Summary: If you have hand pain, you might be wondering if you should see a doctor. That’s normal. Should you see a doctor for hand pain or not, you think to yourself. In most cases, the answer is going to depend on the type of injury you have. The hands themselves can be quite delicate–and yet they get used very often.
Should You See a Doctor for Hand Pain of Any Kind?
Broadly speaking, people tend to put a lot of wear and tear on their hands. Sometimes that means manual labor. Sometimes it means typing on a keyboard all day. No matter what you’re doing, your hands are likely involved and can start to wear down. That means your hands can start to ache in all kinds of ways. Should you see a doctor for hand pain or should you just let nature take its course?
Now, we should say, we aren’t doctors–and this is not meant to be construed as medical advice. You should always, always follow your doctor’s advice when it comes to your hands and the health of your hands (and if you feel uncertain about those medical directives in any way, you should seek a highly qualified second opinion from another doctor).
In other words, this is simply meant as general advice. It’s not meant to be medical treatment. Because the truth is that our hands are incredibly valuable. You probably can’t even accurately count how many great things your hands do for you every day. So you want to protect them. But seeing a specialist can be expensive. So when should you see a doctor for hand pain? Let’s take a look at some examples.
If You Have Chronic Pain
In cases where your pain is chronic, a specialist, hand surgeon, or doctor may be the best way to achieve relief. Because chronic hand pain is happening for a reason. Pain is usually the body’s way of saying something is wrong. When you have chronic pain, there could be a few different causes:
- Inflammation: This is what causes issues such as Trigger Finger or even Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Inflammation itself can be caused by a wide range of issues, and it usually takes a diagnosis from your doctor to know for sure.
- Tendon or Ligament damage: If you’ve injured your tendons or ligaments in some way, that could be causing chronic pain. Because the damage is all internalized, you might not even realize that you’ve sustained such a serious or potentially problematic injury.
- Joint Issues: It’s not uncommon for patients, later in life, to develop issues such as arthritis. Degenerative joint issues can cause a significant amount of chronic pain and discomfort.
There are other issues that could cause chronic hand pain. However, if you’re experiencing such chronic pain–or even chronic discomfort–you should speak to your doctor to try to find solutions (and, therefore, relief).
If You Lose Feeling in Your Hands
It’s not only pain and discomfort you need to take care of. The hands are quite compact–there’s not a lot of padding in most people’s hands. But that also means that all of the nerves, tendons and ligaments tend to be pretty close to the surface. That’s why you should go see a doctor if you’re feeling any loss of sensation in your hands. That could be several explanations to this loss of sensation:
- Pins and needles is a fairly common expression of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. These pins and needles often manifest in the fingers.
- Numbness or loss of sensation is also a fairly common symptom of nerve damage. Because the nerves in the hands are so close to the surface, damage can occur from simple lacerations or cuts.
- Numbness and loss of sensation can also have other causes, including various ailments that could affect the rest of the body.
A hand surgeon or a hand specialist is going to be able to tell you if this loss of sensation is localized or a symptom of a larger problem.
If Your Hands Get Stuck
The other thing that happens sometimes with your hands is that they get “stuck.” This happens with a condition known as trigger finger. Those who suffer from this particular ailment usually find at least one of their fingers get stuck in a flexed position (it’s usually the index finger and it kind of looks like it’s wrapped around a trigger–hence the name).
This type of injury or ailment is usually caused by (and this might sound a bit familiar) inflammation. The tendons that help control your fingers contract–and, therefore, so too does your finger. Trigger finger and ailments like it are usually quite treatable, but you definitely want a highly qualified hand surgeon to help you along the way.
Should you see a doctor for hand pain? In most cases, it’s a good idea, especially if that pain persists. Generally speaking, the hands are unusually delicate, and it’s a good idea to spend the extra care to look after them properly.