Your hands are amazing tools. When you use your hands to scale a cliff, open a jar or send a text, you're drawing on a combination of raw strength and fine muscle control to accomplish the task at hand. Exercise can often improve your range of motion and grip strength.

Depending on your lifestyle and the state of your joint health, you may face other challenges that necessitate a visit to a regional Idaho orthopedic surgeon or Meridian Idaho orthopedic doctor, but preventive care can often forestall further hand injury or hand surgery. Dr. Robert Hansen. MD of West Idaho Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is a hand surgeon who specializes in disorders of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder.

Pay attention to your hands to keep them healthy. When you hold them in one position or perform repetitive motions such as typing or knitting, you increase your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Gardening, texting and other repetitive motions can lead to an inflammation of the major tendon in your wrist near your thumb. DeQuervain's tenosynovitis, the medical name for this disorder, causes pain and swelling of the affected area. Trigger finger/thumb strains have become more common with the rise of popularity in video games.

Take frequent breaks from any repetitive activity to flex and curl your fingers. Roll your wrists gently to maintain freedom of motion and avoid stiffness.

Osteoarthritis often afflicts the many delicate joints of the hand, limiting motion and causing pain during everyday tasks. Physical therapy can reduce the pain of arthritis and preserve greater flexibility. Curling your fingers, flexing your hands wide and tapping your fingertips against your thumb are some exercises you can do at home to increase your manual dexterity. Squeezing a rubber ball and wringing a towel helps preserve hand strength that arthritis may otherwise diminish.

No one knows what causes ganglion cysts, nodules that most commonly form at your wrists, but gymnasts are particularly prone to them. Taking breaks from repetitive or jarring motions may help you prevent them from recurring after you have them drained or surgically removed.

You don't have to be a professional athlete to suffer a sports-related injury. Tennis elbow, the sporty name for a particular form of tendonitis, can come from other repetitive arm motions. Chefs, painters and plumbers are as prone to the disorder as professional tennis players. A related injury, golfer's elbow, affects the inner surface of the joint; like its counterpart, it doesn't always come from the sport for which it's named and can happen after raking leaves or lifting weights. Rotator cuff tendonitis afflicts the shoulder rather than the elbow; like other forms of tendonitis, it happens when you perform repetitive shoulder motions.

Tendon inflammation often disappears without surgical intervention, but a more serious tendon injury could require surgery. Minimally invasive surgery to reattach a torn tendon typically has a short recovery period. More severe joint disorders can necessitate joint replacement surgery, but minimally invasive surgical techniques available can minimize your down time and restore you to greater mobility as quickly as possible.

Author's Bio: 

Jhon Ford is the author of this article. For more information about MD Robert Hansen and hand surgery please visit