Do you think you can live without your hands?
If you want an ice breaker conversation, this should be the question you should ask. Hands can do so much for people. It may even be considered as a sixth sense because it is hard to imagine a life without the ability to touch, grasp, and hold something in your hand. Not many people can appreciate that having functional hands is a great gift, and it should not be taken for granted. Do not wait until a hand specialist in Singapore tells you that your hand needs surgery before you start taking care of them!
Hopefully, it is not too late for you to discover why taking care of your hands is so important. As you read this article, remember to take notes of what you should do when you start experiencing problems with your hands, especially when you find out that you are at risk of developing such hand problems. Do you want to know the common ones? Read further!
Common Hand Problems that You Can Experience
Hands are extremely delicate. They are one of the first body parts that you use in the morning to reach for your phone to snooze an alarm. Parts of your hands, especially your fingers assist you in many ways as well. They help you accomplish countless day-to-day activities!
Aside from these reasons, you should learn more about your hands. Whether you just want to be prepared for your appointment with a wrist specialist in Singapore or you are naturally curious, you need to know what common problems you may experience with it if you neglect them.
Here are five common hand problems:
Patients with a trigger finger experience discomfort at the base of the finger or thumb. It may be a lump in the palm or the feeling like one of your fingers is locking or catching when you try to bend it. Either way, the exact cause of the trigger finger is hard to determine.
When your daily activities include repeated gripping, you may be at risk of developing a trigger finger. Also, people with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis have chances of getting this. If you match these, your treatment options can range from oral medication to surgery.
Another common problem that may cause you to have hand surgery in Singapore is Dupuytren’s disease. It happens when the layer of tissue called fascia that lies between the skin and muscle of your palms and fingers begin to thicken. The same as trigger finger, the cause of this disease is unknown.
The affected tissue may only be removed through hand surgery. If your hand specialist diagnoses your disease as mild, you can get by with non-surgical treatments. It includes steroid injections and a procedure called needling.
You may be aware of the types of arthritis, but the common types that affect the joints of the hand and wrist are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Often called wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in joints to wear away over time. Hence, the friction between bone and bone causes pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis, however, is the case when the lining of the joints in the hands start to swell. Your hand specialist in Singapore will help in giving medications that reduce pain for both conditions. Surgery is also an option to provide needed pain relief and joint preservation.
The lumps that develop along your tendons and joints of the hands and wrists are benign ganglion cysts. They can go from pea size to an inch in diameter. Though they might be soft to the touch, ganglion cysts can give you wrist pain. Cysts may also swell and grow over time.
Treatment is usually unnecessary. However, when it begins to grow and interfere with the functionality of your hands, you should seek the help of a hand specialist. If not, you can rest the hand or take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
It is estimated that 5% will experience carpal tunnel syndrome in Singapore. It is a condition when the median nerve is compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist, which is a narrow confined space. Many conditions can be associated with this syndrome, and it is why it is common for people to develop it in their lifetime.
To elaborate on this condition further, you should read the rest of this article!
Signs that You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Plenty of risk factors can increase the chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Women who are pregnant are more susceptible to developing this syndrome because of hormonal changes. Not only that, women have naturally smaller carpal tunnel. Thus, it doubles their risk of experiencing persistent and severe symptoms.
If you want to know that you have carpal tunnel syndrome, observe these signs:
Numbness and/or tingling in the fingers
All fingers except your pinky can feel tingling and numbness. Sensations feel like an electric shock that has come over in the thumb, index, and middle fingers. Gradually, as it becomes worse, all or half of your ring finger can experience this tingling sensation.
You wake up at night to shake your hand
Having trouble getting restful sleep is one of the symptoms that your wrist specialist in Singapore would tell you. They will explain that the symptoms may vary based on time of day, activity, or wrist position. So, you may never know when these symptoms may come.
You may also notice daytime sleepiness. Patients with this syndrome have reported experiences of feeling sleepy during the day, and it was hard for them to control it. Take note of this as well because it may cause you to be in accidents.
Dropping object and general hand weakness
Do you experience involuntary hand movements? You may have dropped your phone one too many times lately. If so, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. To ensure it is the cause of your clumsiness lately, you should try and check your thumb for strength and movement.
Watch your grip or pinch an object, such as a stress ball. When it hurts to maintain your grip or pinch, you may have this syndrome. Although you know your body more than anyone else, you should still get a second opinion and go to a hand doctor. They will help you in knowing what to do to treat your carpal tunnel syndrome in Singapore.
