What Are Hand Cramps a Sign Of? – 5 Facts To Know

Ever experienced a sudden hand pain that left you screaming with never-ending discomfort? Hand cramps can be overwhelming and can interrupt your everyday routine. Hand aches are a common health disorder experienced by people of all ages. It can be caused due to fatigue, intensive workouts, serious health issues, or even dehydration.

These muscle cramps can be severe or mild, depending on your health condition. The discomfort can be highly irritating and overstay its welcome. A severe hand cramp shouldn’t be ignored, as it might tell us the hidden truth about your health.

1. Causes of Hand Cramps

If you are someone who constantly experiences hand cramps, then you should consult a healthcare professional. Here are some reasons why you may be experiencing severe hand pain:

1.1. Fatigue

What are hand cramps a sign of? - fatigue
By Zohre Nemati / Unsplash

Cramping may be caused by the excessive use of fine motor abilities and monotonous activities that require constant hand movements.

1.2. Dehydration

Muscle spasms indicate that you haven’t been drinking enough water. Proper hydration is crucial for the body’s proper functioning. Severe dehydration can lead to nerve-racking hand pain and decreased joint flexibility.

1.3. Serious Health Conditions

Severe diseases like hypothyroidism, diabetic stiff hand syndrome, kidney disease, focal dystonia, or multiple sclerosis are result of aches and stiffness. Autoimmune disease attacks generally affect joints, which causes severe pain.

Similarly, repetitive strain injuries can lead to constant hand cramping. A general physician is sure to prescribe physical therapy in this situation. Physical therapy can help decrease symptoms, improve flexibility, and prevent further strain on the affected areas.

1.4. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its tissues. This, as a result, causes inflammation, hand pain, and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis can be successfully treated by medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications.

1.5. Nutritional Deficiencies

Hand cramps may signify vital minerals and nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium.

1.6. Low Blood Circulation

Hand soreness may be the cause of peripheral artery disease in which the hand area doesn’t receive enough blood flow.

1.7. Nerve Compression

Carpal tunnel syndrome allows the hand nerves to compress, causing severe discomfort. To treat carpal tunnel syndrome, a combination of rest, wrist splints, and, in some cases, medical interventions may be recommended.

1.8. Medication

The usage of medicines like diuretics can be the prime reason for fluid and electrolyte imbalances, which further results in hand distress and soreness.

2. Signs and Symptoms of Hand Cramps

Let us now understand the symptoms of these painful hand cramps. Here are common signs and symptoms of hand pain:

2.1. Tightness of Muscle

Your hand muscles may suddenly become tight, causing problems during physical activity.

2.2. Ache

If you suddenly feel intense pain around your arms or palm area, relax! No need to think negatively! This is your body’s natural response to overwork. It is essential to relax your body and mind for some time. Take a short break from repetitive activities you have been doing all day. This will allow your hand muscles to rest and recover.

2.3. Muscle Twitches

Trembling and twitching sensations are pretty common symptoms experienced by people. If these problems overstay, then obtain guidance from a healthcare professional.

2.4. Muscle Contraction

You may also experience muscle contraction if your condition is severe.

2.5. Redness

The affected area may appear to be red due to increased blood flow.

2.6. Weakness

You may feel weakness for a long time due to your hand cramps. You will have a hard time gripping or handling items in your hand. As scary as it sounds, don’t bother if the condition disappears after some time.

2.7. Numbness

You may also feel numb in the cramped area for some time.

2.8. Tingling Sensation

In some cases, people experience pin and needles sensation where they feel constantly pricked by needles. As the name suggests, this is an uncomfortable situation that must be treated immediately.

2.9. Difficulty in Keeping up with Everyday Task

Hand cramps become alarming when it starts to interfere with daily life. Difficulty in holding or grabbing objects might cause a severe health condition. If the pain lasts a few minutes, you have nothing to worry about. If the pain is unbearable and increases every minute, it is better to consult a general physician.

3. When to See the Doctor?

While hand cramps can be a sign of over-exhaustion and burnout, but it’s better to contact a medical practitioner if the condition persists and take necessary action to overcome it.

4. Practical Tips for Hand Cramps

Hand stiffness can be easily treated at home without much supervision. Here is a list of some effective ways to defeat the problem:

4.1. Cold or Hot Compress

Cold or hot compresses are effective in combating swelling and headaches. You can use ice as well as hot bags to control the cramps. Unlike the painkillers that offer temporary relief, these methods don’t have any side effects.

4.2. Massage

Massage can do wonders for persistent hand pain. Your hand muscles might be stiff and need a little therapeutic touch to work like normal. Just rub your hand gently in a circular motion. Take time to rub stiff areas, which will help you release muscle stress.

4.3. Rest

Hand discomfort is a sign your body isn’t getting enough rest or is continuously overworking. Hence, taking it easy and not overburdening yourself during work hours is advisable. Always remember that health comes first.

4.4. Stop Recurrent Activities for Some Time

Monotonous activities such as typing, writing, gardening, instrument playing, intense sports, and bending your wrist for too long require a lot of muscle movement, leading to hand spasms. It is completely fine to discontinue these repetitive tasks until you feel better.

4.5. Supplements

Hand muscle cramps may happen if your body is deficient in certain vital dietary components necessary to stay active and healthy. These nutrients may be calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. Similarly, it is also essential to maintain proper blood glucose levels.

People with extreme workout sessions, pregnant women, or people suffering from kidney diseases, eating disorders, and cancer are most certainly low on these nutrients. Hence, it is crucial to never miss your supplements, especially vitamin D supplements as per the guidance of your health care professional.

A stress-free person
By Juan Camilo Navia / Unsplash

4.6. Drink Water

If you have been exercising constantly or are exhausted from working overtime, it may cause muscle cramps. Hence, it is advisable to drink water whenever you feel mild dehydration. We should drink at least eight glasses of water daily to avoid these problems. Proper water intake effectively helps in preventing muscle cramps.

5. Tackling Hand Muscle Spasm

We all have experienced hand cramping at some point in our lives. While your body needs regular maintenance, sticking to a healthy work-life balance is crucial without straining yourself too much. Hand muscle spasms are a sign your body has overworked and requires quick relief. Kindly listen to your body and take regular breaks to minimise fatigue and tiredness. A healthy, stress-free lifestyle is essential for long-term well-being and vitality. Treat the body the way you want to be treated, and watch how your life changes!

Last Updated on by Gautam

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