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May 1962

The Control of Pain in the Hand

Author Affiliations

Associate Visiting Surgeon, First (Tufts) Surgical Service, Boston City Hospital.; From the Hand Service, Boston City Hospital, and the Department of Surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1962;84(5):494-498. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1962.01300230010003

From the patient's point of view, pain is the most important symptom encountered in hand problems. Successful control of pain hinges upon an understanding of the available methods of treatment. Physicians who are actively interested in hand problems learn how to cope with pain through scattered reference material, experience, and word-of-mouth teaching. There is no satisfactory reference source to provide the general physician and surgeon, not possessing specific hand training, a broad picture of the treatment of pain in the hand so that they might acquire a practical understanding of the management of this problem. To satisfy this need, the available methods of dealing with pain in the hand are discussed here.

Physical Methods 

Elevation.  —Elevation of the hand following operation or injury has a beneficial effect upon throbbing pain by preventing vascular engorgement and dependent edema. The use of a sling should not be expected to provide sufficient elevation