Our hands are very important in all our daily activities, that injuring it even in the slightest bit may affect our routine tremendously. Swelling, numbness, pain, tingling, lesions, and other problems with our hands may be acute or severe depending on its cause, but its impact on our day-to-day actions is significant. Let us focus on hand swelling, its causes, and the swollen hand injury treatment that you can use to alleviate your hand problem.
Hand injury causes
Hand swelling is just one of the primary symptoms of a hand injury. A hand injury may happen to anyone at any time and place. It may include injuries to the fingers, wrist, or the palm. Here are some of the most common causes of a hand injury.
- Physical or sports-related activities. These activities may include contact sports like basketball, soccer, and high-speed activities like skate- or snowboarding, skating, biking, and the likes. These sports use the hands to balance and perform routines that may physically overwork the hands and limbs, or accidents while doing these stunts may damage and injure them.
- Work exertion. Prolonged use of the computer keyboard or lifting heavy boxes at work while failing to protect the hand from work-related accidents may cause the hands to swell and ache.
- Machine-related injuries. Machines and equipment that use repetitive and vibrating motions like a heavy vacuum, lawnmowers, drills, jackhammers, and the likes can send tingling sensations to the hands and disrupt the muscles and nerves of the hands.
- Accidents like falls causing sprain, strain, fracture, dislocation, and wounds. These are no-brainer causes. Any accident that affects the hands and wrist will surely cause swelling, pain, and tenderness.
- Fights or other hand-to-hand combat like martial arts and wrestling or boxing
These incidences are potential key causes of a hand injury that can cause swelling among other things. Safety and body protection are essential in preventing these activities from injuring your hand or any part of the body.
Common hand injury symptoms
Aside from hand swelling and pain which are almost always part of the symptoms of any hand injury, there are certain symptoms that you can take note of depending on the injury sustained by a patient. Here are some of these indications and what injuries will they be present.
Bleeding or redness – lacerations, open fractures, infections, major burns, soft tissue injuries
Weakness – fractures, soft tissue injuries
Numbness – fractures, dislocations, soft tissue injuries, amputation, third-degree burn
Discoloration or bruising – soft tissue injury, high pressure, closed fractures, and dislocation
When to seek medical attention
For hand injuries, especially when the accident is acute and it happened at home, most of us will overlook the option of going to the hospital and seeking medical care. This practice is warranted for very minor injuries that can be relieved by home remedies. However, there are instances where a medical doctor should be able to assess and treat a hand injury immediately or permanent damage or loss of a limb may happen.
If you experience a swollen hand injury that manifests any of the following symptoms, call or visit the nearest hospital for an emergency consultation.
- Severe or excessive bleeding
- Loss of motion to the hand and arm
- Excruciating pain
- Noticeable deformity or injury suggesting a fracture of dislocation
- Open and deep lesions that may expose ligaments, tendons, or bones
- An animal bite from pets or wild animals which can cause rapid infection or poison
Swollen hand injury treatment: How to address a hand injury
As mentioned earlier, we are accustomed to perform swollen hand injury treatment using first aid techniques at home. Here are some of the typical hand injuries we can experience on an everyday basis and some tips on how to alleviate swelling and other symptoms.
Lacerations or cuts
- Apply pressure to the wound using clean or sterile gauze or a piece of cloth. This will help stop the bleeding. You can also elevate and apply ice to the affected area to impede swelling and bleeding.
- Place the affected area in clean running water so as to remove any dirt or debris from the wound. Do not forcefully remove a deeply embedded foreign object.
- Once cleaned, you can apply antibacterial ointments like mupirocin for minor cuts and wounds. But for deep punctures or cuts, cover the wound with a sterile cloth or gauze bandage to prevent contaminating the wound and seek medical attention at once.
Fractures, dislocations, and strain/sprain
The following steps are indicated only for minor sprains and strains or possible fracture of dislocation. If you have an obvious open fracture or severe dislocation of the hand, rush to the hospital as soon as possible.
- Elevate and ice the hand to reduce swelling (the most effective swollen hand injury treatment).
- Do not manipulate the finger or wrist on your own as it may cause further damage. Immobilize the site using splints or slings as you see fit.
Soft tissue injuries
- If with bleeding, apply pressure to the wound.
- If with swelling, elevate the hand above the level of the heart.
- Apply ice to reduce the swelling and pain.
Depending on the kind of burn you have (chemical, thermal, or electrical, frostbite, or sunburn), you can use these first aid steps to alleviate any discomfort.
- Thermal and chemical: Cool or wash the area with tap water and cover the area with a clean cloth.
- Frostbite: Soak the hand on warm water for a few minutes, then cover it with a bandage.
- Sunburn: cool the hand with a cold compress or ice, and you can apply aloe vera gel or any soothing creams and lotions to alleviate the sting.
You can also take over-the-counter pain medications and anti-inflammatory meds to reduce the pain and swelling of the hand. Let a medical professional examine your hand injury as soon as possible so they can perform necessary treatment and procedures to prevent further damage and complications. Appropriate swollen hand injury treatment can be best facilitated by doctors who are knowledgeable and skilled in these kinds of scenarios. Aggressively addressing an injury on your own may further complicate and injure your hand, so as soon as your condition is stable, see a doctor immediately. Meanwhile, once the swelling and pain are addressed, follow the doctor’s instructions and wait for his recommendation as to what to do next., for simple and minor injuries, however, you can perform stretching and strengthening exercise to help bring back your hand to its normal function as soon as the symptoms subside.