Anatomy Arteries Blood Vessels Hand

Anatomy 101: Arteries of the Arm

There are 5 arteries in the arm and shoulder that supply blood to the body.

Arteries are muscle-lined tubes in the body that transport blood from the heart to other parts of the body. In the upper extremity, there are two arteries that pass through the axilla, also known as the “armpit.” These arteries are:

  • Subclavian Artery: This is the large vessel that begins the blood supply to the upper extremity.  It begins near the heart and travels under the clavicle bone toward the shoulder.  Eventually it turns into the axillary artery.
  • Axillary Artery: This is a continuation of the subclavian artery. This artery travels deep in the arm pit, feeding muscles and bones around the shoulder with its branches. It eventually turns into the brachial artery.
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Cold Hand Disease Hand Therapy Raynaud's Phenomenon

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: Cold Weather Tips for Raynaud’s

Cold weather can bring misery to people with Raynaud’s. Frigid temperatures trigger an abnormal response of constriction (or narrowing) of the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, nose and/or ears interrupting blood flow. As a result, fingers turn white and blue when cold, then bright red when warming and are extremely painful.

If you have Raynaud’s, you are at greater risk for frostbite and may develop sores on the tips of your fingers. You can still enjoy winter activities. Most of the symptoms can be managed with prevention and some lifestyle changes. Here are a few suggestions:

Wear gloves and mittens. Mittens tend to keep hands warmer than fingered gloves. Fingerless gloves with mitten caps are a great option and can also be used indoors as well.

Layer your clothing. Keep your body warm with layers. The Raynaud’s response occurs when the body becomes cold, not just your hands and feet. Wristies® and Limbkeepers® are two products that help with layering.

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Ligament Thumb Thumb Sprain

5 Signs of a Thumb Sprain

A thumb sprain is an injury to a ligament, which is a soft tissue that connects bones to each other at joints, as opposed to a thumb fracture (break) which is an injury to the bone. Many times, thumb sprains will result from sports injuries or falls. For example, skiing results in many thumb injuries, as does basketball. Or, you may fall and try to catch yourself, bending your thumb in an awkward position.

Here are 5 signs that you have sprained your thumb:

  1. Swelling
  2. Bruising
  3. Pain
  4. Weakness
  5. Trouble performing daily activities such as writing or holding a glass
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Elbow Lateral Epicondylitis Tendons Tennis Elbow

How to Treat Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, officially called lateral epicondylitis, is a condition involving the degeneration of a tendon’s attachment on the outside (lateral) part of the elbow. Simply put, the degeneration causes pain. The pain may be located on the outside of the elbow, and it can be tender to the touch. This condition can also cause pain during activity, especially when gripping or lifting things. Sometimes, the pain will travel down your forearm and into the hand.

Tennis elbow is commonly caused by overuse, which doesn’t necessarily result from playing tennis. Overuse can be from work-related activities such as typing or plumbing, or non-work activities such as painting. It can also be caused by trauma. If you’ve suffered from a direct blow to the elbow at some point, it may lead to degeneration.

Sometimes, tennis elbow pain will go away on its own. If it doesn’t, here are potential methods for treating this condition:

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Cold Hand Disease Finger Hand Raynaud's Phenomenon

Raynaud’s Disease: Why Your Hands and Feet Hurt So Badly When They’re Cold

from SELF

Winter is terrible for many reasons, seasonal affective disorder, treacherous slicks of ice, and the infinite quest for moisturized skin among them. But for people with Raynaud’s disease (sometimes called Raynaud’s phenomenon or syndrome), winter can also make their hands and feet go numb, then ache, and even turn every color of the American flag in the process. It would be an impressive party trick if it weren’t so painful.

Raynaud’s symptoms are painfully distinct.

It’s not just that your fingers feel cold when you trudge through the snow (or frolic, depending on your opinion of winter). “It’s impressive, this change,” vascular surgeon Daiva Nevidomskyte, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at Duke University School of Medicine, tells SELF. “Within a couple of minutes, people’s fingers turn pale, then blue, and once they’re reheated, they turn red. It’s a pretty dramatic response.”

Beyond the visible changes, when someone is having a Raynaud’s attack, the lack of blood flow will lead to numbness and pain in the affected body part as it turns white and blue. When the blood flow returns, the body part starts to redden, and nerves reacting to the renewed circulation will cause tingling, throbbing, or burning, Mounir Haurani, M.D., vascular surgeon and assistant professor at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF.

Read the full story.

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Hand Ski and Snowboard Injury Thumb

Random Fact: Skiing Injuries

Did you know? Looping your hands through the straps of a ski pole increases your risk of hurting your thumb if you fall. Upper extremity injuries are some of the most common skiing injuries. Learn more about how to ski safely at www.HandCare.org.

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Dupuytren's Contracture Finger Hand

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist on Dupuytren’s Contracture

Dupuytren's ContractureDupuytren's ContractureDupuytren's Contracture

Why can’t I straighten my finger?

Dupuytren’s Contracture is a benign disorder of the hand that may result in tightening of the palm and bending of the fingers. When it begins, the palm or finger(s) appear to have bumps and later may develop a rope-y appearance.  It is not usually painful, but in some cases, discomfort is reported. The condition is most common in men (almost 5 to 1 versus women) of Northwestern European descent and onset increases with age (over 40).

The condition usually starts with the first knuckle. If it progresses, the middle knuckle may also bend. The fingers most affected are the ring and small, with possible progression to the long, index and thumb. Early signs of Dupuytren’s Contracture may include the appearance of “pitting/dimpling” in the palm. It may become difficult to place the hand on a flat surface, put on gloves, or put the hand in a pocket.

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Brachial Plexus Hand Nerves Shoulder

What is a Brachial Plexus Injury?

The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that start in the spinal cord in the neck and travel down the arm. These nerves control the muscles of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, as well as provide feeling in the arm. If you have a brachial plexus injury, it means you have damaged a nerve.

Nerve injuries can be very serious, as they can stop signals to and from the brain. Nerves can be damaged by stretching, pressure or cutting. Stretching can occur when the head and neck are forced away from the shoulder, such as during a motorcycle or car accident. Pressure could occur if the brachial plexus is crushed, which can happen during a fracture or dislocation. You will know if you have a nerve injury, as opposed to just a broken bone or other injury, if you’ve lost feeling in your arm.

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