All types of athletes frequently sustain hand and wrist injuries, though some never seek medical attention. Delaying the diagnosis and treatment, however, could lead to ongoing issues or even a permanent handicap.There is a lot of potential for damage because the hands and wrists are made up of so many bones, ligaments, tendons, and joints. Some of the most frequent diseases experienced by athletes include hand and wrist injuries. However, most athletes can anticipate their injury to recover without any serious long-term handicap provided it is treated properly.
The majority of sports-related injuries might happen as a result of carelessness, overtraining, ignorance of proper body mechanics, etc. At least 25% of sports-related injuries, according to experts, involve the hand or wrist.
Types of Hand and Wrist Injuries While Playing Sports:-
Injuries and conditions involving the hands can take many various forms, such as
Bones can break and move out of place. The term fracture refers to the cracking or breaking of a bone. When a bone is forced out of position and no longer aligns properly at the joint, it dislocates. Both injuries result in pain and a reduction in range of motion.
The bones in your hand between your wrist and knuckles, as well as your fingers, can break in hand fractures. Boxer’s fracture is the name given to the most typical hand fracture. The long bone that links the little finger to the wrist is generally broken when you strike something with your closed fist. The soft tissues close by are also harmed by this fracture.
Many wrist fractures are caused by scaphoid fractures. One of the eight tiny bones that make up the wrist is the scaphoid bone. One of the two main bones that make up the forearm, the radius, is located next to the scaphoid bone at the base of the thumb. The risk of scaphoid bone breaking increases with the amount of wrist extension. Less wrist extension increases the risk of the radius breaking. Scaphoid fractures are occasionally difficult to see. Since there is no apparent deformity and a very little swelling, many persons with a fractured scaphoid mistake it for a sprained wrist.
When one or more of your finger’s bones break, you have a broken finger. Broken bones are also known as bone fractures. Due to trauma or fragile bones, people frequently shatter their fingers. Phalanges are tiny bones that make up the anatomy of your finger. The thumb only has two phalanges, whereas each finger has three. Every one of these bones is brittle. Your knuckles, the joints where the bones of your fingers meet, can also break.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve. There is a small opening on the palm side of the hand, surrounded by bones and ligaments. The pain in the hands and arms may be accompanied by tingling, numbness, and weakness due to compressed median nerves.
Carpal tunnel syndrome may be exacerbated by repetitive hand motions, health issues, and wrist structure.
An oval, fluid-filled mass of tissue known as a ganglion cyst typically develops around tendons or joints. The wrist or hand is where it usually manifests itself, however, the ankle or foot can also be affected.
The size of ganglion cysts varies. They can range in size from a pea to a golf ball. They could be hard or soft. While some cysts are small enough to be invisible beneath the skin, others are more noticeable.
Your fingers or thumb may catch or lock when you bend them due to the painful condition known as the trigger finger. Any finger or multiple fingers may be impacted at once. It can be held in both hands as well. It may also go by the name stenosing tenosynovitis. It’s known as a trigger thumb when it affects your thumb.
Tendonitis is an inflammatory disorder that affects the tendons that connect your muscles to your bones. Tendinitis, which is frequently brought on by repetitive motions, can be uncomfortable. The elbow, knee, shoulder, hip, Achilles tendon, and base of the thumb are common locations. Tendonitis is another name for tendinitis.
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Symptoms can vary because there are so many distinct hand disorders.
The following signs of a hand or finger fracture may appear:
- Inability to move the fingers
- Pain or tenderness
In general, if you feel any acute discomfort or pain that starts unexpectedly, especially after a fall or a hit, you should consult your doctor.
Numerous different hand disorders could be indicated by gradual symptoms that develop over time. To find out what might be causing any of the following symptoms that interfere with your life, speak with your doctor if they do so.
- Finger or hand tingling or numbness.
- You feel an electric shock travel up your arm and wrist.
- Weakness in your hand.
- Hands and wrists with lumps along the tendons.
- Lack of pain in the lump.
- When you move your fingers, you can feel a popping, catching, or locking sensation.
- Finger ache when straightened.
- bump at the base of the finger that hurts (palm side of the hand).
- Pain and stiffness in your joints.
- When using the joint, you get a grating sensation.
- Throughout the day, use targeted exercises to stretch and strengthen your hands and wrists.
- Implementing improved ergonomics into your workstation.
- Loosening your grip or using less force as your grip.
- Do not bend your wrists, but keep them in a natural position.
- Taking breaks throughout the day.
- Putting your wrist in different positions throughout the day.
- Wear a supportive wrist brace if necessary.
- Always use appropriate tools for tasks that involve the hands and fingers.
- Take plenty of breaks to rest your hands and fingers.
- Avoid overuse of the wrist and fingers whenever possible.
- Maintain strength and flexibility in your arms.
- Before repetitive arm movements, warm up and stretch.
- Avoid resting your elbows on hard surfaces.
- Take breaks when using vibrating machinery.
- Perform physical tasks properly at work by using proper techniques.
- Don’t overuse the same muscle groups by changing your routine or position.
- Go easier on your muscles by using a gentler grip.
- Use appropriate posture when performing tasks.
- Any pain you feel should be stopped immediately.
Drugs to reduce pain
These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, and pain relievers like paracetamol. NSAID gels can be applied to your hand and wrist. You could also take medications, which is an option. Gels and pills both reach your bloodstream, thus mixing them can lead to an overdose.
Ice and heat
Your hands and wrists can benefit from applying an ice pack to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Use a packet of frozen peas that have been wrapped in a wet towel. Ice should never be applied straight to the skin since this might burn or irritate it. You can apply ice several times a day for 20 mins.
Applying heat may ease the discomfort and stiffness in your hands.
Another type of heat therapy that helps ease pain and stiffness is wax baths. The most benefit can be gained by using one before you work out your hands. Find out where you can buy one and how to use it by asking your doctor, a pharmacist, or a hand therapist.
Throughout the day, alternating between heat and ice therapy could be beneficial. As ice slows blood flow, it can reduce swelling and pain. If your hands are stiff and your muscles are weary, heat can aid by increasing blood flow. An injury to soft tissue can also be treated with heat to speed up the healing process.
Splints can be worn to support the hand and wrist. Others are for use as you sleep or unwind, while some are for use as you go about your everyday activities. An occupational therapist, hand therapist, or physiotherapist can advise you on whether a splint might be beneficial, which kind would be best for you, and how to use it appropriately.
Plaster of Paris
The doctor can decide to stabilize your hand by applying a plaster. Plastering will stop that part of the hand from moving since damaged bones need to be repaired or connected anew. Bones must be linked properly for them to recover swiftly.
Depending on the situation, a doctor may recommend surgery if necessary.
The most frequent injuries in sports are to the hand and wrist. It is advised to utilize the right tools and supports/bands for the task and sport you are performing because most athletes are prone to hand and wrist problems.