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1. Overuse problems

a. Carpal tunnel syndrome

- Caused by pressure on the nerve in the wrist.

- Symptoms are numbness, tingling, weakness or pain.

b. Tendon pain

- A series of small tears in the tissue in or around the tendon.

- Symptoms are pain, tenderness, decreased strength and movement.

c. DeQuervain’s disease

- Occurs when the tendons and the tendon covering on the thumb side of the wrist swell and become inflamed.

d. Repetitive motion syndrome.

- Occurs when pain, swelling or tenderness occur from repeating the same motion over and over.

e. Writer’s cramps

- Occurs with repeated hand or finger motion, like writing or typing.

f. Trigger finger or trigger thumb

- Is a tendon problem.

2. Bone, muscle or joint problems

- Dupuytren’s disease.

- Abnormal thickening of tissue beneath the skin in the palms of the hands or soles of feet.

- The thickened skin or fascia may limit movement or cause the fingers to bend so the are unable to be straightened.

- Trigger finger or thumb.

- Occurs when the flexor tendon and its sheath in a finger or thumb become thickened or swell.

- Ganglion cysts - Small sacs filled with fluid that appear as bumps on the hands and wrists.

- Also can appear on feet, ankles, knees or shoudlers.

3. Problems from medical conditions

- Tingling or pain in the fingers or hand, may be sign of heart attack, especially in the left hand.

- Diabetes may affect feeling or touch to be decreased. Decreased feeling in the hands may be due to decreased blood flow to the hands or damage to the nerves of the hands.

- Pregnancy may cause redness, itching, swelling, numbness or tingling. This will often go away after delivery.

- Osteoarthritis is a progressive breakdown of the tissue that protects and cushions joints. It may cause stiffness and pain with movement.

- Rheumatoid arthritis may cause stiffness and pain with movement. Deformity of the fingers may occur over time.

- Lupus is a long-standing autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks normal body tissues as though they are foreign substances. It may cause joint pain.

- Gout is an inflammatory joint disease that causes acute pain and swelling. Develops when uric acid crystals form in and around joints.

- Raynaud’s phenomenon is a condition in which some areas of the body have an extreme response to cold temperature or emotional stress. During an episode of Raynaud’s, the blood vessels will tighten, severely limiting the flow of blood to the skin, causing numbness, tingling, swelling, pain and pale color.

- Infection can cause pain, redness and swelling with red streaking, heat, fever or drainage of pus. Infection can cause tenderness to touch or pain with movement at the site of the infection.

4. Finger, Hand and Wrist injuries

- Commonly occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, accidental falls, fistfights, or using machinery.

- Injuries in children most often occur during play or sports or from accidental falls.

- Adults are at higher risk for injuries and fractures due to loss of muscle mass, bone strength, balance and vision problems.

- A. Sudden Acute Injury

  - - Bruises

  - - Ligament injuries

  - - Tendon injury

  - - Sprain/strains

  - - Fractures

  - - Dislocations

  - - Crushing injuries

   - B. Overuse Injuries

- - Carpal tunnel syndrome

- - Tendon pain

- - DeQuervain’s disease

- Treatment may include first aid measures, medications, taping, bracing, splinting, casting, physical medicine modalities and surgery in some instances

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Posture and Neck Pain

Chronic neck pain is a miserable experience. Although some cases of neck pain are caused by an injury, many are simply due to poor posture. Poor posture stresses the muscles of the neck and can cause muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. Over time, the stresses of poor posture on the neck can cause degenerative diseases to develop in the discs and bones of the neck. Forward head A very commonly seen posture that puts a lot of strain on the neck is the forward head. The individual habitually thrusts the head forward, carrying it out in front of the shoulders. In this position, the weight of the head is constantly pulling on the spine and the shoulders. Sitting for hours hunched over a desk or a computer is a common cause of forward head. Many people with this habitual forward head carriage suffer from sore shoulders as well as a sore neck. Over time, the vertebrae at the base of the neck (C5 and C6) can develop painful degenerative conditions due to the constant weight of the head pulling on them in the forward head posture. Correct posture A correct posture is one that keeps the spine in alignment. Some people call it a neutral or balanced posture. One exercise to encourage a neutral posture is to focus on opening the chest wide as you try to squeeze your shoulder blades together. Once your chest is open, bring your head into alignment. Think of a string pulling up the top of your head and lengthening the neck. When you do this, your chin will tuck in and your head will naturally shift into proper alignment with your spine. Do the open chest/ string exercise multiple times a day. Other exercises to build better posture are head nods and chin tucks. To do a head nod, slowly nod your head slightly up and down without moving your neck. To do chin tucks, tip your nose down toward the ground and move the top of your head backwards. Repeat head nods and chin tucks several times a day. These exercises strengthen the muscles on the front of the neck. Individuals with habitual forward head posture usually have very weak muscles in the front of the neck. If you've worked hard at correcting your posture and you are still suffering from neck pain, why not give us a call?

Note: The information on this Web site is provided as general health guidelines and may not be applicable to your particular health condition. Your individual health status and any required medical treatments can only be properly addressed by a professional healthcare provider of your choice. Remember: There is no adequate substitution for a personal consultation with your physician. Neither BPF Specialty Hospital, or any of their affiliates, nor any contributors shall have any liability for the content or any errors or omissions in the information provided by this Web site.