Here are Some Reasons Why Your Finger Joints are PainingSEMGeeks
A joint is a part of the body where two or more bones meet. In the adult human body, there are 360 joints in total from head to toe. Most joints are mobile (allowing the bones to move), though some are fixed. The largest joint is found in the knee, and the smallest joint is found in between the bones in the middle ear.
Because the joints play a critical role in how our bodies move, it’s hard not to notice when they are feeling pain. Most people report joint pain as stiffness, achiness or soreness, while others say it feels more like burning or throbbing.
Today we are going to focus on the joints in your fingers and why they might be hurting. Each of the fingers has three joints: metacarpophalangeal joint (MCP), proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP) and distal interphalangeal joint (DIP).
You use your hands all day long, so it’s possible to injure them without realizing it. Or perhaps you did realize the impact, but the pain is kicking up now. If you play sports, your risk for hand injuries is even greater. Some common acute finger and hand injuries are:
- Ligament damage
- Tendon injuries
- Joint sprains
- Muscle strains
Most of these hand injuries can be treated at home using the RICE method – rest, ice, compression and elevation. You can also take over-the-counter pain relievers. If these at-home methods don’t work or you’re not feeling better after a few days, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of an overuse injury, which is another common cause of finger pain. This happens when the median nerve becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. Tendinosis is also an overuse injury that happens when the tendon’s collagen degenerates in response to overuse. Even tiny movements, like clicking a mouse, can cause tendinosis when done repeatedly.
There are a number of medical conditions that could be causing pain in your finger joints. Some conditions will have other symptoms aside from joint pain, so it’s important to pay attention to the whole body. For instance, multiple sclerosis can cause fatigue, vision problems, numbness and tingling, as well as joint pain.
It’s also possible to develop cysts, boils and nodules on the hand that can cause pain in the fingers. For instance, a ganglion cyst can push on a nerve, creating pain, tingling and weakness. Fortunately, these fluid-filled sacs are usually harmless and may even go away on their own.
Even though arthritis is a medical condition, we wanted to give it a spot of its own on our list! Arthritis is incredibly common, affecting over 50 million people in the U.S. alone. Osteoarthritis (OA) causes a breakdown in cartilage, which causes the bones to rub together. OA can affect the joints at the base of the thumb, in the middle of the finger and near the nail bed.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can also cause pain in the finger joints, though the condition is different from OA. RA is an autoimmune disease that attacks the tissues lining the joints. There is more inflammation with RA, so the symptoms tend to involve redness and swelling along with the pain.
When to See a Pain Management Doctor
Finger pain can feel dull and achy, or sharp and crampy. The pain may start suddenly and stop, or it may linger. Most cuts, scrapes and burns will heal on their own without treatment.
However, if you’re experiencing lingering pain, or you notice a large lump, growth or cut on your finger, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with a pain management specialist. This way, you can get an accurate diagnosis, along with a treatment plan to ease your pain.
Jersey Rehab has a team of pain management doctors who are trained to diagnose and treat joint pain throughout the body. Book an appointment with us today!