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Facts About the Hand

Posted by Joanna Culley on

These are one of the most complex and sophisticated organs in our bodies, and also one of the most flexible and mobile appendices. The wide variety of abilities human beings can perform with them makes our species truly special; including gross movement, like lifting and carrying large objects, and fine motor movement, like performing very detailed and delicate crafts. 

Three main types of bones can be found in the hand. The first type is the phalanges, which are can be found in both the fingers and the toes. These are comprised of 14 bones, three in each finger except for the thumb, which only has two. The second type is the metacarpal bones, which are five bones located in the mid-section of the hand. The last type is the carpal bones: the ones that create the wrist.

On average, each hand contains 19 bones. And each fingertip has a fingernail at the end, which are hard keratin structures like the hair that allow us to have an even better hold of objects and perform small and more intricate tasks. The hand is also made up of four segments: 

  • Fingers: These are 5 digits that extend from the end of the hand, and allow us to grip small and large objects.
  • Palm: The bottom or front side of your hand.
  • Back: The top part of the hand where a very intrincated set of veins are placed.
  • Wrist: The link between the hand and the arm, and the part that enables movement.

Who is in charge of the finger movement?

Weirdly enough, there are no muscles inside the fingers per se. In fact, in our palms and forearms, we have an important number of tendons that are linked to the fingers and provide them with the ability to move and bend in several directions. In the case of the thumb, there are nine individual muscles and three major hand nerves that control it.

Why do our palms wrinkle when they are wet?

This bodily mechanism is still unknown for healthcare professionals and physicians, but it is closely related to the nerves in our hands. In fact, when these nerves are cut or injured, the palm loses the ability to wrinkle when wet, to sweat and it even becomes numb.

How do knuckle wrinkles appear?

It is actually due to joint movements. If a person could stop moving their finger joints, the wrinkles would eventually fade completely. Reversely, the wrinkles on the back of the knuckles are dimples that mark the area where the tendon is attached to the skin.

Hands and injuries

Hands and fingers are some of the extremities more likely to be injured, especially in the workplace. In fact, hand injuries are only surpassed by back injuries in work environments. The most common situations involve finger striking and hand being struck against a hard surface.

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