If you have a fractured hand, debilitating pain in one of your wrists, or a similar condition, you may have to adjust to handling day-to-day tasks with one hand.
Several tools are available for purchase that can help individuals open jars, zip up jackets, put on seatbelts, and complete other tasks. In addition to purchasing such resources, there are many other ways to make living with one hand easier on yourself.
Cooking & Household Chores
If you have temporarily lost the ability to use one arm or one hand due to an injury, see if you can find someone to help you for the first several days with housework, cooking, taking care of children, and other important chores.
You may experience some pain over the first several days after an injury, so having someone there to help you is ideal.
Additionally, consider buying meals that are easy to prepare and cook, such as frozen dinners.
Toiletries & Medications
Reinvent your morning routine.
Buy a shower sponge on a stick to make it easier to reach.
Buy toiletries with pumps or flip tops rather than screw tops.
Instead of traditional dental floss, choose dental floss with handles, which you can manipulate with one hand.
Consider investing in an electric razor.
As long as they are out of the reach of children, leave toiletries open if possible, such as the lid off the toothpaste and the cap off the shampoo bottle. Ask your pharmacist to give you bottle caps that are not childproof so that they are easier to open with one hand.
Shoes & Clothing
Some items of clothing are much easier to slip on than others, so you may have to rely on them if you can’t use one of your hands.
Avoid wearing pants, jackets, and shirts that have zippers or buttons.
Wear sports bras rather than traditional bras so that you don’t have to clip them on.
Buy slip-on shoes.
For additional tips or more information, contact one of our hand doctor’s offices, located in West Bloomfield, Howell, St. Clair Shores, and Macomb Township.
According to a report on the Arthritis Foundation website, more than 90 million American adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis or report arthritis symptoms. The hands are among the most common areas of the body that are affected by arthritis.
Many different types of doctors treat the condition, but if you specifically go to a hand specialist for arthritis treatment, you may gain numerous benefits that you would not otherwise. Here are a few reasons why a specialist may be the right choice for you.
Experience in Issues Affecting the Hands
Unlike a primary care doctor who focuses on all areas of the body, a hand doctor’s core focus is on the hands. That means he is more keenly aware of various symptoms, helpful treatments, and treatment results that you may be able to expect.
A Hand Specialist for Arthritis May Identify Underlying Conditions
It’s not always arthritis. Many other health conditions show symptoms in the hands. At the same time, patients could have hand arthritis as well as other underlying conditions. These may include conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, lymphedema, and spine-related concerns.
Greater Knowledge of Effective Hand Arthritis Treatments
Because a hand doctor focuses on conditions that affect the hands and arms, he has more expertise regarding the effectiveness of medications, exercises, and self-care routines. A hand specialist is a comprehensive source of knowledge about your particular condition.
On-Site Hand Therapy
Self-care, hand exercises, and general hand therapy are very effective in minimizing arthritis pain and flareups. While general doctors may advise you to go elsewhere for hand therapy, hand doctors’ offices may have therapists on site.
Such is the case at Arora Hand Surgery, for example. We have a certified hand therapist on our team who works closely with Dr. Arora. As a result, patients receive comprehensive treatment and therapy, and the doctor and therapist work together toward the overall health and wellness of hand arthritis patients.
Surgical Treatment Options for Arthritis
In the event that conservative hand arthritis treatments are not as effective as one would hope, surgery may be an option. The type of surgery depends on factors such as which form of arthritis you have (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.), the severity of the condition, and the patient’s overall health.
A benefit of going to a hand specialist for arthritis treatment is that if surgery is required, you already have a trusting relationship with the doctor. The doctor knows you and you know him, so you can feel more confident in the procedure, recovery time, and the results.
Continued Monitoring of Your Condition
Whether you need surgery for arthritis or see improvement with daily self-care, the hand specialist will continue to monitor your condition with routine appointments. Elsewhere, you may have the surgery performed by someone you only see that one day, but that’s not the case when you go to a hand specialist for arthritis treatment.
If you are experiencing numbness, stiffness, or swelling in your hands or wrists, you should make an appointment to see our hand doctor in Macomb Township, St. Clair Shores, West Bloomfield, or Howell as soon as possible. Treatment can be very effective in minimizing the discomfort associated with arthritis, so you don’t have to suffer through the pain.
Is numbness in your hands and fingers hindering your ability to complete everyday activities? You don’t have to simply accept recurring arthritis pain as a way of life. You will not be able to completely eliminate them, but you may be able to reduce hand arthritis symptoms.
