No matter who you are or what age, most of us have probably felt pain in our fingers. You might think it’s the finger itself that hurts. But more commonly than not, it’s the joint that causes you pain and discomfort.

The joints of the finger are common sites of pain and inflammation. This type of pain occurs in about three percent of children, teens, and adults. Although not every patient needs treatment, individuals who have finger pain that affects their quality of life should speak with a doctor about their symptoms.

The joints that make up the fingers allow people to grasp and manipulate objects, a vital element of day-to-day life. Individuals who perform manual labor jobs may regularly encounter joint pain, especially in the hands and fingers, due to repetitive movements.

Today, let’s take a closer look at finger joint pain to understand the most common causes. Here’s what you need to know:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs in the wrist area of the body. The carpal tunnel is located between the hand and the wrist and comprises ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissue.

The median nerve is the most commonly affected in the hand and wrist. The median nerve is the main nerve that runs from the forearm into the hand, supplying sensation to the thumb and the long fingers. In addition to providing sensation to the thumb and the long fingers, the nerve also supplies sensation to the palm and the wrist.

It is the vibration of the median nerve that causes numbness and tingling in the thumb, index finger, long fingers, and palm. If the median nerve becomes pinched due to inflammation or swelling of the tissues around it, it is carpal tunnel syndrome.

Tendonitis and Tenosynovitis

Tendonitis is an inflammation of a tendon, a cord that attaches a muscle to a bone. The inflammation can be both overuse and non-overuse related. Tendonitis is mainly caused by trauma and overuse of the hand and fingers.

Non-overuse tendonitis most commonly affects the wrist area. It is caused by repetitive movements such as faulty typing, racket sports, and certain sports such as golf.

Other types of non-overuse tendonitis affect different parts of the hand. It causes pain and swelling in the thumb, index finger, and middle finger.

Ganglion Cysts

A ganglion cyst is a sac of fluid that forms around a joint. Not every ganglion cyst causes pain or swelling. However, if it is painful or causes you discomfort, you should get it checked out.

There are two types of ganglion cysts. The first is a traumatic ganglion, which develops after an injury to the joint. The second is aid ganglion, which develops from an inflammation of the joint.

A ganglion cyst can form on any joint in the body. Most frequently, it develops in the wrist area—the cyst forms on the joint space between the wrist and the middle of the arm.

The Bottom Line

The finger joints are susceptible to inflammation, swelling, and trauma. If you experience pain, numbness, or tingling in your fingers or hands, consult a doctor. The doctor may want to send you for x-rays to rule out carpal tunnel syndrome.

You might benefit from doing wrist and finger exercises, using a splint to limit your wrist movement, or using a wrist brace. Speak with your doctor to determine the best course of action to keep your hands and fingers working properly.

If you are looking for a reliable hand specialist, we can help you. North Florida Hand and Wrist Center are led by Dr. Richard D. Curtis and Dr. Jose Baez, expertly-trained hand and wrist surgeons committed to providing patients with the absolute best care possible. 

We are a state-of-the-art surgical facility staffed by a team of dedicated practitioners whose primary goal is to ease any hand or wrist discomfort you may experience. Contact us today to learn more or make an appointment online now!