Finding the Source of Your Hand Pain and How To Treat it

Common Sources of Hand Pain and How to Treat It

Pain of any sort isn’t fun but hand pain can reduce your quality of life dramatically. Since our hands are something we use daily, it becomes a major inconvenience to have pain with any sort of movement or task. If you’re wondering why you have hand pain there are many different causes and types of pain. Hand pain can originate in different parts of the complex skeletal structure, including the:

  • bones
  • joints
  • connective tissues
  • tendons
  • nerves

Hand pain can also stem from inflammation, nerve damage, repetitive motion injuries, sprains and fractures, or several chronic health conditions.

Many conditions contributing to hand pain can be treated. Depending on the cause of your hand pain, you may benefit from medications, exercises, or lifestyle changes. Here are some common sources of hand pain:

Common Sources of Hand Pain

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The carpal tunnel is a narrow opening through the carpal bones—the bones which make up your wrist and the base of your hand. It provides a pathway both for the tendons that control your fingers and for the median nerve, which provides feeling and function to your thumb, index and middle fingers. In carpal tunnel syndrome, the opening becomes narrowed and the median nerve is compressed, causing numbness, tingling, and pain in your hand.

Hand & Finger Fractures

Fractures can have any number of causes, with one common cause being a fall onto an outstretched arm. Fractures may be obvious—you may have swelling and pain at the site of the injury, or the bone may be visibly deformed. In other cases, such as a scaphoid fracture, you may not realize that a fracture has occurred. A scaphoid fracture causes pain and swelling at the base of the thumb, and is often mistaken for a sprain.

Trigger Finger

Your fingers work like a set of ropes and pulleys. Tendons (the ropes) slide through a series of tendon sheaths (the pulleys) at the joints. In trigger finger, the tendon develops a nodule or thickened area, which stops it from sliding freely through the tendon sheath. Your finger will “lock” at a certain point when you attempt to straighten it.

Arthritis of the Hand

All joints are susceptible to arthritis, including the joints of your hand. In osteoarthritis, the smooth cartilage covering the ends of the bones of the joint erodes, eventually leaving bone grating on bone and causing pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition affecting the joints, and commonly attacks the hands. It causes pain and inflammation of the joints.

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

Similar to trigger finger, this condition makes it difficult for the tendon at the base of the thumb to slide through its tendon sheath. Unlike trigger finger, this condition only affects the thumb and it is the tendon sheath that is inflamed, rather than the tendon itself. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis can make wrist and hand motions involving the thumb painful and difficult to perform.

Ganglion Cysts

These are small, fluid-filled lumps that form on the underside of your wrists or hands. They most often occur along the tendons or at the joints, and though they’re harmless, if they’re large or are in the wrong position, they may put pressure on a nerve and cause hand pain.

Sprained Ligaments

Ligaments are the thick, tough connective tissues that connect two bones together to form a joint. Your hand and wrist contain many ligaments, and any of them can sustain an injury. A sprain is what we call an injury to a ligament.

Find Treatment for Common Causes of Hand Pain at Northwest Broward Othropaedics

Here at Northwest Broward Orthopaedics, we have a strong team of specialists, surgeons, and medical professionals who are dedicated to treating hand injuries and conditions, both sports and non sports-related.

We offer a full range of treatments for hand pain and emphasize using nonsurgical methods whenever possible. However, in cases when surgery is necessary, our patients have access to the latest, state-of-the-art procedures. Our two surgeons, Dr. Elliott Hinkes and Dr. Bruce Fletcher both completed their internship in General Surgery and residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. Dr. Fletcher completed his fellowship in Arthroscopic Surgery at Washington Adventist Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland, and Dr. Hinkes completed his fellowship in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine/Arthroscopic Surgery at the Hughston Orthopaedic Clinic in Columbus, Georgia.  They have practiced general orthopaedic surgery/orthopaedic sports medicine for over 20 years, treating adults, adolescents, and children.


Some of the treatments for hand pain that we offer include:

  • Cortisone injections
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Platelet rich plasma (PRP)
  • Physical therapy
  • Ligament reconstruction
  • Diagnostic arthroscopy

While there are a multitude of hand pain causes, you don’t have to let hand pain interfere with your life. Schedule your appointment today, and let our specialists at Northwest Broward Orthopedics discuss your treatment options with you.

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