by Dr. Robert Snow, PT, DPT, October 19, 2015
Do You Need A Hand Specialist In Carlsbad?
It’s easy for athletes to injure their hands. After all, it’s the hands that are the most vulnerable, and often receive the most impact while playing sports. When hands are injured, daily activities become extremely hard. Following are some of the most common sports-related hand injuries and treatments done by a Carlsbad hand specialist.
Basic Types of Hand Injuries and Treatments
Many hand ligament injuries can be treated without surgery. In most cases, strains and sprains heal naturally by a patient getting enough rest, applying ice packs, using compression and elevation. However, in other situations, professional care is needed.
Some of the most common sports-related hand injuries, along with their treatments include:
- Muscle sprains and strains—If a muscle sprain or strain isn’t that severe, it’s usually treated by using compression and getting adequate rest.
- Tendonitis—Besides a patient resting, tendonitis treatments typically entail applying ice packs and restricting the amount of repetitive movement. Over-the-counter NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are also helpful for relaxing muscles as they heal.
- Dislocated joints—It’s not hard for the finger joints to become dislocated while playing sports. Treating the problem involves a hand specialist resetting the joint, but in more serious cases, surgery may be needed. Fortunately, most people can use a splint or buddy tape, depending on where the dislocated joint is situated.
- Ligaments—If you tear a ligament, you probably need to see a doctor to have your hand X-rayed and placed in a cast. Again, in the case of extensive tears, surgery may be needed. Whether or not surgery is needed also depends on the location of the torn ligament.
The following tips may prevent finger, hand, and wrist injuries:
- Do exercises that strengthen your hand and arm muscles.
- Learn safe hand and wrist movements to avoid an injury.
- Reduce the speed and force of repetitive movements in activities such as hammering, typing, knitting, quilting, sweeping, raking, playing racquet sports, or rowing.
- Change positions when you hold objects, such as a book or playing cards, for any length of time.
- Use your whole hand to grasp an object. Gripping with only your thumb and index finger can stress your wrist.
Considerations and Warnings
Clinical mobilization and stretching is frequently used for making a restricted area more mobile so that normal motion returns, which helps eliminate pain and other discomfort.
Physical therapy may be needed to strengthen an injured hand, so it can function better. A completely torn thumb ligament may require surgery.
Preventing sports-related injuries is a vital part of sports performance training. Often, injuries occur because of improper coaching and warm-up techniques.
At Gaspar Doctors of Physical Therapy, we offer sports performance training, as well as physical therapy, chiropractic and other services.
If you need a hand specialist in the Carlsbad area, or any other of these aforementioned services, please contact us at (760) 707-5080.