The hand is an anatomically complex structure that contains 27 bones, 34 muscles and all the ligaments and tendons that attach. The joints in the hand allow for strong, repetitive movements, but this makes them susceptible to injury. As you can imagine, diagnosing hand injuries can be difficult, but it is important to get an accurate diagnosis for proper healing.
Sudden trauma or injuries to the hand can cause sprains or fractures. Spraining or fracturing the joints in your hand can result in a long recovery, especially if it is your dominant hand. Minor sprains can often be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), rest, ice and compression. It is time to see an orthopedic surgeon if pain and swelling last longer than 48 hours. An orthopedic surgeon can properly diagnose a hand or wrist injury and get you on your way to recovery.
Chronic pain from overuse is another common cause of hand pain, although several more serious diagnoses can stem from overuse. One of those diagnoses is arthritis. Arthritis is swelling of the joint and is a common problem in joints where chronic pain is present.