Why finger joints hurt: causes and treatments

It's hard to imagine someone's life without a few helpers and employees - fingers. They carefully hold a cup of coffee, write tirelessly, do all the small and difficult tasks. Due to this high performance, the fingers are susceptible to a number of diseases. In order not to lead the pathological process to irreversible consequences, it is necessary to know why the hand joint hurts, how it can be cured.

What is finger joint pain

The human musculoskeletal system contains more than 300 joints. The fingers contain the smallest and easiest to move. The articular joints at the ends of the hands have a thin synovial membrane and a small articular surface, so they are often prone to various diseases. Each finger in the hand consists of three joints (proximal phalangeal, middle phalangeal, distal interphalangeal) and three bones (proximal, middle, distal phalanx).

Pain can be caused by inflammation of the joints. Against the background of hand hypothermia, pain may occur, accompanied by skin cyanosis, which then turns red. As a result of injury or compression on the wrist joint, paroxysmal pain occurs. A sharp and cutting sensation, accompanied by a feeling of electric current passing through the fingers, can indicate cervical osteochondrosis.

The duration of symptoms depends on the cause of the disease. The longer to ignore the pain syndrome in the hands, the more their motor activity is disrupted. If the first signs of developing finger disease are not treated, irreversible joint deformation can be allowed, in which a person has a disability.

Most Dangerous Complications:

  • bone necrosis;
  • osteomyelitis (purulent-necrotic process develops in bone);
  • osteolysis (reabsorption of bone tissue elements);
  • general sepsis (purulent infection.

Why do my fingers hurt

As a rule, pain in the joints in the upper legs is a sign of developing hand disease. Often, such symptoms indicate the disease manifestations of other organs. Pain in the phalanges is a sign of cervical osteochondrosis, ischemic heart disease, and peripheral nerve pathology. If the finger joint hurts, it is important to determine the cause quickly to identify possible risk factors for human health.


The following conditions may cause joint pain when bending the phalanx:

causes of pain in the finger joints
  1. Pinch the spinal cord. It occurs when nerve roots extending from the spinal cord squeeze a hernia, cartilage, tumor, spasmodic muscle, tendon, or other vertebrae.
  2. Osteoarthritis. Occurrence of articular cartilage degeneration and osteophyte development in the bone, which causes impaired movement.
  3. Tunnel Syndrome. There is a pinch of the median nerve, which passes through the palm through the carpal tunnel, which protects the nerve fibers from compression. After that, it can cause tendovaginitis - an inflammatory disease of the tendons and tendon sheaths;
  4. Stenosing ligamentitis. It is characterized by obstruction of the phalanges in an elongated or bent position. More often the thumb joints in the hands hurt. Pathology refers to disease of the tendon-ligament apparatus.
  5. Rhizarthrosis. Cartilaginous plate deformation in the articular joint of the thumb occurs after injury or excessive pressure.
  6. Vibration disease. Occupational diseases that occur while working with vibrating devices.

Swollen and sore finger joints

Both elderly and young patients face swelling problems. Sometimes the fingers swell due to fluid retention in the body, but if it hurts too, this may indicate a pathological change in the bone joint.

The reasons for this situation may be the following:

  • open wounds, abrasions, wounds;
  • fractures, dislocations, injuries;
  • insect bites;
  • radial nerve neuropathy;
  • pathology of the heart and / or kidney;
  • fibromyalgia (muscle and joint pain);
  • polycythemia (an increase in the number of abnormal red blood cells in the blood);
  • bursitis (inflammation of the joint capsule);
  • osteomyelitis (inflammation of bone tissue);
  • chronic arthritis of various origins (rheumatoid, gouty, septic, neglected, purulent etc. ).

In the morning

Any disease of the finger joints is indicated by pain in the morning. To prevent the development of pathology, it is necessary to make an accurate diagnosis, and for this undergo an appropriate examination. More often the fingers hurt in the morning with arthritis of various origins. The disease may not be contagious, but it manifests itself as a disorder of the immune system.

