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Debunking Hand Pain Myths: Insights from a Physiotherapist.

Today, let's dive into a topic that affects many of us but is often surrounded by misinformation: hand pain myths. As a physiotherapist, I've seen my fair share of misconceptions surrounding hand pain, and it's time to set the record straight. So, grab a cup of coffee and let's separate fact from fiction.

Myth #1: Hand pain is just a normal part of ageing.

Sure, as we age, our bodies undergo changes, but chronic hand pain shouldn't be dismissed as inevitable. In fact, many cases of hand pain are related to specific conditions like arthritis, tendonitis, or nerve compression [1]. These issues can often be effectively managed with proper care and treatment, regardless of age.

Myth #2: Resting your hands is the best way to relieve pain.

While rest can be beneficial in the short term, it's not always the best long-term solution for hand pain. In fact, prolonged rest can lead to stiffness and weakness in the muscles and joints. Instead, a balanced approach that includes gentle stretching, strengthening exercises, and ergonomic adjustments is typically more effective in managing hand pain.

Myth #3: Hand pain is only caused by overuse.

While overuse can certainly contribute to hand pain, it's not the only culprit. Factors like poor posture, repetitive movements, and underlying medical conditions can also play a significant role. For example, conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome can cause hand pain without any specific overuse [2]. That's why it's essential to address the root cause of the pain rather than simply focusing on reducing activity.

Myth #4: Hand pain will go away on its own.

Unfortunately, this myth can lead to delayed treatment and unnecessary suffering. Ignoring hand pain can allow underlying conditions to worsen over time, making them more challenging to treat. Early intervention, including physiotherapy, can lead to better outcomes for many hand pain conditions [3]. So, don't wait it out—seek professional help if you're experiencing persistent hand pain.

Myth #5: Surgery is the only option for severe hand pain.

While surgery may be necessary in some cases, it's not always the first or only treatment option. Physiotherapy techniques such as manual therapy, exercises, and modalities like ultrasound or laser therapy can often provide significant relief for hand pain without the need for surgery [4]. Of course, the appropriate treatment will depend on the specific cause and severity of the pain, so it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised advice.

So, there you have it, five common hand pain myths debunked! Remember, when it comes to managing hand pain, knowledge is power. By understanding the true causes and effective treatments for hand pain, you can take control of your health and get back to doing the things you love.

Our Barnet, Cockfosters & Enfield Physio's have tons of experience in dealing with all types of hand and wrist pain. Have confidence that our specialist Physiotherapists will closely assess, diagnose & treat you in the correct & evidence-based way for all injuries. You can book an appointment here.

Blog By: Emre Oz (Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist at Crouch Physio).


1. Lee, S.W. and Nakamura, R., 2020. Hand and Wrist Pain. Clinical Diagnosis in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation E-Book: Case by Case; Elsevier Health Sciences: Philadelphia, PA, USA, p.47.

2. Tantawy, H.I., El Maghraby, A.M., El Adl, I.M. and El Ahwany, F.I.M., 2022. Pathophysiology and diagnosis of Carpal tunnel syndrome. NeuroQuantology, 20(10), p.13134.

3. Byrchak, V., Duma, Z. and Aravitska, M., 2020. Effectiveness of the active physical therapy in restoring wrist and hand functional ability in patients with immobility-induced contracture of the wrist joint complicated by median nerve entrapment owing to distal forearm fracture. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 20(6), pp.3599-3606.

4. Manchikanti L, Singh V, Falco FJ, Benyamin RM, Hirsch JA. Epidemiology of low back pain in adults. Neuromodulation. 2014;17 Suppl 2:3-10.

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