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What is the reason for my hand pain?

What is the reason
for my hand pain?


What you need to know about Hand Pain

Human hands are intricate and delicate structures with 27 bones. Hand muscles and joints allow for powerful, precise, and dexterous movements, yet they are prone to damage.

Hand discomfort can have a variety of causes and symptoms. Hand discomfort can come from a variety of places within the complicated skeletal anatomy, including:

  • Bones
  • Connective tissues
  • Joints
  • Nerves
  • Tendons

Hand pain can be caused by:

  • Inflammation
  • Nerve injury
  • Damage from repetitive motion
  • Fractures and sprains
  • A number of chronic illnesses

Many of the disorders that cause hand discomfort can be addressed. Medications, exercises, or lifestyle modifications may be beneficial depending on the source of your hand pain.

The most common cause of hand pain is arthritis (inflammation of one or more joints). It can affect any region of the body, but it is most frequent in the hands and wrists. There are about 100 different forms of arthritis, but osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most frequent.

Osteoarthritis is most common in older people. Hand joints are subjected to a great deal of wear and tear over time. Articular cartilage is a slippery substance that covers the ends of bones and allows for smooth joint movement. It is possible that painful symptoms will occur as it lowers.

Symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Dull or searing pain in the fingers or wrist joints
  • Overuse pain(such as heavy gripping or repetitive motion)
  • Joint stiffness and soreness in the morning
  • Inflammation of the joints
  • Alterations in the thumb joints around it (overextension)
  • Warmth where the afflicted joint is (resulting from inflammation)
  • Grinding, grating, or looseness feelings around finger joints
  • Cysts on the tips of the fingers

Treatments for arthritis include:

  • Medication to alleviate pain and swelling symptoms
  • Long-acting anaesthetics or corticosteroid injections
  • Splinting joints during periods of excessive use
  • Surgery
  • Modalities of occupational and physiotherapy

The carpal tunnel is a thin ligament and bone channel that runs through the base of your hand. It houses the median nerve (a nerve that runs from your forearm to the palm of your hand) as well as the tendons that move your fingers. A shrinking carpal tunnel squeezes the median nerve, causing carpal tunnel syndrome. Thickening of inflamed tendons, inflammation, or anything else that causes swelling in this location might cause this narrowing.

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms appear gradually and can progress to varying degrees of severity. Burning, tingling, or itchy numbness in the palm of the hand and fingers are common symptoms. The thumb, index finger, and middle finger are frequently affected.

Other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Even when there is no swelling, it feels like your fingers are swollen.
  • Nighttime discomfort
  • Hand or wrist pain and stiffness in the morning
  • Grip strength has weakened
  • Having difficulty gripping small things or performing specific tasks
  • Muscles near the base of the thumb withering away (severe cases)
  • Difficulties distinguishing between heat and cold

Treatment options include:

  • Splinting
  • Avoiding activities that aggravate the condition
  • Ice or cooling packs
  • Using OTC (over-the-counter) pain relievers
  • Receiving anaesthetic or steroid injections
  • Oral steroid use
  • Stretching and exercising
  • Acupuncture treatment
  • Undergoing surgery

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis

The tendons around your thumb are affected by De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, which is a painful ailment. The area around your tendons becomes inflamed due to swelling in the two tendons around the base of your thumb. This inflammation places pressure on adjacent nerves, resulting in discomfort and numbness at the base of your thumb.

Other de Quervain’s tenosynovitis symptoms include:

  • wrist pain on the side of your thumb
  • swelling near your thumb’s base
  • Having difficulty grabbing or squeezing something
  • When moving your thumb, you may experience a sticking or popping sensation.

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is commonly treated with:

  • Splinting
  • Ice packs or cold packs
  • Taking over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin
  • Avoiding jobs that are uncomfortable and pinching motions
  • Undergoing physical or occupational therapy
  • Undergoing surgery
  • Administering a steroid into the affected area

Ganglion cysts

Wrist and hand ganglion cysts are not usually painful, although they can be unattractive. They usually manifest as a big mass or lump protruding from the rear of the wrist. They can also show up on the underside of the wrist, the end joint of the finger, or the base of the finger in various sizes.

These cysts are fluid-filled and can appear, vanish, or change size quickly. You may suffer discomfort, tingling, or numbness around the wrist or hand if your ganglion cyst grows large enough to put pressure on adjacent nerves.

Ganglion cysts are frequently left untreated. Rest and splinting can help the cyst shrink and eventually disappear. If the cyst is causing you pain, your doctor may decide to drain the fluid or remove it totally.


Gout, a complex form of arthritis, is a painful ailment that can strike anyone at any time. Gout causes abrupt, intense pain episodes in the joints. Gout is most commonly associated with the joint near the base of the big toe, although it can also affect the foot, knees, hands, and wrists.

If you have gout in your hands or wrists, you will feel severe pain, burning, redness, and soreness. Gout frequently wakes people up at night. Your hand may feel like it’s on fire. The weight of a bedsheet sometimes is too much to bear.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and colchicine are two drugs that can be used to treat painful gout attacks. Additionally, there are drugs available to assist avoid future attacks and consequences. Learn how to cure gout using both traditional and alternative methods.

