How do I treat an injured hand?

A model of a human hand.

An injured hand is usually treated with anti-inflammatory medication and rest. Once the injury has occurred, ice should be applied to the affected area, although ice should not be applied directly to the skin, as tissue damage or frostbite may occur. Instead, ice should be placed on a soft cloth or inserted into an ice pack. An effective alternative to an ice pack is a package of frozen vegetables. Patients should apply ice for about 15 minutes, four times a day.

An ice pack can help with the pain of an injured hand.

Also known as a hand bruise, an injured hand can cause pain, swelling, and decreased mobility. To rule out broken bones or other serious damage, the doctor may recommend an x-ray, MRI, or ultrasound of the hand. If a broken bone is detected, the hand can be in a cast or simply immobilized. Even though an injured hand is not considered a serious condition, it can result in persistent pain, especially if the nerves in the hand are injured.

An injured hand is usually the result of an impact or trauma.

In conjunction with anti-inflammatory medications and application of ice, the healthcare provider may recommend occupational therapy services in cases where the injured hand is causing extreme pain, immobility, and loss of strength. Occupational therapy will help restore mobility and promote circulation and blood flow, thus speeding up the healing process. Sometimes the occupational therapist suggests a paraffin bath for the hands. Warm paraffin wax helps to decrease pain and stiffness, while helping to reduce muscle spasms and inflammation.

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An injured hand can cause pain and swelling.

Keeping the injured hand elevated above the level of the heart can also help reduce swelling and pain. When lying down, the hand should be supported on pillows, which will elevate the limb and increase blood flow to the wound. Occasionally, depending on the nature of the injury, an injured hand may be accompanied by a broken skin. When this occurs, the wound needs to be cleaned with mild soap and warm water and monitored for signs of infection. If a person notices redness, inflammation, drainage of pus, or excessive bleeding, they need to contact their doctor.

An injured hand can be accompanied by a broken skin.

Until the injured hand is completely healed, your doctor may recommend that you avoid driving. Proper steering requires the use of both hands on the steering wheel, and failing to drive in this manner can result in loss of control, contributing to an accident. In addition, if the individual is taking prescription pain relievers for the injury, they may also be recommended to avoid driving motor vehicles.

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