Most people neglect the health of their hands. With age, many medical conditions arise in older adults, so there isn’t much attention dedicated to our hands. But all of us start feeling that something isn’t right with them. You might have felt pain in your thumbs or had inflammation and soreness when you hold something in your hand for extended periods of time. There are 27 bones in each of our hands, and there isn’t any other part of our body that has that many. Because of this, most of our daily activities are conducted through our hands. So why don’t many people take good care of their hands? Everyone shares the same fear that when pain in the hands appears, we might lose their function.
What Happens to the Hand as You Age?
With age, our body gets older, and we start feeling the effect of years past. Just like with any other part of our bodies, hands also go through changes. These changes happen to the functionality of our hands as we pass 65 years old.
- Loss of bone density
- Grip and pinch strength reduced
- Tone and dexterity change
- Muscles, nerves, joints, tendons, and even fingernails deteriorate
- Blood flow decreased
- Skin changes
It is important to know that not all changes to our hands come from age but are closely tied to it. Many elderly adults have issues with their hands due to various medical conditions such as Parkinson’s, osteoporosis, or arthritis. As you might notice, all of these diseases are age-related. Other hand issues might appear if you have been involved in a line of work that required the use of hands for heavy lifting, if you got injured in an accident, or have worked with instruments that kept the heavy tool in or on your hands.
How Should You Treat Hand Ailments?
There are numerous ways to treat hand pain, regardless if it comes from an injury or it’s age related, but all of them require you to consult a doctor before doing anything. Doctors will put you through a number of tests, which can include an x-ray or diagnoses from a specialist. Some of the treatments include:
These ointments are used to relieve sore joints, and they vary from analgesic creams and rubs to various sprays. They usually have ingredients such as menthol, capsaicin, and camphor. These elements create a burning and cooling sensation which vastly helps with pain.
Braces and Splints
Braces and splints are used to stabilize the joint and prevent movement which could cause pain. They can be worn on the hand, wrist, and arm. They can also help with sprains, carpal tunnel, or arthritis by reducing the pain and preventing further injuries.
Hot and Cold Packs
If you suffered a minor injury, you can alleviate some of the pain through heat and ice treatment, which should be followed by rest. You shouldn’t apply heat or ice packs directly to the skin, but use a barrier in the form of a towel or something similar. This treatment is not recommended combined with topical therapy. Furthermore, advice from your doctor would be ideal, because if you have poor blood circulation, ice packs could make things worse.
If none of the above helps, your doctor might recommend that pharmacological or surgical intervention is required to relieve you of your pain. While this option is the least frequent and desirable, it might be your only option. In some cases, it is just the best way to handle your hand issues and carry on using your hands as usual.
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