Hand and wrist pain are common ailments that can afflict anybody, but they are especially prevalent among the over 100,000 people in the United States who work desk jobs that require them to use their hands to type, operate a computer mouse, or engage in other repetitive, fine-motor manipulations with their hands. More women report suffering from this kind of pain than men do, partially because women are more genetically prone to these types of degenerative diseases, but also due to issues such as menopausal hormone changes or calcium deficiency.
Symptoms can vary, and they depend upon the seriousness of the problem. Common symptoms, in varying degrees, include numbness, tingling, weakness, or swelling. These problems can be minor irritants, or they can be debilitating enough that subjects are unable to use their hands or wrists at all for their usual daily activities. Considering that the human hand is made up of 17 joints, 19 bones, and 19 different muscles that are capable of working together or alone, there is much potential for something to go wrong. The more complex the system, the more things can wear out or break down.
Thumb Arthritis – Thumb arthritis is caused by cartilage wearing away from the ends of the bones that comprise the thumb joint. This malady can be caused by repetitive use, or it can simply be the result of aging. The most common symptoms of thumb arthritis are decreased range of motion, pain, swelling, and loss of strength. Easy tasks that require a full grip, such as turning a doorknob, become markedly more difficult with the onset of thumb arthritis.
Carpal Tunnel – Another issue that causes wrist pain is carpal tunnel Syndrome. Victims are usually desk and computer workers or gamers. Those with carpal tunnel complain of numbness and painful tingling in their wrists, hands, and arms, due to a pinched nerve in the wrist. Left untreated, carpal tunnel can also lead to noticeable loss of strength in the hand.
Ganglion Cyst – The wrist is a common site for a ganglion cyst to form. A ganglion cyst is a benign lump that usually forms along the wrists tendons or joints. It is filled with a jelly-like substance and can cause pain if it presses on nearby nerves in the hands or wrists. Also, sometimes the location of the cyst causes problems with range of motion in the area.
Trigger Finger – Trigger finger is often caused by repetitive gripping motions, and it causes one finger to get stuck in a bent attitude. This condition develops when the sheath surrounding the finger tendon becomes inflamed, narrowing the space between the sheath and the tendon and thereby restricting movement. It is a very painful and limiting condition.
Wrist Tendinitis – Wrist tendinitis is caused by the inflammation of the wrists tendons, which are the cords that attach muscle to bone. It is considered a repetition injury, often sports related. Tendinitis is painful; motion of the inflamed area often sends shooting pains up the entire forearm. Severe cases can cause a tendon to rupture, leading to more serious problems.
Best practice for any kind of physical injury or ailment is always to seek a doctor’s care first. In addition to what the doctor may prescribe for the above-mentioned problems, however, it may be beneficial to try the following natural supplements:
Linseed Oil – Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, linseed oil is believed to reduce inflammation in the joints.
Vitamin B6 – This vitamin helps the body to produce serotonin and dopamine, which are essential in nerve function.
Omega 3 – See linseed oil, above. Omega 3 is believed to reduce inflammation and joint pain.
Cherries – Scientific studies have noted that the anthocyanins found in cherries have a reducing effect on joint inflammation.