, can cause pain or numbness in the arm or hand.
- Fibromyalgia: A chronic condition that causes widespread pain, fatigue, and other symptoms.
- Other medical conditions: Heart attack, angina, or gallbladder disease can also cause pain in the arm or hand.
With such a wide range of possible causes of arm and hand pain it is essential to get seen by an experienced practitioner who can listen carefully, examine thoroughly and arrive at a diagnosis in order to produce a personalised treatment plan to set you free of pain and on the road to full recovery.
What Are The Symptoms Of Arm and Hand Pain?
The symptoms of arm and hand pain can vary depending on the underlying cause. Some common symptoms of arm and hand pain include:
- Pain, which can range from mild to severe, and may be constant or intermittent.
- Swelling, redness, or warmth in the affected area.
- Stiffness or decreased range of motion.
- Weakness or numbness in the arm or hand.
- Tingling or a pins-and-needles sensation.
- Difficulty gripping objects or performing tasks with the affected hand.
- Shooting or sharp pain that may radiate down the arm or into the fingers.
- Muscle spasms or cramps.
- Joint pain or tenderness.
It is important to see a clinician if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, particularly if they are severe or persistent, as they may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.
Treatment Options for Arm and Hand Pain
The treatment for arm and hand pain depends on the underlying cause. Here are some common treatment options:
- Rest and immobilisation: In cases of injury, rest and immobilisation of the affected area may be necessary to allow the tissues to heal. This may involve wearing a cast, splint, or brace.
- Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help reduce pain and inflammation. You must ALWAYS get advice from your pharmacist or health professional before you start on a course of NSAIDs. For more severe pain, prescription medications may be necessary.
- Physical therapy: osteopaths, physiotherapists and chiropractors can assess your symptoms and design a treatment plan for you. This may include manual therapy, advice and homework in the form of exercises and stretches to improve strength and flexibility in the affected area and reduce pain.
- Heat or cold therapy: Applying heat or cold to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation. Ice packs or warm compresses can be used.
- Lifestyle changes: In cases of repetitive strain injuries, making changes to work habits or using ergonomic equipment can help reduce the risk of further injury.
It is important to see a health professional if you are experiencing arm and hand pain to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.
Prevention of arm and hand pain
Prevention of arm and hand pain depends on the underlying cause.
Here are some general tips that can help prevent arm and hand pain:
- Practice good posture: Maintaining good posture can help prevent strain on the muscles and joints in the neck, shoulders, and arms.
- Take frequent breaks: If your job involves repetitive motions or prolonged use of the arms and hands, take frequent breaks to stretch and rest.
- Use proper technique: When performing repetitive motions or lifting heavy objects, use proper technique to reduce the risk of injury.
Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight can put added stress on the joints and muscles in the arms and hands.
- Exercise regularly: Strengthening exercises for the arms and shoulders can help prevent injuries and improve range of motion.
- Use ergonomic equipment: If your job involves prolonged computer use, make sure your workstation is set up ergonomically to reduce strain on the arms and hands.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking can affect circulation and increase the risk of circulation problems that can cause arm and hand pain.
By taking steps to prevent arm and hand pain, you can reduce your risk of injury and maintain good overall health. If you are experiencing pain, it is important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.
When should I worry about arm and hand pain?
You should seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms along with arm and hand pain:
- Chest pain or pressure: This could be a sign of a heart attack.
- Difficulty breathing: This could be a sign of a serious respiratory problem.
- Severe or persistent pain: If your pain is severe or has been ongoing for an extended period of time, it is important to seek medical attention.
- Numbness or tingling: This could be a sign of nerve damage or circulation problems.
- Weakness: If you are experiencing weakness or difficulty moving your arm or hand, it could be a sign of a serious condition.
- Swelling or redness: If the affected area is swollen, red, or warm to the touch, it could be a sign of an infection or inflammation.
- Injury: If you have suffered an injury to the arm or hand, seek medical attention to rule out fractures or other serious damage.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What happens during my initial consultation?
Our priority upon your arrival is to ensure that you feel welcome, comfortable, and well-informed about your appointment. Typically, your initial consultation will last between 45 minutes to an hour. One of our experienced osteopaths will meet you and begin by attentively listening to you. We will inquire about your general health, any current pain you may be experiencing, your medical history, medications you may be taking, and review any medical examination results.
After this initial discussion, we may conduct specific tests to make a diagnosis. You may be asked to perform some gentle movements to allow us to evaluate your posture and mobility.
Using this important information, we will then create a personalized treatment plan tailored specifically to your needs.
What will happen AFTER an initial consultation?
During your second visit to our clinic, we will provide a detailed explanation of our findings from your history and examination. By the end of this session, you will be able to answer several crucial questions, including:
- What is causing my symptoms?
- What are the available treatment options?
- How long is the expected recovery time?
- How much treatment will be necessary based on your personalized treatment plan?
- How much will your treatment cost?
- What can I do to help myself?
- What changes do I need to make to get better, faster?
We take the time to explain and clarify the causes of your symptoms and what can be done to alleviate them. At this stage, we will have created a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
What can I expect after my first treatment?
The response to treatment varies from person to person, as everyone is unique. The initial treatment is a crucial step in gauging the patient’s reaction to treatment and determining the best course of action to meet their individual needs.
Immediate relief may be experienced by some patients after the first session, while others may require multiple sessions to see significant progress. It’s vital for patients to realize that treatment is not a one-time fix and that it may take a number of sessions to achieve long-term results, particularly for chronic issues or long-standing musculoskeletal imbalances.
Is treatment painful?
The treatments themselves are not painful, but there might be some discomfort after the spinal manipulation as your body adjusts to the treatment and improved posture. This can result in stiffness in certain regions, which is a natural occurrence, and we recommend using an ice pack on the area for 10 minutes after your session and staying hydrated.
What causes the cracking sound during the treatment?
The cracking or popping sound heard during an osteopathic treatment is caused by the release of nitrogen gas from the joints. This is a normal and common occurrence and may not always happen depending on the technique used. The sound itself is neither significant or important to your progress.
What is the cost of the initial consultation?
The initial consultation is priced at £65, which comprises a thorough spinal evaluation including muscle and nerve testing, orthopaedic examination, as well as posture and movement analysis.
What is the cost of the each treatment?
Each treatment is £45 if you pay as you go. However, we do have discount options available depending on what works best for you.
What days and times are you open?
Monday – Friday 8am – 8pm,
Saturday – 8am – 2pm
Sunday – closed
How long will it take for me to feel better?
The length of time it will take to start to feel better varies a good deal between patients. This difference is based on several factors, including the how long you’ve had the problem and how severe it’s become, your lifestyle and demands of work and family as well as your individual capacity to respond to treatment.
Generally, patients with acute conditions (recent onset) may experience significant improvement within a few sessions, while those with chronic conditions (your symptoms have been present for more than 12 weeks) may require more treatment sessions to attain long-lasting outcomes.
The secrets to getting well are to always turn up for your treatment, follow the guidance of your practitioner and get involved in your own recovery. Don’t delegate your health to your practitioner. It is always a partnership!
What happens if I miss an appointment?
We recognize that we all have busy lives beyond the Backcare and Acupuncture Clinics, but please let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to keep your appointment, and we will make every effort to reschedule it for you. We will make every effort to accommodate your particular schedule