When you live with arthritis, you need to stay active in order to alleviate pain and maintain dexterity. Even if you can’t make it to your physical therapy sessions, there are many exercises you can do at home.
5 Exercises that can Help Reduce Hand Arthritis Symptoms
1. Make Fists
Gently make a fist with your left hand and hold it for 30 seconds. Straighten your fingers and open them up wide. Then make the fist again and repeat this 10 times for each hand. Do not squeeze your fist closed.
2. Bend Fingers and Thumbs
Spread your fingers, and then bend your thumb toward the palm of your hand. Hold it there for a couple of seconds, and then release it. Repeat the motion with each of your fingers to the best of your ability.
3. Finger Lifts
Place your hand palm down on a table, and then lift one finger at a time and hold the lift for a couple of seconds.
4. Thumb to Pinky
With your palm up, try to touch your pinky with your thumb but don’t move the pinky. It’s ok if you can’t reach it; don’t force it. Instead, hold your thumb where you feel comfortable for several seconds, release, and repeat. Some days you may be able to touch your pinky, but on other days you might not.
5. Make an O or C Shape
Curve your fingers and thumbs into an “O” shape or “C” shape, like you’re holding a baseball. Hold the pose for a few seconds, release, and repeat.
Contact Dr. Arora’s Office for Additional Details
At-home physical therapy is only one way to reduce hand arthritis symptoms, but it can be especially effective when used with a combination of other remedies, such as the use of anti-inflammatory medications. The best part is that you can do these exercises anywhere at any time. Just remember to stop if you feel pain, as you don’t want to injure yourself.
Consult with our hand surgeon before you begin this or any exercise routine. Call us at (248) 220-7747 if you want to know more!
A majority of our patients come in due to broken bones, carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, nail bed injuries, cysts, arthritis, sprains, fractures, and similar concerns. In some cases, however, pain or numbness in the hands or arms may be indicators of underlying health conditions that require further treatment.
We’re not trying to scare anyone here. It’s important not to become overly concerned about the symptoms you’re feeling in your hands, as there likely is a relatively straight-forward explanation and effective solution.
However, you should always get examined by our hand surgeon or your family physician to evaluate the source of your pain. Arthritis, for example, is one condition commonly associated with numbness and pain, but there are many other health conditions that frequently show symptoms in the hands and arms. Following are some of these conditions.
1. Cardiovascular Disease
Diseases of the heart and arteries make it difficult for the heart to pump blood efficiently, possibly leading to weakness in the limbs. Cardiovascular diseases also may lead to blood clots in arteries anywhere in the body.
2. Parkinson’s Disease
If you’re not moving and have tremors in your hands, this could possibly be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease. There may be many other explanations for these tremors, but this is one possible reason. Your symptoms should be evaluated by a physician before you can rule out this possibility. In addition to tremors, symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
a diminished sense of smell
trouble walking or moving
soft or low voice
stooping or hunching over
3. Blood Clots Due to PVD or PAD
Peripheral venous disease or peripheral artery disease can lead to blood clots, poor circulation, and other symptoms that may be visible in the arms.
4. Impending Heart Attack
Pain from a heart attack may spread to the arms. If you experience pain in your chest and believe it’s due to a possible heart attack, call 911 for emergency care.
5. Impending Stroke
Remember the acronym FAST: Face, Arms, Speech, Time. Signs of a stroke include facial drooping, arm weakness, and speech difficulties. If you see this, Time is of the essence. Call 911 immediately; the sooner you get help, the less likely it is for the individual to experience permanent disability.
A very rare condition, lymphedema leads to swelling in the arms and legs due to a buildup of fluid.
7. Raynaud’s Phenomenon
Also known as Raynaud’s diseases, this condition is characterized by the discoloration of the fingers or toes in particular situations, such as being in the cold or having specific emotions. Despite its name, it’s a relatively common disease with approximately 200,000 cases being diagnosed per year.
8. Buerger’s Disease
Commonly associated with smokers, Buerger’s disease is a rare disorder characterized by narrowing or blockage of the veins and arteries of the extremities. This results in reduced blood flow to these areas, as well as pain, sores on the arms, discoloration of the hands, and leg cramping.
9. Hemiplegic Migraines
During an attack, individuals who have hemiplegic migraines experience weakness on one side of the body. This may involve a feeling of numbness or a pins-and-needles sensation in the face, arm, and leg.
10. Herniated Disk or Other Spine-Related Concerns
A herniated disk or other diseases of the spine can lead to pain or numbness in the arms due to pinched nerves.
