What causes pain in the hands and fingers?

Hand of a person who suffers from pain in the hands and fingers.


Do you often find yourself putting up with pain in the hand, wrist or fingers? Frankly, almost 8 out of 10 people fights out minor issues with the fingers, wrist or hand. It could be a consequence of everyday wear and tear or pop up as symptoms of the natural aging process. However, there could also be an array of serious conditions like arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome lending to that excruciating pain and spasm in the hands.

Small joints of the hands, particularly the wrist is prone to numerous injuries.
For example, a little too much thrust on the finger causes it to bend, paving way for injuries. Sometimes, a disorder like osteoporosis could diminish the strength of wrist bones. Result? Possible fracture! Little did you know that human hands are cited as examples of complex skeletal structure. It has a total of 27 bones accompanied by muscles and joints. So, now you know the secret behind all those labor-intensive movements done by your hands? However, hands are also susceptible to injuries. The ache can shoot up in any part of the complex skeletal structure. This could include the bones, nerves, connective tissues, joints, and tendons.

What’s interesting to learn now are the potential causes of hand pain. Here’s a quick view:

Causes of pain in your hand and fingers:

To begin with, the pain you are enduring could be an aftermath of inflammation, sprains and fractures, a consequence of chronic health issues, nerve damage and of course the side-effects of repetitive motion. Almost every condition paving way for that gruesome ache in your hand is treatable, provided the cause is first diagnosed. Jotted below are the most common causes of hand pain.

  1. Arthritis – Describing it as one of the leading causes of hand pain wouldn’t be incorrect. Although arthritis can spring up in any part of the body, it mostly targets joints in the hands and wrists. There are as many as 100 forms of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis being the most popular ones. It is all about the joints in the complex skeletal structure that witnesses a severe wear and tears during mundane activities. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what osteoarthritis typically refers to. Learning about the articular cartilage here is of great worth. It is kind of a slippery textured tissue attached to the ends of the bones. This makes friction smooth and allows the joints to move like a plain-sailing. Pain stems up when the slippery tissue experiences degradation.

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is the more common one. Calling it a chronic disorder would be appropriate. There’s swelling in the joints that contribute to stiffness and tremendous pain in the affected area. The condition usually pops up in the hands and feet. Keeping tabs on a few symptoms here could help you rush for diagnosis and treatment right-away.

  • A burning sensation in the joints of the fingers and wrist.
  • Swelling in the affected area.
  • Inflexibility in the joints, topped with excruciating morning pain.
  • Feeling of looseness around the finger joints.
  • Growths and cysts pop up at the end of the fingers.
  1. Gout – The condition is a grisly and complex form of arthritis. It can target anyone and anywhere in the body. From the feet and knees to the wrists and hands, tremendous pain is endured when a person is targeted with gout. Here’s describing a couple of symptoms.
  • Painful gout attacks.
  • Soreness and redness around the area.
  • Tenderness.

The symptoms are so terrible that even the weight of a piece of cloth could be unbearable.

  1. De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis – As much as the name sounds fancy, it is a very painful condition spotted in the tendons surrounding one’s thumb. Swelling is obviously a common aftermath, but the tendons become terribly inflamed. This further exerts a pressure on the surrounding nerves, paving way for numbness in the base of the thumb. So, here’s the symptoms you must observe:
  • Pain around the thumb.
  • Swelling.
  • The sense of a pop when trying to move your thumb.
  • Troubles experienced when trying to grab something by hand.
  1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome The disorder is named when the nerves get squished cutting-down the diameter of the carpal tunnel. Wondering what is it? Well, the carpal tunnel is a very confined passage of ligament and bone around the base of your hand. It is home to the median nerve running from the forearm to the palm. Along with the median nerve are the tendons contributing to the movement of your fingers. If the tendons are inflamed or irritated due to overwhelming pressure, it rightly cramps down the passage or the carpal tunnel. Here’s what you can witness:
  • A heavy feeling of swelling around the fingers although inflammation may not be visible.
  • Stiffness in the hand and wrist, particularly in the wee hours.
  •  Killer pain in the dark hours.
  • Grabbing hold of objects or wrapping up little tasks could prove difficult than ever.
  • Almost zero grip strength.
  • Sensing the difference between hot and cold is slackened.

There’s an array of other causes lending to a terrible ache in the hands and fingers. Ganglion cysts, peripheral neuropathy, trauma, trigger finger and other conditions for instance.


Post-diagnosis, when the real cause of the pain is determined, medications, exercises, and changes in lifestyle are prescribed accordingly. For example, patients targeted with arthritis are often given medicines to kiss goodbye to swelling pain. Steroidal injections are also provided. Therapies work wonders to cure inflexibility and surgeries can be performed if the condition is worsened.

Pain in the hand might not sound grave enough but getting the condition diagnosed at the earliest is of major importance. Drop by a doctor as soon as the pain starts springing up in your hands or if the pain drastically hikes up.