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What is referred pain in the hand?



Referred pain in the hand is pain that originates in one part of the body that is actually experienced in the hand. Physiotherapy is an effective treatment for referred pain in the hand.


What can cause referred pain in the hand?



There are a number of different causes of referred pain in the hand. The nerves supplying the hand region originate in the cervical and thoracic spine and if these become damaged and compressed, this can cause referred pain in the hand.


What are the symptoms of referred pain in the hand?



You may experience numbness or pins and needles in the hand which can be aggravated by certain activities. Some muscles in the hand area may become weaker as the motor nerves usually supplying them have been damaged. A burning sensation and pain can also be experienced. Other symptoms include:

What should I do if I have referred pain in my hand?



If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important that you go and see your doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to provide you with an accurate diagnosis although you may need to have nerve tests to confirm the exact damage. If the condition is very severe, surgery may be advised to relieve the compression on the nerve. For milder cases, physiotherapy is an effective way of minimising your pain and other symptoms.


What shouldn’t I do if I have referred pain in my hand?



You should not ignore your symptoms if you have referred pain in the hand. The longer you continue without receiving specialist help, the longer it will take to return to your normal lifestyle. Do not try and treat the condition yourself or by following advice on the internet as this will not be specific to your problem.


Physiotherapy for referred pain in the hand.



Physiotherapy treatment may include specialist equipment such as Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) to try and stimulate the damaged nerve endings. There are also other nerve stimulation techniques to help regenerate the affected nerves. TENS can be used for pain relief and you may be given postural advice to try and reduce the strain on the nerves. Mobilisations on cervical and thoracic spine can also be carried out to reduce pain. Other treatments include:

Can referred pain in the hand have any long-term effects?



If your symptoms persevere, it may be necessary to have surgery to relieve the nerve compression. Physiotherapy is advised following surgery to prevent any long term complications and the symptoms returning again in the future.

To arrange a physiotherapy appointment call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 or book online.


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Phone: 0330 088 7800
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