Are you having trouble holding onto things? Do you find yourself constantly dropping your keys? Or does the fork you pull from the kitchen drawer or your coffee cup keep slipping out of your hands? While you might just be clumsy, you may also have a condition that is affecting your grip. Learn the 3 conditions that can cause hand weakness and what you can do about it to help answer the question, why do I keep dropping things?
3 Conditions that Can Cause Hand Weakness
Arthritis can cause your joints to lose the cartilage that allows them to move smoothly against each other. As the cartilage deteriorates, pain and swelling can occur. The pain, swelling, and stiffness of arthritis can make it difficult to bend your fingers and to pinch your thumb and fingers together. This occurs most often in the base of the thumb (known as CMC Thumb Arthritis) or in the joints of your fingers.
Numbness and swelling in the hands can also be caused by inflamed tendons, a condition called tendinitis. In most cases, tendinitis is caused by overuse from activities such as typing, cleaning, painting walls and sports. When overworked tendons become irritated they can develop small tears causing pain and muscle weakness. With tendinitis you may experience numbness or tingling in any finger, including your pinky.
3. Repetitive Stress Injuries – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Activities and sports requiring the same repeated motion, such as swinging a tennis racket or typing on a keyboard, can create stress on hands and fingers. Repetitive tasks can irritate nerves, tendons, and bone resulting in pain, swelling, and loss of muscle strength.
Those symptoms together are called Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI’s), and one of the most common RSI’s is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can start with an aching in the wrist that extends to your hands or up your arm. Other symptoms can include tingling or numbness in the fingers, especially at night. Over time, your hand can become weak or numb.
Treatment for Conditions That Cause Hand Weakness
Treatment for these conditions should always start with talking to your health care provider who can diagnosis your problem and give you recommendations for treatment. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment options can include include applying heat and cold, wearing a splint or brace for support or rest, occupational or physical therapy and medications to reduce pain and swelling.
Wearing a splint or brace can help make daily activities easier, less painful, and more comfortable. Thumb Splints such as the CMCcare Thumb Brace help relieve thumb pain when pinching or gripping and can help alleviate your symptoms and improve your ability to hold objects without the fear of dropping them.
Protective gloves that have silicone dots or tacky material in the palm are a great solution if you have compromised hand strength. The Protexgloves with grips can help make it easier and safer to lift a coffee pot or hot water and put away your dishes.
The WS6 Wrist Compression Sleeve and Fix Comfort Wrist Brace can help relieve your symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or tendinitis. Wearing a wrist brace rests your wrist in a neutral position, which helps decreases the swelling that may be filling the tunnel and decreases the pressure on the median nerve. This can help reduce numbness and the tingling feeling and improve your hand strength.
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Our blogs are educational in nature and are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Because your condition is unique to you, it is recommended that you consult with your health care provider before attempting any medical or therapeutic treatments. We are always happy to answer questions about products mentioned in our blogs, however, we cannot provide a diagnosis or medical advice.