In rheumatoid arthritis, the articular cartilage of the index finger tends to ache, where a small seal can be seen. With this pathology, symmetrical damage to the joints on both hands can also develop. Infectious arthritis attacks several fingers at once and develops under the influence of viruses or bacteria. In addition to pain, there is an increase in body temperature in the morning, intoxication all over the body. Phalanges are sick in the morning and with psoriatic arthritis, and with gout, and with osteoarthritis.

The last illness, besides morning sickness, is characterized by cramps and stiffness. Often, osteoarthritis is observed in middle-aged women, as its development is associated with fluctuations in estrogen levels. Gout can be identified by intolerable paroxysmal pain in the morning or evening, accompanied by redness and swelling of the joints.

Sharp pain

Attached wrist ligamentitis is accompanied by burning pain in all fingers except the little finger. Burning and numbness are not only felt at the tips of the hands, but also along the palms of the hands. Symptoms worsen at night and improve during the day. Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is also accompanied by sharp pain in the joints of the limbs, but numbness appears only in the little finger.

Panaritium (inflammation of purulent hand tissue) can also cause such symptoms. The disease arises as a result of an infectious infection. The pain is sharp, wrinkled, and gradually increases, especially at night. Phalanges swell, turn red, touch them very painful, and body temperature often rises. Panaritium requires immediate medical attention, otherwise a person can not avoid serious complications.

In Raynaud's syndrome, at first, there are colds and spasms in the ducts, and then, due to impaired blood flow, a person feels a sharp pain in the fingers, which swells and turns blue. In the third stage of the disease, as the blood flow improves, these symptoms disappear. The painful attack lasts from a few minutes to half an hour. Raynaud's disease is the result of extreme atherosclerosis, so it must be treated first.

During pregnancy

Why do finger joints hurt during pregnancy and after childbirth? Gynecologists definitely know.

When the limbs swell while carrying a child, this indicates the following pathology:

why finger joints hurt during pregnancy
  • presence of joint disease;
  • increased levels of relaxin, the hormone responsible for softening ligaments;
  • median nerve trap;
  • lack of calcium in the body;
  • Fibromyalgia due to depression.

Painful sensations can pass quickly, and sometimes get worse every day. This often occurs at 35 weeks of gestation, which is associated with rapid weight gain, resulting in compression of the nerve endings that connect the hands to the arms.

The problem is that a woman is haunted not only by joint pain, but also by other symptoms:

  • burning, itching on the palms of the hands;
  • sudden sharp pain in the forearm;
  • numbness of upper limbs.

After exercising

The appearance of painful symptoms on the hands after physical activity is a clear sign of vascular disease. Painful sensations are accompanied by joint numbness, cramps, and rapid hand fatigue. The skin becomes pale and cold, the hairline thinens, the nail plate thickens. Pathology over time acquires a chronic form, as a result of which it becomes impossible to feel the pulse in the radial artery, the lumen of the narrowing duct, the blood flow of the extremities is disrupted. The pain becomes constant and reappears even with light energy.

With age, cartilage becomes thinner, brittle, and irritation is heard as it moves. If pain in the hands appears after physical exercise, then these symptoms may indicate the presence of polyosteoarthritis. The disease is characterized by destructive changes in the aching joints when the fingers are used or before the weather changes. It is difficult for a person to straighten and bend a brush. The pain syndrome disappears when manual labor is excluded.


Early diagnosis will help relieve the symptoms of joint disease and heal completely. Only an experienced specialist (neuropathologist, surgeon, traumatologist) can accurately determine the cause of this symptomology. Diagnosis is made based on the results of examination and patient history. While collecting information, the nature of the complaint, the time of onset of the first pain, the presence of articular pathology in a close relative were found. Family tendencies in the development of arthritis and arthrosis play an important role.

Research is needed for complaints of pain in the joints of the feet:

  • radiography;
  • ultrasound examination;
  • computed tomography;
  • electrospondilography (spinal computer diagnostics);
  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • different discography;
  • blood and synovial fluid tests;
  • puncture (injection of medicine into a lump cavity);
  • skin biopsy.


Therapeutic tactics are determined by the type of pathology, the severity of symptoms, the dynamics of the inflammatory process, and the peculiarities of the clinical course of the disease. When prescribing drug treatment, it is taken into account that the patient has hypersensitivity to the active components of the drug. Complex treatment involves the appointment of chondroprotectors, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), glucocorticosteroids.