What to Do When You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Humans have different thresholds for pain. Some may never admit that the pain they are feeling is worth a 10 when they get asked by a doctor to measure their pain. As much as possible, you should always be honest with yourself and your healthcare provider. Trust that they will help you get over your condition.
Thus, when you think you have one or all the symptoms mentioned above, here are the things that you must do:
Carpal tunnel syndrome has three stages: mild, moderate, and severe. You may never know at what stage you are with your condition. Hence, you need an accurate diagnosis.
When you seek the help of a hand specialist in Singapore to diagnose your condition, you will be subject to perform physical tests. The most common tests are:
- Tinel’s sign test
- Phalen’s sign test
- Two-point discrimination test
All of these are effective in detecting if you have mild to severe carpal tunnel syndrome. As much as possible, be honest about the sensations you feel while undertaking these tests with your specialist.
Find out your treatment options
Once your doctor confirms that you have carpal tunnel syndrome, they will lay down some treatment options suited for you. Patients often think it is okay to seek different doctors because they can all perform hand surgery in Singapore hospitals or clinics. It is not true.
Treatment options vary among doctors because of different specialisations. When you have this syndrome, you must only seek a hand doctor to get the best treatment. Depending on the severity of your condition, the treatments available to you are:
- Lifestyle changes
- Oral anti-inflammatory medicine
- Steroid injection (cortisone shot)
- Wrist splint
Be consistent with treatment
Whichever treatment option is suited for your case told by your hand doctor, you should follow them. For instance, wrist splinting is a short-term treatment deemed necessary to relieve you from the symptoms you experience. With this, you will have to be consistent in wearing your wrist splint at night for a few weeks.
A wrist splint will hold your hand and wrist joints in a neutral position. Wearing it at night will prevent your hand from bending and prevent fragmentary sleep. On the day, however, your wrist specialist in Singapore will tell you to move your joints normally to prevent stiffness.
As long as you stay consistent with any treatment plan for you, you can reduce the symptoms of your carpal tunnel. In no time, you can return to your normal routine without sudden pain!
Monitor your condition
For some cases, the effects of their treatment are only temporary and pain returns within a few weeks. It is why it is crucial to monitor your progress. Some carpal tunnel syndrome treatments may work for you, and some may not.
Therefore, when the tingling, numbness, or pain in the parts of your hands return, you have to call your hand specialist in Singapore to get a consultation again. Some cases of this condition would need more than one treatment, and you might be one of those patients.
Although it may sound unfortunate to have added expenses, you should never regret prioritising your health today. Addressing your health problems right now will save you from costly surgery. So, monitor your healing progress carefully!
Remember aftercare (if you underwent surgery)
In the unfortunate event that you needed to get surgery to take out the extra pressure off your nerve immediately and reliably, you should avoid specific activities temporarily. Most patients will experience very little pain at the incision site, but it can be immediately controlled with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Other reminders that your hand surgery in Singapore advised you to do must be strictly followed. Returning to work after this type of surgery may be possible depending on the demands of your job. However, as much as possible, you should talk to your employer about certain medical exemptions like yours.
Exercises for Your Hands
Doing a few simple exercises will give you the best results when you do them along with your treatments, such as wrist bracing and tweaking your daily activities to lessen the strain on your hands. Here are some exercises that you should try at home or during work breaks:
- Shake it out
Simply shake both hands out to get relief, especially at night.
- Fist to stop sign
Make a fist, then slowly slide your fingers up until your palms are wide open.
- Thumb touches
Touch the tip of each finger to the tip of your thumb one at a time.
- Wrist stretch
Straighten your arm out in front of you. Spread your fingers slightly, use your other hand to apply gentle pressure to your downward-facing hand. Hold it for 20 seconds, then repeat for your other hand.
- Finger pushups
Put your hands together in a prayer position. Maintaining the touch of the tips of each of your fingers, pull your palms apart slightly.
- Hand squeeze (for grip strength)
Grab a pair of balled-up socks or a small and soft stress ball. Hold one in each hand and squeeze for five seconds. Repeat it 10 times.
These are only suggested exercises. Remember that it will be better to have the guidance and advice of a hand specialist in Singapore to help you with maintaining your hands.
Getting Your Needed Treatment at Advanced Hand Centre
People with carpal tunnel syndrome in Singapore might be unaware of the severity of their condition, and you do not want to be one of them. When it comes to diagnosing and treating this common hand condition, you must get them from the Advanced Hand Centre!
With them, you will get the necessary course of action to help relieve the pressure around your wrist nerves. Their experienced specialists will provide you with personalised treatment options, from non-surgical to surgical. Thus, go for a consultation as soon as you can!
Go to their website to book an appointment with their hand specialists today!