11. Peripheral Neuropathy
A general term for several disorders, peripheral neuropathy results from damage to the body’s peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system connects the nerves running from the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) to the rest of the body, including the arms and hands. Peripheral neuropathy occurs when nerves are damaged and don’t function as they should, leading to numbness and pain in the extremities.
If you are experiencing pain in your hands, wrists, or arms, make an appointment to see Dr. Arora. We will evaluate your symptoms to determine the source of the discomfort.
If you experience an urgent medical concern, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
Simple tasks such as opening a condiment container, tying shoelaces, or even holding a phone can be challenging and frustrating for someone with hand arthritis. But there’s help. In addition to seeing our hand doctor for remedies, individuals who have arthritis can take advantage of tools and equipment that can help them complete daily tasks a little easier.
12 Tool and Equipment Modifications for Hand Arthritis
Following are a few modifications of common household items that can help make your life easier if you cope with the daily frustrations associated with hand arthritis.
1. Prescription bottles
If there is no chance that a child will get a hold of your container and there are no other potential dangers, you don’t have to use a childproof cap on your prescription medications. Ask your pharmacist to give you non-childproof caps.
2. Hands-free phone options
Rather than constantly holding a cellphone or struggling to tap on the keys, use talk-to-text, take advantage of the virtual assistants, and use headphones. You may even wish to invest in a household virtual assistant that will allow you to play music, make phone calls, and look up information without ever reaching for your phone at all.
3. Automatic toothpaste dispenser
Twisting open the cap of a tube of toothpaste and then squeezing toothpaste onto the toothbrush can be extremely challenging, or even impossible, if you have hand arthritis. A wall-mounted automatic toothpaste dispenser will do the work for you.
If you need lamps or night lights in your home, purchase touch lights. For a more significant home modification, consider installing motion sensing lights.
5. Automatic/electric openers
Automatic or electric openers for cans, jars, and wine are readily available at local grocery stores and home goods stores. They are available in multiple styles, such as one from Black & Decker that allows you to place the can in the center of the appliance and touch a button to have the appliance open the container for you.
6. Laundry pods
Tossing a pod into the wash is easier than lifting a container of liquid laundry detergent, twisting the cap, pouring the detergent into the cap, and then emptying the contents of the cap into the washer.
Place handrails on both sides of a stairwell. Gripping a handrail can be challenging if you have arthritis in your hands, so having one on both sides can provide added support. You can take it a step further and install a stairlift, which is especially helpful if you also have arthritis in your back, hips, knees, or ankles. Don’t forget to do the same for outdoor steps, or consider installing an outdoor ramp.
8. Lighter kitchen equipment
As your pots and pans wear away, replace them with lighter versions of themselves. Lighter pots and pans are easier to carry and maneuver.
9. Ergonomically designed kitchen tools
Kitchen equipment manufacturers understand the plight, so they offer several options for kitchen cookware that is easier for individuals with arthritis to use. Consider a rocker knife and utensils with larger grips, for example.
10. Seat belt handles
Fumbling for a seat belt can be awkward. The solution? Seat belt handles that reach out several inches, enabling you to buckle up with ease.
The Good Grip Button Hook makes buttoning your clothes easier. Simply place the hook through a button hole, use the hook to grab for the button on the other side, and pull the button through. It may take some practice, but it’s easier than it looks.
12. Portable grabber tool
A portable grabber tools allows you to grip items you might need. Many have magnets on the ends as well and can be three feet long. Think of it as a combination of a trash pickup tool and a pair of tongs.
Additional Tips for Living with Arthritis in the Hands
In addition to managing pain and avoiding injury, it’s important for people who have arthritis to conserve energy, helping to ensure that they can complete the tasks they need to complete later. Following are a few additional tips for conserving energy and moving with relative ease.
Keep items you commonly use, such as cookware and appliances, accessible and at counter level to avoid bending or reaching for them.
Pay attention to when and where arthritis pain might peak, and plan your day around it. For example, if hand arthritis is worse in the evening, consider prepping dinner earlier in the day.
Buy pre-chopped fruits and vegetables and pre-sliced bread.
Ask the butcher to cut and trim the meats for you.
Take advantage of grocery delivery apps to avoid the heavy lifting. (Keep in mind, however, that some appropriate exercises can improve arthritis symptoms, so don’t give up on physical activity.)
Use other parts of your body and other muscles when you can’t use your fingers or hands. For example, if you need to stir something, hold the utensil in a manner that allows you to comfortably use your shoulder or elbow to make the motions rather than your wrists, palms, or fingers.
