When should you see a hand specialist?

Posted by Peter Harris


Hand and wrist injuries are a frequent occurrence, whether it happens on the job, at home or while playing a sport. But most of us don't really know when we should seek out a hand specialist vs. our primary physician regarding our injury. With two of our outpatient clinics offering occupational therapy, and more specifically with a Certified Hand Therapist on staff at both our Chula Vista Clinic as well as our Lemon Grove Clinic, we have a few tips on when you should seek out someone more specialized for such injuries.

Q: When should a patient seek out a hand specialist?

A: Seeking out medical care often begins and ends with the amount of pain you're experiencing. If it's extreme pain, you should immediately go to a doctor to help manage the pain. But a hand specialist may be sought if you're still experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:

  • hand or joint swelling
  • finger numbness or tingling
  • decreased mobility
  • lack of strength
  • pain extending to the elbow
  • limited wrist rotation 

Q: Why a hand specialist vs. another specialized doctor?

A: Hand and wrist injuries are often times complex, and hand specialists have been to training in new techniques and familiarity with the latest procedures. Furthermore, a hand specialist is someone who only treats hands. They specialize in orthopedic injuries and neural injuries of just the hands, so their understanding and expertise is significant when dealing with hands and wrists.

Q: What are some common injuries that may require a hand specialist?

A: There are several injuries common to the hand and wrist that often require seeking out a hand specialist. They include Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, Ganglion Cysts, Osteoarthritis, and Tennis/Golf Elbow. The symptoms that you may experience can vary greatly from one injury to another, but a hand specialists will undoubtably know from either an office visit or through specialized imaging such as an MRI or X-Ray.

If you'd like Therapy Specialists to help you find a hand specialist in your area, please feel free to call one of our certified hand therapists today:

Contact our Certified Hand Therapist Today


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Author Bio:

If Keith Carson's hand is the first one you'll shake, Peter Harris' may be the second. He is responsible for business development as it relates to our outpatient clinics.