Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Hand Aid


The lack of cartilage means that bone rubs against bone, resulting in pain and sometimes swelling. Osteoarthritis takes years to develop. If you're a "knuckle popper" you should know that this activity, while painless at the time, may be causing microtrauma to the cartilage and ligaments of your joints. If you're the friend of a knuckle popper and can't. stand the noise, make sure your buddy knows about potential complications.

Women more commonly than men develop a second form of osteoarthritis of the hands - "nontraumatic" - or not resulting from injury. This condition has no known cause and usually occurs in a person's 50s. It is more common in certain families, too.

The knuckles become enlarged by bony overgrowth, feel stiff and sometimes swollen. Treatment consists of soaking the hands in warm water, performing range-of-motion exercises and occasionally taking anti-inflammatory medication for pain.

Be Sure it's Not Broken

A tennis-playing friend of ours recently called to complain about a pain in the last joint of her ring finger - she had jammed the tip while trying to catch a tennis ball. She was sure it wasn't broken because she could still bend her finger, but the pain hadn't gone away after nearly two months. However, it did "pop" just a little when she bent it. We directed her to an orthopedic hand specialist, and an X-ray confirmed that she had sustained a broken bone.

As her story illustrates, although a finger can be broken in many ways and locations, you may still be able to move it. Many breaks will be accompanied by some deformity of the finger or difficulty moving it, but small breaks, including those that involve the joint and can cause arthritis later, don't prevent normal motion. When in doubt, see a physician for an X-ray early so that finger breaks can be appropriately treated.

Anyone involved in catching a ball is at risk for dislocating a finger, which occurs when the bone completely separates from the socket. Ouch! It hurts just to think about it. A dislocated finger may also be broken, so go immediately for an X-ray and treatment in case a more serious injury exists.

There is another serious hand injury to look out for.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.