For additional tips about living with hand arthritis, see Dr. Arora by making an appointment online or by calling (248) 220-7747.
Stem cell therapy can be an effective method of treating pain in the hands, wrists, or elbows. If you are a candidate for stem cell therapy, you probably have many questions. Our hand surgeon is here to answer them. In the meantime, following are some of the basics about stem cell therapy for hands, wrists, and elbows.
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cells are cells from which all other cells are generated. Stem cells divide to form “daughter cells,” with either become new stem cells or specialized cells. They can be guided to become specific cells that can be used for medical purposes, such as repairing damaged tissues. Stem cells may also be grown into new tissue for use in transplants and regenerative medicine.
Individuals who may benefit from stem cell therapy include those with spinal cord injuries, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, burns, and cancer.
Stem Cell Therapy for Hands, Wrists, and Elbows
Because stem cells replicate themselves, they can mirror the qualities of healthy cells in order to repair damage. They can decrease inflammation, strengthen the affected area, and repair damaged tissue and tendons.
Stem cell therapy for hands, wrists, and elbows can be used treat trigger finger, joint pain, golfer’s elbow, carpal tunnel, gout, tennis elbow, and arthritis.
Cartilage in the wrist specifically has a limited ability to self-repair, and osteoarthritis can lead to a loss of cartilage. Stem cell therapy can help rejuvenate and replenish the cells in the wrist to aid in mobility.
Individuals suffering from elbow pain can benefit from stem cell therapy. It enables new, healthy tissue to grow at the site of an injury to reduce pain and repair damage.
Pain in the hand and thumb can also be addressed, including arthritis in the fingers.
A board-certified hand surgeon, Dr. Arora and the Arora Hand Surgery team gather stem cells from patients’ own tissue, which can help heal the targeted area without risk of harsh side effects or allergic reactions.
If you are regularly experiencing pain in your hand, wrist, or elbow, contact Dr. Arora to see if stem cell therapy is right for you.
If you have a sudden growth or lump on your hand or wrist, the sight can be unsettling. Your mind may immediately go to a dark place, where you worry about serious conditions like cancer. It’s important to know, however, that hand or wrist tumors are usually not as bad as they look.
What You Need to Know About Hand or Wrist Tumors
A tumor can be defined as swelling on a part of the body due to the abnormal growth of tissue.
The word “tumor” is not synonymous with cancer. In fact, the vast majority of hand or wrist tumors are non-cancerous and painless.
Types of tumors that can develop on the hands and wrists include:
Giant Cell Tumor of the Tendon Sheath: This usually benign tumor most often occurs in patients older than 30. It grows slowly and is painless, and most often is found on the fingers.
Lipomas: Lipomas are the most common type of tumor, but they do not appear on the hands or wrists as frequently as on other areas of the body, such as the back or thigh. The benign fatty tissue growth usually affects adults ages 50 or older. They are soft to the touch and grow slowly.
Nerve Sheath Tumors: The nerve sheath is tissue that insulates the peripheral nerves, and a nerve sheath tumor grows within the cells of this covering. It can cause symptoms of shooting sharp pain in the affected area.
Neuromas: The growths are found along nerves and are caused by a traumatic event, such as a cut to the nerve. They are often very painful.
Other common types of tumors and other growths, such as cysts, that appear on the hands or wrists include ganglion cysts and epidermal inclusion cysts.
Treatment for Hand or Wrist Tumors
Occasionally an ultrasound will be performed or an MRI ordered to help distinguish the mass. If it is believed to be non-cancerous and is not troublesome, no action is necessary. Most people, however, do not want to live with the growth, so they elect to have them surgically removed.
Patients who are experiencing pain associated with these masses may be prescribed anti-inflammatory medications or given splints.
Individuals who are concerned about hand or wrist tumors should make an appointment with our hand surgeon, Dr. Arora. A proper examination can give you peace of mind if the growth is harmless, or help protect you if it isn’t.
Have you ever used your cellphone for so long that your hands became numb, your fingers stopped functioning properly, and you gave up on mentally blaming autocorrect? If so, it was probably slightly comical at the time. If this happens repeatedly, however, soon enough it won’t be funny anymore. If you do use your phone frequently, it’s important to know how to hold your phone to avoid hand and elbow pain.
If you don’t, eventually you could be dealing with something worse than just sore thumbs, uncooperative fingers, and a really hot ear.
Ways to Avoid Hand and Elbow Pain when Using Cellphones
1. Try using text-to-speak, at least every now and then.
2. Use a cellphone stand so you can set the phone on a table or desk instead of holding it. When you do, you can use any finger you want to play those games and give the other fingers a break.
