Causes of Hand Pain | Pain in the Hand - Rheumatology Consultant London | Rheumatologist London | Dr Stephanie Barrett



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The hand and wrist are made up of many different bones, ligaments and muscles to allow for the high level of dexterity they have. This unfortunately means they are also highly susceptible to conditions which effect the joints and bones and can become extremely painful. The cause of hand pain are often linked to medical conditions and diseases or can be due to injury. Below is a closer look at some of the main causes of hand pain.

Injury Causes of Hand Pain

There are many common injuries which can result in pain in the hand including:

  • Flexor Tendon injuries: flexor tendons connect muscles within your forearm to the small bones in your fingers and thumbs. If a flexor tendon is injured then the finger it connects to will not be able to move. Commonly flexor tendon injuries are sports-related but they can be related to rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Dislocation: a finger bent backwards or hit beyond its normal range of motion can become dislocated. This means the bones are not properly aligned.
  • Fractures: finger fractures are not particularly common and only really occur if you jam a finger in a door or similar, or fall directly onto it. Wrist fractures are more common as they occur when people put out their arms to stop a fall. People with osteoporosis have a higher risk of every kind of fracture.

Other Causes of Hand Pain

There are many genetic conditions, autoimmune system disease and other conditions which can cause hand pain including:

  • Osteoarthritis which is characterised by the breakdown of cartilage around the ends of bones where they meet and form joints. As the bones rub together stiffness, pain and immobility occur. Osteoarthritis often occurs in the middle finger joint (proximal interphalangeal joint) and the joint at the base of the thumb (basal joint).
  • Rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune system disease which results in chronic inflammation and therefore pain and discomfort around the joints. It commonly effects the wrist as well as individual finger joints.
  • Lupus is another autoimmune system disease which sees the immune system creating antibodies which attack health tissue, including joints. The wrists and finger joints are most commonly affected by lupus.

These are just some examples of many conditions which can cause pain in the hand. Any level of pain or discomfort should be taken seriously and dealt with professionally.