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Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust

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Hand Pain

What is hand pain?

Pain in the hand is a very common problem, with causes ranging from trapped nerves, to wear and tear and osteoarthritis.

This site focuses on one of the most common forms of hand pain is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). About one in 1,000 people develop this syndrome each year. 

The carpal tunnel is a canal formed between the small bones of the wrist called carpal bones and a ligament that lies across the front of the wrist.  A large nerve, called the median, along with the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the fingers, pass through this canal.

In Carpal Tunnel Syndrome the nerve becomes compressed within the canal. In most cases it is not clear why it occurs, although increase in pressure is thought to compress and restrict the blood supply to the median nerve.

Symptoms include pins and needles, pain and/or numbness in the index and middle fingers and weakness of some muscles in the fingers and/or thumb which may cause poor grip.

Dealing with Hand Pain

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is more common in manual workers, especially with jobs involving a lot of wrist movement, so overuse of the hand may be a factor.

The following are all associated with CTS: pregnancy, obesity, an underactive thyroid, diabetes and the menopause.

General measures that can help treat CTS range from wrist splints to steroid injections and surgery.

Avoiding Hand Pain

Avoid over-use of your wrist by excessive squeezing, gripping or wringing.

If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome was caused by a work-related or sporting activity then reducing or modifying these can help settle symptoms. Losing weight may also be helpful if you are overweight.

Useful Links: 

For a patient information leaflet
click here. 

For a shared decision making leaflet please click here.