Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care pain in adults pain in children warning signs Underlying Cause Anatomy Pathophysiology

Hand Pain Home Care

Home care for hand pain includes:

  • Avoid activities that cause pain.
  • Clean wounds thoroughly:
    • Use mild soap and water.
    • Gently dab the wound with hydrogen peroxide to remove clotted blood.
    • Do not scrub the wound.
  • Rest the hand:
  • Apply an elastic wrap.
    • Re-wrap the hand every 6 hours.
  • Apply a warm compress:
    • Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 4 hours.
  • Apply a hand splint.
    • The splint may help protect the hand.
  • Apply a nonprescription pain rub:
    • ArthriCare
    • Arthritis Pain Relieving Rub
    • Aspercreme
    • Ben-Gay
    • Capzasin-HP
    • Sportscreme
  • Acetaminophen for pain
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.

Hand Pain Pain in Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with hand pain include:

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.





NSAID Precautions

Hand Pain Pain in Children

Common medications used at home for pain in children with hand pain include:

Aspirin and most of the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not used in children except under a doctor's care.

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.



Hand Pain Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have hand pain and any of the following:

Continue to Hand Pain Underlying Cause

Last Updated: Feb 28, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Hand Pain References
  1. Doleys DM, Marino L, Howell M, Nicholson B. Pain management programs in hand therapy: a literature review and appraisal. J Hand Ther. 1997 Apr-Jun;10(2):175-82. [9188036]
  2. Helliwell PS. Regional musculoskeletal pain. The elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. Baillieres Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 1999 Jun;13(2):311-28. [10952866]
  3. Palmer KT. Regional musculoskeletal conditions: pain in the forearm, wrist and hand. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2003 Feb;17(1):113-35. [12659824]
  4. Wang AA, Whitaker E, Hutchinson DT, Coleman DA. Pain levels after injection of corticosteroid to hand and elbow. Am J Orthop. 2003 Aug;32(8):383-5. [12943338]
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