Annual Aging Well Section
State-of-the-art orthopedic care can help ease pain and improve hand function for aging adults.
Understanding Hand Health
We use our hands and fingers every day for countless activities, from writing and picking up items to eating and driving a car. Properly functioning joints and muscles are key to performing these tasks; however, injuries and age-related conditions can affect hand function. When lack of movement, pain, or weakness in the hands occurs, it can make even simple activities difficult or impossible and affect one’s quality of life.
Hand concerns are often the result of pinched nerves, strained tendons, or inflammation. Symptoms can be acute or chronic and include:
- Joint pain in the hand, wrist, or fingers
- Tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain in the hand or thumb
- Difficulty holding objects or opening and closing the hand
- Increased pain from repetitive motions
Aging hands are especially prone to arthritis. In fact, half of all women and one-quarter of all men will experience osteoarthritis of the hands by the time they are 85. Other common conditions include carpal tunnel, trigger finger, and tendonitis.
Treatment and Outlook
Orthopedic hand specialists can address these concerns and provide relief with a wide range of treatments. Non-surgical approaches can help restore movement and reduce pain. These include medication, steroid injections, the use of a splint or wrist brace, and physical therapy. If non-surgical methods prove ineffective, hand surgery may be recommended.
When hand pain or weakness begins interfering with your daily activities, it’s time to seek help. A hand specialist can determine its cause and develop a personalized treatment plan to put you back on the path toward normal, pain-free hand function.