Neuropathic pain -the scientific name for nerve pain- frequently develops in the hands. Though sometimes difficult to diagnose, if left untreated nerve pain in the hands can worsen and become a significant hindrance to one’s daily life.
But in the care of Detroit are board certified hand doctor Uzma Rehman, DO nerve pain in the hands can be well managed, reduced, and in some cases even eliminated entirely.
In this two part article Detroit area hand doctor Dr. Uzma Rehman explains the symptoms, causes, progression and treatment options for nerve pain in the hands.
What Causes Nerve Pain in the Hands
Generally, nerve pain in the hands is a result of damaged nerves sending false signals.
Nerve pain in the hands or elsewhere is caused by damage to the nerve. More than fifty medical conditions, as well as drugs, and toxins can cause nerve damage – so the cause of nerve pain in the hand often requires the skill of an experienced hand doctor to diagnose. While nerve pain in the hands can occasionally develop for no identifiable reason, health problems such as cancer, shingles, and diabetes are all very common causes of nerve pain in the hand.
Other potential culprits in the development of nerve pain in the hand are:
• HIV infection
• Celiac disease
• Trauma or injury to the hand
• Certain medications
• Heavy alcohol use
• Autoimmune disorders
• Vitamin B12 deficiency
• Some cancers
• Lyme disease
Once a nerve is damaged, it is more likely to start behaving abnormally. It may become quiet and send no information, which causes numbness. Or it may send excessive and inappropriate pain messages.
While proper treatment of such conditions can play a role in diminishing nerve pain in the hands, it is possible -and encouraged- to treat neuropathic pain independently of other health conditions.
In some cases, damaged hand nerves may also inhibit their regular pain response. This means that when an injury occurs, the injury may not register as painful.
What Can Trigger Nerve Pain in the Hands
Some people experiencing nerve pain in the hands may find that specific triggers result in hypersensitivity of the nerves when stimulated. These can include anything from the feeling of clothing or sheets touching the impacted area, to experiencing pain and discomfort when engaged in certain body positions.
Symptoms of Nerve Pain in the Hands
Each individual who experiences nerve pain in the hands perceives the pain differently. Many patients report sensations of prickling, burning, stabling, tingling, or buzzing when describing the nerve pain they experience in their hands.
While pain is one of the most commonly reported side effects of nerve damage, it can also result in a numbness or loss of feeling. This numbness can hinder the affected individual’s sense of touch and can hinder the dexterity of one’s hands. This can create difficulty going about seemingly simple everyday activities such as typing or tying one’s shoes.
Many patients report the nerve pain in their hands being worse at night, which can impact the ability to sleep. Dr. Rehman encourages individuals whose nerve pain in the hands has affected their sleeping to schedule a consultation immediately.
Given the number of conditions that could be causing the nerve pain in your hand, it is important to schedule a thorough evaluation with a Board Certified hand surgeon such as Dr. Rehman, in the Detroit area.Nerve pain of the hand can often be addressed with the systematic application of non-invasive measures that will stop the progression of the nerve damage, alleviate the pain and return you to full functioning.
Doctor Rehman and her team of hand therapists can implement a variety of approaches and modalities to help alleviate pain, build strength and slow the progression of nerve pain. She will assess your individual situation, and prescribe the treatments that are best for your condition.