Pain in the hand



Hand pain can be caused by a variety of causes, a pinched nerve in the arm or a disorder such as arthritis. If the pain persists even when you are resting and taking painkillers, or if you have other disorders (symptoms) whose cause is not clear, it is necessary to contact the family doctor to ascertain its origin.

The main causes of hand pain include:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • arthritis
  • cyst or ganglion
  • De Quervain syndrome
  • finger or thumb to claw
  • inflammation of the tendon lining (tenosynovitis)

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is relatively common and is caused by compression of the nerve that controls the sensitivity and movement of the hand. It causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and fingers (especially the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and middle finger) that gradually increase, worsening overnight.

Sometimes these disturbances subside spontaneously; others, it is necessary to intervene with a splint of the wrist and with injections of corticosteroids. There is no evidence of efficacy for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen. Surgery (carpal tunnel release surgery) is expected in severe cases, when the symptoms (symptoms) last longer than six months or other treatments do not have taken effect.


Arthritis is a common disorder that causes pain and inflammation in a joint.


Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that affects three areas of the hand:

  • the base of the thumb
  • the joint closest to the fingertips
  • the median joint of the fingers

In osteoarthritis, the fingers stiffen, become sore and swollen, and swellings may form at the joints. The pain may subside over time and disappear, although swelling and swelling remain. Fingers with osteoarthritis tend to flex slightly. to one side and painful cysts may form behind the fingers themselves. In some cases, at the base of the thumb, at the wrist joint, a lump can be created so painful that you cannot use your hand to write, open jars or turn the keys in the lock. Osteoarthritis also frequently affects the knee and hip joints, causing pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects the hand and wrist. It occurs when the body's defense system (immune system), which normally fights infections, accidentally attacks the cells of the joints causing them to swell and swell. become stiff and achy. In rheumatoid arthritis in the hand, the pain can be persistent and is often worse in the morning or after a period of inactivity.

Cyst or ganglion

A synovial cyst, also called a ganglion, is a fluid-containing swelling that develops near a joint or tendon. It can be as small as a pea, or as large as a golf ball.

It appears as a smooth bump located under the skin, containing a gelatinous liquid (synovial fluid) that surrounds the joints and tendons to lubricate them and cushion blows during movement. Cysts form predominantly on the wrists, mostly on the inside, on the hands and fingers and generally do not produce pain unless they are near a nerve.

De Quervain syndrome

De Quervain Syndrome is a pain-generating disorder that affects the tendons that run along a tunnel located on the wrist to the side of the thumb. The lining of the tendon, in this case, swells and thickens so much that it is very painful to move the thumb. The causes of this disorder are not known but, not being associated with inflammatory processes, it is not believed to be a type of tendonitis or tenosynovitis. In some cases, if the type of activity that triggered it is abandoned, the disorder spontaneously ends after a few weeks. A wrist splint or corticosteroid injections can improve this, while in severe cases surgery may be required to widen the tunnel through which the tendon passes.

Claw finger or thumb

The claw finger, or thumb, is a condition that affects the tendons of the hand. It consists in the forward bending of a finger, towards the palm of the hand, which hinders the sliding of the tendons, thus blocking the movement of the fingers. The exact cause is not yet known. The disturbances it causes are pain, stiffness, the appearance of a clicking noise and a small bump in the palm of the hand, at the base of a finger or thumb. If you experience these disorders (symptoms), it is advisable to contact the family doctor who, after examining the hand, if he deems it necessary, can indicate the treatment to follow. In some cases, however, the disorders disappear spontaneously.


It consists of "painful inflammation of the lining of a tendon in the hand but, rarely, it also affects the wrist and fingers. The cause is not known, it could depend on a series of small damage to the tendon, from injuries or strains that occurred in the past or from a rheumatoid "infection or arthritis." To aid healing, it is important to keep your hand still to allow the tendon to rest.Pain and inflammation, after consulting your doctor, can be relieved by applying heat or cold to the affected area, using medications based on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or by injections of corticosteroids (drugs based on of steroids). Tenosynovitis due to an infection requires antibiotic-based treatment. When the functioning of the hand has improved, to prevent tenosynovitis from returning, it is advisable to consult with the doctor to evaluate the opportunity to perform, under the guidance of a physiotherapist, strengthening exercises of the muscles located near the tendon.


When a finger or wrist bone fracture occurs, the hand swells and severe pain appears. You should go to an emergency room as soon as possible.

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