Therapeutic Relief at CHARMS for Stiff, Painful, Aching Hands

When our precious and delicate hands and wrists ache with stiffness and pain, the Hand Care Team at CHARMS recommend several solutions for therapeutic relief as well as ways to maximize downtime after surgery. Offering ultrasonic therapy, paraffin wax, and trigger point release, CHARMS provides a suite of options to support our hardworking hands. An outcome of overworked muscles, strained joints, or complications of arthritis, the Hand Therapists at CHARMS have the knowledge and experience to deliver healing relief for our painful hands and wrists.


Hand Anatomy

Our dexterous hands help with so many of our daily activities, mostly because of the intricate and complicated anatomy of the hand. Comprised of 27 bones, 27 joints, 34 muscles, over 100 ligaments and tendons, as well as a vast network of blood vessels and nerves, our complex hand anatomy allows us to accomplish our activities of daily living. Importantly, these delicate structures need care and therapy because our hands are vulnerable to pain and stiffness.

Overview of Symptoms and Possible Causes

Pain and stiffness arise in many areas of our hands. Our muscles, joints, tendons, nerves, and bones are susceptible to injury, nerve damage, repetitive strain, inflammation, fractures, or systemic health problems. This can cause or contribute to aching, painful, and stiff hands.

Maximise Downtime After Surgery

Each type of hand surgery will be followed by a period of rest, immobilization, and rehabilitation. Your occupational and physical hand therapists at CHARMS will help you maximize your downtime after surgery. Along with rest, and elevation, your CHARMS therapist will provide surgical aftercare to help reduce ongoing pain and swelling, ensure proper healing, and get you back to your normal activities as quickly as possible.

Treatment Options and Outcomes 

For hands in need of relief from pain and stiffness, or treatment to aid the healing process post-surgery, there are several options to consider. As a form of heat therapy, paraffin wax delivers relief for aching muscles and joints. Therapeutic ultrasound enhances tissue healing. Another form of therapy is trigger point release which serves to release tension in the hardworking hand and wrist muscles.

Symptoms of Hand Pain and Stiffness

We rely on our hands for countless tasks throughout the day. When our hands start to slow us down, it is frustrating and sometimes painful. Hand symptoms of pain and stiffness can develop slowly over time or come on suddenly. We may not notice the pain and stiffness until later, or the next day when new hand-taxing jobs need to be done. Although symptoms relate to different types of causes, common experiences are swelling of muscles or joints, loss of strength and gripping power, tingling, or burning sensations, dull and aching pains, numbness, or an increase or decrease in sensitivity to hot and cold. Pain and stiffness can develop at different times of the day from early morning, daily, or at night. Each symptom can tell your hand specialists and therapists a lot about what may be causing your hand pain and stiffness.

Causes of Pain and Stiffness in the Hands and Wrists

The root causes of hand pain and stiffness are many. Arthritis is the leading cause of hand pain with the most common types being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Hand pain may also originate from injuries due to repetitive motion, sprains, or fractures as well as nerve damage. Our tendons, the tough cords that protect and connect our bones and muscles can become inflamed causing pain, leading to problems of tendonitis and tenosynovitis.

Prevention of Pain and Stiffness in Fingers, Hands, and Wrists

Maintaining range of motion and strength are important ways to prevent the onset of pain and stiffness in the fingers, hands, and wrists. By using ergonomic strategies at work and at home, we can avoid overworking our hands and wrists. Therapeutic massage, exercise, as well as the therapies of ultrasound, trigger point release, and paraffin wax therapy offered at CHARMS are methods to ensure happy hands while avoiding or delaying the onset of hand pain and stiffness.

Maximising Downtime After Surgery

Many hand and wrist conditions may be treated non-surgically. But when surgical intervention is necessary it is just the beginning of the journey to recovery. Following your surgical aftercare plan is the surest way to regain as much hand and wrist function as possible.

Post-operative care plans are personalized to your specific situation. This ensures you can make the most of your downtime after surgery.

Along with rest, immobilization, and elevation, surgical aftercare helps to reduce pain and swelling while providing wound care and dressings. Rehabilitation with the hand therapists at CHARMS helps to regain strength and range of motion to maximize hand and wrist function. CHARMS enlists multiple therapeutic options including paraffin wax therapy, ultrasound, and trigger point release to further reduce potential pain and stiffness.

Therapeutic Treatment Options

Paraffin Wax

While paraffin wax is known for its cosmetic uses in luxury spa treatments to soften skin, it also has pain-relieving and healing capabilities. By generating warm therapeutic heat, paraffin wax increases blood flow which decreases joint stiffness and relaxes muscles. Paraffin wax is used to treat issues with joint mobility, muscle spasms, and sprains as well as provide healing pain relief for rheumatoid and osteoarthritis as well as fibromyalgia.

Ultrasound Treatment

When our delicate hand structures are suffering from chronic pain, joint tightness, injury, or loss of mobility, the hand therapists at CHARMS may recommend the use of ultrasound therapy. Ultrasonic waves produce heat deep in our hand tissues. Deep heating decreases pain, improves flexibility, and promotes healing. The ultrasound energy causes rapid contraction and expansion around injured areas which helps to speed up the healing process.

Trigger Point Release

Trigger points develop through repetitive tasks and work-related activities that overload muscles in the hands, wrists, and forearms. The overloaded muscles then generate or refer pain to the hands and wrists. Trigger points may also cause numbness and tingling in the hands and fingers.

The hand therapists at CHARMS use strategies to release trigger points to relieve pain as well as muscle and joint tightness. Trigger point release can help to restore blood flow and nerve function to reduce numbness and tingling.

How CHARMS Can Help

The Hand Care Team at CHARMS offer solutions to relieve hand pain and stiffness which will also maximize your downtime after surgery. Offering ultrasonic therapy, paraffin wax, and trigger point release, the Hand Care Team at CHARMS will recommend your personalised options for supporting your hardworking hands. With the knowledge and experience to deliver healing relief for painful hands and wrists, the Hand Therapists at CHARMS are here to help.