Hand Pain: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Hand pain can be caused by disease or injury affecting any of the structures in the hand, including the bones, muscles, joints, tendons, blood vessels, or connective tissues. Hand pain is one feature of joint inflammation (arthritis) that may be felt in the hand. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the two most common types of arthritis in the hand. Repetitive motion injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome, can cause pain in the wrist and hand. Tumors of the structures in the hand are a very rare cause of hand or finger pain. Certain conditions such as diabetes can cause damage to the nerves, resulting in pain, numbness, or tingling of the arms and legs. This phenomenon, known as peripheral neuropathy, can also sometimes cause hand pain. DeQuervain's disease is a swelling and inflammation of the tendon around the thumb, causing pain in the thumb and lower arm. Trauma or injury to any of the structures in the hand is another common cause of hand pain.

Related Symptoms & Signs

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/20/2018
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