Finger Joint Pain Causes and Treatments

The importance of hands cannot be overstated. Hands are important in helping us keep our balance as we walk, carry big or small luggage and carrying out minor tasks such as tying one’s shoelaces. In most of the activities handled by the hands, joints at the fingers and wrist have to work harmoniously as a single unit. This way, the intended motion of the hand is achieved. When this harmonious movement is hindered by finger joint pain, daily activities such as driving or using a computer become challenging tasks.

What Are the Possible Causes of Finger Joint Pain?

Finger joint pain can occur due to a traumatic injury to the affected hand or other parts of the body such as the spinal cord. Or the pain can appear unnoticed due to a gradual occurrence. Whenever you notice this kind of pain or stiff fingers, it is advisable to seek your doctor’s advice.

1. Ligament Strain

If a finger’s movement gets to available limits or past these limits, its ligaments on one side can get damaged. Ligaments are important parts of the body because they are fibres that act as linkages between different bones. If a finger is moved excessively beyond its limits, fibres will get torn. When this happens, surgery might be required for purposes of treating the injury.The signs of this injury include swelling, bruising and limited finger movement or stiff fingers.

2. Arthritis

There are two forms of arthritis that can lead to finger joint pain: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. With the former, material between adjacent bones, the cartilage, wears down and hence the bones are able to rub against each other. When bones rub against each other, a person will experience sharp pain, which can occur even when the fingers are inactive. Osteoarthritis can be present on one or more fingers.

Rheumatoid arthritis simultaneously affects more than one finger. This type of arthritis causes inflammation of joints. Affected joints are painful mostly when they are active. Luckily, any type of arthritis is treatable either by using some drugs or changing the activities that someone takes part in.

3. Tendon Injury

Despite there being no muscles on the fingers, each finger has tendons both on the front and rear sides. These tendons are long and attach to both nearby muscles and joints of the fingers. Since the tendons attach to these joints, a tendon’s injury leads to pain within a joint. Injury to a tendon can occur when someone lifts a weight that is too heavy or due to some trauma. The injury is characterized by the finger swelling, bruises as well as stiffness. You can identify a torn tendon when you find that a certain finger joint can no longer be straightened. In such a scenario, you would have to seek a doctor’s assistance and probably have some corrective surgery on the finger.

4. Bone Fracture

A fracture on a finger’s bone will occur in the event of trauma. Example of trauma is having someone step on your finger or a weight drop on the finger. Bone fracture is not only painful but can also lead to visible deformity of the finger. In other cases, someone may fail to notice this injury. This happens when the injuries of tendons and ligaments lead to chip fractures. This fracture occurs at the point where the fibers attach to the bone. With this injury, the person suffers stiff fingers and the solution lies in undergoing a reparative surgical procedure to repair the tendons and ligaments.

5. Nutritional Deficiency

Sometimes people eat food in order to deal with their hunger pangs rather than addition of the right nutrients for their body. Various nutrients’ deficiencies can lead to finger joint pain, such as vitamin D deficiency, vitamin B6 deficiency, magnesium deficiency and protein deficiency. Apart from finger joint pain, lacking these nutrients also leads to other unwanted conditions within the body such as tightness of muscles.

6. Inflammation

If you suffer from pain around the joints of your fingers, you should find a way of reducing any inflammation because it leads to unwanted situations such as tightening of muscles, trapped fluids and increasing pain levels. Therefore, a finger joint could be healthy but due to inflammation, a person will experience pain.

How to Manage Finger Joint Pain

1. Compresses

It is possible to reduce finger joint pain through hot, cold or both hot and cold compresses. Using both of them is the best option. Application of the cold or hot temperatures should last for about 15 minutes. Alternating the compresses, start with cold, then hot and do this thrice in a day.

2. Olive oil

Olive oil contains a compound that inhibits inflammation. This oil can be used to treat painful or stiff finger joints in two ways, cooking food with the oil or massaging affected fingers with warm olive oil. For the massage, heat the olive oil up to a proper state and then apply it to your finger joint. This reduces inflammation and moisturizes the skin.

3. Cinnamon and Honey

Cinnamon has antioxidants that assist in alleviating joint pains. One quality of honey is being antiseptic, which reduces pain in finger joints. It is advisable to take a small mixture of cinnamon and honey before breakfast every day. The mixture should be a teaspoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon of honey. This home remedy works within a week.

4. Epsom Salts

In order to use Epsom salts as a home remedy for a stiff finger that is causing you pain as well as relax the affected hand, dip the hand in a mixture of the salt and warm water or warm oil. When this is done for about 30 minutes in a day, both inflammation and pain are reduced greatly. This home remedy works because Epsom salts contain magnesium.

5. Other Remedies

The ultimate home care is avoiding too risky activities that can cause finger pain. In the event of minor finger injuries leading to pain from fingers some home remedy steps can be taken. These steps involve removing rings from swollen fingers, avoiding use of the affected finger, application of ice and elevating the finger in pain, taking pain relievers, and buddy taping an injured finger to the adjacent healthy finger.

When to See a Doctor

Despite the availability of remedies and home care for finger joint pain, some situations will necessitate consulting of a doctor. These situations include

  • When the cause of pain is an injury
  • When it is a finger’s deformation
  • Persistence of pain for more than 7 days
  • A finger that is numb or itchy
  • When the finger is very painful even when inactive
  • An inability to straighten a finger
  • Redness of skin
  • Swelling of the finger or when experiencing fever

On visiting your doctor, he will carry out a physical exam on your affected hand as well as fingers. In doing this, the doctor would:

  • Ask you questions in order to know what you have been experiencing or any other medical conditions you have suffered in the past.
  • Carry out an X-ray on the affected area.
  • Determine the best form of treatment for you, which will be determined by the pain’s cause.
 
 
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