- A Harvard Medical School doctor answers a question about hand cramps
- Don’t ignore your hand and wrist pain – Here are the top 3 culprits
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
A Harvard Medical School doctor answers a question about hand cramps
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Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that happens when the median nerve is compressed or squeezed as it passes through the wrist. This happens when the carpal tunnel inside your wrist becomes inflamed. The median nerve controls some of the muscles that move the thumb and carries information back to the brain about sensations in your thumb and fingers. When the nerve is squeezed it can cause tingling, numbness, pain or aching in the affected hand. Women are more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.
A year-old right-hand dominant woman came to our clinic seeking treatment for bilateral generalized hand cramping and weakness that she had been experiencing for approximately 2 to 3 years. She was dropping objects and had finger locking, yet had no numbness, tingling, or morning stiffness. Ten months earlier, she had given birth to a healthy g girl. Her pregnancy and delivery had been significant for oligohydramnios, failed post-term 41 weeks 4 days induction, and emergent low transverse cesarean section due to fetal bradycardia. Since giving birth, our patient had 3 menstrual periods while breastfeeding. She had a copper intrauterine device inserted at her 6-week postpartum visit. She also had 2 truncal acrochordons removed 3 months postpartum.
Symptoms usually appear when a person is trying to do a task that requires fine motor movements, such as writing or playing a musical instrument. The symptoms may be isolated to only those tasks or affect the muscles in a more general way and spread to affect many tasks. Common symptoms include, for example, excessive gripping of a pen or utensil, flexing of the wrist, elevation of the elbow, and occasional extension of a finger or fingers causing the utensil to fall from the hand. Two basic types of writer's cramp have been described: simple and dystonic. People with simple writer's cramp have difficulty with only one specific task. For example, if writing activates the dystonia, as soon as the individual picks up a pen—or within writing a few words—dystonic postures of the hand begin to impede the speed and accuracy of writing. In dystonic writer's cramp, symptoms will be present not only when the person is writing, but also when performing other activities, such as shaving, using eating utensils, applying make-up.
Wellness Articles. Putting down the smartphone may help Pain in the hands or wrists is more common than ever, thanks to the prevalence of smartphones and computer-focused work environments. Joel Klena. Plus, it can come out of nowhere and pack a serious punch. This can be painful and lead to cramping. In extreme cases, you can also lose muscle mass in the hands leading to chronic cramping and reduced strength.
Don’t ignore your hand and wrist pain – Here are the top 3 culprits
What causes spasms in a person's leg?
Carpal tunnel syndrome
We respect your privacy. Whether it happens in your hand, leg, or another part of your body, cramping is often related to muscle fatigue, and there can be a variety of triggers. If you have rheumatoid arthritis , you may wonder if hand cramping has anything to do with your disease. The answer is that it very well could. Discover what steps others take to control their RA on Tippi! Weselman says.
Hand cramps can be extremely uncomfortable and either sporadic or chronic. When your hand cramps up, you may have difficulty making a fist or bringing your fingers together. You might experience cramping in other parts of your body as well. The following are only a few of the possible reasons for hand cramps. Contact your doctor for more information.
Hand Cramp Relief
A: What you describe sounds like carpal spasm. Spasms, or cramps, are involuntary muscle contractions. The most common causes of spasms are overused muscles in the hands that might be due to writing or typing and dehydration. Other causes of muscle cramping include low levels of calcium and magnesium. Another possibility is that you have carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs when the nerves in the wrist are compressed. Typical symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include pain in the wrist and tingling and numbness in the fingers, but hand spasms may also occur.