Lupus is an autoimmune illness, which means that your immune system targets and damages healthy cells and tissue. The initial signs of lupus are frequently joint pain and stiffness.

There is inflammation all over the body when lupus flares. The thin lining around the joints thickens as a result of the inflammation, causing pain and swelling in the hands, wrists, and feet.

Other lupus symptoms include:

  • muscle ache
  • Unidentified fever
  • Red ashes, usually on the face
  • Loss of hair
  • Fingers or toes that are pale or purple
  • Taking deep breaths causes pain
  • Fatigue
  • Leg swelling or oedema around the eyes

Although there is no cure for lupus, there are numerous therapies that can help you manage your symptoms. Try these remedies for pain and stiffness in the hand and wrist joints:

  • A compress, either warm or cold
  • OTC pain relievers
  • NSAIDs
  • Occupational or physiotherapy
  • Avoiding painful activities and resting sore joints

Peripheral neuropathy

Numbness, discomfort, and weakness in the hands and feet are symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. When the peripheral nerves in your hands are injured, you develop peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral nerve injury can be caused by a variety of factors, including diabetes, traumatic traumas, infections, and metabolic issues.

Peripheral neuropathy can affect a single nerve or a group of nerves all over the body. Different types of nerves exist in your hands and wrists, including sensory nerves that detect touch, temperature, and pain, and motor nerves that govern muscle movement.

Which nerves are injured will determine the type and location of your neuropathic pain.

Peripheral neuropathy can cause the following symptoms:

  • Slow onset of numbness, prickling, or tingling in your feet or hands
  • Pain in the hands or feet that is acute, jabbing, throbbing, freezing, or scorching
  • The heightened sensitivity in the hands and feet
  • Paralysis or muscle weakness
  • Falling; lack of coordination

Peripheral neuropathy is commonly treated with:

  • Prescribed Nerve pain medication
  • Over-the-counter painkillers
  • Painkillers on prescription
  • Anti-epileptic drugs
  • Antidepressants

When you’re agitated or exposed to low conditions, Raynaud’s phenomenon (also known as Raynaud’s disease) causes some parts (especially the fingers and toes) to become numb and chilly.

It’s natural for your body to conserve heat by reducing blood flow to the skin when you’re cold. It accomplishes this by constricting blood arteries.

The body’s sensitivity to cold or stress is more severe in those with Raynaud’s. Hand blood vessels can constrict significantly more quickly and tightly than normal.

A Raynaud’s attack can cause the following symptoms:

  • cold toes and fingers
  • Colour-changing fingers and toes (red, white, blue)
  • Tingling, throbbing, prickly sensation or numbness
  • Ulcers, sores, gangrene, and tissue damage (in severe cases)

Raynaud’s disease is frequently so mild that no therapy is necessary. However, secondary Raynaud’s, which is caused by another illness, can be more severe and necessitate surgery.

The goal of treatment is to avoid additional attacks and minimise tissue damage.

Gloves, stockings, boots, and chemical warmers are used to keep hands and feet warm in frigid weather.

Stenosing tenosynovitis

Stenosing Tenosynovitis, also known as trigger finger, is a painful ailment caused by a bent finger or thumb.

Tendon sheaths allow your tendons to slip through tunnels while you move your fingers. The tendon can no longer pass through these tunnels as they enlarge, and it becomes trapped.

You may notice a sensitive bump and heat on the top of your palm, near the base of your finger, where the tendon sheath is located, if you have trigger finger. Other manifestations include:

  • As you straighten and bend your finger, a popping or snapping sensation
  • A finger or several fingers that are bent
  • Morning stiffness and difficulty to straighten your finger
  • Acute pain in the finger’s base

Trigger finger is commonly treated with:

  • NSAIDs
  • An infusion of steroid straight into the tendon sheath
  • The tendon sheath is released via surgery.

Traumatic injury

Hand injuries are a very regular occurrence. The hand’s intricate anatomy is delicate and vulnerable. Your hands are frequently in perilous situations. Sports, construction, and falls are all typical causes of hand injuries.

Each hand contains 27 tiny bones that can be fractured in a variety of ways. If not treated properly, hand fractures might heal badly. A poorly healed fracture might permanently alter your hand’s anatomy and dexterity.

Sprained or strained muscles in the hand are also possible. Always get an X-ray from your doctor to be sure there are no fractures. Physical or occupational therapy is an important part of the recovery process for any major hand injury.

Fractures and sprains require different treatments depending on the type and location of the injury. Splinting is a common form of treatment. Here’s how to construct a makeshift splint out of common household items.

Surgery may be required in severe situations to prevent long-term damage.

When to call a doctor

There are many different causes of hand pain. Generally, you should see a doctor when you have any new pain or when pain suddenly worsens.

Some hand problems develop gradually. Talk to a doctor if gradually worsening pain has been bothering you for some time. In the event of a traumatic injury, go to your local A&E department or urgent care centre for an X-ray.

General tips for pain relief

Use both heat and cold. For stiffness, use a hot compress, and for swelling, use a cold compress.

Use an over-the-counter pain reliever. This can provide temporary or occasional relief. Consult your physician about longer-term options.

To avoid additional injury, use a splint to brace your joints.