Pain in Hands and Fingers Not Arthritis

What’s causing pain in my hands and fingers if it’s not arthritis?

The answer to this question is that there are a large number of issues that may be behind your pain. Fortunately, physical therapists can help you figure out the cause of the pain in your hands and fingers that’s not arthritis. 

It’s true that arthritis is a common issue; a medical study reports that 42.4% of the women and 37.7% of the men surveyed had hand osteoarthritis. However, people tend to develop hand arthritis later in life. So, younger people will likely need to look for another issue that’s causing the pain in their hands and fingers that’s not arthritis. A physical therapist can determine which issue is the source of your pain, and they can also help you find effective treatment for your hand and finger pain.  

Four issues that can cause finger and hand pain that aren’t arthritis

Some issues that commonly lead to hand and finger pain that are not arthritis include: 

  1. Carpal tunnel syndrome — The carpal tunnel provides a passage through the wrist for the median nerve and several tendons and ligaments. Inflammation in the tunnel or tendons and ligaments running through it can irritate the median nerve. In turn, this can cause pain in the wrist, hand and thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. 
  1. Trigger fingerStenosing tenosynovitis, or trigger finger, could also be causing your pain. This condition occurs when the sheath around a finger tendon is inflamed. The inflammation then causes the tendon to get stuck, which makes bending the finger harder and sometimes painful. 
  1. Fractures — There are 27 bones in each of your fingers, hands and wrists. A break in any of these bones can trigger pain. Commonly broken finger, hand or wrist bones are caused by catching yourself when you fall. 
  1. Peripheral neuropathy — Peripheral nerves are any nerves that aren’t part of the brain or spinal cord. Injuries or medical issues can lead to damage or irritation of the peripheral nerves in your hands or fingers. This is known as peripheral neuropathy. 

How can physical therapists treat your hand and finger pain?

Physical therapists can help you treat your hand and finger pain even if it’s not caused by arthritis. Some techniques that your therapist may use to treat your pain include: 

  • Functional rehab designed to help restore your ability to perform normal daily tasks. 
  • Graston Technique® sessions intended to help improve blood flow to healing hand and finger tissues. 

SOL Physical Therapy offers treatment for many sources of hand and finger pain

Need help treating hand and finger pain that’s not caused by arthritis? Our SOL PT specialists are here to assist you with your pain. Our team can do a comprehensive evaluation to pinpoint the root cause of your pain. Next, we can create a unique therapy plan for you that’s intended to reduce your pain and stop it from coming back. Additionally, our therapists can meet with you in a virtual therapy session via a secure live video feed. 

Contact our team today for more information about all the services we offer for hand and finger pain or to schedule an initial appointment. 

About the author

Sports + Orthopedic Leaders Physical Therapy & Performance Training serves the communities of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Orinda, San Francisco and beyond. SOLPT’s award winning team of Physical Therapists, Performance Coaches and movement experts has helped thousands reach their rehabilitation and performance goals to move beyond pain. We're committed to helping anyone of any fitness level move effectively and more powerfully for a lifetime. We offer rehabilitation and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services.

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