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Palm Pain

Palm Pain

What is Palm Pain?

Pain in the palm of the hand can occur as the result of numerous injuries or underlying diseases. The exact symptoms can vary greatly. Some patients experience palm pain in just one hand while some experience it in both. The pain may be dull or sharp and cause a burning, throbbing, or stabbing sensation. Some individuals experience minor pain while others experience severe pain. In itself, palm pain is rarely a serious condition. It may, however, be a sign of an underlying condition that is more serious in nature.

Injuries Causing Palm Pain

Injuries to the hand are the most common cause of palm pain. In this situation, the pain is typically felt immediately or very shortly after the injury occurs. The hand is a complex part of the body made up of several types of tissue including bone, muscle, joints, nerves, tendons, skin, blood vessels, and connective tissue. Damage to any of these structures can be painful. Some spinal injuries may also cause pain that is felt in the hand.

Inflammation, Nerve or Muscle Damage

Palm pain caused by inflammation is also common. Common sources of inflammation that may affect the hand include cellulitis, arthritis, gout, abscess, bone infection, tendinitis, and rheumatoid arthritis. These conditions typically develop slowly over the course of time as individuals age. Conditions that affect the nerves or muscles may also result in palm pain. These conditions include cerebral palsy, carpal tunnel syndrome, and dermatomyositis. Less commonly, other chronic diseases can lead to pain in the palm as well. Potential causes include tumors, diabetes, blood clots, peripheral artery disease, vasculitis, and transient ischemic attack. Stroke victims may experience sudden tingling and pain in the hands.

Diagnosing Palm Pain

Pain in the palm is first evaluated by a thorough examination of the hand. The doctor will also ask several questions regarding the characteristics of the pain including how long it has existed, how severe it is, and whether the symptoms can be relieved by certain activities. Additional testing is often needed to determine the exact cause. Common tests include X-rays, MRI's, and CT scans. Nerve testing may also be conducted to rule out problems of the central nervous system.

Treatment Options for Palm Pain

Palm pain may be treated or managed using a variety of techniques. Anti-inflammatory medications are commonly prescribed. Many doctors also recommend physical therapy. In limited cases, surgery may be needed. Palm pain is usually treatable, but without medical attention, it may lead to severe complications including joint deformity and paralysis.