Many jobs put a lot of strain on the hands – for example, constant typing. Clicking in the office or handling heavy machinery for craftsmen. Photo: djd/Getty
Whether at work, during sports or during daily housework – our hands are our most important "tools". But precisely because they are almost constantly in use, they are particularly prone to overuse complaints and injuries. We tell you what you can do in which situation in life with pain in the hand:
Tip 1: One-sided strain at work
Many jobs put a strain on the hands. While people in the office are constantly typing, clicking the computer mouse and making phone calls, craftsmen have to handle heavy machinery or perform monotonous movements every day. This can lead to hand pain, inflammation of the tendon sheath or joint capsule, the infamous mouse arm or carpal tunnel syndrome. In order to prevent, an ergonomic keyboard and mouse and/or ergonomic tools are meaningful. In addition, as much work as possible should be done with the other hand, taking breaks in between and stretching, loosening and gymnastic exercises to compensate.
In ball sports such as volleyball, handball or tennis, injuries to the hands can easily occur. Photo: djd/Getty
Tip 2: Watch out for ball sports
Especially in sports like handball, volleyball and basketball, but also in tennis or golf, pain in the hand is typical. Defensive movements, violent contact with the ball, falls or one-sided movements such as racket swings can cause bruises or sprains, injuries to tendons and ligaments, and fractures of the metacarpals or scaphoid bone. Typical symptoms are prere pain in the hand, swelling and limited mobility. In these cases, always obtain a precise diagnosis from a specialist doctor.
Tip 3: For acute injuries
In the event of sports accidents or stress symptoms, the experts at the Steinbach Talk, an annual gathering of renowned sports physicians, recommend immediately applying the PECH rule: Take a break, ice (cool), compression bandage, elevate the patient. Furthermore, a natural medicine can be useful. Herbal active ingredients such as arnica, comfrey, echinacea and witch hazel can relieve swelling and pain and accelerate regeneration.
Cleaning, polishing, wringing out – the tiresome housework often leads to complaints such as tendovaginitis or arthritis. Photo: djd/Getty
Tip 4: The tiresome housework
Wiping, cleaning, wringing out rags, polishing, vacuuming, scrubbing, changing sheets, chopping vegetables, cooking, stirring, hanging laundry – the work in the household never stops and can put a lot of strain on the hands. It is not uncommon to experience persistent pain in the hand, overuse complaints or tendonitis. The thumb in particular is often affected, which in the long term can lead to arthrosis of the thumb saddle joint (rhizarthrosis) or a snap thumb. As a preventive measure, it makes sense to use ergonomic household appliances, a wringing press for mops and cloths and similar cleaning aids, and to loosen the hands every now and then.
Tip 5: Risk of falling in everyday life
Falls also occur during everyday activities. If you fall, you usually reflexively use your hands to protect your body and face from the impact. The consequences are often sprains and bruises of the wrists and fingers, damage to the tendons and ligaments, or fractures of the scaphoid or metacarpal bones, for example. For first aid, the hand should be immobilized; painkillers and an ointment dressing can also relieve and promote healing. If the pain in the hand does not subside quickly, a visit to the doctor is advisable in the short term. The physician then initiates appropriate measures – such as temporary immobilization with a splint or kinesiotape, physiotherapy, electrical treatment or even surgery.