Is your hand and wrist pain being caused by arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or tendonitis? These conditions have overlapping symptoms, but very different causes. Knowing the particular symptoms of each can help you better understand what’s going on, and with the right diagnosis, Dr. Paul Tortland at Valley Sports Physicians can come up with a treatment plan designed to remove the root of your discomfort rather than just manage the symptoms. On this page, we’re going to focus on the symptoms of wrist arthritis and hand arthritis. What do patients usually experience? What should you do if you think you have arthritis? What makes arthritis different from other conditions that affect the wrist and hand? You’ll find the answers to these questions and more below.
Arthritis is caused by the breakdown of cartilage within a joint, while Carpal Tunnel Syndrome stems from a nerve in the wrist becoming compressed by the surrounding muscles and tissues. While both can lead to pain and stiffness in the hand and wrist, CTS can also be associated with a tingling sensation that runs up the entire length of the arm. This doesn’t occur with arthritis. Plus, CTS never involves the pinky finger due to the anatomy of the hand, while arthritis can develop in every digit.
Tendonitis is a condition where tendons become inflamed or strained, often due to overuse. The big difference compared to arthritis is that tendonitis can be completely resolved if the tendons are allowed to heal. With arthritis, however, the decrease in joint cartilage can be slowed down, but not stopped, which means symptoms tend to progress even if a person frequently rests or uses ice.
The best thing you can do if you notice any indications of arthritis in your hand or wrist is seek out medical attention right away. When you come to Valley Sports Physicians, this will allow Dr. Tortland to examine your joint, determine what is causing your problems, and in the case of arthritis, work to preserve as much of your cartilage as possible. Treatments like stem cell therapy, PRP, and prolotherapy can reduce pain and improve function by enabling the muscles and other soft tissues to heal. And, if it turns out you have CTS or tendonitis in your wrist or hand, he can provide targeted care for those conditions as well.
If you’re ready to know for certain what is causing your wrist/hand pain and finally put it behind you, contact Valley Sports Physicians to schedule an appointment today. The sooner you do, the sooner we can help you feel better!