3. Make a conscious effort to regularly stretch and flex your fingers, wrists, and elbows.
4. If you talk on the phone for long periods of time, holding the phone up to your ear can cause discomfort at your elbow. To avoid this problem, try using:
The speaker option
A video calling app like FaceTime
Internet calling options such as Skype
What Could Happen: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
You might believe that the tingling in your hands due to cellphone use is just a temporary sensation, and it probably is. But if you don’t make conscious efforts to avoid hand and elbow pain when using cellphones, you could end up facing some very real issues.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the result of swelling and pressure in a “tunnel” in the wrist, which consists of nine tendons and a median nerve.
Causes of this very common condition are unclear, but improper use of keyboards, tools, and even cellphones can increase CTS. Other examples of activities that can increase carpal tunnel syndrome include driving a motorcycle and playing a violin.
Individuals with CTS can experience tingling, a weaker grip, numbness, a tendency to drop things, and pain in the hand and wrist.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Ever wonder why it’s far from funny when something hits your “funny bone”? To the contrary, it’s extremely painful. The truth is that what you feel comes from a nerve that runs behind a bone in the elbow through the “cubital tunnel.”
Pressure on the nerve can affect the blood supply to the nerve, causing arm pain and weakness in the hand. Direct pressure, such as leaning on your elbow, can compress the nerve and cause some of your fingers to “fall asleep.”
Both cubital tunnel syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome are painful conditions that may lead you to seek medical treatment.
Contact Arora Hand Surgery for More Information
For more information about how cellphone use affects your hands, fingers, wrists, and elbows, explore the Procedures & Conditions pages of our website to learn more about symptoms you may be experiencing. If you’re regularly feeling pain or numbness in your hands or arms, contact one of our Arora Hand Surgery offices by phone or request an appointment online.
Injuries to our hands happen, and sometimes they are more severe than others. While most minor hand injuries, such as bruises or sprains, can heal on their own with time, significant injuries such as broken bones require care from a doctor or specialist to heal correctly and not leave any long-lasting and unwanted effects. If you’ve recently injured your hand in a sporting event or other type of incident, here are some broken hand symptoms which you can run through to help determine whether you should seek professional treatment. More often than not, you should.
A Closer Look at Broken Hand Symptoms
When most people injure their hands, the severity of the injury can seem fairly obvious. However, no two injuries are ever the same. If you feel any of the following symptoms, especially after an accident, it is advised that you seek medical care as soon as possible.
The most common broken hand symptoms are:
Swelling, bruising, or pain
Misalignment of the fingers
Weakness of the hand
Inability to grasp objects
Reduced range of motion of the fingers
While at-home remedies may be sufficient for a day or two after a hand injury, if pain or swelling still exists and has shown no signs of subsiding, you may be experiencing broken hand symptoms, and it is recommended that you visit a doctor or specialist as soon as possible to prevent long-term damage.
Hands are intricate parts of the body. The hand is composed of 27 bones, including those in the wrist. Because of this, medical procedures to examine a broken hand can be fairly complex and time-consuming. A medical procedure follows a relatively standard format. Once the issue has been identified, we can plan a customized treatment for you.
If you’ve recently injured your hand, or if you are feeling any of the broken hand symptoms listed above, contact our doctor immediately. Arora Hand Surgery has offices located in Howell, West Bloomfield, St. Clair Shores, and Macomb Township. Contact us today to book an appointment for professional treatment.
Dr. Aroras office from my first call to schedule my appointment was friendly. Walking in the first day, I felt like I was in a nice atmosphere. Dr. Arora was EXCELLENT in taking great care of my hand injury. He was gentle and very understanding to the concerns I had about my hand. His expertise was admirable and I would recommend anyone with an injury to their hand to his office to be under his care. Because of him, I have healed faster than expected and will make an 100% recovery! Thank you Dr.
I first thought I was going to have to have painful injections or surgery, but Dr. Arora suggested physical therapy may do the trick. I was doubtful, but I agreed to do it. Now, my pain is gone, and with the help of an ergonomic keyboard at work to keep my hands in the correct position, I am virtually pain free. The therapy strengthened my wrists and shoulders, and built more flexibility into my wrists.
My experience with this doctor was positive from the outset. Dr. Arora was kind and spent a great deal of time with me. Staff was friendly. The office was nice and bright.
Very friendly and helpful Great staff!!! Doctor Arora was very professional and did great work. I was very happy with everything!