In addition to medications, local massages and specially designed gymnastics exercises. The excellent therapeutic effect can be achieved with the help of acupuncture and other types of physiotherapy procedures.

Diet-table number 10 must be given its main rule:

  • reduces salt intake;
  • once a week fasting for vegetables and dairy products;
  • diet without tomatoes, red beans, spicy dishes, fatty meats.

In case of joint pain, the doctor recommends spa treatment. For each patient, the physician selects the most effective individual rehabilitation program in each particular case. Sanatorium teaches healthy lifestyle skills, doing therapeutic exercises, physiotherapy, massage. As a rule, after such treatment, the patient for a long time forgets the recurrence of the disease.


While prescribing medication, two goals are achieved: relieving the inflammatory process and eliminating pain. Basically, doctors use cyclooxygenase inhibitors (NSAIDs), and if the cause of the disease lies in autoimmune pathology, then steroid medication is prescribed. Antibiotics can be used for acute infections.

Topical medicines (creams, ointments, gels) are prescribed to relieve symptoms quickly. With dystrophy lesions on the articular surface, it is recommended to use chondroprotectors.


Medication alone is not enough for arthritis or finger arthrosis. Specialists in the period of remission of the disease recommend taking a course of therapeutic massage, the number of sessions to be determined by the doctor individually. The procedure begins by kneading each part of the hand. If the patient does not experience severe pain, then the effect on the affected joint has already begun in the first session.

The stage of massage preparation is to warm the arm from the elbow to the finger with a spiral motion. The patient is in a sitting position, hands are placed on the table, elbows are bent over the support, and the roller is placed under the hands. After warming up, the specialist kneads each finger separately with a caressing motion without affecting the joints. For best effect, 2-3 approaches are performed.


Physiotherapy helps speed recovery, relieve symptoms and prevent complications.

Patients with severe pain in the fingers are advised to pay attention to the following techniques:

  • Elektroforesis. Treatment is made based on deep injections of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs under the skin. This procedure takes place under the influence of a constant electric current. The course of treatment is 10 procedures, 25 minutes each.
  • Ultrasound therapy. During the session, micro tissue was performed using ultrasonic vibrations with a frequency of 800-900 kHz. Ultrasound activates metabolic processes, removes excess uric acid, enhances local immunity. Exposure time is 1-5 minutes per zone. Sessions last 12-15 minutes. The course of treatment is 10-12 procedures.
  • Microwave oven (microwave therapy). The treatment is based on the use of electromagnetic waves with waves up to 1 m. The impact is aimed at restoring the biological processes and functional systems of cellular structures. Exposure period is 8-12 minutes. Number of sessions - from 2 to 12.
  • Thermal procedures. Includes exposure to hot affected joints. Steam baths are used with the addition of essential oils, salts or ingredients. The duration of the course is 12-20 procedures, 15-20 minutes each.
  • Barotherapy. Treatment in a pressure room with low or high pressure helps saturate the body with oxygen, which provokes muscles, tissues and joints to recover faster. The duration of the procedure is 60 minutes. The full course covers 22-25 sessions.

People's solution

Alternative treatments will help prevent articular cartilage damage in the fingers.

Most Popular Recipes:

  • Take a concentrated fermented milk product, mix it with oatmeal, which must be chopped first. Leave the mixture on the sore fingers overnight, wrapped in a cloth;
  • Put 500 g of Kalanchoe through a meat grinder, pour 1 liter of vodka, leave for 5 days. After coloring, rub it daily into sore joints;
  • Mix 1 tbsp. l. olive oil with a few drops of freshly squeezed garlic. Drink in the morning on an empty stomach


In order to avoid inflammatory processes in the finger joints and not be able to treat arthrosis and arthritis for a long time, it is necessary to adhere to simple preventive measures:

  • keep your hands warm;
  • does not include alcohol, cigarettes;
  • include more fruits and vegetables in your daily menu;
  • does not tolerate colds in the legs;
  • get rid of the habit of "clicking" your finger;
  • replace tea and coffee with herbal ingredients;
  • weight control.